Thursday, 3 June 2010

How far will your burger fly?

During my training with Richard Bandler, the co-creator of NLP, Richard told us the following story.

“A man in New York bought a burger from a street seller and was crossing the road eating it when a car knocked him down and killed him. His burger flew out of his hand at the moment of impact and landed about 30 yards further down the sidewalk. The next day, the newspaper article was all about how far his burger flew.”

Not about his life, his achievements, his contribution to society. About how his burger flew 30 yards!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I would hope that people would have something a bit more interesting to say about me when I’m gone.

Writing about this today reminds me of a workshop I attended last year with an amazing public speaker and corporate trainer called Richard Jacobs.

Richard has written a book called “What’s Your Purpose?”, and his workshop was designed to work through seven questions which lead to understanding your purpose in this lifetime.

One of the questions we worked through was “If there was one word that describes how you would most like to be remembered, and which would be etched on your tombstone forever more, what would that word be?

So, if you are interested, here is how you work it out.

You choose 7 words that best describe how you would like to be remembered and then you group together the words that instinctively go together. In my case I chose:

Gracious and caring

Inspirational, passionate and determined

Joyful and fun

You then choose one word to represent each group:




The next step is to merge your 3 words to get one that says ‘Yes’ to you. Trust your instincts and ignore any cynicism or internal criticism you may encounter.

After a long deliberation trying out various words, I word I chose for myself was “Teacher”. I first thought of ‘Leader’, but ‘Teacher’ just somehow felt right.

Because in my role as a hypnotherapist and seminar speaker, I am teaching people all the time. Teaching them to listen to their inner voice, teaching them that they already have all the answers, and teaching them techniques to draw those answers out.

You test your word out by running it through your head. Ask yourself ‘How happy would I be if this were etched on my tombstone after my death?’ If the answer is 9 or 10 out of 10 this question is complete. If not, keep trying other words until you find a 9 or a 10.

Test it again.

‘Here lies (your name), “Teacher”. Rest In Peace’.

Once you have your final word, write it down in a little RIP tombstone sketch.

Remember that this process is about determining your values and aspirations. By choosing a word, you are not saying “This is the way I am all of the time, or even most of the time”. You are simply saying “This word stands for something which is important to me. I would love this word to be a constant theme in my life.”

I have a line I would like to add to it. Over my life so far I have had different jobs, been to many exciting places, met many wonderful people and had some truly incredible experiences. I hope to continue with more of the same, and so I would like to add to my epitaph the following phrase:-

A Life Well Lived!

Now THAT feels GOOD!


Sharon McPherson said...

'A life well lived' ... and there is more of the same on it's way I'm sure. :)

Inspirational post. Ok, here are my seven words:

Bright, curious, animated, delightful, risk-taker, animal lover, mercurial.

And to sum me up, the word for my tombstone : free-spirited.

For the future though, I want to aim to be around people with hope, faith and to believe that there is goodness in the world ... steer clear of people who can only think of flying burgers. :)

Susan Long said...

Sharon, I can't think of a better word to describe you x