It was a special project for one of my professors at Trevecca University during my MBA program about 15 years ago. He called this exercise part of “The Master Life Portfolio.”
Lots of tests, MBTI’s, personality profiles, writing my Guiding Principles, clarifying my framework for making ethical decisions (Not to D.E.C.I.D.E. is to decide) … that heavy self-reflection sort of work. Fascinating stuff that I had not taken into account in a few years – like, since childhood, if ever.
The balance of the course dealt with where am I going, the road less traveled, evaluation of success in life … and ultimately, an autobiographical Eulogy. Yes, my own Obituary. Clearly, Dr. J. J. R. Zajas, our professor for this Master Life Portfolio course, was a master at drawing out of his students the very essence of their existence. The who, what, when, where, how and especially the why.
I had my sons read my 50+ page MLP a few years ago as they were reaching adulthood, maybe so they would get an even deeper glance into their Dad’s motivations and directions in life. But frankly, I had not re-read it in the 15 years since I wrote it. So glad I did … it gave me clarity about what I’m doing now, my why, and where I’m headed. There’s something about writing your obituary, from the perspective that you were on your death bed, with no more time to say, “I’ll get to that next year, I’ll finish that later, I’ll take that course one day, or write that book, or talk to my children about … ”
There’s simply no more time to do anything else but to say goodbye, thank the Lord and your family for all they have given you and simply pass away. So, writing your obituary NOW, while you have the time, the ability and the will to do it, is an exercise I would strongly recommend. If you have the motivation to accomplish more in your life but not sure what or why … pretend you have no more time … and get busy writing.
Love to hear your thoughts …
(Re-Published from a recent LinkedIn article I wrote.)