This article explains how students can write their autobiographies-backwards-to realize their dreams and for developing their vision.
Steps for writing a goal-oriented autobiography
We all aim to have well-rounded kids who possess vision and purpose. While all children have varying levels of strengths, talents and interests, what’s most important is that they discover what their passion is. The most effective way we can help them with that is by having them write their own life story- ahead of time. By considering interests to be the same as a theme in a book, children are able to construct a plot that will allow them to achieve their dreams.
Here is an exercise that can be done with children eight-years-old and above:
- Have students sit comfortably with their eyes closed, and take several deep breaths. Continue until they are completely relaxed.
- Tell them to just listen to the sound of your voice.
- Guide them through a visualization exercise by using the script. They will create their own image, however. In no way should you describe the event.
- Say, “Imagine you are sitting in a room, watching TV. On the screen, you see yourself doing something that you love to do; something that makes you very happy. You notice that what you are doing is also making other people happy. Feel how excited that makes you.”
- When they are able to “see” that image (which might take more than one round of this exercise), ask them to explain in detail what they visualized. This will be their “theme.”
- Encourage students to write down what they have “seen,” or help them take notes about it.
The next part of the exercise entails working backwards from adulthood to the present day. For example, a child who envisions himself helping animals as a veterinarian might visualize the following: performing surgery on a dog as an adult, graduating from medical school, graduating from college, graduating from high school, graduating from elementary school, and finally, currently attending elementary classes.
Working backward, with help from a parent, a teacher, or a trusted family friend, allows a child to construct a plot or story line and iron out the details necessary to complete each stage successfully. Through discussion and gentle prompting, students will realize that everything is a process; that many things they want will take several years and/or steps to achieve. During this part of the process, for example, students might determine the grade point average, test scores, and class rank necessary to achieve their dream, and create a financial plan that will allow them to achieve it.
By Dr. Anthony Raimondo