Quote: “There will always be someone better than you” -my Dad referring to playing little league baseball. I may have taken it a little too far…
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Our stories contain tremendous insight. Decisions over a lifetime manifest in both diversity and importance of experiences. Hindsight provides numerous lessons on how these situations, relationships, and events translate to feelings of personal fullness and meaning. The magnitude of interactions between all of the above can be converted into a unique life history map. We use the 6-bearings of the Tradeoff Compass and special patterns of change, described below, to understand where we are, where we might be going, and how we can use these insights to help others. Thus, for those who feel lost, this Atlas of story maps helps inform future options by answering, what happens then? Hence our name: ThenAtlas.org
Allegory Analytics

    This story summary covers the:
  1. Tradeoff Compass
  2. Experience Level
  3. Experience Badges
    Request further analyses (below) for:
  4. Change Strategy
  5. Journey Map (full)
  6. Connecting with Others

Let’s start by applying the Tradeoff Compass to a few chapters of Solem’s story.

Who is Solem W.?

submitted: 15 October 2018

plot of chunk JourneyPlotINTRO1

Figure 1. The Beginning

You may know the protagonist of this story, who was given the anonymous name Solemnly Worked, or Solem for short.
From an early age, Solem had many new experiences that provided diverse meaning. This comes from trying new things that stick. Rather than resist change, resilience builds the ability to adjust or quickly rebound from change.

The time and distance traveled in each direction contribute to an experience level (Lvl:), this chapter contributed 12% Resilience. The Lvl: is one of the ways stories can be connected (rather than using age). If the Lvl: is lower than age it may indicate chapters of Solem’s story do not fully capture the variability of their experiences.

Solem’s life experiences associated with RESILIENCE:

Pizza from DaVinci, Short Commute, Learning CAD, Pasties from Bakery, Train to NYC, Attic Apartment with No Kitchen

plot of chunk JourneyPlotINTRO2END

Figure 2. Across the Map

By the age of 21, Solem traversed across the journey map landing within the trajectory of 5% Resistance. Solem efficiently and effectively grew meaning through fewer more valuable elements. Due to the importance of these elements, this trajectory is often ‘resistant’ to change, meaning the strength of elements can resist change.

Solem’s life experiences associated with RESISTANCE:

Cornell Was an Awesome Experience, Good Dorm Friends, Wonderful Environment, Hard Classes, Traveling, Applying to Grad School

But thats far from the whole story… Solem’s life had major challenges…

plot of chunk JourneyPlotINTROdisrupt

Figure 3. Great Challenge

Large disruptions occurred after Age: 30 Grad School into Age: 35 Wisconsin.

12% Focus. Solem began distilling the most important aspects of life, which can produce an invaluable push toward diversification or innovation, building meaningful strength long term.

Solem’s life experiences associated with FOCUS:

Lovely Part of the World, Self Employed Trying to Start a Startup, Cats, [end]

But that’s not the end!

plot of chunk JourneyPlotINTROinnovate

Figure 4. Innovative Decisions

Important life decisions not only overcame previous challenges but used that strength to launch into had by far the most uncommon and mysterious trajectory – a revolutionary part of the story is doing something special. This may be a balance of new ideas, fruition of longer term goals, and/or actions that bring more meaning to life.

Solem’s life experiences associated with REVOLUTION!

Wonderful Partner, Ford Ranger, Cornell Still Awesome, MAGIC the GATHERING, DRIVING, GRADUATING

By age 35, Solem reached an experience level Lvl:34 making them wise beyond their years, calculated using the journey map to provide a more accurate measure of life experience (than age). The full title refers to the strongest trajectory then change strategy (each described below).

Their journey has taken them to a new location in Spring Green WI where they feel Full as they hike progressively up the mountains of change in life.

Request a Deeper Analysis using the form at the bottom to see how this journey reflects the qualities of healthy forest communties.

Life's trajectories – Journey Map

Life's experiences map onto a continuum of characteristics that describe fullness as a tradeoff between importance and diversity of relationships, decisions & situations:

plot of chunk JourneyPlot

Tradeoff Compass Directions

With final distirubtion of experiance level percents (Lvl:%)
0% Revolution: By far the most uncommon and mysterious trajectory – this part of the story is doing something special. This may be a balance of new ideas, fruition of longer term goals, and/or actions that bring more meaning to life.

Examples: Wonderful Partner, Ford Ranger, Cornell Still Awesome, MAGIC the GATHERING, DRIVING, GRADUATING

3% Resistance: This trajectory efficiently and effectively grows meaning through fewer more valuable elements. Due to the importance of these elements, this trajectory is often “resistant” to change, meaning the strength of elements can resist change.

