It was good to hear their voice. We were catching up on a recent phone call. We are related, have known each other for most of our lives, and it has been a while since we talked. Their voice was familiar but different. Time has a tendency to change things.

Lots of topics. Work, life, and struggles. We spoke of our parents. Resolved and unresolved issues. Loss and times of reconciliation and times when we did not or could not reconcile before the end.

“Things got a lot easier for me when I simply saw my parents as people. People who struggle, not on some pedestal.”

Their reframing was helpful. We also spoke about the stories we heard growing up. The stories that shaped us. Some of the stories were supposed to be inspiring. Some of the stories were supposed to provide a warning. Some stories were for fun. Some stories were more serious. There were always stories.

These collective stories were really part of something else.


Mythology is a set of stories or beliefs about a particular person, institution, or situation, especially when exaggerated or fictitious.

Mythology was exactly what we experienced.

Sets of stories and beliefs.

Exaggerated and fictitious accounts.

Mythology that shaped us, our views, our opinions, and our beliefs.

“People do have a tendency to put themselves (and sometimes others) in the best light.”

This new frame helped us both. We see the Mythology clearly and understand some of the motivation behind it. Attempts to teach, to assist, to cover-up, to deal with pain and issues, to inspire hope in dark times.

We all have Mythology.

Our Mythology shaped us, but it may be fictitious.

Our Mythology might have served us, but it may be time to look beyond those stories.

How has your Mythology limited you and created barriers?

How can recognizing this Mythology help you move forward?

For me, simply recognizing Mythology was a great first step in clearing out some of the mental baggage we all carry.

Are you always the Good Guy/Girl?

I was listening to a speaker the other day with some friends.  During one part of the speaker’s message a friend leaned over to me and said,

“The trouble is, we all think we are the good guys.”

The more I reflected on those words, the more profound they became.  Being “the good guy (or girl)” has a huge impact on our perspective, our narrative, and our story.  Over the next few weeks I listened to those around me with this new frame of reference.  What I heard confirmed this theory.

When my kids argued and sought fatherly judicial proceedings, each child described the wrongs committed.  Each child described a scenario where they were clearly the “good one” and the other sibling was “bad.”

I heard spouses, friends, and family members describe various issues.  Again and again the common theme was they were “good” and others were “bad.”  The story-tellers seemed completely unaware of how they were describing the other person.  Then, I listened to my own words.  If I was offended or had some problem, clearly I was the “good guy” only leaving one option for the other party.

Breaking away from this self-centered mindset is not easy.  Becoming aware and changing a pattern of behavior can be worlds apart.  For the next few weeks I am going to try by asking a simple question.

“What if I am not the good guy?”

Maybe something so simple will shake the foundation of our self-centeredness.

To my friend who leaned over and said that simple phrase: thanks for the game-changer.  It will certainly help us on the way to changing the (our) world.