Write Your Own Eulogy

If you’re like most people, then you go through life doing things without too much thought about why you’re actually doing them. You do some things simply because they need to be done, or at least you feel like they need to be done. You do other things because they seem fun and enjoyable at the time. You might spend your time on other things because of a friend or someone in your family.

This approach can mean you are being pulled in lots of different directions, and so don’t end up getting round to some things you want to, and don’t make the progress you would like. The reason behind this is that you don’t necessarily have clear criteria to help you determine what to focus on in your life

The exercise is useful in helping you uncover the things you really find most important in life. At first you might think it’s a little bit morbid to think about writing your own eulogy, but it isn’t really. The things that you expect people to remember about you at the end of your life, are obviously pretty important to you. Even if you already have a rough idea about what is important to you and what you want to accomplish, this eulogy exercise will help you to really pin down the most important things and specific values that mean the most to you.

This will help you create clear criteria in your mind to help you make choices that are more closely aligned with what really matters to you. It simplifies your decision making process and helps you get rid of activities that aren’t as important to you. It also helps you gain a better understanding of yourself, your core values, and helps you bring your behaviour into alignment with who you really are.

Imagine a close friend standing up at your funeral and reading out your eulogy. Now you are going to write the script for them. What would you really like them to say about you? Feel free to avoid any sense of modesty, but at the same time keep it realistic. Any exercise like this works best if you immediately write down things as they come to mind. Avoid editing or censoring yourself. What would you want them to say about your personal strengths and professional success? What achievements would you like them to mention? How would you like them to describe your personality, your family life and your behaviour towards others?

One you have finished, spend some time to read back through and take an honest look at the eulogy for your ideal self. Now ask yourself, ‘Does my present lifestyle and behaviour justify those comments, or is there work to be done?’.


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