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How complicit are you in creating the conditions you say you don’t want? [1]

I’ve written a few times about the stories we tell ourselves. I’ve also discussed how we are characters in those stories. Let’s take that theme a little further.

Think about an issue you are trying to resolve at the moment. One you are finding difficult or frustrating.

Now, here is a list of potential character roles you might be filling in that story [2]:

  • Advisor
  • Artist
  • Architect
  • Boss
  • Builder
  • Carer
  • Coach
  • Collaborator
  • Communicator
  • Conductor
  • Counsellor
  • Dictator
  • Disruptor
  • Doctor
  • Expert
  • Follower
  • Gate Keeper
  • Innovator
  • Judge
  • Leader
  • Listener
  • Manager
  • Mentor
  • Nurse
  • Observer
  • Outsider
  • Participant
  • Passenger
  • Planner
  • Player
  • Prisoner
  • Story Teller
  • Student
  • Supporter
  • Teacher
  • Victim

Can you pick one that resonates for you? Pick one and then answer these questions:

  • How does the character you chose, normally act?
  • How does being that character have you acting? 
  • How are others responding to that character?

Now, pick a different character. Pick one you would like to be in this story and answer these questions:

  • How would the new character normally act?
  • If you were this character, how would that have you changing your behaviour?
  • How would others respond to you if you were that new character?

Repeat the exercise until you find the character, behaviour and response that you are after.


[1] I first heard this question when listening to a podcast hosted by Tim Ferriss. I can’t recall the source of the quote. I would be grateful to anyone who may have more information.

[2] There are many more characters. Which ones haven’t I listed?