How Will You Tell the Story of Your Life?

When you make yourself the hero, you can overcome almost anything.

There are a few odd facts I like to tell people about myself: I was expelled from two high schools and came within an inch of failing out of a community college. My father and brother both went to prison. I seriously entertained fantasies about killing my stepfather.

I even worked these and other potentially embarrassing personal details into a book I wrote about my research on evolutionary social psychology. Not only am I happy to admit these things about myself—in a weird way, I’m proud of them.


I recently attended a conference, and gave several talks to colleagues in which I unashamedlyplugged the book. So why would I not hide the details of my nasty, lower-class background from these distinguished academics, many of whom were raised in respectable middle- and upper-class homes, and now reside in peaceful neighborhoods adjacent to pristine and distinguished universities? I got a possible answer from a talk by Dan McAdams, author of The Redemptive Self.  Despite not being prone to embarrassment, my face may have turned a bright shade of crimson as I listened to his talk, which was a frank exposé of the gimmick behind my life story. It turns out, I have constructed what McAdams calls a redemption myth. It happens to be a common ailment—your life-story may well follow the redemption myth plot as well. Here are a few of the common elements: …………….continue reading here: How Will You Tell the Story of Your Life? | Psychology Today.


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