A couple years ago an Executive Coach and now mentor of mine had me write my own eulogy as an exercise a few weeks into our working relationship. Let me tell you, this was an absolute mind f@#$ for me. I can’t think of a more gentle way to put it.
The process of writing the essence of who you are and how you want to summarize your life in one page is incredibly powerful. It made me take stock in:
- How am I living my life today?
- What accomplishments am I most proud of? Are those really job titles (which had so driven me for decades), or was it in something greater?
- What do I still hope to achieve? Am I on that path, or what do I need to do to create that?
- What are the qualities I want people to remember in me and how do I represent those every day?
In having to write this I suddenly became a little superstitious and a little panicked, to be honest, realizing the reality that tomorrow isn’t promised for any of us, so it was time to start living today like I had no time to waste. I needed to make it count for myself and for my family in a truly meaningful and committed way.
As a result, these are the questions that drive me now:
- Am I living my best life in a way that I’m ready to be summarized for others and written into history?
- Am I making each day count with my family and friends?
- Am I setting the right example for my daughter’s future success as best I can?
- Am I respecting my own body and cultivating my health so I don’t accelerate the writing of my real eulogy?
It’s deep stuff. And, I was actually supposed to read it out loud as part of the exercise and I simply couldn’t bring myself to let the words be spoken into the universe. It was emotional. It was raw. It was real. And my sincere hope was that it wasn’t ready to be presented…I have too much left to do for myself and for my legacy.
Let this be something to think about today and a guidepost for your actions moving forward. It may change your life.
Americans don’t deal well with mortality, I find. Life is a great party that no one wants to leave!