When Was the Last Time You Wrote Your Own Eulogy?
It might not be the first writing exercise that springs to mind, but writing your own eulogy is actually a valuable and worthwhile exercise. As Arianna Huffington explains in her book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Sucess and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom and Wonder:"A eulogy is often the first formal marking down of what our lives were about—the foundational document of our legacy. It is how people remember us and how we live on in the minds and hearts of others. And it is very telling what we don't hear in in eulogies. We almost never hear things like: "The crowning achievement of his life was when he made senior vice president." or: "He increased market share for his company multiple times during his tenure." Or: "She never stopped working. She ate lunch at her desk. Every day."In our daily lives, it's all too easy to get caught up in the things that feel oh-so-important in the moment but are decidedly insignficant in the grand scheme of things. The little badges of honour that precariously prop up our ego, like always being the last one to leave the office. Our laser-like preoccupations with tiny things, like that last 5 pounds hanging around our waistline. The molehills that we turn into mountains, and all the times we tell ourselves "I'll be happy when I've achieved X."Not that what we do doesn't matter. It does, but only so far as it's an expression of who we are.[Tweet "What we do (and don't do) is the ultimate expression of who we are."]Arianna continues: "Our eulogies are always about the other stuff: what we gave, how we connected, how much we meant to our family and friends, small kindnesses, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh...'Eulogies aren't résumés,' David Brooks wrote. "They describe the person's care, wisdom, truthfulness and courage. They describe the million little moral judgements that emanate from that inner region.'"Writing your own eulogy, hopefully many years ahead of time, helps you reconnect with that other stuff. It reminds us that we are indeed mortal and that every day we live is a day less we have left on this planet. It lifts us to a 20,000 foot view of our lives and inspires us with the bigger picture. It helps us see any gaps between who we want to be and who we actually are in our day-to-day lives right now.
Write Your Own Eulogy
Take 30 minutes today, imagine you're writing as somebody else, and paint a vivid picture of what you want to be remembered for, the legacy you want to leave, and how you want to make the most of your life.Once you're done, come back, leave a comment and share your experience.
[ess_grid alias="eulogy"]Image: Rowan Heuvel