I once read an article and in it the author suggested that you should write your obituary as you would like it to be when you die. Then assess your life and if the things that you want to see in that obituary are not happening in your life now, it means you need to make some changes. For example, if you would like your obituary to say that you were a generous philanthropist but you have never given a cent to anyone, then you need to start giving now.
Here are 10 rules for life that may help you achieve the obituary you would be proud of:
Live with intention. Last week, I wrote about being intentional about what we do – deciding on what we want to accomplish and making deliberate choices, not letting things just happen.
Take risks, don’t be a slave to fear. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. My mother used to tell us that all the time. If there is something you want to do, get out there and try. The only people who never fail are those who never try.
Choose love. It is more natural to love than to hate. Always choose love. Love is an action. So, if you say you love, you need to make sure you demonstrate that by your deeds.
Enjoy your life, have fun. I don’t mean you should only have fun; you will sometimes need to do things that aren’t fun but at least try to balance your life so that you leave time for leisure.
Don’t compare yourself to others. My parents taught me this lesson early in life. Never waste your time comparing yourself to others. There will always be those who appear to be better off, but you don’t know someone else’s story. You don’t know their trials and if you did you would probably not want to be in their shoes.
Practise gratitude. Learn to be satisfied with what you have. No matter what you think you lack, I can guarantee there is someone out there who would be happy to have what you have. If you count your blessings, it shifts your whole attitude. It’s hard to complain while being grateful.
Always remember that you are valuable and special, don’t settle for less than you deserve. Even if others don’t seem to see your value, know that you are valuable and never allow someone else to devalue you. Don’t allow others to disrespect you and in that same vein, don’t disrespect yourself.
Tell the people you love how you feel, give them their flowers while they are here. Take every opportunity you can find to show them the love you have in your heart for them. Remember that tomorrow is not promised. So don’t waste a moment.
Serve others. Give. Even if you don’t think you have anything to give, you might be surprised at just how much you can share. Start with your time – volunteer. Serving others is one of the most selfless things you can do and you never know the impact your service may have.
Forgive everyone who has ever wronged you in some way. If you are holding any grudges, choose to let them go. Holding a grudge only causes harm to you. The other person is not affected. Unforgiveness can actually make you sick. Let it go and live your life.
A few years ago, I attended a funeral for the daughter of a friend, who was only 21 at the time of her death. At the funeral, her aunt read a poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis https://thedashpoem.com/ and the words of that poem have stayed with me ever since.
You see, life is short. None of us knows how much time we will have here on Earth. So, it is very important that we consider how we choose to spend the time that we have been given.