Live A Great Story.
On January 2 after having a lovely fever dream about the common thread of my personal narrative, I published this blog post, Designing Your Own Hero’s Journey. Since that time, this idea of writing one’s story evolved into a full chapter in my book that will be published next January, “Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better With Age.”
Recently, when I was in Austin for the South by Southwest conference, I went for a walk around Lady Bird Lake and happened upon this piece of graffiti, “Live a Great Story.” The timing of this graphic discovery seemed perfect as I’ve been reading psychologist William Damon’s book, “A Round of Golf with My Father: The New Psychology of Exploring Your Past to Make Peace with Your Present,” in which the author takes us on an incredible journey as he discovers the remarkable life of a man he never met, his father. It’s an example of an opportunity to rewrite one’s story based upon new information.
Damon is one of the world’s leading researchers on how we use stories to develop our own “ego integrity” and he suggests there are three personal benefits from developing a “life review:”
1. Acceptance of the events and choices that have shaped our lives, reflecting gratitude for the life we’ve been given rather than self-doubt and regret;
2. A more authentic understanding of who we are and how we got to be that way, reflecting a well-grounding, reassuring sense of self; and
3. A clarity in the directions we wish to take our lives going forward, reflecting what we have learned from the experiences and purposes that have given our lives meaning in the past.
How might you explore your journey a little more fully?
You’re welcome to join us for a workshop next month (April 23-30), Being Present for Your Future, in which my co-founder Jeff Hamaoui, MEA alum Michael Perman and I will explore the idea of life narrative further.