Examples: Cornell Was an Awesome Experience, Good Dorm Friends, Wonderful Environment, Hard Classes, Traveling, Applying to Grad School

0% Resilience: This part of the journey is dominated by many new topics that provide diverse meaning. This comes from trying new things that stick. Rather than resist change, resilience indicates elements can adjust or rebound from change.

Examples: Pizza from DaVinci, Short Commute, Learning CAD, Pasties from Bakery, Train to NYC, Attic Apartment with No Kitchen

0% Expanding: This part of the journey is dominated by growing what it means to be “full.” But maintaining meaningfulness while engaging new relationships and other situations, can be a challenge that often leads to disruption.

Examples: Computers with Internet, Starting College, Running, Played in the Stream, Brother Was Still a Baby, Grandmother Alive and Making Cookies

31% Focus: Distilling the most important aspects of life can produce an invaluable push toward diversification or innovation, building meaningful strength long term.

Examples: Lovely Part of the World, Self Employed Trying to Start a Startup, Cats, [end]

0% Disruption: This important part of a journey may be the result of changing strategy or life goals. Note that disruption is not the opposite of revolution but rather a common co-trajectory – AKA 'disruptive innovation.' Disruption can shake up the normal to redefine what is valuable. Disruption is often out of anyone's control but it can come from by trying new things and failing (because failure builds this trajectory).

Examples: [end]

Percentages above sum to less than 100%, there may be more variability in the story than could be captured in 10 snapshots.

Change Strategy Connections

Movement around the Journey Map between chapters and Tradeoff Compass trajectories, define Change Strategies. Simply, are we “taking the bull by the horns” (Innovative Decisions), dancing around it like a bull fighter (Mastering Change), running away like a cowboy that just got bucked (Responding to Change), or watching from the safety of the stadium (Exploring Change). All strategies are equally wise, depending on the bull. Identifying these strategies in a story can

Innovative Experiences

To get more meaningfulness out of our time. This is generally achieved through a difficult process of exploration, trying new things, finding a winner, making it work, balancing all other elements!
Achieved in chapter(s):

30-Grad School

Contributing elements: Beer, Writing, Biking, Running, Friends, Bars, MS, [end]

Mastering Change

Keeping up with life’s changes, the standard healthy response.
Achieved in chapter(s):

31-Transition: Grad School… Wisconsin

28-Eastern PA

20-Transition: Cornell!!!… Drinking Age…

Contributing elements: Wonderful Partner, Traveling, Good Food, Ford Ranger, Pizza from DaVinci, Cornell Still Awesome, Cornell Was an Awesome Experience, DRIVING

Responding to Change

Possibly things are changing faster than can be kept up with.
Achieved in chapter(s):

13-Transition: Best Friend… Senior in High Schoo

21-Drinking Age…

10-Who Takes Away Books from a Child!?!?!

Contributing elements: so Hard, Faltering Relationship with Mom, Biked Lots, Read Books until They Were Taken Away, Met Paul, Missed Math Placement Test, Aced Story Telling, Lots of Biking

Exploring Change

Rather than keep up with change, this trajectory is exploring at their own pace. Dealing with challenges in their own time. Dispite sounding dreary, this trajectory is a key to making innovative decisions.
Achieved in chapter(s):

[none]-[none]

Contributing elements: Freshman 15 Wednesday Night Subs, Lovely Part of the World, Self Employed Trying to Start a Startup, Cheap Gas for more Driving Around, Fun English Class, Acne Tough Relationship with Mom Costa Rica with Mr. Streko, Driving Gramps to the Store, Cats


What's Next

Connect this story with others or find out where it might be going, submit the form:


Why? From the founder:

The results presented herein are based on an anonymous story contribution analyzed through Evidence-based Tradeoff Mapping (ETM), a holistic new framework that uses the balance of competing elements within complex systems to identify patterns of change along a continuum of possible trajectories to quantify Change Strategy and correlated factors. The ETM framework was derived from research in forest systems (dynamics of ~1 billion trees).

There is no more simple yet beautifully powerful medium for sharing life lessons than a personal story. Story telling defines our culture – but as our culture becomes global – how can our stories relate? It is within our reach to answer very very big questions about life. The more anonymous stories published, the deeper we can dive into what brings meaning to life!
-TD Andrews, PhD

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Sneak Peek at the In-Depth Analysis: Mountains of Change, Climbed

Life is dynamic – here we look at whether the protagonist is exploring change, embracing change, or making change.

plot of chunk FitnessPlot

This experimental analysis by ThenAtlas.org, Copyright 2018 Empirical Succession llc, is solely for informational purposes – see disclaimer:
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