Life Lessons 18-03: Breaking News! Who’s Writing Your Story?
In living your great - extraordinary life it is sometimes helpful to hear, watch, and read how the lives of others unfold.
In the business world, biographies literally and figuratively provide insights into how people established their companies. Aspiring athletes can read the exploits of superstars to learn their mental and physical preparations. And biographies of the royals, dancers, artists, movie stars-all people seen as living a larger-than-life existence-satisfy the need to know how the other half lives.
These stories offer glimpses into others’ lives that contrast with how and where you live today. Some stories draw you in because you empathize with the people’s life journeys and their contributions to the world. And some simply provide fodder that satisfies your fantasies of distant times and places.
You are the author of your great --> extraordinary life.
~ Stephen Hobbs
Writing Your Autobiography
While reading others’ stories is helpful, it is more important to shine light inwards at your own life.
- What would happen if you wrote your autobiography?
- In what ways would that writing contribute to your life and those whom you influence?
These two questions I asked myself about 10 years ago. And instead of letting the answers gather dust, I began to organize my notes, photos, poetry, articles, and sayings. I even organized a collection of my own business cards because they told something about me. I cut up T-shirts that I had worn to save different logos and great quotes. I simply gathered artifacts that told my story.
This collection process is invigorating and refreshing, sad and happy, all at the same time. It provided me - can provide you with a physical, mental, and spiritual access to your lifeline. Your artifacts offer you an opportunity to reflect on experience, discover those pivotal events, and more importantly, share those big and small, un-applauded achievements with yourself.
When the artifacts are organized, they provide glimpses into where you have come from, where you are now, and offer some insight into where you are going. Placed on a table in chronological order, you can see the good and happy events as well as the bad and sad events.
These artifacts also allow you to see how and where your history (past) and mystery (future) merge (present). In playing with the letters of history and mystery you might see the following story unfold.
History is about “hi, here is my story as I have lived it”
Mystery is “here is my story as I will live it,” suggesting energy is needed to make it happen.
[swap "o" for "e" in story = stery]
Lifeline and Pivotal Points
Drawing your lifeline and organizing your artifacts will identify the most obvious turning points, pivotal events, and epiphanies that you experienced. The fun begins as you remember those lived experiences - life pivots and fill in the blanks.
- What was happening?
- Who was present?
- What did you learn from that experience?
- Who did you influence at the time?
From my book, Living YOUR Great Life Insight #32 has connections here:
Living a great life involves connecting with family and close friends. Their involvement in your life and yours in theirs provides you with the backdrop for your autobiography. Your family and friends provide you with moments to know your inner joy and exasperations.
- What is the familial backdrop of your autobiography?
- What key metaphor is useful in your autobiography?
- What key word/word phrase is useful in your autobiography?
Mine is "Magnificance of My Extraordinary Life"
Answers to the questions listed above and others that you may ask, reawaken you to the magnificence and significance (magnificance) of your life. Through the questions, you are given additional openings to learn things about yourself.
Granted, some things you may wish to keep buried. Others you may wish to remember. In either case, these experiences are what make you up and are an expression of living your great life.
Those lived experiences made you who you are today. However, they do not necessarily define you.
How you deal with your history frames your mystery. In other words, you are more than a passive participant in your history. You are, more importantly, an architect of your mystery. And so,
- Are you curious to know how your mystery will inform (in form) your new history?
If yes, what artifacts do you want to collect?
- What do you desire to remember from what you do?
Reflections on Experience
All of the questions provided in this article encourage you to reflect on your great - extraordinary life.
Your answers give you insights into the meanings you attribute to what you saw, felt, heard, tasted, intuited, and smelled in your life. Those meanings give you reasons to increase and improve your sensual awareness in living your great - extraordinary life.
They give you the content for your ‘living autobiography.’
At all times and in all places remember - you are the author of your life. You have the authority to tell it as it was, is, and can be.
And there should be at least two people who will read your autobiography, your editor as you prepare to self publish and a close relative/friend. After that, the sky is the limit.
And for your interest, the tentative working title of my autobiography is:
Yikes, Stripes, and Zebra Spots:
From here to there, from this to that, and from now to then.
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life,
and be without flavor.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
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