- Thoughts for inspired living

March 1, 2010

How Did You Get Here?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:22 am

If you’ve ever been to some kind of conference in a distant city where you are meeting new people, invariably the small talk includes, “Where are you from?” and “How did you get here?”

“Oh, me and Jennifer drove in from Dubuque, ran into some incredible snow through Kansas, worst I’ve ever seen.” You then answer with your story – “I’m from Rhode Island and our plane must have run into some of that ‘weather’ you experienced because I’ve had smoother rides on Space Mountain in Disney World.”

This get acquainted chit-chat is standard operating procedure to attempt to find common ground. Some do it better than others.

How useful is it to tell that arrival story again and again and again to the same people? Imagine it is 15 minutes or an hour later and that same person tells you their story again. Yes, you may smile politely but you don’t want to hear it. The bigger question is, “How useful is it?”

What’s your “How I got here story?” How often have you told it? And most importantly, have you noticed that it doesn’t matter.

How you got to where you are in life is interesting from an historical and human interest perspective, but it has little to no transformative power to get you somewhere else.

Every time you tell the story, you are there, not here. It’s not possible to get to where you want to go without traveling through here. If you continually go back there, you never transfer to the vehicle that takes you forward – Here!

Where you are now and where you want to go is the only recognition you need.

The incessant trips back through the mud are what give therapy such a crappy track record. To quote my late mentor, Dr. Dave Dobson, “Do you need to go to the dump to remember what garbage smells like?”

Telling how you got here over and over again is like taking a dump in someone’s living room. It’s quite inappropriate and it’s not useful.

Many use how they arrived as a justification for not changing. “I’m the daughter of abusive, left-handed, little people who always called me a ‘Big galoot.’ That’s why I am the way I am.”

That may very well be the sound reasoning how you got here, but hanging on to that story insures that you remain a “Big galoot.”

Retiring your story is painful. Many view theirs as a life preserver. Your story may be shaped like one, but it’s made of concrete and holding on to it will sink you to the bottom.

Letting go of your story is more painful than letting go of an addictive drug or substance. We’ve convinced ourselves our story is who we are and we feel as though we are losing our identity.

The only thing you lose is your story. What you gain is the recognition of where you are now. Here and now is the only place you can move forward from.

Whether you got here by train, boat, plane, or camel, you are here, not there. When you recognize that you are here, that’s a story worthy of retelling.

All the best,



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