Beginning with the end in mind is a good habit that helps with choosing what’s important to us, but the “funeral visualization” exercise described in Seven Habits is pretty terrible. It takes our ultimate goal in life and describes it exclusively in the realm of “what will others think of us?”

Perhaps a better way of going about figuring out what to do with life is to turn the perspective around a bit. Ask instead: after I die, how did I make the people and things I influence better? How did I help them become happier? How did I help them realize their own goals?

Even this perspective isn’t quite enough for something as broad as your whole life. It is a journey after all, and living a good life is more than just heading in the right direction. But please, don’t start by trying to guess what others will think and say of you!

 

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