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GUEST POST: The Encouraging Mentor #3 The "Being-Remembered" Conversation


How do you want to be remembered?

This is a rephrase of the classic Steven Covey question from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is one of the most powerful questions one can ever ponder. In this blog series, I’m attempting to both challenge your thinking, but also encourage your progress. You may consider the question prompt in this post alone, or in conversation with a friend or mentor.

Let’s begin. Look at the question below. Spend some time with it. It is a definite brain engager because we are often too busy to pause and reflect in this way. So for most, the question will linger for a while.

What do you want people to say about you when you’re gone from this earth? (That is, how do you want to be remembered?)

Jot down a few phrases or ideas.

Let these ideas ruminate a bit. If able, go outside or take a walk or roll. Be curious about what you’ve written. Consider questions that might come to mind, including, “What else?” You may even let your responses sit for a week. But then, go deeper. Think about how to boil it down to the basics:

Look at your responses above. Are there some items you could group together or summarize? Jot down a couple of summary ideas.

Challenge: Can you boil your main ideas down to one or two words?

  ______________          _________________

The phrases or words above can become an energizing force for you. i.e., If you think about how you want to be remembered each day, you can lean into doing things that are more important, and say “no” to items that don’t have as much meaning. Certainly, we all have tasks (at work or home) that are not aligned with our personal mission or our internal driving “why”... but when we focus on the big picture of making an impact, even unpleasant tasks can be accomplished with greater ease.

Please note: Some who undertake this reflection may feel some stress because their job or life makes it very difficult to take action that can help move them toward their vision. That’s legitimate. If you’re in that spot, one approach is to think of just one thing you can do this week and try it. For example, if one of your words is “grateful” you could plan to share some bit of gratitude with two people this week. e.g., “I’m so grateful for your work as a check-out person. I don’t like self-check-out. So thank you!”

This activity is closely related to the Personal Mission challenge. You may look that one up or download it from the website. Compare your responses. Chat with a mentor or good friend about this reflection. I believe it can be an empowering and energizing activity for you.

Dr. Brian Raison

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