Find Your Story: Transform Your Life!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

By Carol S. Pearson


What if someone could help you apply your PMAI® results not just to now, but also to understanding these story patterns in your whole life?

What if that wisdom was shared with you in an easy-to-read workbook form with simple exercises that will reveal very useful insights about your life over your lifespan?


What if it also was written by a brilliant psychologist who applies insights from narrative therapy, Jungian psychology, and cognitive psychology and who writes beautifully and with heart?


And, what if applying these exercises could help you better understand your life thus far, by yourself or with a trusted mentor, coach, counselor, or psychologist?


Would you want to read it?


Good news! There is such a book. Finding Your Story: Using Archetypes to Guide Your Personal Journey, written by my PMAI® instrument co-author,Hugh Marr, is all that. 

And it is everything I’ve dreamed it could be when I asked him to write it.


Hugh helps you understand your memories from childhood up through every life stage until your present, allowing you to identify the stages of your life with PMAI® archetypal stories.

Imagine revisiting various points of your life and thinking of them as a series of movies, where you consider the setting, yourself as a character, and the other people involved as supporting actors or adversaries. From knowing these, you can identify the archetypal plotline you were living, the plotlines others might be living, and what happened as the happy or not so happy results of the decisions you made.This may lead to a recognition of how the storyline you enacted otherwise might have gone. You also can consider what you may have regarded as the moral of the story you were living at that time, and whether you want to rethink it now. If so, Hugh tells you how to do all that and more.


Only recently have psychology and neuroscience revealed to us how our memories are not like screenshots of what happens, but rather the stories we told ourselves about those events. And every time we have a memory, we may unconsciously change the story we tell.


This is particularly important to know in revisiting one’s life because many memories may have been interpreted through the mind of a 5-year-old, 10-year-old, or 16-year-old—or later. In your case (or anyone’s), perhaps you told those stories when you were down on yourself or someone else you were furious with. Telling yourself a different story about that same event, as you see it from a more mature perspective, could help you revise stories that have been holding you back or undermining a relationship unnecessarily.


Finding Your Story can help you see some parts of your life very differently from before, as you also recognize the story you were telling and whether that storyline had any chance of ending well in that setting and with the others present. Faced with a similar setting and situation, you could then shift that plotline using your gift of hindsight. Doing this for events throughout your life can have miraculous results. Finding Your Story also can enable you to explore the flow of your life narratives and how these feed into your overall life story. Beyond that, it can help you make peace with challenging times or even failures and losses.


My very favorite aspect of the book, however, is how it helps you discover the morals of the individual stories you have told yourself, allowing you to endorse or change them. Changing the story you think or tell can change your life.


I’ve worked quite a bit on revisiting memories with the purpose of understanding what I could not have known at the time. However, reading Hugh’s book gave me new insights, including one about an early event in my own life. When I was only about five years old, I did something that was considered quite courageous at the time. It was viewed positively by my parents, but their praise was like a stamp of their desired archetype on what I now believe was my kid’s archetypal impulse, thus confusing the expression of that archetype for much of my life. Hugh’s work also helped me put more emphasis on the setting of each life event, calling forth different versions of one of my core archetypes.


Finding Your Story can be helpful anytime, but it is particularly valuable in times of transition, loss, or a new season in your life. It also is useful when any of us are down on ourselves or lonely, as working through it can remind you of positive memories or people who have been there for you—or still would be if you reached out.


Finding Your Story: Using Archetypes to Guide Your Personal Journey is the culmination of the Myers and Briggs Foundation’s plan to provide basic supporting materials for PMAI® users. Other resources include the PMAI® website,; the PMAI® Core and Expanded Reports; the PMAI® Manual (by Kesstan Blandin, Hugh Marr, and me), and my own book, What Stories Are You Living? Discover Your Archetypes—Transform Your LifeOther resources on the PMAI® and the 12-Archetype System and its applications can be found at


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