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This topic might sound a bit morbid, but it’s actually a really cool mental exercise that will help you draw out the values that are important to you. I learned this exercise from a fellow coach that utilizes the MAC approach in her teachings. (MAC stands for Mindfulness Acceptance Commitment.)
Writing the Obituary
The purpose of this exercise is to write down how you want to be remembered, from an outsiders point of view. You can apply this exercise to any area of your life.
You can apply it to personal roles you play (like how you want to be remembered as a husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, caregiver), you can apply it to your business persona or creative persona. You can really use it anywhere in your life you’d like to become more deliberate with your presence and actions.
As an example, I’ll share my obituary I wrote for my role as an entrepreneur:
Sarah Weber (also known as The Brain Cleanup Coach) was on a mission to help anyone suffering from anxiety about neurological disease and the prospect of poor brain health. She was profoundly generous with wisdom and energy. She recognized that she had a bigger calling in the world, and inspired millions of people to take control of their own minds and question the status quo. She was prolific in the body of work she created, which paved a way for people to easily recognize how powerful they truly are.
Her Brain Cleanup Method was visionary and inspiring. It allowed people to share her vision, and harness their own thoughts for the higher good of themselves and those around them. She had an enormous impact on the way we now think about anxiety and health in general. She showed people the possibilities of the human mind, always with compassion and humor.
Her methods affected everyone she came in contact with. The knowledge she leaves behind will continue to better the lives of countless people.
Mining for values
After writing the obituary, look through what you wrote and pull out any values you see. A value is a potential way of being, or something that inspires action. For example, here are the values I pulled out of my obituary:
- Higher good
Living with values
By identifying the values that you, well, value… you can utilize them to inspire yourself to live in alignment with the person you want to be. In moments where it’s hard to get things done, or you’re feeling uninspired or hopeless, you can remind yourself of your values, and consider what living through those values, even in the tough times, would look like.
This leads to creating “value statements”, and we’ll tackle that exercise in my next blog post.
Work with me
Would you like to get clear on your values?