The Obituary You Really Want | Ben’s Musings

Ben Bressler September 1, 2009 2

Hello Adventurers,

I was struck today by an article I read about a British woman who rowed a boat solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Not really by the fact that she did this, although rowing across a lake, no less the Atlantic, is an incredible feat (not even by the fact that she is currently in the middle of rowing across the Pacific!), but, rather, I was struck by the way in which she decided to move forward on this life-changing venture.

She wrote her own obituary.

In 2000, bored with her life as a management consultant, tired of her lengthy train commute, she challenged herself to write her obituary as it was headed at the moment, and then compare that with the obituary the way she wanted it to eventually read. Needless to say, there was a wide chasm between the two.

With irrefutable results in hand, she dropped all those trappings of her current life, including her husband and her red sports car, and, in the end, made the rather bold move towards the adventure of solo ocean rowing in pursuit of meaning in her life and to inspire focus on conservation. Wow, a big move indeed.

Now I am not encouraging anybody to leave their jobs (and definitely don’t leave your spouse!), but I wonder if the rest of us should also question how our optimal obituary should read? Would we be satisfied with what was written about our short time on this earth? Or would we be sorry that we didn’t do the things that we felt were really important?

Of course, when I read such inspirational articles, the first thing I turn to is travel: I commit to getting out from behind the computer and to travel more frequently; to really see, in depth, the places that I love so much—the natural places on our planet, from deserts to rain forests; from the Arctic to the equator. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

Sometimes I need these reminders and, this time, Roz Savage (Click here for her web site) offered just the right inspiration.

I hope to see you out there!

Ben Bressler
Founder & Director
Natural Habitat Adventures

2 Comments »

  1. Erin Houser November 5, 2009 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    WOW………….mind-blowing!
    I am going to share this with my children.

  2. Charles M. September 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    This woman is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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