Today I was given the sad news that a former coworker past away after a battle with cancer. Upon hearing this news, I began to remember the wonderful things about her; her laugh, her smile, her overall happiness no matter what was going on around her, how she brought a smile to my face whenever I saw her, and how she made me and our other coworkers feel. Remembering her made me think, what I remember her for was not how hard she worked or how she was always at work on time or how productive she was, what I remember about her is who she was and how she made me feel.
This got me thinking . . .what will my obituary say? How will I be remembered? Will I be remembered for what I did for a living or for how I made people feel? Will I be remembered for how many hours I put in every day at work or how much I loved those around me? Will I be remembered for what I did as opposed to who I was? I realized that I will be remembered for the things that I focused my time and energy on. I have complete control over how I will be remembered and what my legacy will be.
I think so many of us get wrapped up in what society deems to be “successful” and think that upon achieving that “success” we will be happy when in fact it just makes us miserable. You begin to live a life of regrets. Regret of not being able to do the things that you want because you are too busy being “successful”. Regret that you wish you had more time. Regret that you wish you spent more time with family and friends. Regret that life has passed you by while you were too busy working towards someone else’s definition of success.
Stop living a life of regret and start living a life of purpose. The key to living a life that makes you happy and leaving a legacy you are proud of is to define what success means to you, not what society dictates. For you to be “successful”, What does that look like? What does that feel like? What does it mean to you? When you can define success in your own words, you are taking the first steps to living a life of happiness and purpose. When you define what success looks like and feels like to you, you are laying down the path that you will travel to achieve that success. You are living the life you were meant to live and one without regrets.
What will your obituary say? Will it speak to how many hours you worked, how much money you made, how many houses or cars or clothes you had, or how productive you were? Or will it speak to how much you loved, how much you laughed, and how much you lived? What is important to you? Is it how much you get out of life or how much you give back? Start living today as if tomorrow is not guaranteed (by the way it isn’t), live like every action is another line in your obituary. Live each day with passion towards doing what you love and spending time doing what makes you happy. Life is too short not to be happy and too long to be miserable.