Why Visiting Your Own Funeral Can Make You Reach the Best Version of Yourself?

Jan 14, 2021

Welcome on board.

Last week, Inspired by Brian Johnson, I made this exercise/experiment which, initially, can sound bizarre or even scary, but it will drive you towards a better version of yourself without any doubt.

Let’s see how it works.

Stephen Covey describes this exercise in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, a book I highly recommend, just in case you didn’t read it.

One of Covey’s habits is “Begin with the end in mind”.

This is what you will literally do.

You’ll go to a funeral.

You will find in there all your friends, family, and people you know.

You walk to the coffin and, when you look inside, you perfectly know that guy: it’s you!

  • What are all people saying and commenting about you?
  • Are those comments the ones you would like to hear?
  • Are you proud of the actions you made, the thoughts you shared, and what others might say about you?
  • Did you impact those people?
  • Did you help them?
  • Do they appreciate all the things you did for them?

Think deep about that scenario and draw all the conclusions you can take with you.

Were they talking about your…

  • …generosity?
  • …kindness?
  • …optimism?
  • …patience?
  • …enthusiasm?
  • …consistency?
  • …leadership?

Think and list all the things they may say about you. Be honest. You don’t need to share the results with anybody else but you.

Later on, list all the things you would have liked them to be saying.

Focus on both lists, and let’s keep on doing a second exercise.

By listing all the things you don’t like them to say, you can find out all the skills, habits, or behaviors you should try to avoid doing.

Now, let’s focus on the list of things you would have liked them to be saying.

Select only a small number of them. I selected these four ones:

  • Patience.
  • Calm.
  • Listening.
  • Generosity.

I love memory techniques and, one of them, is acronyms.

If you can easily remember an acronym you’ve created, you can remember lists or whatever you may want to.

For the list above, I created the acronym “PCLG”.

It’s an easy one for me because “PC” equals my name (Paco Cantero), and “LG” reminds me of the famous Korean electronics company.

To remember it even better, I draw an image in my mind in which I can see myself doing a foolish thing in a huge LG TV, enjoying the cold of an LG air conditioner, and opening the door of a huge LG refrigerator full of beer cans.

So, as you may guess, “PCLG” is perfectly recorded in my brain.

Those 4 items are called eulogy virtues. Virtues that are the most important to me at this moment of my life. Those I want to perform at my best because I want them to be said at my funeral.

Whenever I’m in a situation where I can put them into action, that PCLG acronym comes to my mind, and I immediately start acting as I would like to be remembered.

The more you practice it, the more you’re feeling confident and proud of your new actions.

It’s by making small little daily actions how you start performing as you, after a deep, profound, and objective analysis, have determined you want to act the way you want to be.

Being is just the sum of all your actions.

Focus on those that:

  • Matter to you.
  • Make you feel great and proud of yourself.
  • Give sense to your life.

The more you live that way, the more identified you’ll be with your inner self.

“Beginning with the end in mind” allows you to know how you should act today, what your today’s actions should be.

Someone said we should live our lives from the end to the beginning to find sense to them. It’s not a stupid statement.

Give it a try!

Photo at the top courtesy of Kolby Milton on Unsplash.

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