The Funeral Excercise


 Photo by: Peyri Herrera


Most, if not all of you, are familiar with Stephen Covey’s magnum opus “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” If you haven’t read it, stop reading this right now and go order it. You’ll be glad you did.


In his book, Covey describes, “The Funeral Exercise.” If you want to listen, rather than read the exercise, here it is:


I was reminded the other day about this exercise – an exercise I’ve never done. I’ll go public today: Before the end of March, I’ll do it…Will you join me?


It’s the kind of exercise that can literally change your life. One of Covey’s “habits” is


Begin with the end in mind.


That’s what this exercise does…It leads you to   


Plan your funeral…


What would you want friends to say about you? Family? Colleagues? If you spend time thinking about these, even “listening” to what specific people would say – or better yet, what you’d like them to say, what might your life look like going forward? Playing those kinds of tapes can help you lay out what some would call a


Life Plan.


You’ve probably run across people who’ve “sold” or tried to convince you to let them help you with your life plan. Most mean well…But I would set forth the premise that this “simple” exercise can help you answer an important question: However many days/months/years I have left,


How do I want to live the rest of my life?


What sort of trajectory should my life take from here on out?

What will be my legacy?

What habits need to be dropped?

What habits need to be formed?

Who is shaping my life? What are the key relationships I need to dive into, avoid and give myself to?


I will wager this: If you spend time on this exercise over the next month, you won’t regret it.


Furthermore, you won’t live a life of regret.



Do this exercise! You’ll be glad you did!




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