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A Six Word Memoir

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

January 1, 2018 – What better time of the year to think about this project than the first day of a New Year.  Josh Walker over at  wrote about their 2016 Facebook challenge to create a very short memoir. The challenge was to write down in six words or less a phrase that summarizes your life or philosophy. While a touch narcissistic, is a very good way to reflect on who you are right now, what you have accomplished, what and who you care about. Better than that, it is a chance to mindfully consider how you want to change.  

How to get started. Everybody probably has a different way of starting on something as important as a writing a seven word description of their life.  Our suggestion is to close your eyes and consider how you would summarize yourself, your personal philosophy, or motto. Compare that to how your spouse, children, family members, and friends would describe you in 6 words. How would what you say differ from what your colleagues would comment about you?

Your editor just did that exercise, and it was hard, but rewarding. You will get a jumble of thoughts, and you can write those down. The struggle will be to weed out the important from the nice to know. Good luck.  It doesn’t have to be polished and perfectly written, just accurate. We are going to share ours at some point in the Comments, name disguised. 

Abraham Lincoln’s is easy

Samples. If you are a truly famous person known for a major accomplishment, the task is pretty easy, and you don’t need 6 words to say it. For example, George Washington: Father of Our Country. Thomas Jefferson: Wrote the Declaration of Independence. Mother Teresa: Friend of the Poor. Here are some samples that the NextAvenue readers came up with. They might be helpful in getting you started:

  • “I saved the best for last!!” —Janet H.
  • “I hope I made a difference.” —Randy B.
  • Childhood, darkness, struggle, growth, peace, wisdom.” —Sally W

Try to make it personal and about you, rather than a pithy remark about life in general. But whatever your output, we look forward to reading it.

Please Share Your Memoir. When you finish writing yours, please share it in the Comments section below. You can enter a phony name  or pseudonym if you like. Just remember, 6 word max!

Posted by Admin on January 1st, 2019


  1. Farm girl successfully pioneered city life.

    by Dorothy from Kansas — January 2, 2019

  2. Live like I will die tomorrow

    by Patricia reynolds — January 2, 2019

  3. Dorothy and Patricia – these are great! Thank you for being the first people to respond to the challenge – you both definitely catch the spirit.

    by Admin — January 2, 2019

  4. Envisioned daydreams becoming reality very soon.

    by Alan E — January 2, 2019

  5. A live well used and lived.

    by Mal Harling — January 2, 2019

  6. Life…let’s do it again sometime.

    by Art — January 2, 2019

  7. Idea person, sportsman, family guy

    by Rick — January 2, 2019

  8. His dumplings came from a box.

    by Peder — January 3, 2019

  9. Living life today, tomorrow not guaranteed.

    by Jennifer — January 3, 2019

  10. Travelled the world with a wonderful family…

    by Mary11 — January 3, 2019

  11. I have lived in interesting times.

    by Tim — January 3, 2019

  12. Not 6 words but a short poem I wrote many years ago. When you live your life in the past you may find that things never last, and when you live your life for the future you may find there’s simply no cure, but once you begin to live you life in the here and now you will soon see that love always comes somehow.

    by Greg — January 3, 2019

  13. Life happens, adapt, try to anticipate.

    by RichPB — January 3, 2019

  14. Loving single mother, independent career woman.

    by Maimi — January 3, 2019

  15. Moderation every day but have fun

    by Lorraine — January 3, 2019

  16. Explore the world and enjoy life.

    by Mike Craig — January 3, 2019

  17. Worked hard, loved much, retired happy.

    by Ellie — January 3, 2019

  18. Smile and be filled with hope!

    by Sally — January 3, 2019


    by Roger Alfano — January 3, 2019

  20. Made one person’s life much better

    by JD — January 3, 2019

  21. I live to make it better!

    by Nancy R. — January 3, 2019

  22. Keep It Simple Stupid!! ( The KISS Principle )

    by Bubbajog — January 3, 2019

  23. I love being retired!!

    by Benjamin Reed — January 3, 2019

  24. Love, kindness, gratitude: practice these daily.

    by Marie — January 3, 2019

  25. I moved to the USA for England in 1981 so mine would be”

    I came, I saw, I stayed.

    by Bob Rumsby — January 3, 2019

  26. A gentleman and a gentle man.

    by Kris — January 3, 2019

  27. The Golden Rule was my guide.

    by John Fazio — January 3, 2019

  28. Gave more than I received.

    by Steve — January 3, 2019

  29. Learned to love myself. Thanks Lord!

    by Dave C — January 4, 2019

  30. Can’t take credit for these words, but on a stone “bust” of Malcom Forbes on his estate in NJ, “While alive, I lived!”

    by Doc Stickel — January 4, 2019

  31. Be true to yourself and others!

    by gssmithusn — January 4, 2019

  32. Not what happens, how I respond.

    by Mark — January 4, 2019

  33. I saved one at a time

    by Tomi Huntley — January 4, 2019

  34. To God, give all the glory.

    by Elizabeth Cerri — January 4, 2019

  35. Life is a game of numbers.

    by Richard — January 4, 2019

  36. Life happens. God is with me.

    by Michele — January 5, 2019

  37. Know thyself. (Socrates)

    by Ann — January 5, 2019

  38. To thine own self be true (Shakespeare)

    by Ann — January 5, 2019

  39. Retirement is challenging yourself every day.

    by Kathy — January 6, 2019

  40. Tried hard, mixed results, life is precious

    by Monica — January 7, 2019


    by Cindi Lou — January 11, 2019

  42. Thanks, folks, for your great, oh so creative memoirs.
    Art, you make me smile!

    by ella — January 12, 2019

  43. It mostly boils down to luck.

    by Clyde — January 13, 2019

  44. Clyde got it right in one word

    by Monica — January 14, 2019

  45. And how we respond to luck.

    by Clyde — January 15, 2019

  46. It isn’t luck, it is Karma.

    by Richard Anderson — January 16, 2019

  47. Did my thing, with care, consideration.

    by LS — January 17, 2019

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