How do you want to be remembered

13 Apr 2016

How do you want to be remembered?

This is in continuation of the previous blog on ‘Life purpose’.

I want to take that conversation forward. My question to you today is this: How do you want to be remembered? Are you working on your resume or your eulogy? I know it sounds grim to be talking about a eulogy when we’re still alive. But think about it. Resumes talk about skills and achievements. Eulogies talk about values and the impact we have had on the world and on people’s lives.

A resume says, ‘I have managed complex projects involving cross-functional teams across geographies’.

A eulogy says, ‘She believed in transformation. And she helped people achieve it in her own unique and persistent way.’

Which sounds better? If you’re leaning towards the euology-legacy as opposed to the resume-legacy, then you’re in the same field as me. I want to fill my eulogy now. That doesn’t mean I’m focusing on death. It means I’m focusing on the larger canvas of life of which work and medals is one part.

Remember that once you are gone, only the next two generations of your family are going to remember you. So is there something you want to be known by, over and above being a good parent / professional / friend?

How you want the world to remember you is a good way of strengthening your life purpose.

So, here’s another interesting exercise. I call it the Tombstone Exercise. Imagine you are gone. A gravestone is being erected on your plot. What should it say? 

Think about the eulogy, not the resume. Ignore the overactive brain for a while. Listen to the forgotten soul.

While you think about that, here’s a real story on what someone did to change how the world would remember him.

Alfred Noble invented dynamite.

But he was well aware of the danger: the world would remember him as someone who created a weapon of destruction.

And so he instituted the the Nobel awards to honour people who made a meaningful contribution in science, art, humanities and service – the things he gave his life passionately to.

Today the Nobel Prize is emblematic of the finest achievement possible by a human being.

So I ask again.

It is a cool afternoon. You have passed on to the other world. We stand around your grave. Someone goes up to the podium to say a few words about you.

What does the person say?

Whatever answer comes to you first has the keys to your life purpose.

About the Author:

Sandhya Reddy is an Executive coach, Leadership and Business coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.

Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, personality development, leadership coaching, business coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals.

Starting your own business can be exciting and daunting. It means coming face to face with hidden beliefs and behaviours that may be coming in the way of success. If you are an entrepreneur, Business Coaching helps you craft a vision, take responsibility, prioritize strategic thinking, and complement the best-laid plans with systematic action. Entrepreneurship involves a significant mind-set change but the right positive self-talk is the first start point.

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