Late last year, I attended a funeral of a young man. He was only 44 years. As I sat there listening to the eulogy and many comments made about him, the question forcefully entered my head.
“What would people say about me if I were the one in the casket?”
I remember thinking, ‘who would be at my funeral’, first of all before thinking about what they would say.
When I got out of that service, I made a phone call to a very good friend I hadn’t connected with in a while. The funeral had significantly affected me!
Determined to live even more purposefully, I decided my usual end-of-year ‘contemplation and assessment’ will be a bit more intense, and slower.
After a break to celebrate my birthday, I was back reviewing and making relevant tweaks to my goals, and reaffirming my core values as the catalyst of everything I do. I was just getting ready to visit my Bucket List when I heard of the ‘untimely’ death of a young and prominent Journalist at the prime of his career. He was 41.
Like a jolt of electricity through my soul, I was gingerly reminded yet again of the brevity of life.
It was Steve Jobs, who said,
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
What a way to begin the New Year!
I’m saddened, shocked, and inspired at the same time. My decision to continue pursuing life with more zest and authenticity just got a bolster.
As I complete ‘positioning’ myself to meaningfully continue the journey into 2014, I’m evermore mindful of my own mortality. It’s clear that the World Death Rate is holding steady at 100 Percent despite the enormous efforts of doctors, rescue workers and other medical professionals.
The truth is we will all one day transition from this known life into eternity.
That question much to my chagrin late last year, has added some spice to my thought process. I find myself resolving like Goethe that, “The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.”
If those who truly know me say of me that. . .
I walked intimately with God. . . .
was a passionate lover. . . .
laughed a lot. . . .
served with selflessness. . . .
enjoyed Chocolate. . .
And that I left an impacting legacy. . .
. . .among other things. . . .
. . . . then I would have lived a full life!
How about you, what would you like people to say about you on that day?