My Birthday: A Reflection on Mortality and Flourishing

reflectionMy good friend posted a great blog reflecting on beginning with the end in mind. This is great to use for reflection as we head into Christmas and begin to think about our goals for 2016. How did you do in 2015 with living well, loving deeply, learning. leading, laughing, leaving a legacy? What do you want to start doing, stop doing and continue to do in 2016? How could this help you be a growing, more effective and healthier leader?

Photo Credit:

Raymond L. Wheeler, DMin

As I reflect about my life, influence, and future plans on my birthday, I also reflect on my own mortality. “That’s great Ray, way to be a happy person” you might say. Ah, but the exercise is not rooted in feeling morose. Instead, it’s rooted in feeling purposeful and alive. Such reflections serve to recalibrate efforts around what is: important and not just urgent, significant and not just productive, and sustainable not just impactful. I wrote about this kind of reflection elsewhere.[i]

One of my graduate professors, Bobby Clinton, was fond of repeating, “Begin with the end in mind.” He started his leadership emergence classes by asking everyone to write their epitaph i.e., the inscription they wanted on their tombstone. This exercise sounds easier than it is for some people. Many of us thought and thought to say something succinct enough to fit on a tomb stone and of sufficient…

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