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Resume or Epitaph

posted Feb 19, 2017, 7:00 AM by Heather Harrison   [ updated Feb 19, 2017, 7:10 AM ]

A few months ago, I was walking with my family through the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. We decided to wander into Lake View Cemetery to see if we could locate Bruce Lee’s gravesite.  Having no idea where it was, I found myself getting lost in the inscriptions on the various headstones.  We wandered through gravestones from the 1800’s, when what is now known as Underground Seattle, was the center of the city.  There were grave sites of recently lost family members as well.  Newborn babies to centenarians.  As I read the epitaph descriptions I noticed time and time again, words of love, presence, caring, kindness, faithfulness, and generosity were used in loving remembrance of lost family members.

In my roles as a leadership consultant and counselor I’m frequently in conversation with people about their careers, what success looks like and how to best craft their resumes.  We work together diligently to create a picture of success.  Descriptions include controlled, coordinated, executed, driven, effective leader, planned, produced, assertive communicator, strategic etc.

As I headed out of the cemetery, it made me stop and wonder to what extent I am living my life working towards accomplishments I can list on my resume or messages I would like to see engraved on my headstone. How often am I working day in and day out on creating words that look great on my resume instead of building a life worth writing about and remembering on my tombstone?

Questions

How do you want people to describe you at the end of your life?

What words would you use to describe yourself today?

How do others describe you?

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