About a year ago, I had a meeting with a mentor who is a highly accomplished CEO, a Deep Thinker. He gave me a piece of advice that you should consider taking over this Thanksgiving holiday.
This is the time when we all reflect on what we have to be thankful for. A time when we begin charting what our plans are for the New Year. A time when the cold is upon us, and Nature strips down to her bare essence, in many parts of our country. This is the time when we can go inside ourselves and clean house.
My mentor said to me: “Write your own Obituary so you can figure out what you want to be able to say about your life.”
… I suggest you do the same.
Get your first draft obituary down on paper, and then work to refine it over time. Maybe even over weeks or months.
Once you are done with it, it should contain what you want to be remembered for, what principles you want to be known for living by, whose lives you wanted to touch most deeply.
For many parents or people the idea of balance appears more elusive than trying to grab a slimy fish you just pulled out of the water. Our egos tell us that we need to make as much money as possible, or have as impressive title as possible… or whatever feeds your Ego.
The truth is, in the end, you have to decide what is more important: your Ego, and the coins of Rome you can earn, or what you leave behind. Your obituary is going to reveal what you want to leave behind.
When you die, is your goal to have the most toys or to provide for those around you the most Joy? Are you living to your True Potential or shrinking to meet someone else’s idea of what you should be?
This obituary exercise can be like a freezing splash of water that wakes you up to some ways in which you may have derailed from the Path of Meaning.
Consider this: If you passed away today, what kind of obituary would your kids write for you? Would it match the kind of parent they need?
Spend Thanksgiving with your focus not on Black Friday, but on your own Death. That blackness will lead you to the brightest Light….Enlightenment.