There’s a common question that people pose to each other when they want to know your goals in life.
It’s “what would you want on your tombstone?”
It’s basically getting at how you want to be remembered, but I don’t think it’s a good question.
At the end of the day, you can write whatever you want on your tombstone and people are going to form their own opinions.
A better question in my mind is “what do you want your thoughts to be on your death bed?”
This is an important question for me that brings up thoughts of my father. I never knew the guy. I’ve never even seen a picture of him.
I do know that he died in a halfway house in 1997. When I think of him, I wonder what his thoughts were like in his final moments.
Did he regret having a son he barely ever saw and a daughter he never met? Did he regret the relationships he threw away?
I’ll never know for certain, but I know it’s a strong possibility. And as my father, he left me with one lesson as his son: to live this life in a way that I won’t have the same regrets he did.
Life isn’t easy. It’s fraught with difficulties, challenges, tragedies and hardships. The key is to understand that it’s not those hard times that define you. It’s how you respond to them.
I’ve been meditating for a few years now and I’ve had a lot of difficulty with it as far as clearing my mind effectively.
But one meditation practice that’s helped me recently is to meditate on my death every day.
I close my eyes and I contemplate what it will look like. Not the cause, but the details.
Who will be there with me? What will I have done with my life up to that point?
But above all, what will I regret?
It forces me to go into each day with a sense of purpose and to move forward even if I’m having a bad day.
It’s heavy, but it helps, and I hope it helps you.