What Would I Like To Have Written on My Tombstone? (It's A Valuable Question!)

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Take a moment and think this through, it can change everything.

Rather than a morbid exercise, reflecting on how we would like to be remembered can be a valuable key to creating more fulfillment in our lives. 

All too often we can get caught up in the ‘busy-ness’ of our lives. This is frequently driven by the desire to meet expectations that are held for us by family, colleagues, friends, and the world at large rather than what really matters to us. For many of us today it is our career focus that is all consuming, leaving little time ‘to smell the roses’ let alone nourish our need for love.

I recall Jasmine, an attractive woman in her early 50s, who attended one of my seminars about creating balance in our life. Given that her high IQ had been evident from childhood, it was assumed she would follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a specialist surgeon… and she did. While there were benefits she enjoyed from her career, Jasmine had never shared life with a partner nor had a child, something she now sadly rued.

A year before contacting me, Jasmine had taken a long service leave to think about what she really wanted in her life. This time-out also gave her the opportunity to explore a number of activities including joining an art class. To her surprise, she’d discovered she delighted in expressing her creativity… and decided to only work part-time so she could explore her potential to become an artist.

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During the seminar when considering what she would like to have writ on her tombstone, Jasmine said that it would simply be that ‘she loved and was loved.' 

However, while this was not limited to sharing life with a partner, she acknowledged that she now hoped to achieve a committed relationship with a man, preferably one who had children of his own, and experience the joys of giving and receiving love.

John, who I knew to be a successful businessman in his mid-40s, said he would like to speak next. He had obviously been moved by what Jasmine had shared with the group. 

In a reflective tone, he said that he also had found it difficult to come up with anything he'd like to have written as his legacy. Turning to face Jasmine, he added that he wanted to thank her — not only had her simple statement really touched him, but it also had given him much food for thought. He now realized that for many years his focus on achieving in his career had all too often taken precedence when what really mattered most to him were his wife and their two teenage sons.

While he was not yet sure what words would be written on his tombstone, John was determined that he would now prioritize enjoying more mutually rewarding quality time with his family while they were still together.

Taking time out to think about what really matters to us, and how we would like to be remembered, can help us to make conscious choices that enhance our lives and our relationships.

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Yvonne Allen is an author, public speaker and international relationship expert, who is also a well-known media consultant. Visit Yvonne's website, www.YvonneAllenRelationshipMentor.com, or discover her eBooks on Amazon — including, Love Today: What's Gender Got to Do with It, Working Women: Having it All, Winning with Women, and others — if you'd like to know more about finding your ideal relationship and reach your goals for love!

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