This past weekend, I attended a wake for my friend’s mom who was tragically shot and killed by thieves in her own neighborhood. As you can imagine, emotions were running high throughout the services.
But beyond my feelings of shock and disbelief, I’ve always believed that there’s nothing like a funeral to remind you of what’s really important in life. Especially when it comes to the part in the service when someone reads the obituary.
In fact, my mom (who will kill me when she hears about this email) loves skimming through an obituary. I don’t care if the obituary is about a family member or the man down the street (who she’s probably never met) she has to get her hands on a copy of the obituary, so she can get the lowdown on his life before death.
But a few years ago, in a weird, creepy, yet empowering kind of way, my mom’s obsession with obituaries lit the fire up under my a$* to start thinking about my own eulogy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t sat down and literally wrote a speech about my life. But I have thought about the things I would want people to say when I leave this earth.
I’ve thought about the body of work that I would want to be known for.
I ‘ve thought about the feelings that I want people to have about their experiences with me.
And ultimately, I’ve thought about “the one thing” that I’ve inspired a select group of people to do.
So listen y’all, unfortunately, I’ve attended one too many funerals in my life and here’s what I know for sure:
No one is going to stand up at your funeral and talk about your 5, 6 or 7 figure salary.
No one is going to talk about the number of “Likes” you got on Facebook or the number of followers you had on Instagram (I’ve ranted about this before).
But they will talk about how you made people feel.
They will talk about the things that you created which made a difference in the lives of your family, friends and even in your community.
So stop wasting time. Because no matter who you are, none of us have control over our “end date.”
Ironically, when it comes to finding out what you really want in life, sometimes the end is the best place to begin. So this week let your answers to the questions below drive you to be the best version of yourself.
- In your last moments—what will you regret? What is the story you want to tell about your life, your body of work—your legacy?
- When people look at your life, what are the activities you want to be known for?
- What are you tired of feeling? How do you want to feel?
- What are the traits that made you a good person?
- How can you help or support a friend, family member or coworker (and demonstrate the traits mentioned above)?
- Would you like to make a difference in someone’s life? If so, describe the group of people you’d like to reach? Why do they need to hear your message? Did you overcome a struggle in your life that you could share to inspire them or help them feel a connection to something bigger than themselves?
If you can answer at least 2 of these questions, you’re half way there.
Oh, by the way, need help with executing your ideas? I created a guide to help you turn your ideas into reality. Did I mention it’s free?