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Today’s task may sound somewhat morbid, but it is very insightful. Life gains value and significance in the face of death. Unfortunately, death has been somewhat ignored in our society and plays a role in an utterly alienated form, mainly in the media as entertainment.
“Reminding myself that I will soon be dead is the most important tool to help me make the big decisions in life. … Remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the fallacy that you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
~ Steve Jobs,[i]
Your task for today:
Take time for yourself today and write the speech you would like to hear about yourself at your funeral. What would your life have been like if it had been terrific?
If you feel that you cannot or do not want to do this, I have an alternative for you below.
Imagine your funeral in detail: a beautiful ceremony to your liking, all the people who were important to you in your life have come to say goodbye to you. You are laid out with many flowers around you, and everyone thinks of you wistfully and with love.
Then someone stands up, goes forward, and gives a beautiful and authentic speech about you and your life as you would wish it. This speech contains all the good you have done so far, also names in loving words the weaknesses and the mistakes that belong to your life so far and describes in the most beautiful colors how you’ve lived the rest of your life from today on. Why should people remember you?
Write the speech and include the positive qualities, strengths, achievements, knowledge, etc. that you would like to hear about yourself. Let your imagination run free, and don’t limit yourself – neither spatially, financially, nor what seems possible today. It should be exactly the kind of life you want for yourself, which is described in the speech. Have fun!
Imagine your 80th birthday: You are healthy and fit. Your friends and family have organized a fabulous party precisely to your taste. All the people who have been important to you in your life have come to celebrate you. You sit at the table of honor with lots of friendly faces around you. Then someone stands up and gives a beautiful and authentic speech about you and your life as you would like it to be. This speech contains all the good things you have done so far and names in loving words the weaknesses and mistakes of your life. It describes in the most beautiful colors how you’ve lived and worked for the rest of your life from today until your 80th birthday.
Perhaps the person will briefly describe the changes you have gone through and then tell you what you’ve consciously chosen to do and how you have achieved all the good for yourself and others. What do you wish the orator to report in the future?
What is this exercise good for? In the speech, you will find things that are really important to you. This works especially well in the eulogy because there is no point in worrying about what others expect you to do when you are dead. But even on your 80th birthday, you are already in a phase of life where you no longer have to do many things that might still be a burden to you today. That is liberating.
In this way, a mission statement is created from which you can intuitively deduce how you should behave, what is important to you, and what is less important to you than it seems today.