HOW TO MAKE GREAT DECISIONS BY EMBRACING YOUR MORTALITY.
I was poring through the pages of a great book written by one of the greatest influencers in my life; Stephen R. Covey. A friend walked into the room. For the sake of writing, let's say his name is Judas. Judas looks at the book and asks a question, "What one thing can you tell me from your reading this book that could influence my life positively??".
I started the conversation and tried to educate him about the second habit out of the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". I asked him to take the trip described in the book. The trip is as described below ;
See yourself going to the funeral of a loved one. Picture yourself driving to the funeral parlor or chapel, parking the car, and getting out. As you walk inside the building, you notice the flowers, the soft organ music. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts of the people there. As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself.. This is your funeral, three years from today. All these people have come to honour you, to express the feelings of love and appreciation for your life.
As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand. There are to be four speakers.. The first is from your family, immediate and also ended—children, brothers sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents who have come from all over the country to attend. The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who can give a sense of what you were as a person. The third speaker is from your work or profession. And the fourth is from your church/mosque or some community organization where you've been involved in service.
Now think deeply. What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life? What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect? What kind of son or daughter or cousin? What kind of friend? What kind of working associate?
What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember? Look carefully at the people around you. What difference would you like to have made in their lives?
Now take your diary, journal, sheet of paper and write down what you would want them to talk about you."
Now all through the period I was trying to explain the process to Judas. He just keeps fighting the idea that he could die. I tried frantically for him to try to see the point but he just won't accept the fact that death is inevitable. He quickly picks up his phone and searches the World Wide Web for researches as to how to evade death. He couldn't find any.
I gave him the example of Steve Job (Apple's founder) asking himself the question, "what if today were to be my last, would I still make this decision or take this move in about to take? " whenever he is stuck on a decision. I even wanted the idea to look romantic and gladly informed him that Steve Jobs asked his wife out after asking himself that same question as he tried to drive away from a party. He still did not accept.
I'm wondering how many of us are like Judas postponing or denying our mortality and are mortgaging our future with decisions that are not congruent with our most revered values. Please try to find a nice quiet place and just take the activity. Write down your eulogy as they would have been delivered by everyone closest to you. I have done mine and its so mind freeing.
But what advice can a 22 year old guy give you, you could as well just forget you ever read this article.
Good day and have a great day ahead of you.
To your success.