Among other things, it has had me thinking about how I’d like to be remembered. And what I want my remaining years to be like.
While it might seem a bit morbid, it’s a good thing to examine every now and again. How I want to be remembered informs who I am today. It helps me see what areas of my life I may have been neglecting. Who I might need to forgive or who I might need to see less of. Where I need to be more active and what I need to let go of.
It helps me anchor in my values – reminds me of what they are. If I haven’t lived true to myself then I don’t imagine I will be remembered well. Or that on my deathbed I’ll be ok with myself.
It reminds me to seek meaning so that my life feels purposeful and satisfying.
It reminds me to be grateful. It’s much easier to be joyful when I have gratitude for my life and everything in it.
And it reminds me to have compassion. It takes less energy now to try to understand others and their behaviour than to fret over not having done it when it’s too late.
Hopefully you don’t ask yourself how you would like to be remembered because you have lost people close to you recently. Hopefully you get to do this little exercise as a positive stocktake of your life. Either way, I highly recommend doing it. It just might put some important things in perspective for you.