Brand You: How would you sum up your life in just 6 words?

Brand You: How would you sum up your life in just 6 words?

What I want you to do is a bit freaky. Be warned. It might confront you. I want you to imagine that you will die in ten minutes time. Here’s why.

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a book, but only in six words. He did it. “For sale: baby shoes; never worn.” That’s the power of storytelling. This apparently led a couple of guys who founded Smith Magazine to develop the ‘Six Word Memoir’ concept… writing your memoirs in just six words.

So, imagine you’ll expire (sorry about that) in 10 minutes time. You pick up a pen to write your life story, your memoirs. But you only have six words to do it in. Give it a go. If you feel inclined, comment on this post and share it. I’ll tell you mine. You tell me yours. Deal? Here’s mine.

Rough diamond. Made a positive difference.

Or maybe:

Scared. Loved. Laughed. Infuriated. Inspired. Contributed.

I mean, that’s my view of who I am and what my life has been. I guess that’s what I’d like my obituary to read. But for me it is also my memoir. It’s my story in my mind about what my life has been all about.

I read a great one recently, in the obituary of Nora Ephron, journalist, novelist, screenwriter (think Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, Silkwood). Asked to write her autobiography in six words, her response was: “Secret to life: marry an Italian.” I love that!

My challenge to you

Turn your computer off. Close the door. Think quietly. Doodle some words… maybe make a long list of words that describe who you are, what you have done, what you’ve brought, what your life has been. Then shape your memoir, in six words. And send it to me.

Maybe it will excite and comfort you. Perhaps it will be a little confronting and eye opening. It might even push you to change your path, so you could write a different memoir when your life does end. Give it a go. I just did, and I learnt a lot. And it gave me some peace.

If you get value from my posts, then I ask you to do me one favour: reply to this post. Inundate me with responses.

More reading: 

Are you living your résumé or your eulogy?
Your brand is not the story. Your brand is IN the story.
The things that matter
The work of art within

This post was originally published on Wrestling Possums


Subscribe To Firebrand Ideas Ignition Blog

Sign up to receive our new blog posts via email. You'll get all the latest articles on digital, marketing, social media, communications, personal branding — and lots of career advice

Search Website