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What Chapter Are You Writing Right Now?


An Autobiography In Five Very Short Chapters


I walk down the street. There’s a hole in the sidewalk. 

It is a very deep hole. I fall in … I am helpless. 

It isn’t my fault. 

It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in … again. 

I can’t believe I’m in the same place, but it isn’t my fault. 

It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I see it is there. I still fall in … it’s a habit, but my eyes are open. 

I know where I am. It is my fault. 

I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. 

I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

Author: Portia Nelson

Life in Chapters

This author’s story is a great way to look at life.  In Chapter One, the story talks about our ignorance of not knowing the deep holes that exist in life and how we fall victim to life’s challenges.  We didn’t know about the hole, it’s not our fault, and it’s hard to get out.  We may blame others for the negative outcomes in our life and fail to see our part in where we are.  It’s not our fault.

In Chapter Two, the story talks about how we make choices that we kinda know may end up bad but pretend we’re not the one responsible.  We didn’t purposely fall into the hole, it kinda just happened…”on accident.”  We believe it’s still not our fault.

In Chapter Three, we fall into the same hole again, but this time we knew the hole was there.  We have become a victim of habit, but we know our choices have landed us in this hole.  It’s our fault and we need to make a change.

In Chapter Four, we go down that same street again, but this time, we’ve learned.  We won’t make the same mistake twice.  We walk around the problem.  We’re breaking the habit and owning the responsibility.  We’re seeing things differently now.

In Chapter Five, we’ve learned to avoid this problem altogether.  We’re going a different path now, having learned from our experience.  The new path will have deep holes too, and we’ll learn more and grow with each new experience.

The Takeaway

We all have a story and we’re all the authors of our own life.  We can chose to write our story however we wish.  The problem with some people is that they get stuck in one of the early chapters (1-3), and never move on to learn from their mistakes and make a change.  Many will play the victim in life rather than the person who is tackling life.  They don’t take responsibility for where they are in life and let life happen to them, instead of making life happen for them.  They feel it isn’t their fault, thus it’s not their responsibility.

We have to learn to take control of our life, learn from experiences, and stop playing the victim.  Sometimes life will surprise us and it isn’t our fault.  Other times we pretend it’s not our fault or outright deny any responsibility.  The hope is that as we go through these experiences, we write a story where we learn from our mistakes, break bad habits, and learn a better way.

If you had to write an autobiography of your life up to this point, what chapter would you be writing right now?

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