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A Tale of Two Sisters Blog

Two Sisters talking about writing and wellness.

PART 1: FOUR REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE YOUR MEMOIR NOW

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Part One in a Four-Part Series: Ensuring Future Success

By Elizabeth Ann Atkins

A successful life and career require constant evaluation and strategic action to correct any deficits so you can move forward faster.

“Every year I went on a retreat, alone, and critiqued my performance for the previous year,” says Roy S. Roberts, once known as General Motors’ “$100 Billion Dollar Man” as a marketing executive. 

I wrote his memoir, MY AMERICAN SUCCESS STORYAlways the First, Never the Last, and in it, he describes this ruthless routine of reviewing his annual goals in hindsight:

“I asked myself, ‘Did I achieve them?  Why or why not?  What could I have done better, and how?’  Then I wrote out what goals I wanted to achieve for the upcoming year.  The process of looking back, and correcting any mistakes, was critical to achieving the next year’s goals with excellence.”

Likewise, another client — former Interim President of the American Red Cross, Steve D. Bullock — advises a powerful way to assess the totality of your life, right now, as an exercise in creating the most successful future possible.

How?

By writing your memoir now.

Not when you retire. 

Not when you take a sabbatical in the unspecified future. 

Not when you’re 80 years old.

Now.

“You should write our biography earlier in life,” says Steve, “so you can evaluate what you’ve done, how you’ve done it, and what you can do better.”

As CEO of The Bullock Group, which provides consulting for businesses and non-profits, Steve teaches his self-styled model of defining and evaluating “Purpose, Preparation, Performance, and Results” when setting and working toward personal and professional goals.  He shares this success formula in his inspiring book, My Name Is Steve Delano Bullock:  How I Changed My World and The World Around Me Through Leadership, Caring and Perseverance, came out in February.

Steve has an excellent point.  He, and many of our clients, are retired and reflecting back on extremely accomplished lives. 

But I personally have been writing my own life story, and it’s extremely eye-opening to review my choices and the trajectories – good or bad — that resulted.

Good writing requires reliving your experiences, and I’ve had some that I sure don’t want to repeat!  So your memoir can be a cautionary tale for yourself.  When I see, for example, how much time, energy, and money I wasted certain people, situations, or bad habits, it’s maddening.  That makes me more disciplined to refuse to squander my precious time now.

“When you write your life story,” Steve says, “you may notice areas where you’ve placed too much emphasis at the expense of other goals that remain unmet.  Then you can identify how to do things differently for the next 25 years.  If you write your memoir when you’re 80, like I have, you may not have another 25 years to work with.  So write your book now!”

Please read Part Two in this Four-Part Series on FOUR REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE YOUR MEMOIR NOW. 

Next Up: Reason #2:  Your memoir can heal yourself and others.

(c) 2017 Elizabeth Ann Atkins 

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