Writing is a form of self-understanding and expression that can be used in a variety of ways. This article is an illustration of how an End of Year Reflection piece can make sense of your year and connect it with your lifelong narrative. As Christina Baldwin mused, “Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”
What makes us so interested in reading stories? Is it simply to escape into pleasant diversions from our routine lives? Some argue they help us make sense of the human condition. Then there are those who suggest that our fascination has to do with stories being able to speak to that part of us which yearns to live a heroic or significant life.The psychologist Carl Jung argued that stories provide a system for archetypal impulses to be made known.
Perhaps the purpose of stories and the archetypes they reveal is to help us feel rooted in history and eternity, transcending the rootless and emptier elements of contemporary life. They help us avoid what Jung called the participation mystique, where our individuality is dissolved by our need for group approval and belonging. Mythologist Joseph Campbell reflected on the enduring power of story to stir the human spirit, labelling it as the song of the universe. Laurence Boldt suggested that the key to tapping into the power of story is being able to identify with the characters we read about:
An outlier is defined as Something that lies outside the main body or group that it is a part of, such as a distant island belonging to a cluster of islands. The term was popularised recently when Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book on the subject of what leads to success. In researching successful people he found that “the biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work.”
Gladwell argued that all successful people experienced various strokes of luck. Carl Jung and others would prefer replacing the word luck with synchronicity, the idea that when you go after something in life; the universe tends to meet you half way. Gladwell also spoke of timing. Bill Gates was a young man when the first do-it-yourself computer kit arose. Were he a little older, it is likely he would have been too settled in his life to take a leap of faith and launch Microsoft. Shakespeare argued that each of us encounters a particular threshold moment in life, where we must choose to boldly take a risk or remain safe. He maintained that the decision shapes the course of our life: