Change Catalyst with Shanna Mann: Strategy & Support for Sane Self-Employment

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Life is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure

One of the hardest things for me is to demonstrate my respect for people who have different life experiences than I do. I get really excited about my own life, choices and experiences, and I feel like I might come across as: My Way Is The Best Way.

It’s not. It’s only the best way for me. And I don’t understand sometimes why people become defensive about their choices when I tell them about mine. I wish that everyone could see life as a kind of grand adventure. Wouldn’t that make it a lot easier, and probably more fun?

I like to think of my life as a choose Your-Own-Adventure book. Remember those? When I told my friend Gabrielle this she was surprised. Never thought of it that way.


“Yeah,” I said, “You know, “You’re walking in a dark wood. You come to a fork in the road. To go left, turn to page 8. To go right, turn to page 88.”

And I always used to dog-ear the pages so that when I got to page 88 and got eaten by a bear or something, I could go back and see what happened on page 8. I didn’t think of this as cheating. I didn’t want to miss anything!

And so I still see life: Really, how many of your decisions are totally irreversible if it turns out you picked wrong? And of those, what’s the worst that can happen???

Plus, our brains are hardwired to find meaning. Give a brain an unrelated series of facts, and it will form a narrative with them. Given that you can’t circumvent this tendency, you might as well channel it to your own uses.

Make yourself a hero in your own narrative. Give yourself a quest. Find allies and sidekicks for this journey. Most importantly, make it a happy ending.

I know that my experience is not the same as yours. If there’s some reason why what worked for me won’t work for you, that doesn’t make either of us wrong. Just different. I respect your truth, I just want to share mine. Oh, and feel free to share your narrative in the comments. I know you’ve got one.