Saturday, November 13, 2010

Your 100th Birthday Speech

When Alfred Nobel’s brother Emil died in 1864 in an accidental explosion, the newspaper reporters mixed up the brothers and published an obituary of Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel read his own “obituary” and was not pleased to be remembered only as the man who invented dynamite so powerful that it could reduce tall buildings to rubble in an instant.

This made Alfred rethink his life purpose and he resolved to leave a legacy other than just being the demolition man. Alfred rewrote his life script rededicating it to the pursuit of peace that eventually led to the Nobel Prize Foundation and the Nobel Prizes.

We too can re-script our life like Alfred Nobel. One of the best ways is to write our own 100th birthday speech, today. As Stephen R. Covey said, we should always "begin with the end in mind". So your 100th birthday speech is the grand vision of your entire life. It is everything you choose to have in your life.

With that purpose, imagine you are attending your 100th birthday bash. Who would be present? Imagine the people you respect and love waiting to listen to your 100th birthday speech in your honour. What would you like your party guests to hear about you?

As you sit back in your favourite rocking chair in the breezy veranda, take a look around your house and its surroundings. This is the house you always wanted. Facing the sea and back to the forest where you take your daily walks. You see people that are familiar to you from around the world. Your best friend steps up and stands at the front of your favourite rose patch in your lush lawn.

"We are gathered here today," your best friend says, "to celebrate the 100th birthday of Troy."

"It is only fitting," your best friend continues, "that those who loved Troy most should share their thoughts. Troy’s wife shall be the first." You see your life partner of many years stand up to speak. You see that she is wide eyed, and smiling, as she shares your life with all present at your 100th birthday bash.

What does she say about your relationship and the kind of partner you are? What do your children say about the kind of father you are? How do your grandchildren describe grand pa? What do your colleagues and business partners say about your work? What do your friends say about the type of friend you've been to them? And finally, what do the organizations you are in say about you?

Why are you’re here? How have you given? How are you still giving? And how will you continue using your gifts for the good of your family, friends and the community.

The 100th birthday speech honours your life's work. Do you like what you hear?

Get a clear picture in your head of how you would like your 100th birthday speech to sound. Take time to actually write that out on paper and revise it regularly. Write it in the third person as your life partner or your best friend.

Live your life as if you already know how your grand 100th birthday bash will be like. Don't be like those who, near the end of their life, regret, "If I could start all over again…" Start it right now. We are never too young or too old to write and live a new life script. Whatever your age, now is a good time to do that.

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