June 27, 2021

How Writing our Obituary can help us Find our Purpose.

Sometimes in life we stand at a crossroads, presented with two signs.

One points us in a new direction—with no title other than “New Chapter.” And the other, a sign that we recognise, and that feels familiar to us, states “The Same.”

As we stand at the crossroads and look from left, “The Same,” to right, “New Chapter,” we play out all the scenarios in our minds.

The endless possibilities become a broken record on repeat. The noise gets deafening. Most people take a deep breath and turn left toward “The Same”—they at least know what the same feels like and how it will likely play out. It feels safe.

Sometimes we realise we don’t want the same. The same is no longer enough. It feels predictable and a bit flat—like the feeling you get when you start watching a movie you don’t think you’ve seen before, then realise halfway through that you have watched it, it just wasn’t memorable.

There is a moment when a whisper starts to rise above the noise as you stand at the crossroads and you start to clearly hear the whisper. As you pay attention to it and quieten the noise, you start to wake up to a new possibility. One that slowly ignites a burning desire deep inside. This desire has always been there but in the past you have not noticed it, or have chosen to ignore it, as you settled for “The Same.”

The only way to really hear the whisper is to slow down and be still. Be present and sit with the future the whisper is sharing. Then start to feel it, see it, and experience it. Consider what your future life could be and who you could become.

The noise won’t just switch off. It is your inner critic, your ego, your fear. It doesn’t understand the future and why you want to walk toward the sign that says “New Chapter.” You will hear the voice of failure and judgement echo loud, but the whisper will bring hope, opportunity, and stories of success. It will take you to a new horizon, a place you don’t know, but you are on a path that feels like it has been carved out for you.

Sometimes, to really believe what the whisper is telling you is possible and isn’t a far flung dream, a wild, reckless, half thought-out plan, you need to look for the signs. Then, become a collector of them, as you wake up to what could be.

The noise and whisper will each grow strong. You will turn to head toward the “New Chapter,” then turn again as you feel the pull back toward “The Same.” The feelings that come with this awakening, leap of faith, or bold attempt to turn against the norm will be so intense it will feel as though you are in a storm with no clear way out.

You may ask yourself: “Do people really turn their back on the same—a predictable life—for the lure of possibility?”

The land of possibility could end in failure, regret, judgment, and conflict. But it could also be amazing, awe-inspiring, and invigorating. You know deep down that it will be okay, life always has a way of working itself out and rewarding you for trusting the process.

There will be a moment where you know a decision is about to be made. Every thought, possibility, and countless collection of scenarios will swirl in front of you. The intensity of the decision, where you are facing the eye of the storm, will mellow as you surrender to the decision.

Some will sleep on it and when they wake they will know the answer to the question: left toward “The Same,” or right toward “New Chapter.”

Many will be controlled by the noise and slowly walk toward “The Same.”

The bold and courageous few, who silenced the noise and allowed the whisper to guide them, will walk toward the “New Chapter.”

Why do the few choose this new path in life? The “New Chapter” will allow them to explore their passion and bring to life a dream, or at least attempt to achieve a life that is aligned to their purpose. The reason they were put onto this planet.

One way to discover the reason you were put on this planet is to consider your death. I know—deep.

An obituary is a celebration of your life, a way of illuminating your accomplishments to be shared with those affected when you leave.

How would you want to summarise and condense your life into a few hundred words to pass on your legacy? Try it.

What are the life achievements you would put to paper and what would you share with those you leave behind?

If you can look at those words and smile as you realise you are living a life you are proud of, then you know you are on the correct path.

As you contemplate your legacy, ask what one piece of advice you would share with someone starting out in the world on their life journey, even to a ten-year-old version of you. If you hear your own advice and feel goosebumps as you realise you need to hear it, then you know you may not be on the correct path.

What advice would I give to anyone based on my life so far? Be curious and quieten your mind so you start to hear the whisper.

I recently heard the whisper, and I am excited as I head toward my new chapter.


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Jacquelyn Armour  |  Contribution: 7,135

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