I was recently trying to anchor myself to what’s most important and what I want out of life. You know those moments where some things are great, some are not, and it all amounts to feeling like you fall somewhere in the middle when you want to feel like you’re passionately living on the edge? I see a lot of advice from people near death on how they wish they’d lived their life. So, that got me thinking. Why wait till I’m near death to realize what I wish I’d done with my life? And so, I wrote my own obituary. It was enlightening!
Here are a few things I learned:
- I know exactly what I want even in moments I may doubt what I want
- It’s sometimes easier to figure out what you really want by understanding how you want to be remembered
- Your heart sings clearly when it gets to be expressed instead of doubted
So, for anyone out there that might be feeling like you’re sleepwalking through your life, or aware you want to make some powerful changes, but unsure how to do it, let me offer you this powerful exercise to create your own next steps.
- Write your obituary. This can be the words you’d want to have on your tombstone, but even more powerful, write the words that you would want read to the friends and family that attend your funeral. Delve into how you want to be remembered and you’ll find yourself writing about interesting things you did in your life that you haven’t done yet.
- Follow your heart. As you write, notice where you feel excited and energized by the words and actions you are seeing. It’s like your future self, yet to be created, leaping out on the page.
- Compare the present. Once your obituary is complete, you can see where your present reality is out of alignment with this reflected/desired self.
- Make plans. BONUS – you’re still alive, yay! So, once you understand what’s out of alignment you can write down tangible things that need to happen. It can be really powerful to work backwards. So, let’s say you realized you wanted to be remembered as having a positive impact on the world. You could define how people were impacted, say that means you were instrumental in cleaning up the environment. So, maybe you did that by working for the EPA, or by being a catalyst for cleaning up oceans, or by starting a business devoted to an aspect of bettering the environment. And then you keep going – what did you do before that role to get to that role until you get to, “aha! I can do that next.” 🙂
- Make changes. If your current life or business is not aligned with the future one, it’s inevitable you are going to have to make some serious changes. So, figure out and commit to the changes you need to make to be that person you want to be remembered as.