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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Simplify Your Story


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.


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


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