“Writing your obituary might as well be the most important thing you do in your life.”
In order to live a truly meaningful life, you need to know where you’re going to. You need to have a direction, a life goal, a north star. The best way to find your north star is to imagine that you’re at the end of your life and work your way backwards.
Imagine, you are lying in your deathbed and you are about to die. What kind of a life would you like to have lived? What would you like to have experienced? What would you be grateful for? What would you regret? If you wish, come up with more questions to ask yourself. Or just come up with answers without any further questions.
“If you censor yourself just because an idea seems impossible or selfish, you will block other ideas that are realistic and unselfish.”
Do not censor yourself. This is all about imagination. If you censor yourself just because an idea seems impossible or selfish, you will block other ideas that are realistic and unselfish. Just imagine the ideal scenario, ask yourself the questions above, and write down your answers. Write down whatever comes up for you. In other words, write your own obituary.
Do not underestimate the deathbed exercise. I came across this exercise in multiple resources, including the personal development classic, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This exercise is worth working on for hours, over multiple sessions.
Write Your Obituary at Least Once a Year
Make sure you repeat the deathbed exercise at least once a year and compare your answers with previous years’ answers. You will be amazed how much you will evolve. This exercise might as well be the most important thing you do in your whole life. Once you have a direction, a life goal, a north star, you can start from there, and reverse engineer your life. Your north star will guide you in every important decision, while setting goals, cultivating new habits, and virtually in every moment of your life.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.