How Do You Want to be Remembered?

Write down ten things that you want to be remembered for or ten characteristics that you want to be remembered for. Ten “totally you” remembrance criteria.

Do this before you read any further so that you’re not influenced by the ten criteria that I’m going to share regarding my own life.

“How do you want to be remembered?”

Write the answers spontaneously, without digging too deep.

They don’t have to be complicated. No long paragraphs. Just phrases. Even a simple list.

Got it down?

Now look at #1. This shows what you value most in your life. Is #1 materialistic or is it spiritual? Is it self-centered or does it focus on others? If you’re truly altruistic, maybe your first choice is even related to a worldview.

Move on to #2 and #3. Ask yourself the same questions.

#4 and #5. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Use your list as a means of self-examination. If these are the things that you want to be remembered for, they’re probably also a good view of your current values.

Are these values that you’re proud of?

Are you practicing the traits that you value in others?

Can you see room for improvement?

When you examine them, do you see items that are superficial­­–– like wealth or external beauty?

Do you see any obvious weaknesses or omissions? I found something significant missing from my own ten ways.

I would like to be remembered

  1. As an individual who wasn’t afraid to love deeply.
  2. As a good mother.
  3. As a teacher who loved her students and tried to make learning meaningful and fun.
  4. As a kind woman.
  5. As a risk taker.
  6. As a writer who loved language and wasn’t shy about sharing her sensitive side.
  7. As one who shared- thoughts, meals, resources, books.
  8. As a lover of nature- flora, fauna. All things outdoors.
  9. As one who loved learning and pursued it to the very end.
  10. As a gardener who created beauty in her outdoor surroundings.

Did you notice what’s missing?


I regret that I have few persons that I can call “friends”. I could make the excuse that it’s because my parents discouraged me from having friendships. As a child, I never learned how to nurture friendships- just as I never learned how to love my siblings.

And while I learned, as an adult, how to love my siblings, it has taken me a very long time to learn and experience true Friendship. I know that this is my personal weakness and I still have more work to do. I struggle with feelings of inadequacy that cause me to be surprised if someone expresses interest in sharing friendship with me. I don’t reach out as much as I should. I don’t respond as much as I should.

We each have personal flaws that we can change or eliminate with effort.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Ask yourself this question and see if you’re measuring up to your vision of your better self.

How do you want to be remembered?


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