Joseph J. Luciani is a clinical psychologist and author who has stated that he would like his epitaph to say ‘I’d Rather Be Reading This’. That is his statement to demonstrate how much he enjoys his own life, even with the minor trials, troubles, and tribulations that everyone encounters.
Question: How do you want to be remembered after you have shed your mortal coil?
Here are a few famous epitaphs:
- Don’t Try. – Charles Bukowski
- Here lies a man who knew how to enlist the service of better men than himself. – Andrew Carnegie
- The best is yet to come. – Frank Sinatra
- Here lies one whose name was writ in water. – John Keats
- Workers of all lands unite. The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. – Karl Marx
- I had a lover’s quarrel with the world. – Robert Frost
- A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough. – Alexander the Great
- I told you so, you damned fools. – H. G. Wells
Take a few minutes and consider what words you would want on YOUR tombstone? What philosophy, idea, or event would be important for others to note when vising your grave 200 years from now? Write your own epitaph tonight.
Of course, a pithy sentence cannot truly summarize the complexity and subtly of a real life; yet, this exercise will help you clarify your current path and allow you to consider some course corrections.
Then, consider how this same statement be re-crafted into your life mantra or purpose sentence. As Steven Covey suggests: start with the end in mind. The hard work begins tomorrow: living a life to capture the essence of your vision. Own your legacy!