Have you ever been invited to ponder what your tombstone will say, or what people will say about you after you die? The question is intended to get you to make changes in your life now to impact what people say later.
My version of those questions is: How do you define yourself today as to who you already are or who you want to be? Maybe it’s not so much who you are as what qualities you have that make you who you are or want to be that I’m inviting you to think about.
The beauty of determining what words describe your ideal you is that you continue, or start, living into them. Consistently. Those words act like your North Star and guide you to think and act according to your own ideals. That means you live daily in ways that reflect your aspirations for your life. Goals and dreams are reached daily as you take steps daily toward them.
Your words are more than definitions of what you want to accomplish. They are definitions of who you are, what your character is. Maybe you want to be a better listener, more compassionate, or gentler. Maybe you want to When you acknowledge the word that defines more of how you’d like to be it helps you change the mindset you possess to encompass more of that character.
How do you grow into those words? Remind yourself of those words throughout each day. There are lots of techniques to help with those reminders. Low-tech approaches could include taping an index card or placing a sticky note in places you look regularly. A high-tech approach could include creating electronic alarms that go off during the day. I find that if you see the words constantly, they become invisible, so you want to see them occasionally during the day — every day.
Don’t just see the words, either. Think about the words. Savor the words. Repeat the words. Become the words. That’s the way they become part of your fiber and soul. That’s how you become them.
As you grow into the words, you may find that the words change. You have changed, so your aspirations might change, too. And the cycle continues. You modify the reminders you have for yourself to display the new collection of words and then start living those words. Becoming those words helps your growth and self-actualization.
How many words do you want or need? There’s no magic number. One word might be sufficient for you. Ten is a comfortable maximum for anyone. The important thing is that these words are important to you, and the results of living those words is important to you. Five words are probably enough for you, at least for starters. Small growth steps often mean more success and better results.
Why wait until you are dead to have people talk about your qualities. Actively living your words will impact people who take notice and appreciate your qualities with you. Determine your words and change your world and the world around you.