We share and connect better with others when we find points we can related to. At a subconscious level we want to relate to others, it's what allows us to connect, to build communities and cultures.
"You know what. No matter how different we dress. Or look or talk, we all have a lot of things in common"- Chris Ledoux
Your Lifeline is a line from birth to the present time marking high and low points as you see them today or as they were at that time in your life then. It is not a perfect line but might have better defined uphill climbs and downhill slides. It is an abstract representation of your life over time, which will change as your perspective changes on what you experienced in your life. The Lifeline tool acts as a CliffNotes version of a person's life. It starts with a simple chart the vertically tracks the high and low points or events in a person's life and the horizontal line tracks time. The high points are represented as a positive number and low points as negative.
The Lifeline is good for self discovery, relationships, talks with mentors/parents, and to build empathy with others. It also serves as a great way to have "jumping off" conversations inviting the person sharing the Lifeline to go deeper. For instance, for me I track the death of my dog, Lenny as being the second greatest negative point of my life aside from the death of my father. A good question for me would be, "why is the death of your dog lower than leaving your business or your marriage troubles?"
I've found that the perspective on your own Lifeline changes over time. The version of me filling this out in my late 30's would have a much more negative bent to this Lifeline than this current example at age 45. For this reason, I save my Lifelines every time I do them, and I'm quick to make sure I date each one on the day I complete them. In the future, I reference the date to see how much I did or didn't grow.
What's the best way to complete this?
- Download the blank PDF template
- Divide the horizontal lines by equal points. For me, being in my 40's, I broke them out by decades (ugh).
- Plot your points as you see them today. Take time to really feel into the exercise to see if there is anything you've omitted that still feels relevant to you.
- Connect the line in the order the events have happened.
- Share with those you are looking to get to know better, ask they do the same.
If you'd like, send me your Lifeline at George [at] the150.com and I will add it to the examples below of people's Lifelines.