Forget Resumes, Why You Need to Work on Your Eulogy Instead (E13)

What are you focusing your time and energy on?


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March 15, 2016

In episode 13 of The Art of Personal Growth Podcast, I discuss an important TED Talk I recently watched, Should you live for your résumé… or your eulogy? by David Brooks.

This TED Talk explores two sides of our inner being: the self who craves success (called Adam I), who builds a résumé of skills you bring to the marketplace, and the self who seeks connection, community, love (called Adam II) — the values that make for a great eulogy. In addition, Adam I looks for smaller, consistent successes and achievement, whereas Adam II looks to achieve a loftier goal, to accomplish an unattainable success, and to leave a legacy in the process of creating a better world.

Like Mr. Brooks, I spend a great deal of time thinking about these two sides, and how to empower Adam II through my Adam I skills, rather than having them in contrast to one another. My Self-Help Crash Test Dummy Experiment this week was a lot of cognitive work, but here are some of the things I discovered in the process:

  • Sometimes, you have to remove things from your life or say no to them as part of the process of empowering your Adam II. I spend time talking about The Art of Saying No in the New & Noteworthy section too, and this ties in nicely with last week’s “Eff It” List.
  • When you tap into your values (for me, these include contributing something to the planet of value, be less concerned about the salary, and more connected to work that made a difference), you can use your ambitious Adam I traits to help make these happen.
    • Set a goal to make measurable progress toward the legacy you want to leave.
    • Check in regularly to see that progress
    • Keep working to achieve small milestones on the road to success — even if you know you’ll never accomplish it in your lifetime

In the end, I realized that my goal for this podcast was really an Adam II goal:

To encourage curiosity and kindness on the journey to personal growth.

This is something I hope to work on throughout my lifetime, and I’m glad to share the journey with you. I will continue to encourage curiosity and kindness on the journey to personal growth. I’ll walk the talk and make myself accountable for curiosity and kindness, especially to myself!

I’d encourage you to spend 5-10 minutes today examining your Adam I and Adam II selves – what is the balance like? What are your goals? How could you improve? Share these with me on Facebook, as I’d love to feature you in a future episode! And remember the quote from this week’s episode as you do this exercise…

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
– Carl Bard

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks for joining me this week. I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave an honest review for The Art of Personal Growth podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful to tailoring the content of the show and I read them all! They also matter in the rankings of the show.

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It's Time for a Better Career Change!

Don't Put Your Happiness on Hold!

Start Now!