This exercise is designed to help you reflect on your life and identify stories that shaped who you are today, the values you have as a person and your motivations in learning and leading.
It provides you with an opportunity to review significant decisions you have made in the past to help you make decisions about your future career.
1) Get a blank A4 sheet of paper
2) Draw a horizontal line across the middle of the long part of a page. Draw a line at
the left edge of the page and write “happy, satisfied, fulfilled” at the top of this line, and “unhappy, frustrated, unsatisfied” at the bottom of the line. Now write a zero at the junction of the two lines, and your current age at the far right of the horizontal line.
3) Now draw your lifeline – as you move from birth to your current age, what are the significant events and relationships? Take time to note the significant changes in your life. Place each roughly in the place corresponding to your age, and above or below the line corresponding to whether you felt “happy, satisfied, fulfilled” or “unhappy, frustrated, unsatisfied” at the time. Connect the dots with a line.
4) Take time to capture the key moments. Ask yourself these questions:
- What experiences have I had in my life/career to date?
- How have these experiences influenced my development?
- Are there any themes/patterns which emerge?
- What values have been important for me along the way?
- What skills/knowledge/attitudes/behavior have I developed along the way? Where have been the turning points?
- Which have been the happiest times? Which have been the saddest times?
- When have I learned the most? How can this understanding help me with regard to my future development?
- What would I pick out as milestones/significant achievements?
- Which individuals have been most important in my life/career to date?
5) Reflect on your lifeline: Supporting Questions
- Do you notice any patterns emerging?
- What skills and abilities did you use in order to move out of the lows and to progress?
- Constants – is there something that is there all of the time, some sort of personal quality?
- Is there something about you that appears from time to time?
- Can you see something that sometimes has blocked your thinking, behaving and feelings?
- If someone else were describing this to you how would you feel about it? What’s still unfinished or your next challenge?
- How do you feel about your patterns – weaker-lessened?
- Or stronger-increased? How would you like the feeling to be?