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My Life in 250 Words March 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Wikipedia ~ Matryoshka Dolls (in Public Domain)

Zoe tossed out an interesting post:

The Story of Your Life:

If you had to write the story of your life in a mere 250 words, how would it read?  Would it be a mystery, drama, romance, adventure?

What would be the overarching theme? Who would be the supporting characters? From whose point of view would you write?

* * * * *

Who I am is who I want to be.

I have embraced my freedom by being mindful of my thoughts.  Instead of re-acting to events, I choose how to respond to situations as they arise.

Something happens.

I observe it with detachment.

Once I see the “what is” as it is, I choose whether and how to respond.

Sometimes my response requires nothing more than re-focusing my thoughts.

Emotions arise.  Happiness, sadness, anger, or frustration signal me to watch my thoughts with mindful attention.  If I’m happy, I keep doing what I’m doing.  If I’m not happy, I evaluate what is detracting from my happiness.

Watching life with alert curiosity allows me to sidestep master manipulators who use guilt, anger, or idle flattery to control our actions.

I don’t worry about my reputation.  What “they” think of me is none of my business.  I use an internal compass to guide my actions, without using others as a frame of reference.

I wake each morning absolutely determined to enjoy the day.

I don’t hang on to yesterday’s junk (disappointments, anger, or sadness).

Nor do I worry about reaching some elusive future destination “down the road.”

Unfulfilled desires create unnecessary suffering.  Life is short and can end without warning.  Why worry about a tomorrow that may never arrive?

I focus on enjoying the journey right here, right now,  allowing the path to unfold before me . . . moment by moment and step by step.

The way teaches us the way.

Be Here Now.


Quote:  The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heav’n of Hell, or a Hell of Heav’n. ~ John Milton

No Rules.  Just Write!

What about you?  How would you write your life story in 250 words or less?

Related posts: Observing Life with Alert Curiosity * One Step Forward, Two Steps Back *  We Can Choose NOT To Be Offended * Better Thoughts -> Better Results * Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little LiesSilence the Mind * Maintaining Perspective * Accept Your Irrelevance


1. Piglet in Portugal - March 5, 2011

I would write the story of my life in 250 words
pretty much as you’ve written yours but not
anywhere near as eloquently!

I love your writing style; it is not forced…it just flows naturally 🙂

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Thanks, PiP.

My writing improves when I remember to delete extraneous words. Having a 250 word limit to write my “life story” helped.

I’d love to see your story.

2. Chad - March 5, 2011

Nicely put, but it’s not really much of a story is it?

Surely you haven’t lived your whole existence in the described state of enlightenment. The ‘story’ of how you got there- can you do that in the prescribed limits? It might be interesting and certainly would be more of a story.

I know you don’t ‘do’ requests normally, but I have been known to occasionally provoke you to break a rule or two.

Anyway, here is my life story in less than 250.

Born. The baby cries constantly, especially around men. An early (and eternal) reader and arguer. Scrawny and short child. Precocious, immature, both praised and disciplined at school and camp. His life is easy and free. A musician. The head is a constant flow of conflicting and changing ideas. Social life- awkward. High school happens. The perfect-SAT applicant fails at college -Latin major for some reason. After eventually finding steady employment, losing religion, and learning self control the subject is coming to terms with his changing identity.

That’s just a ‘first draft’ of course… I left some things out.


nrhatch - March 5, 2011

You ask, “The ‘story’ of how you got there- can you do that in the prescribed limits?”


I woke up. 😀

oldancestor - March 5, 2011

Oh, I know you still have plenty of miles left on your engine. 🙂

You just seem more emotionally content than Chad or me (sorry to speak for you Chad, but, after reading your bio there, I think I can relate). I may be misrepresenting you, but you seem like a “choose your mood,” kind of person. I agree that we can choose to let things bother us or not, but I also think that some people have cheerier dispositions than others.

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

It takes practice, but we can BE happier by mindfully choosing our thoughts. “We do not laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh.”

When we remember to wash off yesterday’s mud and debris, our sunny disposition emerges. When we let go of everything but THIS moment, our inner peace surfaces.

But don’t take my word for it. Practice mindfully watching your thoughts and see for yourself. 😎

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Chad ~ I do like your summary of your PAST LIFE. But it says little about WHO you are TODAY.

When we know WHO we are . . . we know HOW to live.

