Ah yes, nothing like the image of your cold, dead self in a wooden box to get you feeling mighty… but bear with me here…
There’s a powerful exercise in Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in which he asks you to visualize your own funeral.
Picture three people getting up to say a few words about you, the type of person you were, what you stood for, how you lived. The first speaker is a good friend or family member. The second is someone from your community. The third is a work colleague.
Close your eyes and imagine all three speakers giving sincere and glowing testimonies of you and the life you lived. Everyone listening is moved to tears as they remember how much you meant to them, noticing that the world is a little less bright now that you’ve gone.
Open your eyes.
What you just saw is what you’re aiming for. If you were to die today and have that very funeral you visualized next week, well, congratulations; you’re living an inspired life. Keep it up.
If, however, you think such a tribute is unlikely, well then you’ve got work to do.
Figure out what it is that you want to be remembered for, by friends, colleagues, community members, and everyone else. Work towards becoming that memory.