How to look back at your life to craft a compelling story!



How far have you come in your life? What makes you, you? Looking back at your life and connecting the dots is one of the most important exercises you’ll need to do to increase your self-awareness, build your self-confidence and get well positioned for what the future has lined up for you.


Here are five questions you need to answer to better understand yourself and your path to now:

  1. What are your experiences? What has opened your mind and gave your breadth in life?
  2. What problems have you solved? What shows your focus on service, on the customer, on helping people?
  3. What are your achievements? What impact did you have with what you have done?
  4. What is your mastery level? Do you know it, have you done it, can you teach it?
  5. What are you proud of? What are the struggles you overcame that built your character?


It doesn’t really matter what you did in life. What matters is what it did to you, what you learned along the way and how it transformed you.


Knowing yourself will not only give you self-confidence. It will also make you independent from other people’s opinions and judgment and validation.


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Hi everybody it’s Tasso.

There are many occasions when we look back at our lives and try to make sense out of our path. It can be during midlife crisis when you wonder “how on earth did I get here”, or maybe when you want to deepen a relationship and so you explain a little bit about your background. Or, of course, most obviously when you apply for a job.


What happens normally is that we tell slightly different stories and focus on different elements of our past depending on the person we talk to, which is perfectly normal and fine.


But in order to do that and in order to pick and choose the right things, I find we should have a master story, a story line that connects the dots and puts the pieces of the puzzle together.


Because you and I both know that our lives are never “clean”. They’re never perfect. Lives should never be perfect. There’s always a mess around them and there are always detours.


But the problem this poses is that when you then try to put your life’s milestones onto a CV then you get thinking about how things fit together. How does that bank job relate to the marketing position you’re applying for now or how did the sabbatical maybe lead to the yoga business you’re trying to launch?


But it’s not only about getting a job. Going through such an exercise will increase your self-confidence. It will increase your self-awareness which is absolutely critical when you look then at the future.


How should you look back at your life? Here I want to share with you five ways to look at this.


Number one: What are your experiences?

You will have read about this or seen it in other forms, people always recommend that you do not collect THINGS but instead you collect EXPERIENCES. Of course I agree 100% and I encourage everybody to spend time and money on experiences. Because experiences give you breadth.

Experiences open up your mind to new ideas, new cultures, new ways of thinking. Experiences deepen understanding. You look at things at a different level; from a completely different perspective. Experiences involve the heart and the soul rather than the brain only.




Number two: What were the problems you solved?

I came across once a very interesting story about the lady who went to a speech of Elon Musk. And at the end she managed actually to pose a question and she asked Elon Musk, “What would it take for somebody to actually get a job at Space X?” Elon Musk supposedly said, “Don’t tell me what you did, tell me what problems you solved.”




Why is this important? It is important because it shows a completely different way of thinking. Because it demonstrates that you focus on the service, on the customer, on helping people. It shifts your mind towards a problem-solving mode and this is very, very critical in business.


Number three: What are your achievements?

Achievements always focus on the result and not on the task at hand. It doesn’t matter really whether you ran a meeting, what matters is what came out of that meeting and what happened because of that meeting. People (me included) are very, very guilty of this. They focus on the task at hand rather than on the outcome that this task will give us.


Number four: Mastery.

I think there are three different levels here: there’s KNOWING, there is DOING and there is TEACHING. I encourage people to look back at their lives and see how things fit into these categories. Meaning that you should look at the things in your past and ask, “are they things that I know about?”, “are they things that I’ve done and I’ve seen results from?” or “are they things I actually have or can teach, can mentor people, can coach people?” It’s different levels.




Number five: What are you proud of?

This is my favorite one! Why? Because it’s all about personal growth. Because it shows your struggle. People are rarely proud of the things that came easy. People are proud of the things they mastered, for which they had to go through hell. If you once are in a fortunate position to interview someone and watch for how they describe different elements of their lives, you will see how exciting this is sometimes when they explain it. How they light up!

It’s incredibly inspiring and contagious when you see somebody describing elements they’re proud of. I encourage you really to look back at the elements of your life and look at those things that you are particularly proud of. Because these are the things that you would passionately role model.




These are the five ways I find you can look back at your life to give it more substance and more meaning.


In summary:

  • What were your experiences? Because this shows open-mindedness and your breadth.
  • What problems have you solved? Because this shows your customer orientation.
  • What achievements can you look back to? Because it’s a demonstration of a result-mindedness.
  • What levels of mastery do you have in different elements of your life? Do you know about something, have you done it, can you teach it?
  • What are you particularly proud? Because people admire and want to know how you overcame adversity.


It doesn’t really matter what you did in life. What matters is what it did to you, what you learned along the way and how it transformed you.




Here’s a bonus thought: Going through such an exercise will not only help you get prepared for your next job by putting it on the CV. It will help you also distill your values. And your values are the framework of your life, your values are the basis for your decision making.


If you have cracked decision making, I can tell you, you’re ahead of many people. Because this is something that most people struggle with and that keeps people back.


Knowing yourself will not only give you self-confidence. It will also make you independent from other people’s opinions and judgment and validation.


I’ve come across a YouTube video once with the rapper 50 Cent, where he said something that will still stick in my mind forever. He said “I’ve come so far there is no way for you to discourage me.”


How far have YOU come? What makes you, you? It is worth looking at your life from this perspective.




I hope it helped you, I hope this served you and I hope it gave you some ideas on how to better look at your life, how to make sense of your path.


If you liked it, subscribe for more and until the very next post all the best.


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