I’m a member of a group on LinkedIn called “Association of Personal Historians.” The group was started and is moderated by members of the Association of Personal Historians (APH), but is open to the public.
Recently APH member Hella Buccheim posted the following question…
“When writing your own life story, what are the five major events that you need to examine to tell who you are or who you became. Call them writing prompts or time we all share but differently.”
Sneha Koilada in Mumbai, India replied…
1) an event in childhood that made you understand how the world works (not necessarily a definition you stuck to; the important part is cognizance)
2) The point of clarity that follows the improbability of youth (could be the way you see yourself in future.
3) The point where you become comfortable with your own life, your systems, your habits, your lifestyle, etc. When you know that ‘this is it’, be it with your spouse or with your career or any other way of life.
4) The Moment: the one where you were at your best, or at your happiest or most content. The one moment that sets the bar for everything else you experience or feel in your life.
5) The point where life surprises you: to question all that you’ve known and believed OR to feel gratified OR affects in some way or the other, the way you look at things.
Joan Hitchens near Seattle, Washington, replied…
1) where are you in the birth order and how do you think that affected your life and who you’ve become?
2) What event from your school years carried into how you conduct your adult life? May be recreation or sport, may be academic pursuits, may be life lessons…
3) Name a “fork in the road” time (or 2, or 3 ) during your life. What factors helped you make your decision? Was it the right one? What did you learn from this? There are plenty of questions that can come from this conversation! (answers might include marriage, divorce, career, school, travel, regrets)
4) What do you consider to be a consistent success in your adult life, and to what do you attribute the sustainability of this success? (The adult question is tough because of so many variables it is difficult to generalize)
5) What is one favorite memory about each of the most important or influential people in your life? (children, spouse, partner, mentor, etc) I like vignettes and sidebars.
Good questions. What five questions would YOU propose?
In an upcoming post I’ll give you mine… for now just this clue–they’ll be based on the work Jeffrey Webster is doing on measuring the construct of wisdom, mentioned in my earlier post on !%#@*! Writing Prompts.