I have been reading What’s Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidence and Clarity by Michael Sparough, (our own) Jim Manney and Tim Hipskind. I was taken with this anecdote about:
…Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor who endowed the Nobel Prizes. Nobel invented dynamite and made a fortune from manufacturing weapons. In 1888, a French newspaper mistakenly published a premature obituary of Nobel which condemned him and stated that “the merchant of death is dead.” This caused Nobel to take stock of his life. He resolved to leave a better legacy. When he died in 1896, he left most of his fortune to endow the prizes that bear his name.
How would I react if someone published a “premature obituary” of me? I think I’d probably regret that I didn’t live as fully or urgently as I would have liked. (I always come back to Mary Oliver’s “Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”)
Is there anything in your imaginary obituary that, for weal or woe, might give you pause?