Personal development: Harness the power of the ‘Ebenezer effect’


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Write your own eulogy
As I describe in my book HabitForce!, there’s a readily accessible way to harness the power of The Ebenezer Effect: sit down, grab a pen and notepad, and write your own eulogy. Yes, I know that to some this may sound a bit morbid, but I assure you it’s an extremely enlightening, worthwhile and motivating process. Before you exclaim, ‘Bah, humbug!’, let me explain how this will benefit you. It’s important to put your life into perspective. Consider the big picture. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the late Stephen Covey admonishes readers to: “Begin with the end in mind.” It’s vital to think about your destination first so you can determine the best route to take. Figure out what you want the house to look like – create a blueprint – before you start building. It makes sense. Writing your own eulogy will help you jumpstart and sustain positive change in your life by establishing a clear blueprint for what you want to accomplish, what kind of person you aspire to be, and how you want to be remembered. It will clarify both your purpose and your legacy.

Here are a few tips for writing your eulogy. First, imagine what your friends and loved ones will say and think about you when you’re gone. Be brutally honest. There’s no point lying to yourself about this. Now imagine what you would like them to and think about you. Is there a gap? If so, you should start closing the gap right away, just as Scrooge did that Christmas morning. He had a lifetime of crotchetiness and selfishness for which to atone. Scrooge had the courage to break the chain that linked him to his unhappy past. Are you willing to show the same courage and transform yourself and your life for the better? Taking positive action by harnessing the Ebenezer Effect is the antidote to feelings of despair and helplessness.