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How Would Your Obituary Read? (Make your true legacy matter)

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Your obituary - make your legacy matter


I did a Google search today after hearing about the demise of Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fischer and George Michael. The list of luminaries that I found made me sit back and think about the names, their lives and their legacy as they take their place in History.

Different people from different walks of life, nationalities, musicians, athletes, politicians and more who shared one common denominator – a life that will inspire future generations. That’s their true legacy and it shows in their obituaries.

People may not know them immediately but future events will make references to their stories and in this day and age of technology, we can learn more about their Life Story and contribution to History with a quick Google or Wikipedia search.

I’ve noticed a trend which might be a coincidence but Leap Years are always eventful.

I remember 2004 when we lost many world personalities and the Tsunami on Boxing Day, the effects of which are still felt in certain parts of the world 12 years on.

I’m carried back in time to November 2012 when I was watching the news coverage of Bal Thackeray’s funeral procession and last rites on television.

Live coverage was aired on all the major channels with commentators discussing his life and achievements. The funeral cortege was escorted through the streets of Mumbai in a sea of human beings with 50,000 policemen on duty.

Tributes flowing in, shops, cinemas and hotels closed as a mark of respect. Taxis and autos off the roads, Mumbai the commercial capital of India shut down for the day.

A legend had crossed over to take his place in History.

While many of us would not get such a wonderful send off, we would be remembered by those for whom we count and perhaps, for those whom we do not count as well!

This post is not about death. It is about life. To be precise, our life and what we want to achieve to create our legacy for the future.

We don’t have to be celebrities, you know. I’m sharing an example which is very close to my heart. I knew my father had a distinguishing career but I truly understood his legacy after his death when the condolences flowed in from people I had never met grateful for his help at difficult times in their lives.

A true Karma Yogi, he never mentioned all his good deeds to us but his legacy is quite clear to his family and we’ve tried to live up to the standard he set.


Now is a good time to start working on your obituary

Year-ends are a time of remembering events of the year, some good and some bad but each event, even the minutest creates the You that you are today and the legacy you will leave behind at some distant date in the future.

It sets the scene for the person you’re going to become in the future with further refinements as Life events happen, choices are made and experiences experienced.


With end in mind, how would you like to be remembered?

Take time out today to create your own obituary and reflect on who you are, where you are with your life and what you really want to be.

Sounds morbid? Yes.

Is it useful as a tool for goal setting and getting your life balance back? An emphatic Yes!

Find yourself a quiet place and for 15 minutes, visualize that you have led a long and fulfilling life. You are an invisible guest at your own memorial service and your family, close friends, colleagues have gathered to celebrate your life.

People representing the different aspects of your life have been chosen to share their thoughts about you. 5 of them have been allotted 1 minute each to speak about you.

Jot down what you would like to hear them say about you as you are today.







Is it complete? Are you content? Is there more that can be achieved?


Your obituary as a vision tool


Take this a step further and ask yourself, how would you write your own obituary? Do you have a vision for yourself?

When you write your Curriculum Vitae, you put in an Objective at the top.

What is your Objective Statement for your Life?

A few questions you might like to consider while drafting your obituary would include


How fulfilling are your goals?

What roles do you play in your life & how well do you manage them?

Which aspects of your life are important to you? Do you devote sufficient time and attention to them?


Think of the various aspects of your life, for example, family, friends, career, health, finance, spiritual and recreation.

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how important these aspects are to you.

Then look at these aspects and on a scale of 1 to 10, rate where you are with your goals and aspirations for each aspect and the amount of time and effort that you direct towards the aspect.


Do your top most priority aspects get the most attention from you? 


What criterion do you use to define success in your endeavors?


How do you define failure?


What do you do to bounce back and reclaim your mojo?


If you were granted a wish to change your life, what is the one thing you would change?


Can you honestly say that you live a balanced life?



By simply putting your life down in paper, you are one step closer to finding the gaps that prevent you from having a balanced fulfilled life. You can learn more about this process in Life Focus in 7 Days.

Needless to say, this is not a one-time exercise and your answers will change over the years but it is an excellent tool to assist you in keeping on track and yes, living a full life.


Will your obituary inspire others to pursue their dreams?

Tell me more in the comments box below and please do share this post – we never know who needs to read and benefit from this coaching exercise right now.


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Tombstone And Trees by john kovacich

Written by: Vatsala Shukla

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8 Responses to “How Would Your Obituary Read? (Make your true legacy matter)”

  1. Reba Linker says:

    I appreciate the exercise, but all I get is “I’m not ready yet!” I think I may have to tackle this one in 20 years. As my friend Dan Tek puts it, I am only “halfway up the mountain.” May Source grant me the strength and guidance to reach the top!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That’s the normal response when my clients try this exercise, Reba. 🙂 The realization that they want to achieve so much more and an acknowledgement of how far they’ve come. Source will definitely guide you to the top of your Everest.

  2. Bob Crawford says:

    Love this! It is good to get out of the moment and think about the legacy we are leaving behind. Have to share this! Thank you.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You’ve made my day, Bob. It’s human to be present in the moment but to think about the future and how we want to be remembered is the first step towards becoming a legend in our own right. Thanks for sharing the post!

  3. I can certainly relate to your post, Vatsala, about how we need to decide what we need our legacy be. I’ve heard this before in a talk somewhere. The thought that came into my head what I’d want people to remember about me is “She listened and supported me when no one else would.” Thank you for a very sensitive post.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I love your legacy thought, Peggy Lee. If we can make a positive difference to even 1 life that we come into contact with, then it is a life well lived. Thank you for dropping by at The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog and adding to the conversation.

  4. I am definitely going to do this as a blog post. I think I’ll need to think about this one, however.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’d love to read your blog post when you complete the exercise and discover your Mission Legacy, John. When we start looking at how we want others to remember us, we find a higher and better purpose to lead a meaningful life and make that difference than just living in an ordinary day to day world. It’s a good Vision Tool too.

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