life story

10 Ways to Tell Your Life Story

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People have asked me several times whether I am interested in writing a book. I normally say no. In fact, I gave that answer the last time somebody asked at a dinner party. As my wife and I drove home, she asked why I have no interest in writing a book. I said, “I don’t think my story is worth writing in a book. Who will want to read it?” That’s when she said, “Everyone has a life story worthy of a book.”

I believe she’s right. Your life story is certainly worth telling. Even if it’s only for your children and grandchildren, it is valuable to record. Future generations can experience how you felt and reacted in your time. Whether you write your story down, record it, or simply tell your children about your life, the following 10 questions will help you get started.

1. Who Are You?

Where did you come from and where are you going? What are your passions and strongly held beliefs? Define the person you are and how you got to that point.

2. Where have you struggled?

Sharing your wounds enables others to connect with you emotionally. 

We all suffer sometimes. What are the moments that challenged and molded you? Sharing your wounds enables others to connect with you emotionally.

3. What are you passionate about?

Your legacy is the footprint you made in the world. Display and explain the passion that led you to successful outcomes. What do you love the most? What makes your heart race and your temperature rise?

4. In what areas have you gained expertise?

We learn through experience. And with experience, we gain expertise. What solutions have you discovered? In what does your expertise lie? Where in life are you “the man?”

5. What is your worldview?

What is your “message” to the world? What are your philosophies and wisdom gained? Define a central message you most wish to convey and run it continuously throughout your story.

6. What is your honest story?

Keep your story on point. Keep it simple and keep it direct. Always be honest and sincere. Your life is interesting enough. No need for embellishment.

7. To whom do you owe gratitude?

No successful life is accomplished alone. Give credit to the people in your life who have helped you on your journey. Tell stories about the people who influenced you and lifted you up to the heights you have reached.

8. How do you relate to others?

How can you make yourself relatable to a later generation? How can you reach out into the future and lend a comforting hand? Some things in life never change. Matters of the heart, hopes, dreams, and fears—talk often of these.

9. What are your failures?

Do not be afraid to share your failures and shortcomings—especially how they helped you grow. These are as important as any great successes. No man is perfect and no life is perfect. Describe in humorous detail your many faults.

10. What have been the greatest moments of your life?

These are the moments you stood at a crossroads and made the right choice. This is the day your child was born. The moment you discovered God. The memories that make you smile and fill you with gratitude.

Sound off: What has been the greatest moment of your life?

Huddle up and ask your kids, “What is your favorite memory?”