Thinking About Death Can Change Your Life

 
 
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
— Steve Jobs
 
 
 

The idea of writing your own eulogy sounds depressing. 

I promise it's not.

I think you'll find it empowering. 

If you're anything like me, you'll understand how easily we can become so busy with the things we've committed our time to, that we never get a chance to slow down and consider what it is we're really passionate about.

I remember a few years ago, I came across this article and was struck by the conversations that people approaching the end of their lives were having. The reflections on what they'd change if they had their time again seemed really heavy to me. 

I wanted to live a life I was proud to live, and make the changes now rather than regret it later. 

At around the same time, I'd been reading Stephen Covey's '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' and was challenged to write a mission statement for my life. Covey believed that a mission statement could offer great clarity on what to spend our time doing. In fact, he says that the best way to write what we should be committing to, is to consider how we'd want people to speak about us at our funeral. 

You know. In our eulogy. 

So I did it. 

I wrote my own eulogy. 

Heavy. 

But he was right. 

It brings clarity. 

In fact, I realised that everything I wanted to shape my life around, fit into the following six categories. 
 

  1. Truth: I want to be remembered by those I love as someone who searched for what was true, and then did my best to live that truth around others in my life, I'll be happy. 
     
  2. Family: More than anything on the planet, I love my family. I don't want to just say it, but live it. I want to create time to give the ones I love most the most attention.  
     
  3. Health: Both mental and physical health.  Physical Health will allow me to do the things I love more efficiently. Mental health will help me see the beauty in the journey and also allow me to accept not being able to do what I love when my physical health fails. 
     
  4. Communication: I want to spend my years helping people live a life they're passionate about living. I will commit my days to writing and speaking about how we can live a life doing more of what we love, with who we love. If I can enhance the lives of others through this message, I will be extremely grateful. 
     
  5. Contribution: I want to use my time, money and gifts to support the areas I'm passionate about. I don't just want to contribute a few dollars towards a cause and consider my work done, but wholeheartedly embrace a cause, and do what I can to help it. 
     
  6. Adventure: More than just visiting new places, I want to see the places I know with curiosity. The earth that we're living on is filled with wonder that we will never fully absorb, I want to live in accordance with this realisation. 

Enough about me. 

What about you?

If you were to write your own eulogy, what would it tell you to spend more time focussing on?

 

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