Graphs are incredible. They can show us amazing trends. And we can learn so much from them. I use graphs every day at work looking at web analytics or renewable energy use and they never cease to surprise and delight me. So it occurred to me, what would it look like to graph our lives? What could we learn? So I did it. Me, the person who doesn’t like to analyze the past, actually spent a few minutes doing just that. It was a bit of a stretch for me, I must admit.
Have you ever graphed your life? Here’s how I did it. Try it or use your own variation.
How to Graph Your Life
- Create a timeline from the date of your birth until today.
- Get four awesome colors. One for each of these parts of ourselves: Emotional, Spiritual, Mental, Physical.
- On the chart draw a line showing the ups and downs in these areas. This is open to your own interpretation. It is for YOU to decide what the lines mean. For example, on mine, the blue line represents Physical. I used the line to show my state of being primarily from an athletic viewpoint. You can clearly see where I excelled as a collegiate athlete and then crashed with various injuries, then gained and lost momentum like a roller coaster as I reached middle age.
- Now the fun part. Step back and look at it and see if there is anything you can learn from it. Or maybe just marvel at how weird life is.
What did I learn?
I am still learning, but here are a few things I learned right off the bat.
- I learned that life gets harder as you get older. Shocker.
- I learned that God doesn’t always show up when and how you would expect.
- I learned that we can never be at top physical shape again once we pass a certain threshold.
- I saw what I already knew, that life has been very hard the last decade. It was just strange to see it so visually.
- I learned that things are looking up right now, but other than my continually growing mental learning curve, nothing on this graph shows any sort of trend I can count on. Statistically, anything could happen.
- Most importantly, I learned that if I sat down with a group of people and we all drew our life lines, they would all look SO different. How we act and react at any given point on the continuum is because of our current state of being. Trying to understand where another person is on their graph at any given time could actually be very helpful to our interactions with them.
What’s your graph look like? I’d love to see it.