I was talking to a friend recently, and the topic turned to what to do with the rest of one's life. It was then that I suggested that he should write his obituary and then work backwards from there.
Let me explain. We normally think incrementally forward from where we are – the next few months or the next year, and so on. Another approach that I had once read was to think of what one would like to be remembered by. Imagine if The Economist wrote a 1-page obituary after your death – what would it read like. Or, what you would like it to read like. And then live life to accomplish the things you have written.
I did this a few years ago, and it helped me think of life differently, and got me started on the track to helping bring about change in India.
Try it out. There is little to lose. On the one hand, it could just end up being an intellectual exercise. On the other, it could help give a new meaning and perspective to the rest of your life.
I have always liked reading Rajesh Jain's blog. He has written about Writing One's Obituary. And I think I should try it out too. Here's what he writes -