Re-scripting your life

Remaking of Your “This Is My Life” Movie


Someone has said that the definition of being insane is watching the same movie – over and over again – and expecting that this time it will have a different ending. Does that mean that most of us are crazy for wanting something new or different in our life even though we have done nothing different with the way we think, behave or see the world? To be kind to ourselves, we have to say “no not crazy but being a wishful dreamer, yes, and yes again.

“Unscripting” The Key to a Remake of Your “This Is My Life” Movie

Someone has said that the definition of being insane is watching the same scene in a movie – over and over again – and expecting that this time it will have a different ending.

Does that mean that most of us are crazy for wanting something new or different in our life even though we have done nothing different with the way we think, behave or see the world?

To be kind to ourselves, we have to say “no, not crazy but being a wishful dreamer, yes, and yes again. If you want “make a difference because I was here,” a critical step forward would be one that helped you to be a whole person more of the time. That is, to be seen as a whole, spirited person and not one person at work, another at home and another in the community.

So, if you were a film maker, to help others see the whole, real you, you would just rewrite the old script or create a new script, right? Wrong!

One of the best ways to “write” or “rewrite” the script of “My Life” is to “unscript” how you see others. What? Re-script by un-scripting – now that’s crazy.

If you “unscript” how you see others, it will not be long before someone says to you, “You’re are really a different sort of person, you see me as I really am,” or “You have really changed. I don’t know how or why but it’s as if I am seeing you for the first time!”

Unscripting is about changing how you see those you know already and those whom you see about the city or newly meet.

Unscripting begins by not judging or prejudging a person based on your past knowledge of that person. It also means not judging or automatically categorizing the “new” person according their clothing, speech, or how she or he carries him or herself.

Unscripting means dropping your “automatic” way of categorizing people, even if it feels a bit awkward. You may feel awkward or uneasy because at first, because “automatic” judgements are, in part, a survival skill born into all creatures. Being able to predict behavior and whether a situation is dangerous or not is a survival skill we all must have – unscripting does not involve becoming unsafe or foolishly risky, it just means being more selective about being on “automatic.”

When we over do our need for predictability and apply it simply to make life easier (on the basis of fewer decisions means less work), we reduce are ability to adapt (the other basic survival skill), we put ourselves behind “mental walls” or a “mental box” that prevents us for clearly seeing others – these walls also hide us from others’ view.

Test yourself. How long does it take for you to “tag” or categorize someone as you watch people enter a public room or walking on the street. And you thought computers were quick. I am willing to bet that each of your judgments will take no more than one or two nanoseconds.

Many of your speedy “tags” or scripts for these people are based on “whats,” or what people appear to be. As you watch people walk down the street: this one is a craftsperson (a well-kept man in a clean jumpsuit carrying a toolbox), that one is a day laborer, she is an office worker, she is a government clerk, That one is a religious pilgrim, he is…, she is….

Consider the first person. You can only see and react to the him as a craftsperson. You do not “see” him as a brother, uncle, father, a village or district historian and story teller, some one who won a foot race or scored three goals. You cannot see a kind man, a man who has read every book on music in his local library. And the important point, he cannot see you as anything other than another “what” who only sees him as a “what.”

So the first step is to do your best to not just see people as “whats.” It will certainly open up new possibilities at work and in the community. As you see and treat people as whole people, so they will see and treat you.

The second step is really just a way of accomplishing the first. My father did his utmost to be sure that my brother and I made no judgments of people based on their looks, their speech, their “whats.” He was not perfect at it himself but he was persistent with drilling it into us – and making sure that he introduced us with great interest to as a wide a variety of people as our town or travels offered.

Once, when I had made a really bad mistake in misjudging a person – and paid for it with a bruised eye and nose – I asked him if he had any good ways of not making the wrong judgment.

Look at people’s eyes, he said – only see their eyes – not how they are dressed or not how they speak. When you look into another person’s eyes, the first thing they notice is that you are not looking at how they are dressed, how they are standing, or what they sound like – you are looking to see the person. And then – they see you, in the same way, as a whole person – a new person. And you are on your way to creating your new film called “my life 2.”