1. You Will Die
(and be forgotten) sooner or later. You don’t know when. Get rid of your false sense of invincibility.
2. You need an obituary
Your hometown funeral home will use a template. They don’t know you. So . . .
3. Best write it yourself
. . . and your eulogy, perhaps last/legacy letters to loved ones, an epitaph…
You’ll benefit more the earlier you start.
4. Obit, DIY shows you how
Our founder’s 30 years of professional writing on life and death (and those he interviewed) makes the process as painless as possible, even fun—and deeply fulfilling.
“Angel of Death: Your Fiend with Benefits”
Angel of Death: Your Fiend with Benefits
Facing death intimidates. Writing about yourself is tough. Together, it’s even worse. Yet, the struggle is well worth it:
Lighten your survivors' burden
Neglecting to prepare for your end pushes it onto your loved ones—right when they are the most upset, most emotional, most vulnerable. Someone will have to choose.
Make sense of your life
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” –Steve Jobs
Hindsight may be 20-20, but only when you put in the effort.
Build 'eulogy virtues', not just 'resume virtues'
As NY Times columnist & NPR/PBS commentator David Brooks put it, in his bookThe Road to Character [SB1] “…there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?
We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé ones. But our culture and our educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.”
tl;dr version: Click to watch Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World (11 second video).
Be(come) a good ancestor
“Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors”, said Jonas Salk, developer of the first Polio vaccine. “we should show future generations how we coped with an age of great change and great crises.”
The actions big and small that will change our descendants’ lives, require we change the time frame of our attention from endless social media feeds, 24-hr “breaking news” and other digital distractions.
2020’s Promise & Peril
(Covid’s unintentional gifts)
Proverbial hindsight was supposed to be 2020’s gift. Instead, this year brought us death.
Covid-19‘s rampage brought feelings of isolation, powerlessness and vulnerability.
Yet, there’s opportunities within:
- Use the pandemic’s forced (lock)downtime to develop a richer inner life.
- Resuscitate hindsight: Look back on our life to date to connect the dots.
- Harness death’s reality: It’s a package deal with life. Do what you can while you still have time.
Obit, DIY guides users to write about their lives and contemplate death so they can live more fully, intensely, and purposely.
We see a world that appreciates the shortness of life and thinks long-term: choosing worthy eulogies over resumes, treating tradition and wisdom as vicarious learning opportunities and becoming better ancestors.
Professions on Purpose
PoP started five years ago as a Meetup group in Washington DC to serve those looking for more fulfillment from and through their work.
It now serves as a hub to create life-of-meaning products.
Read more: https://professionsonpurpose.com/
Obit, DIY’s creator
Stefan Bielski has been contemplating—and writing about—death since surviving a workplace shooting that left his boss dead 30 years ago. Soon afterwards, he eulogized his grandfather and wrote the obituary for a college classmate, coworker, and friend who died way too young.
He found obituaries make powerful writing prompts for those contemplating their future. He assigned and guided his clients through penning personal statements and other essays for their MBA/grad school admissions applications and those undergoing other career transitions.
Stefan’s bio/writing experiences include crafting conference speaker bios for a Washington DC think tank, writing “Who’s News” and other articles as a business journalist, teaching writing classes in universities in the US and Europe and writing memoir.
Obit, DIY works at the nexus of death and writing–and the resulting self knowledge that comes from that synthesis. So, we’re curating resources so others can further explore those areas.
If there’s something you believe should be included please message us.