Attend your own funeral

Ok, some of you are probably sitting at your desk saying, “Wow, the rumors are true Jim did lose his marbles. He’s telling us to go to our own funeral. Duh?” Please read on…

I was asked recently to assist a friend in developing a personal mission statement that would be included in his portfolio for grad school. Of course I was honored and eager to help so we began with some tough questions. After all, what are answers without questions?

It was during this question and answer period with my friend that I was reminded of the chapter in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that encouraged the reader to visualize their own funeral. Visualize how each friend and family member would view your death, visualize what your friends and family would say at the funeral services.

After reading Covey’s book a couple of years ago I went through this funeral visualization process and have never been the same. It was through this that I developed my own personal mission statement and answered the question, “What would I want my family and friends to say at my funeral?” When you answer this simple yet penetrating question you will quickly find what matters most to you. You may even be like me and realize you need some fine tuning to align the core of your focus with the mission of your life.

If you haven’t already, I want to encourage you to develop a personal mission statement by answering the simple question,

“What would I want my friends and family to say at my funeral?”

Once you’ve got that answered living your mission becomes much easier.

2 Responses to “Attend your own funeral”


  1. 1 John Taylor May 17, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    I agree completely. As I analyzed my life when I worked through this exercise, I discovered that what seemed to me to be a hobbled collection of different careers all had one core mission: serving others.

    I knew that that’s what I wanted to be remembered for, and organized my life around the mission to serve others.

    This has been liberating when my life has moved in different directions. When new opportunities have come my way, I’ve simply had to ask myself “Will this opportunity help me serve others better?” If the answer is yes, I move forward. If the answer is no, I look somewhere else.

    Sometimes we have to look forward to the end in order to have better direction as we’re progressing from the beginning.

  2. 2 finaltaxi May 18, 2007 at 12:56 am

    It ‘s a beautiful thought. We never know how we may affect others in this life. If we take a minute and think about it we may mold ourselves differently.


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