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  • Wendy Lee Johnson

Math vs Drama

We create our lives mostly with our minds. We often believe our stories so deeply that we think they’re facts, when they are not.


Take sugar for example. I like to tell myself that there is:

  • “Exquisite sugar” (it is so amazing and irresistible)

  • “Rare sugar” (sugar that only shows up a couple times a year or a restaurant I rarely go to)

  • “Social sugar” (when I'm out with friends and everyone's sharing some desserts)

  • “Favorite sugar” (I love Crumbl, it’s my favorite)

  • “Comfort sugar” (I have had a hard day and deserve a treat)


What if sugar was just sugar (math) and I quit all the stories I am telling myself? (drama)


It’s like I am writing a romance novel about sugar instead of a text book. I tell myself that these are the sugars that “have power over me!” When it’s “rare sugar” I tell the story that I have to eat it, because it only shows up so rarely. That story for sure doesn’t empower me.


It's time to take a closer look. There are the facts and then there are the stories we tell ourselves about the facts.

Why do we tell ourselves a story?

Many times because it assigns blame to something outside of us. Then we can choose to be powerless and not in control of our decisions. We don’t have to change, because we choose to believe the situation is out of our control. No choices, no options.


Drama is so unnecessary. Drama simply doesn’t serve. Think about an area in your life that you are dramatizing. Maybe it is a person like your mother in law, or a daughter. Or maybe it is an event like a work party or a vacation to Hawaii. It could even be as simple as a certain type of food, like bread or pasta.


How to turn your drama to math

One way is simply to start cleaning up the mess. Here are 4 easy steps to get started:

  1. Write about it. Get it all out. Every juicy detail. Don't censure or judge what you write.

  2. Separate the facts from the story. Go back through and circle or highlight only the facts. Remember, facts don’t hurt, they are neutral. "I have a mom" "I have a boss"

  3. Realize everything left is a story you are telling yourself about the facts. In addition, I like to jot down the feelings that each story is causing me to feel.

  4. Decide if that story and the feeling is serving you. When I think the thought, "Everyone else is eating nachos," it sounds like a fact, but it makes me feel entitled or deprived, which doesn't serve me at all.


Decide to show up as a scientist with a lab jacket and a clip board.
  • See things as an experiment

  • Don’t spin up about the results, it’s just math

  • Don’t expect a certain outcome, just observe

  • Write a text book, not a romance novel

  • Don't judge the experiment as bad or good


Remember, all problems are thought problems.

You get to decide how you think about the facts. Math or drama, it is completely up to you.



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