What do you want to be remebered for?
Following on from two week ago’s eating a frog last week , so now it’s time to focus on the Eulogy exercise. , I said that I would expand on the two exercises the delegates got the most from, the Eulogy and Eating a frog. Whilst both are great standalone tools, they work best when supported by other content, and live discussion around them. I covered off
Warning - If you’re going through a bereavement or loss right now, this might not be the right blog for you, it might evoke strong emotions.
Writing Your own Eulogy
This comes from our section on Purpose and is one of the most divisive exercises in our entire programme, people either absolutely love it, and get so much from it, others find it not useful at all. It’s also one of my personal favourites.
Let’s first recap what some of our clients said about this:
Eulogy exercise - I didn’t actually do it, as I thought it might be too hard, but since then I’ve been thinking about it a lot. “When I’m gone, will this thing I’m worried about really matter? Helps you put things into perspective
The Eulogy exercise really made me reflect and realise we are just a moment in time.
Eulogy - made me reflect on how grateful I am for what I have
There were 6 delegates on that call, so half of them, found this one of the best tools. So let’s explore it more.
The exercise itself is pretty simple - take a blank piece of paper and assuming you lived a long and happy life, write your own eulogy. Of course, it’s not an exercise you’re likely to consider doing off your own back, unless you are facing something very serious, but I think because of lockdown we have all reflected a bit more about what’s important. And whilst the instructions are simple, the exercise is far from it. It’s really hard. It’s hard because we are innately designed not to think about it. It’s hard because we have to imagine we are no longer here.
Lynn, one of our other excellent coaches and our main programme designer, is highly skilled in this area too, as she is also a Doula end of life coach, helping people that are dying and their family come to terms with their own mortality. Lynn’s experience echoes the finding of the famous blog by Bronnie Ware, the Australian Palliative care Nurse, Regrets of the Dying. She listed the top 5 regrets, based on her years of bedside conversations as:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
If you want to tackle this exercise on your own, make sure you’re in a resourceful state. It can provoke a highly emotional response. Our delegates built up to this exercise at the end 2 whole weeks reflecting on their purpose. If you complete the exercise, do let us know if it resonated for you.
If you need our help with what shows up, please get in touch , we’d gladly arrange a coaching session to explore it. Ian Hacon