Graham🐝 Edwards

1 year ago · 2 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Graham🐝 blog
The words that have defined me after my death...

The words that have defined me after my death...

It’s one of those books that is dense with information — not hard to comprehend but contains so much that every page has you thinking, has you marking up the margins and folding corners to the point that each page looks the same. I can see why it’s on every list of books that business leaders must read; I had seen it many times myself but only just picked it up a while back —I can’t help but wonder if this is one of those books that finds you. I was halfway into the book when I figuratively crashed into three sentences that had me re-reading the words, highlighting them with even more stars, and setting them to memory.

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what is left and live it properly.”

As I look back on my life I feel no regret, and although many things could have been done differently, I have to say everything worked out quite nicely. I will miss myself but like everyone else I will move on — I still have things to do after all.

A couple of days after my timely death I shared my experience and the profound impact of the quote with a confidant. After much enthusiasm on my part, I ended the conversation with, “I’m not sure what live it properly means” — the words just hung there. It did force the realization that a comparison was needed between this new life and one before I died. If I wasn’t going to move forward doing things differently (or properly) why did I go through the hassle of being dead in the first place? A reasonable question in my mind and one I suspect the author intended when he wrote it.

It’s a bold endeavour to set down on paper how to live a life properly but with the time I have left I’m embracing the opportunity to do just that — this is what I have come up with:

Approach everything with a critical eye for understanding Understanding determines action; the better you understand a situation the better your decisions will be. Good critical understanding forces different points of view, inclusion of different voices and different ways of thinking (The author discusses this a lot, and it’s one of the reasons many circles classify it as a business book).

Attempt to control only yourself — The only thing you have any control over is how you react to the world; believing you can control anything else is an illusion. Control yourself with courage and face everything that comes your way with integrity, determination and kindness. Leave everything else to the logic of the universe.

Simple is better than complex — For no other reason than simple is less exhausting, and unlike many things that are over engineered, simple doesn’t break down as much.

Strive to be extremely healthy — I’m talking physically health here (I believe the above with look after mind and soul). Exercise much more, sit much less, move much more, eat much less and wander into nature much more. This is how you “take what is left” and get the most out of it — for as long as possible.

Do what you enjoy — maybe worth re-evaluating once in a while.

I think this defines a life lived properly quite nicely and will be a big help as I make my way for the second time.


PS — Sure I could have mentioned the book and the author but as I say, I think this is a book that finds you. Plus there is always the internet.

PPS — Boop if you happen to read this, send me an address and a copy will find you.



Jerry Fletcher

1 year ago #1

Graham, Things do find us I agree. I just got certified in something called the Why.os If you are familiar with Simon Sinek's Ted Talk or his book you'll know what I'm talking about. The thing is it helps you know and understand your Why, How and What and is so doing gives you some insight into what living properly is for you. The website is the Why Institute. Live long and prosper. And so it goes.

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