Gena Gilcrease
3 min readOct 29, 2020

This is Your Life

For real!

Some of you might remember a classic TV program called This is Your Life.

The host Ralph Edwards would surprise a guest by bringing them on the air. Then he would introduce various people to tell anecdotes and stories about their lives.

The idea came to Edwards while he was working on the radio show Truth or Consequences. He had been asked by the U.S. Army to “do something” for paraplegic soldiers at a hospital in a Van Nuys Army rehabilitation hospital.

Edwards chose “a particularly despondent young soldier and hit on the idea of presenting his life on the air to integrate the wreckage of the present with his happier past and the promise of a hopeful future.”

Edwards received such positive feedback from the capsule narrative of the soldier that he developed This Is Your Life as a new radio program. The program was later adapted for television with great popularity.

Edwards would have a big red book and narrate the biography of his guest. He would introduce family members, friends, and others who had had an impact on his or her life, or how the guest had an impact on them.

What a great idea! We can use the This is Your Life format to tell the story of our lives by interpreting it in the best possible light.

Some may say “that’s just rose-colored glasses!”

Well, yes, it is. Since our lives are just how we view them, why not rose colored rather than muddy brown?

We want to look through affirmative lenses at positive accomplishments and relationships.

Imagine your guests — real or imagined — who tell about your victories, challenges you overcame, healing, or the positive impact you had on their lives.


Sort of “It’s a Wonderful Life” kind of view.

I doubt the program would have been popular if it only showed someone’s mistakes, failures, and broken relationships.

Like “This is your horrible life.” We can usually do that on our own.

Right now, think of someone who would champion you. Think of someone whose life was touched by you, your words or actions.

Think of some benefit you have given someone, however large or small.

This is your true life.

We are continually writing the story of our lives by our thoughts and words, and by our responses to whatever life brings us.

What we see “out there” comes from what’s going “in here.” Thoughts, beliefs, and interpretations are creating the experience of our lives.

Our lives — past, present, and future — are exactly how we interpret them. Since it’s a story we’re writing, so why not make it a good one?

For the world is not just “happening to us.” Our minds are the projection room of our beliefs, creating the world as we project them outwards.

It’s like we have two projectors in our minds, one capable of projecting negative thoughts; the other can project positive thoughts.

We can switch the picture being projected at any moment. It’s your choice.

And we always have the capacity to change, for change and the possibility of change is going on all the time. Even on the physical level, we literally are not the same person we were a week ago.

Most of the cells of our bodies replace and reproduce themselves every 7 years, and some have replaced many times over in that time.

It takes courage to change your mind and energy to keep it changed.

Just as we daily shower and brush teeth, we need to do some mental hygiene. Wipe away the slate of the past, whether 10 years or 10 minutes.

Because THIS IS YOUR LIFE, right here and now.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is the fulfillment of your soul’s purpose on this earth.

And that is quite a story.

Gena Gilcrease

Love writing in many forms. Essay writer since winning the Knights of Columbus contest on Texas History at 14. Humor writing. Educational training films. Poetry