As part of my journey to help find myself, it was suggested to me, by more than a few sources, that the best way to find out what you truly want in life, those long, long, long term goals that we spend our entire lives striving to achieve, is to write what you hope to be said about you at your own funeral. The idea creeped me out at first. Thinking that far ahead (I hope) about my life and what I had (want) to have achieved. I’ve always had long term goals in mind, but never have I ever thought of them in this type of context. I figured I’d give it a try though, and see what the end result was.
To begin, I imagined a great hall, beautifully decorated, in my favourite style and colours. Dim lights, save for a spotlight on a modest lectern and of course, my personal box housing me. As I visualized the room, I looked around to see all of my friends, family, business associates, acquaintances, past lovers, future family, and even those who didn’t like me very much, all out in the crowd, sitting, waiting to hear about the summary of my life.
At first, as I hovered my hands over the keyboard, I froze. I had absolutely no idea what to write. But I really started thinking about the future, and envisioned what I thought I would be like and what I would have done in 60 years from now. Despite any mistakes I had made up to my current point in life, 60 years later is a long time to fill and as I sat there, an entire life started to unfold around me. Almost to the point where I couldn’t keep my typing up with my thoughts.
I wrote about my successes and failures, my relationships, and the family I had built, the organizations I aided and developed. I found that I could visualize all of my triumphs, and even the sadness I might expect in those 6 decades. I touched on the mistakes I had already made and how they shaped me into the man I was on my deathbed. The one that was well respected, and loved by many. I wrote about my children that have not yet been born, and their grandchildren. I talked about my wife and the love we shared for so many years and how it helped me find my way.
It was a cathartic release to open up to myself about what I envisioned my life to be. For many things I wrote, I didn’t even know I wanted to do, or I didn’t really have an idea I wanted to go that far with it. When I was done, I had in front of me a summary of a life I would be proud to have lived. But also, I had a set of goals, of primary aims that I wanted to achieve in my life time.
I’ve since written these primary aims down, and now, I begin the work of building plans on how to achieve these life long goals. I’ve never looked this far out in my life before, but it feels good, and I look forward to building the life that I have had only a glimpse of so far. I am looking forward to continuing this journey, a little less blind than I have been, to be the man that I want to be.