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What Words on My Tombstone?

by Miki Saxon

What do you think about when you take stock of your life? What do you strive for? What makes you feel successful?

But first…

What I’m about to write is NOT a judgment call—having been brought up in a judgmental family I don’t judge. Sure, I have opinions, we all do, but I don’t judge. The most I can say is “X doesn’t work for me, but Y does.”

Granted, I might recommend Y; I might even argue passionately regarding the merits of Y, but in the end it’s your decision and you need to tweak/modify/change Y to fit your MAPif you decide you have any interest in it at all—because Y is a product of my MAP and no two MAPs are identical.

Back to taking stock.

Someone once said to me,

“I still have more than half my life left to live… Still, with each birthday I feel the anxiety of wondering if I am living up to my potential. … Often, I can’t wake up from my daydreams of a disciplined and directed life long enough to make that life happen. … I have learned from experience that I need both [self awareness and willingness to change] if I want to be successful in life and leadership.”

I found it sad because the focus seemed to be so personally judgmental and the person set such store on an intangible like ‘leadership’—which, to have any real meaning, needs to be bestowed and substantiated by others.

But that is just me.

I’m substantially older than most of you and have bounced and blundered through life opening doors as the mood moved me.

I’ve made and lost money as well as friends as our lives diverged.

I once read that success is found in what you do for others, but I believe it’s also in what you don’t do and based on both I am enormously successful.

I’ve given a helping hand to hundreds, thus facilitating their ultimate success.

More importantly, I work hard at not hurting anyone by word or deed, advertently or inadvertently.

I doubt that I’m always successful, but I do try like hell.

I do not lie, cheat or steal.

If I were to have a tombstone (which I won’t, since I’m being cremated and scattered) it would look like this.  


Image credit: JJ Chandler

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