2020 / August

Telling the story of tonight

The Story of Tonight from Hamilton

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

The third of our songs from the musical Hamilton is The Story of Tonight. In the play the song is set before the tune we explored two-weeks ago, Wait for It. Picture the scene, the four young revolutionaries are sat in a bar dreaming and committing themselves to action as they drink.

Perhaps this is something we can all relate to. Sitting in a bar with friends and putting the world to rights. Dreaming of the future we would like and setting our mind toward how we might achieve our dream. I guess where the real change happens though is the following morning. In Hamilton, the song opens with the lyrics:

I may not live to see our glory. But I will gladly join the fight.

Creating change is often costly. And when with our friends, and feeling brave with alcohol, the dream of change and the legacy it might provide is attractive:

And when our children tell our story. They’ll tell the story of tonight.

Yet, somehow, if we have a vision of a better future for ourselves, the difference between it being an intangible dream or an achievable reality is the choices we make when we can actually do something about it and not just talk. As a life coach this is where I find coaching sessions are often the most useful. Taking the dream and planning how to make it a reality, weighting up the costs and benefits and forging a route ahead. In these conversations, one of the common themes around cost is our fear of potential loss. In our song, this conversation occurs with a positive focus in the bar:

Raise a glass to freedom. Something they can never take away. No matter what they tell you.

My experience of coaching would suggest herein lies the key. To head for our dreams is a risk. But what is the real risk? When I resigned from my job as a Senior Probation Officer many people saw it as a brave decision risking the ‘security’ of a stable income to follow my vision. Yet the ‘security’ we often risk is firstly not that secure (people get made redundant) and secondly often not that fulfilling (we can be ‘secure’ in unhappiness). So, the question often that needs to be answered is should I go for it and make the leap to reach my vision? Although there is no straightforward answer, there are two pieces of sage advice from James Clear the author of Atomic Habits which I think are helpful:

  1. If a decision is reversible, the biggest risk is moving too slow. If a decision is irreversible, the biggest risk is moving too fast.
  2. Take a simple idea and take it seriously. (In other words, act on the small decisions which will help you get to the bigger ones).

This is where it can be helpful to talk it over with friends (or a life coach) and be hopeful that things can change when we set the right direction in life:

Raise a glass to the four of us … Tomorrow there’ll be more of us.

And this is how you can create the future from the story of tonight.

Do you want to rekindle your dreams? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?

Taken from the album:


Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.