What story of your life will you tell?
There are all types of stories about your life that you can tell. Your story can take the shape of an inspirational tale, lessons learned, observations and opinions, historical records or just plain bragging.
Why tell your life story?
So why do it? I can think of two very important reasons.
First there is the need to find the real meaning life has for you.
This journey we are all on is a varied one, for sure, but there are some similar things we are all going through.
Each of us, in our search for meaning in life, has a vast amount of experience to draw upon. Our struggles and hardships, along with our achievements and blessings, teach us life’s lessons. Your experience, your strength and the hope that endures are part of your unique story — and part of the reason why you should tell your life story.
The second primary reason to tell your life story is to leave your mark.
This is what we call your legacy.
We all want to be remembered.
Certainly we want to be remembered for the good we've done and for the significant accomplishments in our lives. There is satisfaction in a life well-lived. Living a life fully experiencing what it means to be alive and involved in helping others is a great thing. To share with others who you are, what you are about and what you believe in is passing on some very valuable personal history.
The process of telling your life story will help you identify the core values and beliefs you hold.
Sharing it will pass on valuable lessons to others.
The benefit of that should be apparent.
Children, spouses, relatives, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers all love to learn more about other people. We thirst for this knowledge. It helps us, because we find out that all people have a story to tell that can enrich our own lives.
We revel in the triumphs. We grow in our struggles.
Sharing our difficulties is part of why you tell your true life story.
The most common forms of life stories are biographies and autobiographies.
A biography is your story as told by someone else. The autobiography means you are writing it. Both are records of life events, memories, thoughts and lessons learned. It is the experiences and observations of them that make each story unique.
This typically encompasses one's entire life and is full of memories from childhood through later stages. It usually flows chronologically.
Your memoir is a collection of values, recollections and stories about your life and may cover just certain aspects or times of your life or your entire life to date.
However, memoirs are not typically as focused on a historical recap or your life chronology.
Instead of concentrating on your entire life, you might want to consider focusing on a particular period or event.
Many military personnel desire to record their experiences, especially those who've served overseas or in conflicts.
My dad had a tour of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. He survived some harrowing missions.
People who've been through the hardship of disease and addiction have found that experience to be tremendously profound, especially when they've recovered against incredible odds. They have a powerful testimony to share.
Same goes for times of achievement in athletics, work or adventure.
The personal journey to faith in God can be especially rewarding to write and to share. Your spiritual or special life experience story is often a life changing event and can be the basis of a powerful personal history.
How you will tell your life story includes a choice of format and the decision of whether to involve others, such as a ghost writer, consultant or personal historian.
Writing is a difficult challenge for many, although it is easier than feared. Most people don't do it enough to get past those fears. Having some tools that will assist in writing your life story can be very helpful.
There is the process of journaling and various types of journals that can keep you going. Memory-inducing books and methods can also be of great help. There are even games you can play that will help you mine your past.
Once you've decided on what type of life story you are going to do the next step will be How you will tell it.