My goal in writing to Zoe’s prompt was to explore WHO I am NOW . . . HOW I got to be WHO I am NOW is no longer relevant. What matters is HOW I deal with this moment. And the next.

Chad - March 5, 2011

Who I am today is a very interesting topic. But it’s a snapshot, not a story.

That is to say, my tempers, views and behaviors have undergone change over time- sometimes on a day to day basis. That is a basic fact about my nature; but if I only told you who I was TODAY, that basic fact would be invisible.

Have you ever seen those animation cels some people have framed on the wall? It’s impossible to look at just one cel and figure out the whole cartoon. In fact, any one cel could be removed from the whole with only minimal damage to the gestalt, because it flies by so quickly.

Who I am TODAY is just one cel. It doesn’t stand out in the big picture.

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Who I am NOW (and NOW and NOW and NOW) is ALL that matters.

Your analogy is interesting, but not persuasive. As you’ve noted, the cels of our life fly by so quickly that trying to capture and convey them to others (in the futile hope that they will reveal some great truth about WHO we are NOW) is not a productive use of time.

Far better to just BE who we are right here, right now.

Just trust yourself and you will know HOW to live. ~ Goethe

Chad - March 5, 2011

Final point before bedtime:
I can’t tell you TODAY who I am TODAY. Ask tomorrow-me what TODAY-Chad was like and he may have an opinion.

oldancestor - March 5, 2011

You both make interesting philosophical points.

Perhaps the differing perspective springs from Chad still searching for the place he wants to be and Hatch having found where she wants to be. Her “now” is a destination, and Chad’s is a stop on the journey.

I’m kind of like Chad. Lots of course changes and not yet sure which ones were the right ones. I’ve found bits of myself along the way, though.

My life in two words: Still searching.

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

@Chad ~ Fair enough. Sweet dreams.

@OA ~ Wonderful sum up, except that “where I am at right now” is not a “final destination” . . . I’m still enjoying the journey, changing, and evolving.

Who I am TODAY is not necessarily who I will be TOMORROW . . . but it’s closer to that person than who I was YESTERDAY.

3. kateshrewsday - March 5, 2011

Word limits make us choose the pith of our lives 🙂 This speaks of you loud and clear, Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Thanks, Kate. When I first considered Zoe’s prompt, I thought about tackling it in the way Chad did. But, on reflection, who I was matters very little to me at this moment in time.

Here, Now . . . where the dance of life takes place. 😀

4. granny1947 - March 5, 2011

You are a very wise woman NR!!!

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Thank you. Waking up has made all the difference in HOW I choose to interact with the world.

5. Rosa - March 5, 2011

Wow! I guess I would have gone about it in a narrative way also. But I already know quite well that story. I’d be much more interested in a literary view of plot and characters! Thanks for a fresh perspective, Nancy!

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Rosa ~ If you tackle the prompt, let me know. I’d love to read your story . . . however you CHOOSE to share it. 😀

6. oldancestor - March 5, 2011

My first comment on this page is meant to follow your @chad , @OA comment. Slight quirk of the layout here.

Nevertheless, interesting topic today.

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

I can’t move it, but if you re-post it where it belongs, I can delete the duplicate.

Thanks for your contribution to today’s topic.

7. Greg Camp - March 5, 2011

250 words? I’d be hardpressed even to start with that few words, but I’ve been accused of being verbose from time to time. It is hard to explain things without qualification and elaboration. (Yes, I’m a teacher. . .)

You might want to be careful about quoting the Devil, though. Satan, in “Paradise Lost,” is talking about the real Hell in that statement. Of course, he gets all the best lines in the poem, and that’s the reason that the Romantic poets loved Milton.

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

You’re not verbose . . . you’re prolific. 😛

I don’t believe in the Devil or Satan or Hell ~ I’m convinced they are constructs of the church designed to keep us in line through FEAR.


In the video, John Shelby Spong, a retired Episcopal Bishop, shares his thoughts on how the church has used religion:

* to control the masses
* to create fear and guilt about a hell that doesn’t exist
* to keep us from growing up
* to encourage us to be ”born again” and remain “children”

I agree with him. The church is a master manipulator, indeed.

Chad - March 6, 2011

Spong is a great Christian.

nrhatch - March 6, 2011

The best.

8. souldipper - March 5, 2011

I like the question: Would it be a mystery, drama, romance, adventure? I started out in my head and learned to engage my heart. As some wise person said, it’s the longest journey. But my life has included all of those four… Hadn’t thought of it that way before. Hmmmmm.

