It’s a bright spring day, the sun is high up but there is a slight bitter chill in the air. A gathering of people are walking together, they’re all suited wearing black and grey. They are coming together to celebrate your time on this earth, they’re here for your funeral.
They’re seated together after the ceremony – family, loved ones, some friends, work colleagues & people you’ve touched along the way. They’re talking about the times they shared with you, funny stories from your life, places you went together…
How do you want to be remembered?
This simple question has changed my life, perhaps it can change yours too. I attended the JCI European Conference in Malta earlier this year, it’s an event held once a year by a host country to bring together active citizens from all over the world. The week long conference includes personal development, networking & celebrations of the achievements from many of the JCI projects across Europe. It’s so great to discover the great things happening at a grassroots level by people who are so passionate about making a positive change in the world. During the conference, I attended various training seminars and for me, this was the takeaway question.
Many people will never really see the big picture and the first step of this is realising that someday you will die. You can consider this a tragic part of life, or accept and embrace that you have limited time and therefore you should start using it (or as I believe have a duty to use it well). I think this question, then the scenario I described is something we can all connect with – how do you want to be remembered?This question can be rooted in several forms starting with the people you brush past in life, the ones you may share a quick conversation with – how will they remember you? What image of yourself do you project? Through to friends, family and on to your professional encounters – how will all of the people in your life remember you?
In todays digital society, building a personal brand is more important than ever. Just like the products and services we consume, we must think about our personal values and ultimately our vision. What will we stand for and what we do want to achieve in our lives? By starting with the end in mind, you can make strategic steps through your decisions (unconsciously) towards what and where we want to go in life.
Steve Jobs’ said
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
When you’re next passing a mirror, take a long hard look at yourself and ask yourself the question ‘how do I want to be remembered?’ and start making steps towards your own personal vision.