If I could for the life of me figure our where I read it, I’d reference a bit of interesting wisdom I encountered a while back. It simply stated that most of us at any given time are cultivating, curating, editing and generally working on one of two documents, literally or otherwise. Those two documents: our resume or our eulogy.
That is to say, at any given time most of us are doing, learning, growing, changing, improving (or the opposite of any of those) and those efforts (or lack thereof) are adding to skills that contribute to either (a) the long, wending list of skills and accomplishments that can get us chosen to do a thing in life, a job or a position or a contract or a relationship or (b) the hypothetical character sheet of our being that will make up the contents of what we hope will be written about us after we die.
On that first document, the resume document, one might see listed a variety of tangible skills. He was good with computers. She had an eye for business. He could type 87 words per minutes. She was punctual.
On that second document, the eulogy document, one might see listed a different –perhaps overlapping– set of traits. He was loyal. She looked adventure in the face and kept moving forward. He had a great sense of humour. She was a leader even if she didn’t see it in herself.
If things are going well in your life, you’ll find yourself working with people who have cultivated (at the very least) a good resume document.
If things are going well in your life, you’ll find yourself friends with people who have cultivated (at the very least) a good eulogy document.
I don’t know if we choose friends, or they choose us, or if circumstances slam people together for no other reason than that of curious twists of convoluted fate. I think we nurture friendships out of coincidental relationships. We meet people and feed the connection and in doing so, we give time and energy to maintaining links with people for many different and varied reasons. One can hope that those reasons are selfless, but in reality we connect with people because they add value to our lives, help us edit and refine those documents.
Some people improve our resume document.
Others enhance our eulogy document.
As I creep through middle age I admit I find myself increasingly drawn to people who are helping me with the latter.