Not for a minute am I suggesting that each of us should seek to gain fame and recognition by publishing the most intimate exploits of our lives, or attempt to make a fast buck by cashing-in on the current voyeuristic obsession with following the most mundane aspects of a person's life. No, the purpose of the once-humble biography should be to record the history of who we are and what we have done with our life – to serve as a reminder of our all-too-brief existence in this world, and for the benefit of our future generations. Each of us has a story to tell – irrespective of who we are, where we have come from, or how we have chosen (or been forced) to live our life.
Amongst all the excitement and glamour of modern living; blinded by the desire to earn cash, and lots of it - and spend it just as fast – many of us seem to have overlooked the most important thing in the world: family.
What do you know about where you came from? Really came from, not just where you were born and the names of your parents? What sort of lives did your great-grandparents lead? Did they share similar views about the world as you do now? And what will our great-grandchildren ever know of us – apart from, perhaps, our names and what we did for a living?
The answer to all of these questions, and many more, could be found in each of your ancestors' biographies – if only they had written one. The opportunity available to each of us now is to remedy that short-coming in relation to our own lives for the benefit of the future generations of our families.
The benefits of writing your autobiography (and encouraging older generations of your family to write theirs) are wide-ranging: not only will you preserve the triumphs, upsets and anecdotes of your life to reserve your place in history, you will also learn more about yourself by taking the time to reflect on your life to date and question what you want to do with the rest of your life. It can be a profound experience. By persuading other members of your family to do likewise and commit their life memories to written record, you will also gain insight into their lives that you would otherwise simply miss – and, as a result, most likely learn more about yourself and where you really came from.
The question, “what is the meaning of life?” is perhaps the most profound question to have ever challenged the thoughts of man since the dawn of humankind. Some of the most brilliant minds in history have proposed an answer to that question, and, depending upon your ideological belief system, you can choose to live your life guided or inspired by one of those answers. However, irrespective of what the answer is to that great question, one thing is for sure: you can enhance the meaning of your life by being remembered by others long after you're gone.
Each of us has led a special and unique life – and would like to think that we'll be remembered fondly by future generations of our family. Writing your autobiography is the best way of achieving that desire, and it no longer needs to be a tiresome or expensive process to record the story of your own life.