The 5 Minute Exercise That Can Change Your Life


“Who will you have to become, to achieve all you want?” – Tony Robbins

Have you ever stopped to think about it? Do you have a clear vision of who you really want to be in this world?

I wasn’t sure either. I mean, I knew I wanted to be a good person and do big things,  but that was about it…

Then I was extremely fortunate to come across Brian Johnson’s Optimal Living 101 course (best class I ever took). During the class, we did a lot of amazing exercises, but perhaps the most powerful was the “Eulogy Exercise”.

In the 5 minutes it took me to do the exercise, I went from having a vague idea of who I wanted to become, to a clear picture of my “best self”. And an action plan on how I could start becoming more like it.

This exercise can be very powerful, so I sincerely hope you take 5 minutes time to do it. It could change your life.

***

Here’s the exercise.

Imagine that you’re at a funeral. You look around, and all your friends are gathered.

Suddenly, you realize that it’s actually your funeral.  It’s the part of the ceremony when your loved ones make their eulogy to you.

One by one, they get on stage and share what they admired most about you. Your best personality traits, the cool things you did in your life, the ways you made the world a better place.

Now come back to today, and think about what you really want people to be saying when your time comes.

How do you want to be remembered?

What person do you want to have become? How to you want to have lived your life?

Then you need take a good look at the way you are living right now: does it fit with your vision of your higher self?

Are you consciously building yourself into the person you want to become, or are you just drifting on auto-pilot?

***

When I first heard this exercise, I had to stop and gather my thoughts. This was a whole new way of looking at life. And I knew it was a meaningful one.

After thinking about all this for a few minutes, here’s what I wrote down in my journal.

When I die, here’s what I want people to say about me:

-Phil was a guy who made things happen and “went for it” in everything he did.
-He faced his fears, took on massive challenges, and rose to the occasion.
-He consciously tried to help others and make the world a better place.
-He lived with enthusiasm, passion and integrity.
-He had a good time & shared his love for life with others.

***

I wrote that 3 months ago now.

The extraordinary thing is, since I did the exercise, I feel like I’m becoming this person a bit more everyday. I’m still a looong way from where I want to be, but it’s an absolute thrill to know I’m walking on the right path, and to witness my dreams from 3 months ago materialize into my life.

This blog, as an example, is an idea that came to me after I did this exercise. If I hadn’t done the exercise, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. But it aligns with the Phil Drolet I envisioned (and with all 5 things I wrote in my journal), and that’s why I’m loving this project so much.

***

All right, your turn now! :)

If you want to get a clear vision of who you truly want to be, please take the Eulogy Exercise right now.

Grab a sheet of paper, and write down your thoughts. Best 5 minutes investment ever, promise.

Ready? Here we go.

When it’s time for your loved ones to make your eulogy..

How do you want them to describe you?
What kind of person do you want to have become?
What exceptional personality traits do you to have embodied through your life?

Go go go! Write everything that comes through your mind, don’t hold back. Have fun with it! :)

(You can do it in your head, but I guarantee you it’s not nearly as powerful.)

***

Got it? Awesome!

Now that you have a clear vision of who you want to become, here’s the next big question:

What can you do TODAY to start becoming that person?

You don’t choose how you’re going to die, but you choose how you’re going to live, starting now.

As the great master Aristotle famously said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

So from now on,  focus everyday on thinking & acting as the version of yourself you’ve envisioned.  And sooner than you think, you will be have become that better version.

Make it happen, and great things will happen in your life!

Phil

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Posted on : 28, Jul 2011

33 Comments

  • [...] exercise, so I decided to share it with you. Check it out and let me know what you came up with! The 5 Minute Exercise That Helped Me Figure Out My Life | Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | [...]

  • Good post Phil,

    I totally agree that the ‘ideal self’ is already in existence deep within our psychological core and a lot of the time acting in synchronicity or even realising this self-vision requires us to take up a out-of-the-box viewpoint or perspective. It looks like the Eulogy exercise rotates our temporal viewpoint and breaks us away from our constrained image of the future and reminds us to live our life to reflect our deepest convictions.

    Sort of reminds me of a quote I heard

    “It’s a bit like tossing a coin, it doesn’t work because it makes a decision for you, in that brief moment when it’s in the air, you suddenly realise what you were hoping for.”

  • Hey Chris! Wow awesome comment man.

    As you said, a lot of this is already inside us. But it's so easy to get caught up in the daily flow, and never stop to think if we're showing up through life as our best self, or as a watered down version of it.

    And then we just need to consciously think about showing out at our best day in and day out. and eventually we become more than we ever thought possible!

    Look forward to hearing more from your "deep" side in the coming months buddy! :)

  • I love this and sent it to a young woman who asked for helpful ideas:).

    • Thanks Aili, and I hope this piece can help you & your friend!

  • [...] myself. That wasn’t who I was trying to become. So instead, I asked myself “what would the best version of myself do?” The answer was crystal clear. I had to take that challenge and CRUSH [...]

  • [...] A little reminder to myself….The 5 Minute Exercise That Helped Me Figure Out My Life | Chris "Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." [...]

  • [...] Next time you feel fear, acknowledge its presence. And ask yourself, “what would the best version of myself do in this [...]

