05/17/2012 04:46 pm ET Updated Jul 17, 2012


It may seem a little scary, or even a little bit creepy, but this tip on how to live is to think about how you'll be remembered when you die. Whether you're 25 or 95, this exercise will help you create a life and business strategy that will make a difference in your life and that of others you interact with personally and professionally.

Write your eulogy. Imagine yourself at your own funeral and being the person asked to deliver the eulogy; the summation of a person's life intended to honor and acknowledge their life's events, accomplishments and contributions. Take a few moments now and write the eulogy, only don't worry about having a good opening joke.

Now, if you can handle a part two of this: Write your eulogy as if you were some family member or co-worker with whom you are usually at odds. What would they say, assuming that they were going to be honest, about how you showed up for them and the impact you had on those around you?

Part three would be to compare the two eulogies in order to find the "real you." You see we all show up differently in our many roles, son/daughter, student, worker, boss, owner, parent, grandparent, etc., but if we were to compare notes with everyone in our lives, or better yet get them all in the same room at the same time, as at a funeral, would they all be talking about the same person?

Do you show up differently in the many situations of your life? Not just the accepted role change, as in you can't be the boss at a kids' basketball game (unless you're the coach), but do you show up as your authentic self, the identity you've chosen to carry you in this life? Or do you withhold in certain circumstances because you don't care -- who'll know me?

Whether you are a family business owner or work in someone else's business, you are starting where someone else left off. You have the opportunity to take this advantage, or disadvantage, and make anything you want of it. You have the opportunity now to take the best eulogy you can imagine and add the components to your daily life, your purpose and your vision, that will make for a fulfilling and meaningful life.

You know we will ALL die and hopefully have some sort of ceremony where loved ones and others get to say goodbye to us. But that inevitable death can make a big difference in the way we live our life today.

Look around, is what you're doing today going to affect how you'll be remembered tomorrow?

Lots of work to do -- get started.

For more by James M. Lynch, click here.

For more on death and dying, click here.