The Most Poisonous Story Men Tell Themselves

When I was a boy, I stumbled upon the body of a rabbit in the woods behind our farm.

Though dead, it looked peaceful, like it was only sleeping: its fur unblemished, eye glassy yet intact.

But when I flipped it over with a stick, as boys will invariably do, its underside was seething with maggots, wriggling and chewing in a mad pulse of decomposition.

I leapt back in repugnance, shocked at how infested the flesh was beneath the serene exterior.

On the surface, your life looks a series of events and milestones:

You married, conceived children, took that job, started that business.

In truth, where you are today has very little to do with these objective facts and everything to do with the STORIES you told yourself about those facts.

To make true progress on your journey of personal expansion, you must FLIP THE CARCASS and look at what writhes beneath.

If you are not living the life you want…

If your action-taking has no boldness, no conviction…

If you mash down the gas pedal of your life and there is no ACCELERATION…

Then I guarantee the stories you’re telling yourself are eating you alive, like the maggots devouring the flesh of the rabbit out of sight, beneath the misleading gloss of the fur.

A few days ago I got an email from a man I’ll call K.

He wrote in to tell me how offended he was that we were CHARGING FOR OUR PRODUCTS.

“If you truly cared you’d give it away for free” was his basic whinge.

I challenged him to upgrade his thinking. I told him the same scarcity mindset that was driving his indignance was the same mindset that was keeping him broke (there is a direct correlation between how loud someone moans about others charging money for their services and how little they value their OWN contributions).

Here was his reply:

“I was a school teacher and felt like it was a life of ‘giving it away’ since teacher pay is just about subsistence. I was ok with that as I was making a clean contribution to the world. Capitalism based on greed is indeed evil and will lead to doom as is pretty evident to anyone with an historical perspective.”

So let’s dissect K’s email. Let’s count the shitty stories. Let’s lay all those maggots out in a neat little row:

“I was a school teacher and felt like it was a life of ‘giving it away’ since teacher pay is just about subsistence.”

Maggot #1: Teachers can only hope for subsistence-level compensation
Maggot #2: To be a teacher is to live a life of thankless sacrifice
Maggot #3: This is the way it is. There’s no sense trying to change it

“I was ok with that as I was making a clean contribution to the world.”

Maggot #4: It’s okay to accept a shitty situation
Maggot #5: I know the difference between “clean” and “unclean” contributions
Maggot #6: Low pay is often proof positive that a contribution is “clean”

“Capitalism based on greed is indeed evil and will lead to doom as is pretty evident to anyone with an historical perspective.”

Maggot #7: Expecting compensation for value-rendered is “greedy”
Maggot #8: Self-interest is evil
Maggot #9: Self-interested capitalism is inherently destructive

K’s life is writhing with self-defeating stories. Flesh-gorging maggots that are destroying any chance at expansion.

K could inherit the keys to a billionaires’ kingdom, and he would destroy it, for no other reason than the poisonous stories his entire life is operating through.

What about YOU?

If you are not progressing towards the life you want… scrutinize the stories you’re telling yourself.

Flip the carcass.

Tease out the tell-tale “because” behind your won’ts and can’ts to expose the shitty story that drives them:

I want to write the book, but I can’t because I’m not enough of an expert on that topic yet

I will just give away free content for now, because I will piss off prospects if I ask for the sale

I can’t workout regularly because I have kids

I can’t hire a sales person because we don’t have the budget

I can’t advertise my product, because advertising feels foreign and aggressive to me

I hate my job, but I can’t start my own agency because I can’t give up my employer’s health benefits

Maggots everywhere.

Your life shrinks or contracts in direct proportion to the quality of the stories you tell yourself.

When your life feels boxed in, shrunken, crushed… beat the demons back with the torchlight of a better story.

Refuse the despondent interpretation.

Burn that useless story of failure and lostness and downward spiral from your personal mythology.

Facts are merely the raw material.

It’s the stories you weave from that raw material that creates or destroys the magic of what your life could be.

***

Bryan Ward is the founder of Third Way Man and author of the LIT Black Paper

Related Posts

The Magic Of Unconditional Commitment

2017-05-14 13:12:58
admin

18

Why Men Are Addicted To Sacrifice

2017-01-11 16:06:45
admin

18

Why Men Make Such Good Slaves

2016-08-22 15:34:20
admin

18

Your Two Blind Men

2016-05-09 14:11:48
admin

18

3 Ways Men Obliviously Hoard (And Suffer)

2016-03-09 14:51:14
admin

18

1 Mental Flaw That Ruins Men

2015-07-14 19:20:16
admin

18

Comments

  1. Word

  2. Fantastic article Bryan

  3. “It’s the stories you weave from that raw material that creates or destroys the magic of what your life could be. ” That’s a good landing right there.

Speak Your Mind

*