Storyteller and Children

James Bonnet on How to Change Your Destiny

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Change Your Destiny and Transform Your Future

At any given moment we have a certain destiny.
And, if we are not content with that destiny,
we can do something about it.
We can transform our futures by transforming ourselves.
If we change who we are,
if we awaken our humanity,
we can change our destiny.

James Bonnet
James Bonnet identifies how you can change your destiny with stories.
James Bonnet Destiny

What Is Your Destiny?

How often do you think about your life in terms of destiny? Maybe a better question is: Do you ever think of your life in terms of destiny? Or do you think about Destiny as the name of a Swedish heavy metal band?

Another question concerns the difference between destiny and fate. 

Here's how Wikipedia defines these two words: 

Although often used interchangeably, the words "fate" and "destiny" have distinct connotations.
Traditional usage defines fate as a power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events. Fate defines events as ordered or "inevitable" and unavoidable. This is a concept based on the belief that there is a fixed natural order to the universe, and in some conceptions, the cosmos…
Destiny is used with regard to the finality of events as they have worked themselves out; and to that same sense of "destination", projected into the future to become the flow of events as they will work themselves out…

Great Stories

James Bonnet’s fascinating book, Stealing Fire from the Gods, analyzes movies according to their ancient "great story" structure. He defines great stories this way:

Great stories are created by powerful and mysterious processes. They are designed to guide us to our full potential and are as neccessary to our well-being as fresh air. Understanding great stories means understand these inner processes. And understanding these inner processes can lead to a profound understanding of our selves and the world (page 4).

Although I'am not a screenwriter, I love movies. Bonnet's book has been in the bookcase closest to my desk for several years. It's definitely not a quick read. Rather, it's a book that gets to the essence of stories by describing the complexity of stories. Ponder this statement:

The whole truth about story is like a large circle with a hundred dimensions. Each of these dimensions is so powerful that many of them can be isolated and made into a successful story or story film even if all of the other major dimensions are more or less unrealized. 

Figuring It Out

In his preface, Bonnet states that he told his wife that "I'm going to figure out what a story really is, if it takes me twenty years," He follows this statement with these words: "Twenty years later, after countless hours of hard work, when things had finally begun to jell, I reminded my wife of that conversation. She looked at me and said, 'I wish you had said ten' " (page xiii).

Stealing Fire from the Gods is definitely not a quick read and it is definitely worth reading and studying.

Amazon Comments

 About Stealing Fire from the Gods
A revised and expanded sequel to Stealing Fire from the Gods, this 2nd edition includes important new revelations concerning the ultimate source of unity, the structures of the whole story passage, the anti-hero's journey, the high-concept great idea, the secrets of charismatic characters, and the analyses of many important new stories and successful films.
James Bonnet is an internationally known writer, teacher and story consultant. He lives in Los Angeles, but he grew up in New York City and has been a professional writer for more than 40 years. He started out as an actor in the Tony Award winning hit Broadway show, Sunrise at Campobello, creating the role of James Roosevelt, the eldest son of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He landed his first professional writing assignment when he was 23, writing for the television series, It’s A Man’s World. Ever since that time he has been creatively driven by only one thing: discovering the secrets that underlie great stories... 
[Original Post October 18, 2014]
What are your thoughts about your destiny? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

My book, How to Get Out of The True Self Trap: The Life-Changing Secret of Heroic Stories, challenges the assumptions of self-help work that treats you as a problem to be solved. This tendency is deeply rooted in religious and psychotherapeutic beliefs about fixing what is wrong with you. In contrast, heroic stories are about ordinary people doing extraordinary actions in response to some outer challenge. In the process, they discover that they are capable of far more than the imagined.

Available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazon to get your copy now.

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