Alison and I often listen to a variety of inspirational talks on TED.com. TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short talks—18 minutes or less. New York Times columnist and PBS commentator David Brooks recently gave a five minute talk entitled, “Should you live for your resume … or your eulogy?" Brooks suggested that there are two selves within each of us: the self who craves success, who builds a resume, and the self who seeks connection, community, love — the values that make for a great eulogy.
In his five-minute address Brooks asks us if we can balance these two selves. Are we living primarily to build our resumes? What will people say about us after we are gone? What do we say about ourselves when someone asks that universal question: "What do you do?" Do we talk about our accomplishments, our successes and victories, or do we talk about what we have learned and what can we share with those we care about?
When we coach people who are writing their life stories, we ask them to think about the many facets of their lives. What sums up their lives? Will their book recount a resume of achievements or will it serve a deeper purpose?
Just a little something to think about. Have a great weekend.