Do you ever look back and feel like whole weeks or months just disappeared without a trace? Like time is a slippery fish you can never quite grasp? Or that your days blur together into a monotonous slog of wash, rinse, repeat?
You’re not alone. In our busy modern lives, it’s easy to move through each day mindlessly without even realizing it. The hours pass by in a flash, and rarely pause to smell the roses, let alone jot them down for safekeeping.
But what if there was a simple way to slow down the ticking clock and unlock the hidden gems in each day before they vanished into the ether? A way to develop an appreciation for the storyworthy moments that glimmer beneath the mundane?
Enter: Homework for Life.
What Exactly is “Homework for Life”?
Homework for Life is the brainchild of author and master storyteller Matthew Dicks. After winning storytelling competitions left and right, Matthew worried he might run out of personal stories to tell.
So he started assigning himself “homework” to purposefully mine his daily life experiences for story gold.
The process is simple:
At the end of each day, take 5 minutes to reflect on the most meaningful or storyworthy moment from that day. Jot down a few quick sentences to capture the essence. Done! Lather, rinse, repeat the next day.
Now, you may be thinking: my life is so tediously boring; there’s no way I have a worthy story moment each day!
That’s what Matthew thought, too, at first. But then the magic happened…
How Homework for Life Transforms the Mundane
After just a week of completing his new homework, Matthew realized his everyday life was far richer than he ever imagined.
Suddenly, he noticed intriguing moments of connection, humor, insight, and poignancy all around him. Moments he previously would’ve taken for granted were now mini stories begging to be told.
The more he paid attention, the more moments emerged. His spreadsheet runneth over with storyworthy gems just waiting to be polished.
Homework for Life develops your ability to recognize meaningful moments in the ocean of mundane. The very act of recording an experience etches it into your memory and transforms how you see your life.
Instead of a monotonous blur, your days become vibrant threads of insight woven together into the tapestry that is your lifetime.
The Myriad Benefits of Capturing Your Days
Beyond sparking your storytelling skills, Homework for Life offers many other perks:
- It slows down time. Logging each day provides a point of reflection you can revisit years later. You regain all those “lost” days.
- It enhances gratitude. Tiny moments of joy or connection that would normally fly under the radar get cemented as memories to cherish.
- It boosts mental health. Reflection and journaling habits can reduce anxiety and improve life satisfaction.
- It acts like time travel. Re-reading old entries immerses you back into experiences in incredible detail.
- It chronicles your legacy. Recording slices of life creates something to pass on and for future generations to know you by.
- It requires minimal effort. Just 5 minutes before bed helps you retain the gems of every day. Easy peasy.
- It taps creativity. Your ever-growing bank of real-life stories can inspire fiction too.
Pretty nice benefits for just 300 seconds of effort a day, wouldn’t you say?
Actionable Tips to Make Homework for Life Work
If you’re ready to sip life’s nectar drop by drop instead of gulping it by the gallon, here are some tips:
Grab a notebook, journal, or spreadsheet to record your moments. Writing it cements the memory far more than thinking about it.
Pick a consistent reminder time. Many find right before bed works well. Attach it to an existing habit like brushing your teeth.
Keep entries short and sweet. A sentence or two capturing the heart of the moment does the trick.
Resist filtering anything out as too boring or inconsequential. Some of life’s most glistening moments appear plain as day.
Expect mental resistance at first. Push through – the 5 minutes flies by once momentum kicks in.
Review your bank of moments regularly for inspiration to continue. You’ll see how fast they accumulate.
If you miss a day here and there, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on the wagon.
Customize so the process stays enjoyable, not burdensome. Find what works for you!
The Takeaway: Give Homework for Life a Try!
Legendary storyteller Matthew Dicks discovered a profoundly simple way to comb everyday life for meaning. He recognized priceless moments were slipping through his fingers unnoticed and unrecorded.
What insights might you uncover by peering beneath the surface of your daily grind? You hold the pen – only you can capture your singular life experiences in all their technicolor glory.
So give Homework for Life a shot for a few weeks and see what happens. At the very least, you’ll regain forgotten moments once lost to the sands of time. And who knows? You may uncover your life is a lot more storyworthy than you ever realized.
Watch Matthew Dicks’ TEDx Talk about this topic:
Additionally, check out their book: