#212 Eulogy Virtues

How to Chisel on Your Road to Character

In our last +1, we talked about the fact that the word character comes from the Greek word for “chisel.”

David Brooks wrote a book all about how to use that chisel to craft our character. It’s called The Road to Character.

One of the key ideas?

David tells us that our society is obsessed with what he calls “résumé virtues.” The stuff that leads to letters after your name, the title on your LinkedIn profile, etc.

Résumé virtues are important. But, they are far from everything.

David tells us we need to focus more on “eulogy virtues”—the stuff that, ultimately, REALLY matters.

Here’s an exercise to get some clarity on your eulogy virtues. It’s inspired by Stephen Covey, another extraordinary teacher who taught us the value of character.

You walk into a funeral. There’s a casket in the front of the room. You cruise up to see who’s in it. You look inside.

It’s YOU.

You’re at your own funeral. (Yes, that’s intense. Yes, that’s the point.)

Feel into that for a moment.

Now, a question: What do the people in attendance have to say about you? What qualities did they most admire and appreciate in you?

Were you kind and generous? Inspiring and enthusiastic? Present and loving?

Those are your eulogy virtues. And, NOW is the time to live them.

Today’s +1. If you’re feeling so inspired, do that eulogy exercise. Step into the future reality of your own funeral. Imagine what you hope others will say about you. Write down the qualities that are most important to you.

Then LIVE those virtues.


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