A group of friends and I met a couple weeks ago to go through Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan E-book. We will continue to meet until each of us has created our life plan, and I’d recommend this process to any team of people, family, couple, or even individuals who want to better understand how they are wired and get some clarity on how they’d like to spend their time. My guess is I will be blogging about this process a bit more in the coming weeks.
The first question we asked each other was designed to manifest our values, and to “start with the end in mind.” The question was simple: What will your funeral look like?
Each of my friends is remarkably accomplished, even though they are younger than I am. And our ambitions showed in how we answered the question. We wanted people at our funerals to know we loved them, to say we were kind and gracious and our lives were about helping them. But I found something interesting amongst us, that we wanted different numbers of people to be at our funerals.
I was surprised to realize I only wanted 20 or 25 people at mine. And I meant it. I wanted a small funeral, preferably in my own home, and I wanted everybody in the room to know how much I loved them not because of what I said but because of what I did. I helped them, I was for them, I sacrificed some bit of my life for them.
I love writing books, and I love interacting with strangers, but the truth is, I can only really love about 20 or 25. I have friends who are wired to love more people, but I’m only capable of giving my life to a smaller group. And I was thankful for this question because it gave me permission to do just that, to just ask how can I help a hand full of people over the long haul. How can I help them succeed? How can I comfort them? What do they need from me and how can I serve them best?
But what I really thought about in considering the question was whether or not I desired to love or just be liked. I have no problem being liked by a larger community. I think that’s a healthy desire, but what I began to wonder was whether or not my desire to be liked was compromising the time and effort involved in loving and being loved. It was a terrific question that I believe will inspire some change in how I live my life.
So my question to you is: How many people do you want at your funeral?
For some reason, that feels like it would invite a telling response, a response about how we are wired and how we should be living. What about you, a big funeral or a small funeral? And why?