Who do you want to be?

Below is an excellent exercise for determining who you want to be.  When we think about who we want to be and where we want to go in life, we can get stuck.  The exercise below will help you to look at yourself from a different perspective and will shed light on areas that are still in the “shadows”.  Take your time with it, several days if need be, and it will give you a good road map for pursuing who you want to be.  Determine the issues that stand in your way.  Make it your goal to change them or eliminate them one at a time.   Now this exercise did not originate with me.  I read it in a book and it stuck with me, if I can find its reference, I will add it to this page.   Here is the exercise:

Write your own obituary.   It should not be a representation or your current life, but a representation of what you wish your life to be.  Here is a short example.

John Doe dies at the age of 93.  He was loved by family and friends.  He was dedicated to helping people find ways to live better lives.  He was known to exercise till the day he died.  He loved his family and he loved adventure.  He did good when he could and was charitable. He was a devoted family man who doted on his wife, children and grand children…….. 

Second, write down what 3 different  people would say at your eulogy.  Those people are;  a family member, a friend  and a co-worker.  Here is a short example:

Family member – he was an excellent father.  He taught me how to be a good human being.  He developed in me strategies for living this life to the fullest.  He was always there for me.  He sacrificed for me without complaint.  He was a hero of mine, someone I could look up to.

Friend – he was someone who genuinely cared about me and my problems.  He was the first one to help me through the bad times and he was the first one to celebrate with me during the good times.  His word was his bond and he did what he said he would do.  He always had my back and I could always count on him.

Co-worker – he was dedicated to doing his job to the best of his ability. He took his responsibilities seriously and was someone you could count on to get the job done.  His positive “I can” attitude was infectious. He did not take part in the office gossip and always gave co-workers the benefit of the doubt. He would pitch in and help with things that were not part of his job description.  He offered great advice about how to handle problems within in the office.  He led by example.

The beauty of this exercise is that is crystallizes how you want to treat your family, friends, and co-workers. You may not be some of these things now, maybe not any of them, but you can be if you want to.  Make the life you wrote about your goal. Read it often to see how you are progressing and to keep you on track. There are many resources on this site, on the web, in books, and podcasts to help you accomplish living a fulfilled life.  Dedicate yourself to it and you will be amazed at the changes you can make if you can just stay disciplined.


  1. Hi,
    Your article about perseverance says it all. I, like you, never give up…knowing that it may take me longer than others, and accept myself for who I am. Also reread yr post on “why does life hurt so much”…it does for some and not for others, I now understand that this is how I’m wired and am learning better ways on how to cope with the intensity of my feelings.
    Rereading about the lives of those children and teachers in CT. brought back an uncontrollable flood of emotions, and can’t even fathom the pain of those involved. Today, I count my blessings that I am healthy and alive, in addition to my cat, Lily, who craves my attention as I type. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts, and as difficult as our emotions can be, how lucky we are to feel. best wishes, Leslie

    • Hi Leslie,

      Thank you for the kind words. Things come hard to me because of my intense emotions. I too have had to accept they are what makes me me. I to have to learn to work with them. I still struggle everyday. But if we learn to control our thoughts, we can win that fight. Unlike others, I know we can change our lives. Also, unlike others, I know that it is a daily struggle. But, as you say, we should be happy that we are alive and can make that fight.

      Take care,


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