Are you a character in search of a plot?

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

An exercise for you:

-Grab a piece of paper (yes a real piece of paper)

-Write at the top “If my life was a story, what is the plot of my character?

-Answer the question.

I hope that you can fill that sheet of paper with words.
If not, keep reading below.

For most of us (myself included) we know we are a character in a story, a story that is bigger then ourselves, a story that has an overarching theme. As a character in this story we interact with other characters each and every day. Some of these characters have defined purpose and plot, other characters are more like “extras” that sit at the bar sipping on a cocktail trying to blend in. But sometimes it is easy to get lost in the story, to lose sight of where you are going.
Simply put, you lose purpose and meaning.

I have to ask the question again:

Are You A Character In Search Of A Plot?

Still don’t know the answer?
Here is a way to distinguish if you are in search of a plot or not:

If you have no plot:

  • You start projects only to stop them half way
  • You find yourself spending money on items that you think will bring happiness only to find you want more
  • When challenged you shrink back rather then step up
  • You are always asking others for things rather then giving away anything
  • You listen to Ke$ha (okay that is sort of a joke, but seriously don’t do this)
  • You tend to react with anger rather then patience when dealt setbacks
  • You constantly compare yourself to others

If you have a plot:

  • You live from a place of response not reaction
  • You have clear life goals and plans to accomplish them
  • You speak less and listen more
  • When faced with a “no” you keep moving forward
  • You don’t just consume you produce
  • You spend less time looking for answers and more time asking questions

The way you answer the question above will determine the direction your life takes. Often times the plot does not reveal itself until we spend some time searching for it out. If you find yourself feeling like a character in search of a plot spend some time writing out the last three months of your journey notices recurring themes and situations. Spend time going through the characteristics of those who have a plot and those who do not have a plot and see check which applies to you.

The plot will never reveal itself until we are willing to see it.

Question: Is there anything you would add to either list?

*kyle

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • http://www.thedailywalk.net Adam

    Dude. I love this. Nice work and challenging!

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      ya it was a challenge that I go through a lot myself and thought I would share. Thanks for the encouraging words

  • http://snapshotsofnicole.com nicole

    the eternal question of who am I? meet with what am i doing to get there? very challenging.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      yes, and i think we will always be asking those questions

  • http://lifeengaged.net Joseph

    If you don’t have a plot: You are always going with the trends!

    Instead of stepping apart and being yourself you try to do what everyone else is doing to simply “Fit in”. Find what works for you. Even if it’s something no one else is doing.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      Great thought there Joseph

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    Kyle,
    Love this exercise. I’ve got this post bookmarked to do it later. Once all my homework is done.

    I read Donald Miller’s book on telling a life story and it really impressed upon me the parellels of storyline and life. I try to create memorable scenes and LIVE my life instead of just let it happen to me.

    Great stuff.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

      ya Don talks into this stuff a lot…it is really good stuff

  • http://twitter.com/chadwickray Chad Ray

    Great post brother! I’ve heard so much lately about story and how we are living out our stories and how we as characters and constantly weaving in and our of others’ lives. Recently I’ve started stepping out of my own self and pursue things that I’ve always been wanting to try or wanting to do but shied away because they were just frivolous and not a “normal” job. I struggle with the world’s view of success and wealth, but recently I’ve stepped up to make my story more interesting and pursuing my passions more and loving every step of this journey (although I do struggle to afford the journey by not getting paid for what I love, but I digress).

    At 29, I have finally found myself and feel comfortable in my own skin, I just hate that it took me this long to do it. Every day can still be a challenge and a struggle to do so, but I like it much better this way.