Strategies And Tips For Living Your Most Confident And Happiest Life

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The stories we tell ourselves (And why you should care)

The importance of personal narratives

Hello everyone, Louisa Jewell here with your Weekly Juice. Last week I was in my Mastermind meeting and we were talking about moon-shot goals – Those really big goals that you want to achieve before you die. And people had really incredible dreams.  One of the things we talked about is what actually blocks us from going after those really, really big dreams in your life. One of those things is our perceptions about our own identity. Who do we think we are? And are we the people that we think can achieve those moon-shot goals? So the discussion really centered around who do you need to be to achieve those really big goals?

Identity and the stories we tell ourselves

Central to this idea of identity is personal narratives – the stories we tell ourselves every day about ourselves and our lives. Personal narratives are important because they help us to make sense of the past, how we perceive our present moment and they have great influence on our imagined future. If we don’t believe that we can achieve something in the future we probably are not going to go after those dreams. We are probably not going to get into action to make things happen. Personal narratives guide our behavior, so over time, they can determine our destiny. So how can you discover what your personal stories are?

Study using artificial intelligence (AI)

Abigail Blyler and Dr Martin Seligman conducted an interesting study at the University of Pennsylvania. They asked research participants to record 50 stream of consciousness thoughts over a 48-hour period and then they took those thoughts and fed them into ChatGPT-4. The researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to see if AI could actually help determine what these people’s personal narratives were. They used prompts to generate personal narratives for each person in the study. When the participants in the study read the personal narratives generated, 96% of the people who participated in the study actually thought that these personal narratives were extremely accurate. They were surprised that they could actually determine what their personal narratives were.

Your thoughts determine your destiny

This study is a reminder of how powerful our daily thoughts are at determining our personal narratives. What you say to yourself every day ultimately determines your destiny so keep in mind what are you saying to yourself every day. Those words ultimately determine your actions which ultimately determine what your destiny is. In next week’s Juice, I’m going to talk about how you can change your personal narrative to create the life that you really want.

Source article: Abigail P. Blyler & Martin E. P. Seligman (14 Sep 2023): Personal narrative and stream of consciousness: an AI approach, The Journal of Positive Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2023.2257666


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