If you want to create your ideal life….think of the end and work backwards.
And, one valuable way to do this is to…..WRITE YOUR OWN OBITUARY!
What is an obituary?
n. pl. obituaries
A published notice of a death, sometimes with a brief biography of the deceased.
We know no one likes to think about death. But death is inevitable and, if you are a Christian, you are not to fear death but rather to look forward to hearing a “well done” from God.
And if you follow the Garden Of Eden System, you will hear a “Well Done. My Good and Faithful Servant!”
So to help you think through what you believe your Purpose is, and the type of life you want to live as you fulfill this Purpose, you will write your own obituary.
Here are Ten Tips to Creating a Great Obituary that will propel you to creating a great Life.
You can use the Template at the end to compile all these points into an actual funeral program.
1 . Read the Obituary section of a major newspaper, such as the New York Times, or a local equivalent. Read the list of names and also read some of the longer featured obituaries.
You can also choose to look at the obituary of a famous and well-known figure.
Read how people lived their lives and how the newspaper reported on their deaths.
Look at the varieties of lifestyles, professions, achievements, family members and laudatory remarks. One thing you can be assured of in the obituary section: You will find every single class, race, and category of person included! No one can escape!
Make some notes of what you learn from this reading. Identify some key elements of people’s life. If there is a person who struck you as very interesting, ask yourself why.
2. Write Out Your Death Notice.
The death notice is the formal announcement of the passing of a person. Think far into the future and write the name and designation you wish to have at that time. You can call yourself Dr, PhD, Mrs, Esq., Bishop or Professor. Remember you are creating your end-story. Make it the end story that YOU WANT!
Add the place and time of your death. Think of where you want to be at the end of your life. Do you wish to be back in your original hometown, or in the city where you are now, or some other location? You get to decide.
Include the cause of your death. Think about how you want to die? Do you want to die at home surrounded by family and friends? Or do you want to die by the beach looking out at the waves? Perhaps you want to be working in your garden or studio. Most people may want to die in their sleep. But there is nothing wrong with a desire to die in a dangerous sport or activity, in a blaze of glory. This is up to you.
At what age will you die? Give yourself your full timeline. Write 102, if you dare. Why not? If I am writing my death notice, I’d give myself as much time on the earth as I wish. And I’d have good health until the end. Who wouldn’t? Remember you are creating an end product to move toward. Move toward something positive and beneficial.
3. List Your Family and Kin.
An obituary usually includes the names of family members. Do you not yet have a spouse of children, but you desire to? Then include them in your list of family members who will be present in your death.
Create names of nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles if you have to.
Add friends and more friends that you have now if you wish to have more friends.
4. Add Your Professional Biography
Include the professional accomplishments you will like to have by the time of your death. Where do you want to have worked or what businesses do you want to have owned or been a part of? What do you want on your official resume? What schools do you want to have attended? If you are young, in your 20s or 30s, you will have a lot of opportunity to work in different jobs and careers. Perhaps you wish to own several businesses. Add all these to your bio.
Will you choose to be in academia, church ministry or the military? Research their formats for death notices, if these exist, and incorporate it in your obituary.
5. List Membership Organizations and Charities.
List your groups or associations and include whether you were an officer or had some leadership role. Groups can include: Sports, arts, culture, travel, and book clubs; Alumni associations; community groups such as the Rotary or public speaking groups such as ToastMasters.
Were you involved in specific charities or non-profit organizations? Have you devoted time to hospitals or international programs for youth development? Perhaps you wish to leave a gift to one of these groups and you want this included in your obituary. Yes, let everyone know you are giving a million dollar donation for the wing of a school. Create a great, generous future for yourself.
6. Share Hobbies and interests.
If appropriate, list your hobbies, interests and activities you enjoyed doing as relaxation or recreation. Were you a jazz aficionado or in love with art history? Do you want your friends to know about your collection of orchids? Have you traveled to every continent? Did you cruise every winter? Let these unique interests shine through in your obituary.
7. Describe your personality.
How do you want to be remembered? Did you have a specific outlook on life, or a particular philosophy in life? Do you have something unique that was the theme of your life? Here is where you can remind family and friends of your uniqueness.
Did you spend your life seeking to bring out the creativity of children or were you always organizing social events because you were a social person
Include interesting facts about your life that you want to publicly share. Perhaps there is an aspect of you that no one really knows. At your funeral what will you want to share about this? After a friend died, I found a portfolio of her drawings and poems that I never knew about. I thought what would she have wanted to do with these. If it were in her obituary, perhaps she would have had a poetry reading.
Did you climb Mount Kilmanjaro, publish 5 books, create a nonprofit that solved a humanitarian crisis by the time of your death? Did you die with the entire village at your home? Were you memorialized by an artist? Write it all down. You are creating a picture of your future to help you fulfill your purpose in life.
8. Special Funeral arrangements:
Do you have special arrangements for your funeral? Do you want an altar call, or a celebration in dance? What about your cultural practices? Are there specific designations necessary to respect your tribe or culture? Do you want donations to be made to a specific organizations, perhaps in place of flowers. Add all these to this section.
9. The Repast.
This is the meal after the funeral where friends and family gather to grieve, or to celebrate. What do you wish to be served to celebrate your transition to the next life? Write the details of the food, décor, music, and any other feature of the repast. Add some unique element that reflects your Purpose and who you were at the time of your death?
10. Special Media and Photos
Do you want to have photos, special songs, and scripture verses? If you were a world traveler, perhaps you’d like a display from your travels. If you wrote books, perhaps have a book display.
Do you want a video or audio to play? What will be on this video and what will you say on the audio? Do you want a specific host or band to perform? Will you leave a personal voice recording of thankfulness or a song.
This is your decision and it will help to drive you toward whatever you choose. My cousin was a music instrument manufacturer and had a memorial concert with performers who bought his instruments over the years. It was an amazing experience and exactly the way he lived his life.
This obituary exercise is to get you to focus on how you want to be at the end of your life.
With this in hand, you can begin to create the plan to accomplish all the great things you developed.
Now, where do you want to end up?
These things do not happen by chance. They are the result of lives lived well and planned. And you can have such a life. But it has to be planned.
The Garden of Eden Creation system will allow you to create the life you want in a God-centered and Bible based way. This system follows the pattern of the Creator as he created the earth; You will move from The VOID to a beautiful Garden of Eden. And this pattern from the Creator was revealed so that you may become all he envisioned when he created you.
There are many principles, most are more enjoyable than this Obituary technique – such as the PowerTalk, your A Team and the G.O.O.D rating scale. All these are focused on getting you to a place where you can confidently state your God-given Purpose and you develop a Roadmap to execute that Purpose so that you can live a wonderful life.
Now Here is an Obituary Template
X [name: (include nickname, Jr., Sr., etc.] of [address/city], age [age], died on [date of death] at [ place of death] from [cause of death].
X was born in [place of birth] on [date of birth] to [parents]
X was the wife/husband of [spouse]. They were married on [date of marriage] and had [children].
X attended [education, military honors, awards, etc.]
X worked at [job] OR retired from [last job]. X began his/her career at [career and professional bio].
X was an avid [interests, hobbies] and a member of [clubs, groups and organizations]
X was a dedicated member [church community.]
Everyone knew X as [personality and special interests]
X is survived by [family and other kin.]
[If this is for an online or live funeral….you can add]: Please enjoy the following: [media, video, performances]
There, you have done something so few people do themselves.
Write this out. Keep the accomplishments sections in your mind as you build your life. Review it annually to ensure you are moving in the direction of your end goal.