Death and Significance: Part 1
by Jack Beauregard, author, founder, CEO of Successful Transition Planning Institute (STPI)
One time my wife and I brought one of our granddaughters to the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay football game for her fourteenth birthday. We had to wait, however, until my daughter and family returned from a funeral service in Connecticut. The next day, I learned from the person who cuts my hair, that the owner of the salon, with whom he worked for thirty-two years, had died the previous Sunday. This opened up a discussion on cancer and dying. On Sunday, I put on the International History Channel on cable TV and watched the last five minutes of a program entitled The Universe which described how the universe was going to die by running out of energy and heat, and dissipating into a cold void. Everywhere I looked, I saw or heard about Baby Boomers dying.
Transforming Death with Significance – When you die a death of insignificance, all the potential ways that you could have expressed your goodness, all the positive influence you could have exercised, all the wisdom you could have shared, all the compassionate, kind acts you could have performed die with you. Significance fills your life with meaning now as well as long after you have died. A significant life is an empowered life which transforms the meaninglessness of death and enables you to transform the lives of others.
Creativity – Creation is the opposite of destruction. A significant life lives beyond death through the contributions to the world made by the creative acts that you do. Connecting with, and expressing, the creative force of the cosmos in your life offsets the destructive fear of death. The creative act of having children and the passing on of your genes to their children is another way you live on after you have died. The more creative acts that you perform, and the more wisdom that you share, the more your life will be remembered. The times when you came up with a new idea, were resourceful and imaginative, the times you have been inventive and inspiring, the times you have thought “outside of the box” were the times when you were creative.
Authentic Talents and Gifts – Many people are so afraid of dying it does not allow them to live, which causes their gifts and talents to be unrealized and to die with them. Significance transcends this fear by insuring that the fruits of your talents and gifts are used for the betterment of the lives of others. You can experience a death of significance by:
Realizing how valuable and rare you really are
- Utilizing your authentic talents, skills and capabilities
- Expressing your distinctive individuality, your uniqueness, your originality
- Living your vision
- Accomplishing your life’s mission and purpose
- Doing what you are passionate about
- Singing the song that is inside of you
- Bequeathing money and other valuables
The more you appreciate yourself for who you are right now, the more you actualize your personal potential, experience freedom by letting go of old limitations, and have the courage to break out of your comfort zone, the more significance you and others will experience. There is a cross pollination process that occurs with significance: the more you allow significance to bloom in your life, the more you help significance to flower in the lives of other people.
Experience R.I.P. – Living a significant life allows you to die with contentment and peace of mind. What is important is being surrounded by significant people in your life who love you and who are there for you. Knowing that you have touched the lives of others helps you die with significance. Living a significant life allows the important part of you to transcend death and ask with a confident smile: “Death, where is your sting?”
Significant Action: Write a Wisdom Life Document – Leaving a legacy of your wisdom counterbalances the fear of oblivion by death. Obituaries state whom was left behind in the family, what was done by the person when alive, where they lived, etc. Most of us don’t know much about our ancestors. Why? Because the stories of their lives were not written down and passed on.
Lessons and Teachings of The Life …. A Wisdom Life Document tells the story of your life in your own words. Your life story continues on after you die and becomes part of your family story. The wisdom document passes on the lessons that you learned, the wisdom you gathered over the years, what you learned from failure, and what contributed to your success.
What is important about you?
How has your life helped other people?
Are you over 50? Are you seeking significance, meaning and purpose? You can learn to avoid an insignificant death (and a lot more) by checking out the How Ready Are You? Assessment™. Click below to learn more: