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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Simplify Your Story


“SUMMARIZE YOUR LIFE IN 6 WORDS.”

I came across references to a really cool little book in a newspaper article in early July. I meant to write something but didn’t. This morning, I read something again in Ode magazine on the same book. I love the concept and wanted to share it with you.

NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING: 6-WORD MEMOIRS BY WRITERS FAMOUS AND OBSCURE by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser challenged people in a kind of unusual memoir project. Supposedly inspired by the legend that, when challenged, Ernest Hemingway wrote a half dozen word story:

“For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Short. Succinct. Six words. (Sad.)

On a much more positive note, challenging ourselves to write our own 6-WORD MEMOIR is really interesting.

Michael Sean Symonds who is a kind of meditation instructor in Canada actually posted a short piece on the ODE bulletin board asking, “If you had to write the story of your life as it was, is and as you hope it to be, in 6 WORDS OR LESS, what would you say?”

Symonds, Smith and Fershleiser give us a wonderful place to start around this idea of “6 WORDS…”

  • What are your “6 WORDS…” that would represent your LIFE STORY???

  • What are the “6 WORDS…” that would represent the STORY/MESSAGE for your FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATION???

Note: If you’re a For Impact follower, you’ll know that we always start with your MESSAGE ON A NAPKIN! A lot of that is visual but also includes a few words. This is just a different play on this same idea.

For what it’s worth, here are my 6 WORDS, which I’ve had for probably the last 15 years. They’re my 6 L alliteration.

LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. LEARN. LEAVE LEGACY.

Special Note: I can turn this very easily into my ‘EIA’ (Eulogy in Advance)

He… LIVED. LOVED. LAUGHED. LEARNED. LEFT LEGACY.

P.S. Here are some interesting, funny ‘6 Words’ from some people to help you get going.

  • “Well, I thought it was funny.” Stephen Colbert

  • “Despite disorders, jafroed yewboy gets girl.” Michael Eisner

  • “Revenge is living well without you.” Joyce Carol Oates

  • “Dropped out. Got out. Lucked out.” Ben Kweller

  • “Dad died, mom crazy, me, too.” Moby