One of my prospective clients delivered a book to my office a few years back. It was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The first few pages of the second chapter of this book changed my life.
Stephen Covey introduces the principal of “begin with the end in mind” and he takes the reader through a very powerful visualization exercise. He asks you to close your eyes and imagine you just pulled up to a church. You walk inside the church and realize you are at a funeral. You walk to the front of the room look in the casket and realize it’s YOU. You sit down in the front row and for the next hour you listen as co-workers, family members, your spouse, children, and community all celebrate your life. The two questions I contemplated while going through this exercise were:
How will I be remembered?
What have I contributed?
By figuring out what my answers currently were, and then figuring out what I wanted the answers to be, I was able to define what was most important to me, and then I started taking the steps to get me there.
Here is what I mean when I say, “Focus on what’s most important.” When your grandson gets up at your funeral to talk about the legacy you left, my hope is that it will be about the life lessons you taught him out on the river fishing. Nobody ever stands up and says, “My grandpa sure had a great 401k, and it was so great watching him spend all day and night reviewing his statements.”
Focus on what’s most important in your life and hire experts to take care of the details so you can answer the two questions above without hesitation or delay the way you want them to be answered: “How will I be remembered?” and “What have I contributed?”