Is my life heading in the right direction? How do I discover my life purpose? How do I balance the different areas of my life?
These questions might pop up when you start designing your life. And answers don’t just show up. Fortunately, there is one question that will help you answer all the other questions you have when designing your life. It’s from the book ‘the seven habits of highly effective people’. I read the book 5 years ago and still go back to this question every year when I reassess my life goals.
Imagine, you witness your own funeral. What do you want to hear people say about you?
You might say, who cares? I’m dead anyway.
You’re right. If you want to design a life that you want to live this question will give direction. The question will generate self-awareness, help you focus on the things that matter and forces you to look at every role you play in life.. Not only in your career, in every area of your life.
1) It generates self-awareness
You have to look at yourself in the future and dig deep. Because at your funeral people won’t just talk about your accomplishments, they will talk about what kind of person you were.
The question forces you to think about:
– The person you are now.
– What kind of person you want to be.
– What your core values are.
– How you are in your relationships.
2) It helps you focus on the things that matter.
Do you want people to talk about the 100 hours per week you put in building a company? But not speak about how you never saw your children or your partner?
Think about it?
Do you want people to talk about the money you made, the big house you lived in or the car you drove? Or do you want them to speak about what you contributed to society and how you raised your children?
This question will force you to dig deep! It really makes you focus on the things that matter.
Take time to reflect. See if what you are chasing and how you’re living your life is in line with how you want to be remembered?
3) How to play the different roles in life.
At your funeral there will be different people:
Your children, friends, colleagues partner, Maybe even your parents?
In life, you’ll play different roles no matter what. (you’ll be a son to a father and a mother). But you can also create roles to play.
Define each role you want to play in life and imagine people associated with that role. How do you want them to talk about you?
Your role as a child -> parents
Your role as a parent -> your children
Your role as a spouse -> your partner
Your role as an entrepreneur -> your staff/clients
Your role as an athlete -> your team members/competitors?
Doing this exercise will give clarity on how you want to live your life.
This question really helped me tackle a lot of questions I had about my life. Personally, I was very focused on my career. Answering this question gave me perspective on the things that matter to me. It also helped me realize that I shouldn’t take certain roles for granted!
Let me know your thoughts!