  • [...] Next time you feel fear, acknowledge its presence. And ask yourself, “what would the best version of myself do in this [...]

  • It's the best exercise in the world to have an image of yourself that you would like to become.

    I feel so saddened when I see people who don't understand the direction their life is going in. The ability to see yourself and aspire to be the best you can is a trait that not everybody is lucky enough to have learned. The more people can see this post the better.

    • I agree!

      That's why I'm working my ass off to make this blog as good as it can be, and get it seen by as many people as possible. :)

      • Good on you Phil, I can tell you've worked very hard on this resource, and I do enjoy coming here.

        Primarily I started my site TheHappinessManual.com as a free resource on personal development, and for myself it has done exactly what I was hoping; making me think in new ways so I can better provide advice to my lovely readers.

        That said, I will leave your article on "cold showers for 30 days" for another day. Hot showers are the warmest place in the UK after all!

        • Just checked out the site, good work! You've definitely been able to produce an impressive amount of material in the last 7 months… Keep up it up buddy!

  • [...] 4. It’s making me mentally tougher, it’s increasing my self-control. While cold showers give me a”let’s do this”-type mental toughness, fasting helps me remain focused & persistent over a longer period of time. Both are equally important part of getting my mind where I want it to be. [...]

  • [...] to the fullest without meditating every day. Knowing what you know now, you wouldn’t be true to the best version of yourself if you at least give meditation a [...]

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  • [...] our own story, and and everyday, through all the small decisions we make, we shape ourselves into the best version of ourself, or a diluted version of it. The moment we realise this, we can seek the best resources, and use [...]

  • I’m glad you directed me to this post (even though I already know what I want my life to look like – I just don’t know how to get there!).

    It is powerful to write down how you want to be remembered by others. It makes me want to quit my job, volunteer more often, throw caution to the wind and follow my dreams. If only the ‘real’ world and the worries it brings didn’t keep holding me back from making the leap fully. I’m finding it tough to shake off my fears once and for all.

  • This is stupid, right now I want to enjoy at least 2 years of my life surfing the world’s best surfing spots

    Do I want to be remembered for it ? Do I need to become something ?

    Just enjoy life and do whatever the fuck you want.

    Fuck society norms, governments and the brainless sheep effect of lets do what everyone else is doing.

    I know so many people with dreams, but because of peer pressure they never end up doing it and go the normal ‘accepted’ route of get degree+marriage+kids+stressful job=shoot yourself in the head

    I do believe in moral standards of don’t lie, don’t kill, don’t steal etc… But the rest is just soul imprisonment

    • Hey Aaron, just saw your comment now.

      I don’t agree with you that the exercise is stupid, and no you don’t need to become something but I believe we can all be a better version of ourself. Even if it’s not from a “success” standpoint.. we all have flaws and fixing them helps make us happier I think.

      I do agree that it’s unfortunate that society makes is so hard to be our true self and conditions us to follow the norms. I know many people like that too and I really want to try and help them see through all this with more clarity.

      I read the book “Freedom” by Osho today and it’s exactly what it talks about. We need to free ourselves from all conditionings, from what society expects of us, from all that stuff… so that we can do what we’re here to do, what makes us truly happy.

      I wrote something about that not too long ago.. http://www.thefeelgoodlifestyle.com/stop-conforming-be-unreasonable-live-an-amazing-life.html

      Anyways, have fun surfing & enjoy the ride.

  • [...] known as, The 5 Minute Exercise That Can Change Your Life, it’s a great way to picture the kind of person we really want to [...]

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  • A lovely article!
    I have always tried to look on my current situation from “further-in-life” point of view, in some ways, to help myself when in moments of doubting, or uncertainty. But on much simpler level; for example when I’m worrying too much for something I try to look on that occasion from few years ahead and ask myself “Was it worth worrying that much?”. :)) But never thought about my funeral day! Quite nice exercise – thanks a lot for sharing! And the quote it reminds me of is a very simple one: “What you will someday be, you are now becoming” ;)
    Regards.

    • “What you will someday be, you are now becoming” I like that! Very nice.

      I agree with the worrying thing.. always try to remind myself.

      Tony Robbins says.. most of the things you worry about will make you laugh in 10 years. Why not laugh today?

      Have a great day!

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  • Wow…that nearly brought me to tears when I was finished. I had no idea what I truly wanted until that point. Wow, just….wow.

  • Just sent this blog post out to my MBA class! We have a course on Personal Development and I think this is a huuuuugely important exercise to practice – to find the purpose in your life.

    One love brother!
    -driz

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  • [...] a vague idea and want a more clear picture, I have an incredibly powerful exercise for you called “The Eulogy Exercise,” which I read about on Phil Drolet’s blog The Feel Good Lifestyle. The exercise goes like [...]

  • This is a great idea. I’m going to try it on my blog. Thanks for the idea!

  • Great post Phil, love it. It’s a powerful concept and even more powerful exercise. It’s said that you don’t need to be great to start but you must start in order to be great. If we all just started with this single exercise you’ve mentioned here, amazing to think just how great we all could and would become. Thanks again. Cheers!

  • […] (and get more effective as a bonus!). To start writing your mission statement, do the five minute Eulogy Exercise […]

So, what do you think?