The past is just a story. You can do nothing else but learn from it. And future is vague, undefined but intended. So today is when you are nearest to the reality, ready to write the next chapter. Today or for that every moment of your life has been the opportunity to write the chapter that can give your story a new direction. However, maybe you have been working on a default mode or your conscious and subconscious has not been in sync.
Writing a new chapter starts with the passion and intent to define something and make a mark. To be constructive and proactive. With this intent, you invest time and energy to Read the story. You understand the situation, support cast, their capabilities and potential. This is what will be the foundation, barrier and the catalyst for you writing the next chapter.
The story exists and most likely it has a title. Title that did justice to the story. It is usually a working title until it hits the press. And here you are, determined and destined to write the next chapter.
Now the new chapter you write can possibly do one of the two things. It can help move the story forward in the intended direction towards its destiny, or it can re-evaluate and decide the direction the story should be taking. What will happen, depends upon few definitive alignments defined by the author. Why is the chapter being written? Is the author of a follower or a leader, an execution specialist or a strategist, committed to the cause or just a fellow passenger?
In case of Apple, the chapters written by Steve Jobs not only changed the title to the story called Apple, but it went further and redefined the title to the story of information technology, telephony, music, camera and marketing. When MK Gandhi started the chapter of non-cooperation in Indian freedom movement, he did not rewrite his story, he wrote the story of an Independence movement and gave a new tool to fight. When Verghese Kurien started the white revolution with village cooperatives, he redefined his story, image and many more lives. When E Sreedharan the metro man first took the project, the story of Metro rail was hazy but with his actions, he has written a completely new story. Most of them were not happy with the story they were in.
The impact of the new chapter can be felt on the front page, the cover of the book. Does the chapter (revision or an update) in the story is powerful enough to demand a new title? Is it so revolutionary and disruptive that it is reorienting organisational resources and redefining how it is known and perceived? If your actions impact the equation organization has with its stakeholders and the way it syncs with its ecosystem. This will need a change of Title.
Don’t be awed by the names like Kurien, Steve Jobs and Gandhi and believe that you do not have the opportunity to read the story, forget about writing the chapter. Look closer home and you will see the Bansals rewriting the chapters, Kishor Biyani, Subash Chandra, Ronnie Screwvala. R Balki is writing a new chapter in his own story. See the students who have secured good marks in schools or have made to IAS coming from a background that only said, you should not dream. But they dared. Instead of accepting the constraints that were better defined than the possibilities, they moved on; they pushed themselves because they had the passion and conviction not to be part to the story they found themselves in.
Write a powerful chapter or change the story you are in.
Once you write the chapter and change the title, do not for a moment think that the job is over. The new title became a reality when you wrote the chapter is just another working title. A co-author at a later date and time through action and inaction will redefine and give the story a fresh title.
It is rare that a chapter completes a story. ‘The end’ is not a chapter in the story of organizations. In professional life, it is the day you stop contributing and not necessarily the day you stop working of retire. In personal life, ‘The end’ is the universal truth- death.
However, when you do write a new chapter that is powerful enough to change the title of the book, you can be assured that when ever the book is read, referred, discussed or published- the Chapter, you wrote will have the title you intended. After all, all you were interested in was not the past, that was just a story ad future was always intended and vague. You were and are the present, and that is what should be the focus, writing the current chapter that will change the title of the story.