Justin Ricklefs


If You Want to Change, Live a New Story

Home ownership sucks sometimes. In the past few weeks, we had a massive roof leak and our rattily furnace finally went out. Just in time for winter.


We had our roof replaced, and to make that fun project even better, I picked up a nail in the outside of my tire, so I get to replace that too.

As the snow fell sideways today, I sat in the body shop waiting for my truck to get done.

An older man walked in, and he was greeted by one of his friends.

The friend smiled, greeted him warmly and said, “How have you been?”

To which the older man replied with, “Well, just trying to get through another day…”


I’m sure it was part cliché, part sarcasm and part small talk, but it saddened me to hear him say that.

Not that I haven’t had plenty of bad days, I have.

But comments like this tell a pretty vivid story of how he lives.

My guess is he views the world as out to get him, he anticipates the setbacks and likes to play the victim in his relationships.

I know how that feels, I’ve played the victim plenty of times.

I was driving back from Jefferson City, seeing a client last week. I was listening to Ian Cron’s Typology podcast, when he hosted Donald Miller on his show.

Miller was initially well-known for his memoir type books. But in the last five years or so, he’s built an incredibly successful marketing company called StoryBrand.

Candidly, many of his principles are what I founded Guild Content to represent.

He’s kind of a story guru, and in this interview, he made a comment that really resonated with me.

He said, “If you really want to change, pick a new story.”

He went on to describe how many of us stay stuck, in relationships, career, health, whatever the thing is, because we keep playing the role of victim in our stories.

So what if we could pick a new story?

One where we believed in abundance and love? One where we believed the hard stuff doesn’t necessarily equal bad? One where we viewed adversity as opportunity? One where we didn’t have to just try to survive another day, but one where we could thrive instead?

I know many of us, me included, like the routine and familiar story we’re used to, even if it’s broken.

Changing is hard. It requires a lot.

But maybe it starts with the belief that we can actually live a new story, instead of being stuck in the role we’ve always played.

Because merely living to get through another day doesn’t really sound like living at all.

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