Should you live for your résumé... or your eulogy? - David Brooks
This point is made most eloquently by the author, which you can hear by
this link to go to his short
Ted Talk video.
Thanks very much to a reader of the Universal Ethics site who contributed this thought. Below are my own comments that summarize the main ideas. - Editor, Universal Ethics.
Some people derive their sense of self-worth from what they have accomplished. It is as if the person thinks of themselves as their profession, and their accomplishments are the items on their résumé.
However, is that what is really most important to you? When your family or friends think of you, is it your profession and your job skills that they think of? If you think forward to the end of your life, is it a job, or a career promotion, or a work project, that people who are most important to you will remember you for? Or will your eulogy talk about the kind of person who you were?
What a person accomplishes depends on their opportunities as well as the decisions they make. But regardless of your opportunities, if you are a good person you will consistently choose the best of the options that are available to you. It is being a good person that you have full control over. It is your character.
Nobody wants to rush to the end of their life to discover what eulogy might be said of them. But maybe it's worth thinking about what you are doing with your life right now, and how important that is to you and to those whom you care about.
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