Visualization Exercise to find your purpose in life

About the exercise

I am still working through “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. The next part of the book that stood out for me was the part where he asks the reader to visualize going to a funeral of a loved one 3 years from now. He guides you through visualizing it in detail, and eventually you discover that it is your furneral that you are visualizing.

Stephen asks you to imagine that 4 people are going to speak at the funeral. The first is a family member, who is going to speak about your family life. The second is a friend who is going to speak about how they saw you as a friend. The third is somebody that will speak about your work ethic, and the fourth is somebody who will speak about your community or church involvement.

At this time he asks you to think about what you would want each person to say about your character, contributions and achievements. Remember, this isn’t for you to think about what they WILL say about you as you are now (although that is also an important exercise that will help you figure out how what you are now is different to how you want to be). This is to dream about the way you want to be remembered, and in so doing, figure out what you value most in life and what your goals in life are.

What I discovered while doing the EXERCISE

This was a very important exercise for me, and it was the main topic of my thoughts for almost a week. Knowing what I wanted to be said about me with regards to family, friends and community was easy, and it only took me an hour or so to really flesh out the details.

When it came to what I want people to say about me regarding work, it was difficult. I knew that there were two characteristics that I wanted people to say. I wanted to be known as honest and trustworthy. The contributions and achievements I had an issue with.

As you can no doubt see from my previous blog posts where I worked through the “48 Days to the Work you love” book. I have been bothered by what work to do for some time. The truth is, that my heart has always known what it wanted to do, but what I wanted to do is no longer socially acceptable. Or at least it feels as though it is no longer socially acceptable.  The option on my heart, definitely wasn’t an option in the “48 Days to the Work you love” book, as in that book the author looks for ways to make money out of the skills you have, whereas the work that is on my heart doesn’t have a monetary reward.

For the first time in my life I had to be honest with myself. I thought “Do I want to be remembered for making that awesome computer game?” The answer was no. “Do I want to be remembered for writing that best selling novel?” Again no. “Do I want to be remembered for influencing the lives of hundreds of children through teaching?” This one was closer, but once again I wasn’t passionate about it.

So the question that came to my mind is what do I really want to be remembered for? What am I passionate about? Where am I when I am the happiest? The strange answer, and this I have known for a long time, is that I am happiest when I am at home and when I am talking to women who are also happiest in their homes.  I am happiest when I am encouraging other homemakers, sharing ideas with them and when I am working in my own home.

Could it be that I was made to be a housewife? This was a startling realization for me, but the moment I admitted it to myself, it made complete sense.

I researched quotes about homemaking, I read other people’s opinion blogs on the topic. I even looked up Bible verses about womanhood.

All my findings will be best left as a blog post for next week. For now I am going to stick to the funeral visualization and my answers. Please remember this isn’t how I am right now, but rather what I am wanting to aspire to be.

My Answers to the Funeral Visualization Exercise

Family

Character
Ashleigh was a loving wife and mother who valued her family’s well-being and happiness second only to her faith and relationship with God. She strived to model the character traits she valued most, and encouraged her children to develop them, following her example.

Contributions
Her home was always open and welcoming to family, friends and strangers. A person couldn’t visit without feeling as though they had found a second home in her house. She was the glue that held the family and friends together, making them feel as though they were one.

Achievements
She was a talented cook, and a perfect homemaker. She was filled with wisdom and managed her home finances devotedly. Her family never lacked any need.

Friends

Character
Ashleigh was an honest and trustworthy friend. She was always there to help and support those who needed her to. She was filled with knowledge & wisdom, and she was always reading to expand her knowledge.

Contributions
She was reliable and would always come through for others. Whether it was icing cupcakes or babysitting her friends children so they could have a quiet evening at home. She was always there for her friends.

Achievements
Her home may not have been the picture of beauty shown in magazines, but it was humbly welcoming and an easy-going household.

Church/Community

Character
Ashleigh had outstanding wisom and her faith in God and his provision was unequalled. She put God first in her life and went to Him & His word for guidance first.

Contributions
She was always present at any occassion in her church community and never failed to help where she could.

Achievements
Even though Ashleigh never organized any functions herself, she supported other people’s endeavours whole-heartidly.

Work

This was the difficult one that I wrote a few days later. I had spent a long time thinking about this one and working through a few things, which will be described in detail during my next blog post.

Character
Ashleigh was a diligent worker. She was always willing to serve others. She was trustworthy and honest.

Contributions
As her husbands helpmeet in his work, no-one could have been better. When she wasn’t helping Mark, she was working in her home, raising and teaching her children with special care.

Achievements
Her home was always clean and well organized. She was proactive and never failed to put first things first. She did any task set before her efficiently and effectively.

Conclusion

This is all I have for this week. I strongly encourage you to try this exercise, especially if you have that empty hole inside of you that you just can’t seem to find something to fill it with.

That was my problem, I had Jesus in my life, but I still felt like I was constantly searching for meaning. I’ve noticed that the hole inside happens whenever you have an unfulfilled purpose, that you are not acknowledging to yourself or openly.  I’m not sure if the meaning has finally been found, but that hole inside is definitely smaller.

Also remember, that your visualization can have results that are greatly different to mine.  Everybody has been created unique.  This is about YOU, not impressing others.  I constantly had to fight the thought of what is the right answer, the socially acceptable answer, and remind myself that the right answer for society is not necessarily the right answer for me.  Always ask yourself, “Is this what I want? Or is this what I feel is the right thing to want?”

Previous posts building up to this one

Developing Character Traits To Succeed in Life

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