How to transform (possible eliminate!) your to-do list in 3 minutes!

It is possible, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. Please read with caution.

OK, I’m going to cut to the chase.

Are you ready?

Go to a funeral.

I’m serious.

There is nothing that sobers you up faster

Woman writing list of tasks to do, close-up of hand

There is nothing that sobers you up from the overwhelming feeling of needing to do so many things and be everywhere than going to a funeral. It very easily takes a mile-long to-do list and converts it into 4 actions.

Of the 4 funerals, I’ve attended – the most recent this week – they all sobered me up and brought a new perspective on life.

  • My estranged father’s funeral taught me that sometimes we just don’t get what we want whether that’s a tangible thing or the answers to those questions we desperately seek. Peace will only come from letting go.

  • The second funeral I attended taught me that our hobbies are only dear to us alone, and when we die, our family will likely keep something precious to remind them of you, but a lot of your collection, will go to other enthusiasts, to charity shops or in some instances, the bin. Your hobbies are important, so make time for them, but just don’t expect everyone else too.

  • My dear Gran’s funeral taught me that I had never accepted death would come to those I truly loved and that it shouldn’t be feared. Our legacy lives on well beyond our years, through others and in the stories they tell of you and the tender loving lessons they learned from you. Spread love, kindness, and the occasional good story.

  • Monday’s funeral reinforced the truth that the real legacy we leave is how we make others feel when we are in their presence: the kind words we say, the love we give them and the kindness we display to family, friend and strangers. Always choose to be kind and give what you have generously whether that’s love, time or some of your awesome steak pie.

Death may not be your conscious goal in life, nor is it likely you’re going to celebrate as you get closer, but it’s a journey we are all on.


There is the risk of going to a funeral or reading this, and thinking ‘Oh my goodness, there is so much I need to do before I die’. However, before you start extending the to-do list with your bucket list, and typing up your resignation letter to your clients (or employer), please consider this:

How could your business (or career) allow you to live the rest of your life in the way you really want to?

You may wish to head off into the sunset and travel around the world, but what will you do when you come back (assuming you outlive your worldwide trip!) and how would your family feel when you’re away?

Perhaps instead of writing a bucket list for yourself, write a list for you & your family.

  • What do you want to do together?

  • How do you want to be together?

I wish you all the very best.

If this article resonated with you and you would like help to direct your business success to those goals of your family and your renewed outlook in life, please get in touch, or get yourself a copy of Successful Business Minds – a book I wrote after reassessing my goals in life and helping my clients to do the same.

Helen Monaghan

Holistic Accountant, Finance Coach, and Author

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