I heard someone on the radio today say, “the most important events of your life won’t show up on your resume.” The truth of this statement immediately struck me. My professional resume does not contain one single item that I am most proud of. It is full of work related accomplishments with the sole purpose of attracting a potential employer. Yet these work related accomplishments are not the things in my life that I am most proud of.
It’s an interesting paradox. I spend a large part of my time working, yet that work plays a very small role in my personal experience and personal pride. If I were following my passion, then my personal and professional resume may be very similar. I’m doing work that I like, but it’s not something I would do if I weren’t paid to do it. And so, my “Life Resume” would look very different from my “Professional Resume.”
I’m going to share my own “Life Resume” with you and then I’m going to suggest you create your own. This should prove to be an interesting experiment to show the meaningful experiences in our lives.
I’m going to roughly follow the format of a standard professional resume. Dates in my public version will be purposely vague for safety reasons. Here are the items I am choosing to include in my “Life Resume.”
Mission statement – To describe what is most important to me in life.
Education – This isn’t education in the traditional sense. These are the things you learned that shaped your future. Some of these may have happened in school, but I’m betting that most did not.
Accomplishments – to list the things I have accomplished that I am most proud of.
Life Events – events in my life that hold special meaning to me.
Fondest Memories – events, activities, trips, or things that bring me joy every time I think about them.
I seek happiness, pleasure, and a life filled with rewarding experiences. I work so that I can live comfortably and to have the funds to better enjoy my leisure time. To the best of my ability I fill my days with things that give me pleasure; things like hugging my wife and daughter, reading, writing, traveling, experiencing new things, and generally having fun with my family.
I learned to be open minded and think for myself. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I had my first mind opening experience when in a Sunday school class we were asked to draw Jesus, and only one kid in the class drew him without a beard. This experience taught me not to accept popular opinion without analyzing it for myself.
I learned that worry is pointless. I had a tough school project and the success of that project looked hopeless. I worried for days, until one day all the pieces fell into place and everything worked out fine. This was catalyst for me to realize that everything works out in the end, and it is a waste of time to worry about it.
I learned to fall asleep fast. Using a meditation technique that I picked up from reading a single page of a book, I discovered a way to fall asleep fast. Prior to learning this mantra meditation I would spend hours awake in bed, with my mind busily thinking. I practiced this technique every day for an entire year, and taught myself to fall asleep within minutes.
I learned to love reading. School put a damper on the joy of reading. I decided to take the time to reacquaint myself with books through reading classic literature.
I learned the joys of being a father. I wasn’t sure what to expect from bringing a child into this world. Becoming a father has been a most wonderful experience, and I constantly crave time to spend with my daughter playing, snuggling, going on adventures, or simply sitting and talking.
I woke up to life. After being laid off from a job of 8 years, I realized I had been moving through life like a robot. I found true joy in spending day after day with my wife and daughter. The layoff shook my world in ways I never imagined. I got the opportunity in the middle of my career to spend three months with my family; a time that I will forever remember.
I achieved the Rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. My time in the Boy Scouts was full of great experiences. Learning was conducted through experience and was usually put to use in practical ways. This learning and hard work culminated in becoming an Eagle Scout.
I created my first website. I published a guide to buying a personal computer which was referenced by hundreds of thousands of people. This was provided free of charge as a service to people struggling to understand all the terminology surrounding these relatively new devices.
I created the blog Eden Journal. On this blog I share lessons I have learned, personal development tips and ideas, and deep philosophical thoughts. My primary goal is to get people to think and ask questions. I want people to wake up from their sleepy lives and start questioning the reasons for their existence.
I was born.
I married the girl that I was destined to spend my life with.
I became a father to a most wonderful and amazing daughter.
An RV trip to visit my grandparents, traveling through Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, and part of Canada.
An RV trip to visit my grandparents in the winter. This was my first time seeing and playing in snow.
A Boy Scout trip to Stone Mountain Georgia and the USS Yorktown in South Carolina.
A Boy Scout trip to Camp Daniel Boone in North Carolina, where I went on a Llama Trek, a backpacking trip in the mountains with Llamas carrying our common camp items.
My honeymoon. A cruise to the Bahamas and the joy of being newly married to the girl I love.
A trip with my wife to Outer Banks, North Carolina over the Christmas holidays. This was the first time we spent Christmas away from our families. We were able to give each other our full and undivided attention. Being a summer destination, the entire area was mostly deserted and we had much time to ourselves exploring the area and seeing the sights.
An anniversary flight in a hot air balloon.
Watching the birth of my daughter.
Realizing for the first time that I was no longer known by everyone as “Eric,” but instead I would be known by many as “Josie’s Dad.”
A trip to Savannah, Georgia with my wife and daughter during the coldest days of winter any of the locals could ever remember experiencing. We bundled up and headed out into the cold to explore the wonders of this historic city.
A cruise to the Bahamas with my wife and daughter. A trip that my daughter often recalls and asks to repeat.
I am quite pleased with this Life Resume. It feels much better than my professional resume. One thing I didn’t anticipate is the joy I felt while writing it. Recalling the fond memories and my real learning experiences filled me with happiness. It also makes me long for more of these things.
I highly suggest you take a few minutes to create your own Life Resume. I thought about my own resume before actually writing it, and found that writing it was so much more powerful than just thinking of the things that would go in it. So take half an hour and write down your own Life Resume.