You might think that there is already a word for this called biography, but this is not what I mean. A biography is often written so that others can get to know you and your life. A book about yourself is also no diary. A diary is also a great way to understand yourself and your thoughts better. However, a diary is not aimed at figuring out more about yourself. It is more of a response to daily events. A book about yourself is directed solely at increasing your understanding of yourself.
And yes, it can also change over time. You are never done in the sense of: ” I figured everything out about myself”. How you design it will be an individual task, as I would never tell you how your process of investigating who you are should look like. What I can and will do in this post is to give you suggestions what you can do.
I started my book with a method that is called 3 most important questions. They include the following questions:
- What do I want to experience out of this life?
- How do I want to grow?
- What do I want to contribute to the planet?
I first answered those question a little more than two years ago. Reading what I wrote back then shows me a few things. Firstly, it tells me how much I followed the answers to those three questions. For me it is an indicator of how close I am to my “ideal” life. Secondly, it tells me how much and in which areas I changed. Things get less important and others increase in importance. That is why the book about yourself needs to be a workbook and is always a work in progress. I will cross out, amend, and add things until I get that warm and energizing feeling which tells me that I am on a good way.
The second part was to write about my values. This was an iterative process. I started by creating a staple of cards, each with one value written on it, and then I compared them with each other, listening inside me and observing where the feeling is stronger. I came up with quite a bunch and that is why I grouped them into ten categories. Afterwards, I draw a red line between values which might contradict or “fight” each other, and a green line between values that can support each other. In the next step, I ranked them and took the top five and went a bit deeper. I wrote down how I define this value and then I wrote down which behaviors will show that I live that value. Again, this is a wonderful way to see whether I live according to my values. Not only in thoughts, but especially in actions. Moreover, you can check whether those are still the values you favor. Even your values can change over time.
The next part was writing about my strengths and things I should delegate. There it is helpful to get feedback from colleagues, friends and your family as they might see things you don’t see. I use small colorful post-its, because then I can add and remove them when they change.
In the next part, I wrote down and answered questions regarding my passion. This list is not complete yet and I need to do some more work here but those are the questions I collected so far:
- What activity makes you lose track of time?
- When in your life did you feel most alive and why?
- What can you do that always makes you happy, no matter the circumstances?
- What do you enjoy doing?
As this book is an ongoing process, the next part is the “end” of my book as of today. This part deals with the question of where I find purpose. Those are the questions which help me figure out in what I find purpose:
- What matters (most) to me?
- What gives you the sense of doing exactly the right thing, doing exactly what you are meant to be doing?
- In which things do I see meaning?
- What do I often think about?
All those questions are of course not exhaustive and maybe are not the right ones for you. If you do have another question which helped you, I invite you to share it with me =)
Other things I will include are what I am afraid of and how it influences me and what I can do to cope or decrease that fear. I will make a plan for 2018 detailing of what I would like to have more in my life this year. I will probably combine this with the wheel of life, which is another method to assess your own life. Furthermore, I will include what I like about myself.
What I did was to use a lot of different colors. This book should be an inspiration for myself and it needs my creativity, that is why using a lot of different colors or playing around with the way you write is a nice way stimulate your brain.
If you are curios how I did it or you want to do this for yourself and need some help, just write me a mail =)
Have a wonderful day and take care =)