When I interview someone I end it with the question: “How would you want your eulogy to be read? And do you feel that you are living your life in a way that fits that?”
Last summer when I asked myself that question my first reaction was that it’s not up to me to write it. Then I got thinking. It is my responsibility to write it by creating the kind of life that lays the foundation for the one I want.
Think backwards so you can create a plan
For example, if you want to run a marathon in seven months you need to figure out how many miles to run each week in order to be ready. If you don’t plan backwards it’s hard to know what kind of milage you need to do each day in order to be able to run 26.2 miles. If you just go out and run each day without a plan you may either run too little or too much. In order to be your best on race day you need a plan.
How do you want to look back at your life? What are the things you want to have accomplished? What are the things you want to be remembered by?
What goals, dreams, passions do you want to be proud of that you pursued?
What are the things you don’t want to regret?
What kind of legacy do you want to pass on?
What good habits and personality traits do you want to have instilled in others?
What kind of family life?
How do you write your own eulogy?
After all, writing your own eulogy is a bit hard. Write a draft in first person. I wrote my first draft like this:
“I would like to be described as a kind, loving, inspiring, honest, generous and funny person that my friends could always count on. I also want to be described as someone that made a positive impact on the world. Someone that helped to change animal’s and people’s lives for the better. I want to be described as an adventurer, having traveled all over the world, done lots of charitable work and definitely have ski’d on all 7 continents.”
I then wrote it in third person:
“Camilla was kind, loving, inspiring, honest, trustworthy, generous and funny. She had a positive attitude and was quick to smile. She made a positive impact on the world and made animals and peoples lives better. She helped people turn their dreams into reality. She left a legacy through her nonprofit work and foundation that will now carry on in many needed areas. She was always up for adventure and traveled all over the world including having ski’d all 7 continents. She inspired others to travel through her photography. She was goofy, always herself and a challenger of the status quo. She created her own path and always invited others showing them how to create theirs.”
By writing it down you can make adjustments to how you would like it to be read. Writing your own eulogy is a great foundation for you to create a plan for your life. Don’t leave it up to someone else. Create your plan for your life. Or chances are that on checkout day you’ll look back wishing you would have.
Have you thought of how you would want your eulogy to be read? Share in the comments.