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

The seasons of life offer variety and spice. 😎

My immediate response to Zoe: “Mystery and adventure with a heavy dose of comedy tossed into the mix.”

Cindy - March 5, 2011

I like that 🙂

nrhatch - March 5, 2011

Thanks, Cin.

We live, we learn, we love, we laugh . . . never certain about what lies waiting around the next bend.

9. eof737 - March 6, 2011

I’m with you on all those fronts especially – “I have embraced my freedom by being mindful of my thoughts.” and “What “they” think of me is none of my business.” Yep, life is short… 😉

nrhatch - March 6, 2011

Life is short . . . laugh when you can.

Thanks, Eliz

10. Sandra Bell Kirchman - March 6, 2011

You sound like a very strong, self-assured woman determined to live your life on your own terms. Were you always this way or did something change for you? You say you woke up, but what exactly does that mean? I’m not trying to pull you into the past, but I do like details 🙂

I like this topic and may write my own on my blog. Mine is sort of a course in miracles 😛

nrhatch - March 6, 2011

Yes. Something changed.

I woke up to the realization that we are here to be happy ~ that’s the signal that we are on the right path for us. When we aren’t happy, it’s often because we are listening to others instead of looking within for answers about what to do, be, say, think, wear, etc.

Our happiness grows when we look within for guidance and start to ignore the well-meaning but ill-advised dictates and demands of others. We are the ONLY experts on our life.

Happiness, here, doesn’t mean pursuing hedonistic pleasures. It means cultivating inner peace. If you’re interested, please look around Spirit Lights The Way:

* The “Related Posts” at the bottom of the piece will expand upon this comment.

* Or you can search SLTW using the search bar with words like “mindful” or “happy” or “happiness” or “Be Here Now” or “Buddha” or “Dalai Lama.”

* Or you can use the “select categories” tool to pursue specific topics.

Enjoy the journey. Namaste.

clarbojahn - March 6, 2011

I’m a student of a Course in Miracles at present. Rereading the text for the second time. I only got to 80 in the workbook lessons and have some kind of resistance to go further. SCARED i think.
It’s still hard for me to control my thoughts and actually live the course. I know I have definitely not woken up yet. Nancy, I’ll look through more of your prolific blog.

nrhatch - March 6, 2011

By all means have a look around, but leave time to look within.

Just as I know what works for me, you know what will work for you . . . you just need to teach yourself to tap into that knowledge.

I don’t know that I “control” my thoughts as much as I choose which thoughts to focus on and which thoughts to ignore.

All the channels on a TV are constantly broadcasting. We have no control over which show airs at a given time. But we do have control of the remote. If a show (or thought) is not to our liking, we can change the channel/thought by giving ourselves something better to think about.

And we can learn to “silence” many of our non-productive thoughts through meditation ~ not by stopping thought, but by giving ourselves something else to focus on . . . our breath, a candle flame, the sound of the breeze, etc.

Good luck. Enjoy the journey.

11. Julie - March 8, 2011

Your first sentence says it all! I can’t wait to give this a try.

nrhatch - March 8, 2011

Years ago, I saw that statement in a Cathy cartoon: “Who I am is who I want to be.”

At the time, I could not say it with any real conviction. It didn’t ring true. I felt like an imposter, living someone else’s life, rather than my own.

I adopted that statement and my goal became to become someone who could say “who I am is who I want to be” without laughing (or crying).

Today it is a true statement ~ most of the time. When I fall short of the bar, and let myself down, I pick myself back up more easily. Knowing that progress, not perfection, should be the goal.

Enjoy the challenge. Thanks for stopping by.

12. 4minutewriter - March 9, 2011

Great real life example of mindfulness- observing our thoughts and making conscious, objective decisions about them. It takes practice, but is well worth the effort.
Thanks for taking on the 250 word challenge and for letting us get to know you even better!

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Thnaks, Zoe. We do not have to be who they want us to be . . . do we? 😀

We are free to LIVE and TELL our life story the way that we choose. Cheers!

13. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) - July 21, 2011

Interesting challenge and interesting perspective on your life. I might have to see if I can do this.

nrhatch - September 7, 2011

If you do, let me know. 😀

14. Who Are You . . . REALLY? | Spirit Lights The Way - December 5, 2013

[…] Related posts:  The Real You * The Art of Living * My Life in 250 Words […]

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