Shaz Khan – What’s On Your List?
“I have never read nor have I written a eulogy that expressed how accomplished a person was, or how brilliant of a worker they were.”
What is a successful life? To answer this question we must observe the paradox of our priorities. How we pursue lifestyles built on our resumes, yet as we knowingly approach death we yearn to be remembered by every quality except that resume.
You see, during the course of our lives, we seek success of every tangible sort, but when it comes to looking back on a life once lived, those tangible things, the measuring cups of our entire existence, seem emptier than ever.
I have never read, nor have I written a eulogy that expressed how accomplished a person was, or how brilliant of a worker they were. Even the most celebrated innovators are not eulogized by the impact of their inventions, but by their motives, the bonds they formed, acts of kindness, and what they meant to the people around them.
So if you wonder what a successful life really feels like, all you have to do is close your eyes and think about what you want your eulogy to sound like. What words will be used by loved ones describing and celebrating your legacy when you die? List those words. Internalize this list. Memorize it. Stare at it every day. What you’re staring at is your personal definition of success.
It sounds crazy, but everything else you’re pursuing, everything else you whine and worry about is secondary, and if you’re going to do those secondary things make sure they serve your list. Make sure they increase your capacity to live by those qualities.
Stop chasing things that aren’t on your list, because that list is all you have, and that, my friends, is the only way to live a successful life, with intent, not regret. What’s on your list?