Write your own obituary. No, it’s not too early.

No matter your age, it can be a focusing and illuminating activity to try to write your own obituary.  It gives you perspective and can help you understand what’s truly important to you.


Sample instructions: Write your own 600-word obituary in the style of your favorite newspaper.

In a recent interview in the New York Times Magazine, a guy named Jonathan Butler explained that he started Brooklyn Flea, one of the most popular markets in the area, because while: ““I am ambitious about making a lot of money, but none of that stuff passed the obituary test. I didn’t want it to read that I had been a vice president of Merrill Lynch for 40 years.”

To help figure out what to do with your life, work back from your death.

Build your career on the kind of life you want to have built. Don’t build your life around the kind of career you want to get.


  •        500-700 words long

  •        Your full name and nickname included in the first sentence

  •        Your time and place of death in the first paragraph

  •        Life (Ex:: date/place of birth, parents and sibling names, education, marriage, awards, employment  hobbies, achievements, disappointments, any unusual characteristics)

  •    Family (Ex: survived by, predeceased by)

  •          Include specific details

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10 thoughts on “Write your own obituary. No, it’s not too early.

  1. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Cheers!|

  2. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was
    a hermit crab inside and it pinched her
    ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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