Circle of Life

Circle of Life

What is the Circle of Life story tactic?

Help us recognise the characters, conflicts and changes in your story. Relate them to universal life stages.

We're born, we grow up, we leave home. We find our way in the world and create a home of our own. We all share stages in life's journey. So we all recognize the same basic characters: roles we adopt or people we meet along the way. Use these archetypes to tell a relatable story about your work or your user's journey.

Rewatch The Lion King (with Elton John's brilliant Circle of Life song) for inspiration.

How to use the Circle of Life story tactic

When you need a relatable story, use archetypes that are buried deep in our collective experience.

Circle of Life chart

The Circle of Life takes us from home, into the wide world and back again, to a new home and a new role. At each stage, our archetypal character has good and bad sides.

Child: Innocent, playful - also weak, naive.
Adult: Adventurous, clever - also rebellious, cynical.
Parent: Wise, supportive - also dominant,judgemental.

Which life stage is your user at? Which archetypal role are they playing? Can your story focus on:

a. Conflict: are you helping them with a conflict between people at different life stages? Are you helping them navigate the good and bad elements within their archetype?

b. Change: are you helping your user with a crucial rite of passage from one archetype to another? Do you help him/her to grow up in some way?

c. Character: are you helping your user to fit into the Circle of Life, or fight against it? For example, children can be dominant, parents can be adventurous.

Develop your user's Circle of Life story with No Easy Way or Hero & Guide.

Credit: C. Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.

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Circle of Life is one of 54 storytelling recipe cards inside the Storyteller Tactics card deck.

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