Staring at a blank page can be hard. It’s endlessly open. With everything possible, it’s almost as if nothing is possible.
A blank page can be one of the most demanding challenges for writers to overcome. But they know if they can get the story going, the rest of the pieces will begin to fall into place.
One way writers get started is to begin with the end in mind. They write the end of the story first. This allows them to create the characters, plots, conflicts, and resolutions leading to that final ending.
It’s a powerful yet simple concept. Knowing where you will end up, you can plan the journey to get there.
Our Personal Stories
As writers of our own lives, we often struggle to write our personal stories.
What is the next step?
How can we overcome challenges?
What is the plot?
Why are we doing this?
Just like the writers of fictional stories, we too can take advantage of planning our personal stories. Most importantly, we can create visions for ourselves that begin with the end in mind.
By knowing the aim of our lives, we can act intentionally today. We can plot the course, empower our “characters” to overcome conflict, and strive towards a satisfying conclusion.
We can live intentionally through our visions.
Create The End of Your Story
So how do you create your own story? Begin with the end in mind.
I have a simple word document I use to create my vision statements of where I want my life to be in the future. In this document, I create 100-200 word descriptions of the “end” of my stories. I try to be descriptive, writing both objective goals and detailed subjective outcomes.
The end of my story then becomes the vision of my future self. It provides a direction on where I am going and a frame of reference for future decision-making.
With the end in mind, I can begin to answer questions like: What challenges does the character (me) overcome? How will they overcome it? What will it look like to be successful?
I do this in different aspects of my life, including my career, family, health, and wealth.
It’s also good to think in terms of different timeframes of stories. Create “chapters” of your life with various mini endpoints.
- Short Term -The visions for the upcoming days and weeks. Such as how a presentation will go or the ability to complete a project.
- Medium Term – The vision for six months to a year out. This is good for envisioning what progress will look like in stages.
- Long Term. The visions for five to ten years in the future. This is where you create the big ends to stories, creating a vision for what significant outcomes will result from your sustained efforts.
We are not living life as a means to a future end. But with the end in mind, you can begin writing the rest of your story.
Life won’t always go according to plan. But remember, the best stories have unexpected plot twists and conflicts that characters must contend with. It’s what makes a good story.