I would like to share an enlightening passage from a book titled "The Secret Language of Money‒- How to Make Smarter Decisions and Live a Richer Life". The author is David Krueger.
Two anthropologists were chosen to enter separate, essentially identical ape colonies to live and observe for a year. The two men were matched for similarities of personality, philosophy, and education, in order to be as alike as possible.
When they emerged a year later to compare notes, they naturally expected that they would have had similar experiences. Instead, they found remarkable discrepancies.
After an initial period of transition, the first anthropologist had been accepted by the apes as one of their own and integrated into the colony. During his year, he had experienced an extraordinary level of unity and comfort within the ape community.
The other anthropologist, by contrast, never managed to move beyond his initial position as an outsider on the periphery of the colony. Continually careful and vigilant throughout the year, he never came close to feeling accepted by the apes and always felt he was on the cusp of a conflict.
The men puzzled over this for months, trying to discern what could have made this dramatic difference. Finally they realized what single factor had been different between them. When the two men entered the two ape colonies, the second anthropologist brought a gun with him.
The gun never showed; he never used it, and the apes never even knew he had it. But he knew he had it: He knew that if things got tough, he had an "out." The anthropologist who had no gun had a commitment: He knew from the beginning that he would either make it or not make it on his own.
The two men went into identical situations with two different stories, and it was the stories they brought with them, not the situation itself, that created their completely different realities.
Note that it was not the gun itself that created such drastically different outcomes. It was the fact that the man knew he had the gun.
Each of us enters every situation in our lives, day after day and year after year, with a hidden gun, just like the second anthropologist. That hidden gun is our story. Like the anthropologist, we are often unaware of the stories we are living - even though we have written them ourselves. The plotlines of our own stories are often hidden from view, even from our own view. Yet just because a story is hidden doesn't mean it doesn't have a profound impact on our lives.
What kind of a story are you living in your life today?