What Will Your Tombstone Say?
I know. Death is such a morbid conversation. To even think about death, your funeral, your tombstone…I think it makes us all shudder a bit.
Stephen Covey writes in his perpetual top-of-the-must-read list of books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that we must begin with the end in mind. In other words, we need to first visualize what we want to see at the end of any particular time frame. Whether your dream, your goal, is to achieve something significant or to simply buy a new home, you need to begin with what that end solution looks like. You need to clearly and articulate what your new home is going to look like and what it will provide you.
So if we are to take Stephen Covey’s guidance and truly apply this, let’s look ahead — far ahead for you and me — and look at our end. Here are some questions to consider:
- Who do you want at your funeral?
- How will you be remembered?
- By your family?
- By your co-workers?
- By your community?
- What 10 or 11 words will be etched on your tombstone?
This is a great exercise to do. Why? Because if we climb the tree and gaze upon the horizon, we’ll discover if we are, in fact, heading in the right direction. If what we want for our future and where are actually headed don’t intersect, we’re going to have a hard time arriving at our destination.
And perhaps that’s intentional.
Sometimes we are scared of fulfilling the future. Sometimes we worry that, “What if I can’t make that happen?” Or we’re scared of the sacrifice it will require, the things we may need to let go of, in order to make our dream a reality.
They say we’re the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with. Maybe you’re freaking out because that gang of five is who you need to leave behind and it terrifies you. I get it!
But if we want to leave a legacy, if we want to make a difference, an impact, we need to do the little things and the hard things. Without sacrifice there is no reward.
I challenge you to give this some thought. What is one thing you can do today to make your “tomorrow” count? What or who should you let go, so you can change the trajectory of your life?