It's Not As Morbid As It Sounds. Honest!

I want you to write your own obituary. There I said it. Be patient with me and you’ll see why this can create such a significant turning point in your life. Most people have heard of the Nobel Peace Prize, it was set up by Alfred Nobel. What most people do not know about him is that he was the Swedish inventor and engineer who invented dynamite.

One morning when Alfred Nobel was reading the paper he was shocked to read his own obituary. His brother had passed away and the newspaper made a mistake and printed Alfred’s obituary in error.

The obituary read, “The merchant of death is dead”.  It went on - “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

Alfred never married and did not have any children. He was devastated with what he read and was concerned with how he would be remembered.  On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace - the Nobel Prizes in Paris. Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality.

Imagine how he must have felt. Now I am not saying that you will ever read something so shocking about yourself but I know sometimes it feels as if we are not doing the work we were sent here to and we feel a loss, right?  There is a way around this and I will show you exactly what you need to do in order to get there.

As a result of what happened to Alfred Nobel he started the Nobel Foundation and whilst we might not agree with all their decisions we certainly agree with their aims which are to promote peace. I won’t debate that here but what I will say is that we all know that we have a bigger aim than just to survive each day or to live, right? It’s got to be more.

Alfred Nobel was given a second chance. He changed his legacy completely by simply reading his obituary, realising he didn't like it and making a decision to change the direction is life was going in. You can do this too.

So how do you write your obituary?

Consider the things that you would most like to be remembered for - values, personality characteristics, strengths or relationships.  Consider your unique contributions and whatever fears, obstacles or social expectations that you overcame to express your authentic self. Don't limit your obituary to your career. Reflect upon the family, social, spiritual, and leisure  dimensions of your life.

Spend 20 minutes writing about your life in the third person. Once you have done that spend 10 minutes reflecting on what you have written and ask yourself what do you need to do to make the obituary come true?

One final thing I think is important to say is that I know this can be hard. The first time I did this it was emotional but it was worth it and if you are willing to give it a go then I trust you will see that too. I believe in you and your ability to be strong and live the life of your dreams, why not make it happen?

{Note – I loved this intervention so much I have an entire toolkit that I wrote on how to prepare and write your own obituary – you can get it by clicking the link below.}

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