I heard a great story on NPR’s Talk of the Nation about the storytelling skill of Ernest Hemingway. When asked if he could write a story in six words, he came back to his challenger the next day with these lines, “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”
Although the story you see when you reflect on his words may be different than the one I see, the images that come to mind are emotional and memorable.
Here’s my challenge to you: Can you describe your life’s mission or current focus in ten powerful words or less? Choose words that tell the story you are creating. Then test your lines out on the next stranger that asks you what you do.
Here’s my business line, at least for today: “Master or victim of your brain?—I help you choose.”
My life line is, “My life is a gift that I love to share.”
The line that characterizes my life is, “If I find my way, push me over the edge.” Or as motivational songwriter and speaker, Jana Stanfield says, “I’m not lost, I’m just exploring.” She said it in six words!
One of my coaching clients offered, ““If you’re gonna do it, do it right.” Another one said, “My story is funny to read.”
One of my best bits of advice is, “Pause, smile and blow the fog out of the way.”
There is actually a book of six-word memoirs called, Not Quite What I Was Planning.
Read more one-line memoirs listed on the NPR site.
What are 3 to 10 words that sum up your mission or life story? Share your lines here. The game is as enlightening as it is fun.