Writing My Obituary
January 18, 2020
Does the work you do define you fully or is there anything else? This question confronted me a few years back when I was doing an interesting mental exercise- “writing my obituary” where I had to imagine what my family , friends would write or say about me, when I die. This was an extremely painful activity. It brought out very starkly what my life was all about, at that time.
My Workplace – Those at work, colleagues and friends, would probably say that I did some good work , was helpful and well intentioned.
My family- They would say I was a fun loving and decent human being with good values.
The Community-Friends on the social media may express their condolences and say some nice things.
There was nothing else that I could write at that point. I had come face to face with a question that I was always running away from, like an ostrich, hiding myself under the facade of a busy work schedule, meetings, that gave me a false sense of being productive- Was there anything in my life beyond work? What is the purpose of my life ?
When the right questions pop up , teachers also materialize to help give some answers. My friend and mentor Subba who is also life coach, helped me frame My Life Story/My big purpose around 4 key dimensions of our life.
Me- Understanding myself. What are my gifts, my interests, my personal goals. What do I want for myself.
My Work- What does work mean for me beyond the organisation I work for. What do I want at work. It is money, fame, position, responsibility or something else.
My Family/Relationships- What do I want to do with reference to my family and relationships. What is the positive impact I want to create using my skills, talents, experience.
My Community- Who and What is my community. What do I want to do as work that benefits the community. Do I want to leave any legacy that will outlast me. If so what would that be.
Imagine going through life with a vision that is blurred. We would be unsure, uncertain, circumspect and worried about making mistakes and injuring ourselves. That was me before.
Today, thanks to the exercise of “writing my obituary” , I have been able to discover my purpose and what I want from life. I wrote about it in one of my earlier posts. https://ownmygrowth.com/2020/01/09/what-is-success/
My life today is a work in progress, where I recognize the power of working hard on myself, where I understand the philosophy of being fulfilled which comes from doing good for others, where I understand the value of relationships without benefits.
I also know what I want my Obituary to say.