Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog header image 2

Writing One’s Obituary – Today

September 12th, 2011 · 25 Comments

I was talking to a friend recently, and the topic turned to what to do with the rest of one’s life. It was then that I suggested that he should write his obituary and then work backwards from there.

Let me explain. We normally think incrementally forward from where we are – the next few months or the next year, and so on. Another approach that I had once read was to think of what one would like to be remembered by. Imagine if The Economist wrote a 1-page obituary after your death – what would it read like. Or, what you would like it to read like. And then live life to accomplish the things you have written.

I did this a few years ago, and it helped me think of life differently, and got me started on the track to helping bring about change in India.

Try it out. There is little to lose. On the one hand, it could just end up being an intellectual exercise. On the other, it could help give a new meaning and perspective to the rest of your life.

Tags: Uncategorized

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Statspotting // Sep 12, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Never thought about it. Sounds like an amazing way to look at long term vs. short term, much better than the usual “if you were to die today” –

  • 2 abhishek // Sep 12, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I too did this few years ago and found that it changed the way I behave and work on a daily basis. It forced me to think about my actions today and question whether they fit my tomorrow’s profile.

  • 3 harsh roongta // Sep 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Wow. That’s a lovely idea Rajesh….

  • 4 Subba Iyer // Sep 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Not only I wrote my own obituary, I also embarked on a very bizarre experiment. I picked 33 people in my life (from my school friends to my current colleagues) who have known me and asked them to write an obituary for me in 500 words. The respondents were all independent; in that no 2 respondents knew each other. No family member was a respondent.In fact, when I made the request, I had even lost active contact with a few. The results were interesting to say the least.

    Most of them described me with the same descriptors that I would have described myself

    Almost 30 of them highlighted the same qualities that I would probably describe myself honestly. All of them highlighted the values that I cherish most.

    Finally, there was hardly any difference between the obituary that I wrote (which contained how I would like to be remembered in fair amount of detail) and the obituaries that I received.

    It was perhaps the most fulfilling moment of my life and I still keep the documents that I received.

  • 5 Pravesh Biyani // Sep 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm


    While I understand the well meaning motivation behind your idea of writing one’s own obituary, I do have some “philosophical” comments to make. I believe if we base our actions by the legacy that we would like to leave behind, those actions would not reflect the true nature of our soul. I would rather suggest an alternate and interesting exercise. What would you still do even if you receive minimal material fruits , no recognition and certainly no economist obituary after your demise? Those acts/work will be your true “dharma”. Getting motivated by the legacy you leave behind will add noises to what your soul really wants to tell you.

  • 6 Akanksha // Sep 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    It’s really a nice idea… I agree with StatSpotting

  • 7 Bala // Sep 21, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Hello Rajesh,

    I had written to you way back in 2007, before I embarked on a cycling trip thru Southern India. (I live in frankfurt).
    I have this “to do” list before I die… One of the things I would like to achieve is … to get onto an ocean rowing boat and row the Atlantic !!! Use this experience and turn into a speaker (motivation) – alternating between Corporate India and channel some of the funds earned towards sustainable education in the villages. What is coming in my way is a 12,000 pound crew fee for the atlantic row… Regards, Bala.

  • 8 mallikarjuna // Sep 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Thank you,
    Let me too try this out.

    Each passing day, spirit soars high, but body & mind drags it down.

    Hopefully, this exercise will lift it up.

  • 9 UK Essays // May 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    You could see your aptitudes within the masterpieces you type. The planet trusts in additional vigorous writers, as an example, you UN agency are not reluctant to state however they acknowledge. Persistently request when your heart.

  • 10 Assignment on Programming // Jun 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Its amazing way for the post. Thanx for the great ideas keep it up.

  • 11 Mechanical Engineering Assignment Help Expert // Jun 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I loved the way you discuss the topic great work thanks for the share Your informative post.

  • 12 Make My Python Homework // Jun 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Such a nice post, keep up the fantastic work

  • 13 Case Study Solution // Jun 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    This a good way to appreciate the teacher as they put their efforts to train students. UK dissertation Writers appreciates the teachers.

  • 14 Programming Assignment Help // Jul 5, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Students could often find it tough to write their academic tasks. It could lead to they not getting desired grades in the academics. Opting for our Assignment Help online could be ideal for such students and they can get a complete Programming Assignment Help from us.

  • 15 Quality Essay Writing Service // Jul 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Individuals who inscribe their personal obituary are trying to adjust the truth of their life, and not any one will sense good about analysis such an object. When an individual pass away, it’s awake to those who told them to select what thoughtful of individual they were. Writing one’s personal obituary is self-centered, not a show gratitude you to everyone. One can give a show gratitude you by gossip to that individual or writing a note to them, which has a completely changed tenacity than an obituary.

  • 16 Buy Assignment Online UK // Aug 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    People who engrave their own tribute are endeavoring to alter reality of their life, and not anybody will detect great about the examination of such a protest. At the point when an individual pass away, it’s conscious to the individuals who instructed them to choose what attentive of individual they were. Keeping in touch with one’s close to home eulogy is narcissistic, not a show appreciation you to everybody. One can give a show appreciation you by chatter to that individual or compose a note to them, which has a totally changed tirelessness than a tribute.

  • 17 Thesis Help // Aug 30, 2018 at 10:44 am

    The leading assignment help UK firm offers state of the art services to its clients with a promise of delivering all the required work well within the deadline.

  • 18 Master of Business Administration Homework Help // Aug 30, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    I genuinely appreciated understanding it. Sitting tight for some more incredible articles like this from you in the nearing days

  • 19 superfighters // Sep 13, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I am really lucky that I got a chance to read your article. It was great.

  • 20 martin garix // Sep 20, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    nice post and thanks for provide this information

  • 21 best vinyl cutting machine // Oct 4, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing this useful information. Great article.

  • 22 worx wheelbarrow // Oct 15, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Very useful information. Thank you for sharing.

  • 23 Cheap Nursing Dissertation Help UK // Oct 17, 2018 at 12:35 am

    People who engrave their personal tribute are endeavoring to adjust the fact of their life, and not anyone will hit upon brilliant about the exam of such a protest. At the point whilst a character bypass away, it’s conscious to the those who advised them to pick out what attentive of individual they had been. Keeping in touch with one’s close to domestic eulogy is narcissistic, no longer a display appreciation you to all people. One can provide a display appreciation you by means of chatter to that character or compose a observe to them, which has a very modified tirelessness than a tribute.

  • 24 Do My Assignment For Me Cheap // Oct 17, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Obituaries public notices about a loss of life in the newspaper tend to observe a reasonably well-known shape. Although it does not depart a lot of room for originality, the restrictions of the layout can be a blessing for mourning families.

  • 25 Coursework Help // Oct 17, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an informative post with us, it will beneficial for everyone, It is one of the best sites that I have visited. I am looking forward to read more blogs post from here.

Leave a Comment