Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who will attend my funeral?

One of the great concepts in this life is that we can learn something from everyone we meet. If we take the time to listen to everyone who enters our life, we will learn a world of information. Don’t wait for teachers only; allow everyone to be your teacher.

My brother-in-law recently became a teacher for me by relaying a simple story. He was attending a funeral for one of his relatives and began to reminisce about the funeral of our father-in-law 2 years ago. Our wives are twin sisters and their father, Chuck, passed away very unexpectedly in April of 2007.

As my brother-in-law thought back to that date in 2007, he realized how popular Chuck was by the number of people who attended his funeral. Chuck didn’t do anything special in his life to be popular and yet he did the most special thing possible. Chuck wasn’t a public figure, didn’t have millions of dollars, didn’t attend public events, didn’t socialize with the ‘in’ crowd and yet he had so many friends. The most special part of Chuck was his ability to accept and appreciate everyone he met for who they were.

Both my brother-in-law and I began to do some self-analysis. We asked the questions who will attend my funeral and why? That led me to a great exercise. I created a list of those who I think will attend right now. I followed this with a list of whom I want to attend, but are not on the original list. Then I looked at the second list and started to document what would compel them to attend. Based on this list, I started a list of what I want to accomplish in the rest of my life in order to create this compelling need. What I ended up with was a purpose for my life.

By figuring out what would compel others to attend my funeral and the accomplishments I need to make in order to create that compelling need, I discovered the purpose for my life. And what could be more important than determining your purpose? Winning the lottery won’t tell me my purpose, but finding my purpose has helped me win the lottery.

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