By Somali K Chakrabarti
The year is 2060. Occasion is your funeral. Your friend is preparing an eulogy for you. What would you want him/ her to say?
As odd or morbid as the question may sound, you’ll be surprised to know that this is one of the assignments given in the Leadership program at the London Business School.
Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards. [Tweet this]
Life is a finite resource
First, it served as a strong reminder that our life has an expiry date, post which we live through the memory of our family and friends.
Image we want to cultivate vis a vis Life we want to live
The second question that cropped up was ‘how feasible is it to live the way that I want people to perceive me.’
This was the more difficult question to answer objectively.
- how you want people to perceive you as, and what you want them to remember you for.
- how you would really want to live your life.
- what is practically feasible.
How you would want people to perceive you could be different than how you would want to live your life.
For instance, to be perceived as a good parent, a supportive spouse, a dutiful son /daughter one must live up to the expectations and meet the demands of the family. Where the demands of your family are different from what you wish to do in life, you have to find the balance between remaining true to yourself and living the life that is expected of you. The added constraints of time and resources require that you divide your efforts between meeting expectations and fulfilling your own wishes.
If the gap is wide, the dilemma increases further.
A stingy or manipulative person, who wishes to be remembered as a warm and large hearted person, will have a tough time playing the role. Likewise, it will not be practically feasible for a person with limited means to be perceived as one living in abundance for a long time.
The idea of the exercise is to develop clarity on the perception that you want to create and the life you want to lead, with the objective of figuring out practical ways to bridge the gap between the two.
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