Hauser: Are you living the obituary you want written?

What would you want people to say at your funeral?

Jon Hauser
We are part of The Trust Project.

I just finished teaching a business leadership class at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. I found the 12 students bright, articulate, kind, respectful and eager. I was truly impressed, grateful and could not be prouder of them. I learned and received more from them than I gave.

Their last assignment, based on the final chapter in John C. Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” was to write a legacy statement. I asked them, “What would you want people to say at your funeral?”

Step 1 is to determine and describe the legacy you want to leave. Step 2 is to intentionally live toward that legacy daily. Do not let someone else write your obituary. Live what you want written and said about you!

As we close out 2020 here are excerpts from the student’s legacy statements:

  • “I want to be known as a trustworthy, honest person who was always there to help others through hard times.”
  • “I have often wondered what I wanted to be remembered for and could never figure it out. And then 2020 came with so much sadness and pain all over the world. I realize now I want people to say I was a good person who always made them smile. All I want to be known for is making others happy.”
  • “I want to be known for my kindness, listening, wisdom, generosity, servant leadership, continuous growth and humble attitude.”
  • “I want my legacy to inspire others: Be honest, trustworthy and hardworking and you can live your best life possible. Love everyone around you and treat everyone with respect.”
  • “I want people to remember me for being nice to everyone and for my hard work.”
  • “I want to be remembered for being fearless, unstoppable and bringing joy to others. I want people to feel supported and loved by me.”
  • “I want to be remembered for being a person you enjoyed spending time with, working with, could always depend on, was kind and helpful.”
  • “For being a person who lifts others up through kindness and love, approached every day with contagious energy, and built lasting memories with family and friends. For being honest, open, truthful and a good role model. Life is short, have no regrets but own up to your actions.”
  • “How my life goes in terms of success is irrelevant if I can’t make an impact on people’s lives. I want to be the person who always pushed hard to better the lives of those surrounding me. I want to be remembered for being a great husband and father.”
  • “She approached life with a smile and positivity, lived by her values, and worked to instill love and life in others. She found light and humor in even the darkest of situations. She was dependable, trustworthy and respected.”
  • “She was someone who saw the beauty in life and the best in people. She carried a positive outlook and found the good in every situation. She valued people, took time to listen, had high spirits, and held her faith close to guide her heart.”

Perhaps this is the week to write or review your legacy statement and make course adjustments to live the obituary you want written about you! God bless you!
Hauser is a pastor and leadership coach and can be reached at

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