Karin’s Leadership Articles

Plan Your Epitaph Day: Living and Leaving a Legacy

by | Nov 2, 2012 | Authenticity & Transparency, By Karin Hurt |

Apparently today is “Plan Your Epitaph” Day.

So, although I don’t usually post on Fridays, I couldn’t resist a short one. We move so fast, working through the urgent. It’s a nice reminder to consider the legacy we are working to leave.

In her meditation “Set in Stone”, in Walking Towards Morning Meditations, Victoria Stafford urges us to consider what our epitaph “will read” and “does read.”
“She attended well and faithfully to a few important things”

“He got all the dishes washed and dried before playing with his children in the evening”

“She answered all her calls, all her e-mail, all her voicemail, but along the way she forgot to answer the call to service and compassion, and forgiveness, first and foremost of herself”

“She could not, or would not, hear the calling of her heart”
Plan Your Epitaph 

  • What do you want on your epitaph?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • What one sentence best describes your life’s work?
  • What would be the one sentence you would leave with the world?

Here are some real ones to get you thinking:

“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter”

-Winston Churchill

“The best is yet to come”

-Frank Sinatra

“That’s all folks”

-Mel Blanc

“My life cannot be summarized in 140 characters #lovelife”

-proposed by Ben Evans

Oh yes, and mine simply “Namaste” which means the light that is in me honors the light that is in you.

And so I challenge you, what would you say on your epitaph? This will be so much more fun if you comment 😉 It’s Friday et’s share. Heck, while you’re at it you can also tweet it out using the link below.




Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Steve Borek

    Not sure of what I want to be remembered for. I’ll leave that for others to decide. My favorite quote was from Mom, “Turn the page. There’s a whole new chapter awaiting you.”

  2. marcus

    are we almost there?

  3. Shawn

    Karin, Thank you for this post, it is a good way to reflect on how our actions today help to create the legacy we want to leave. I would like to believe that mine would read: “He took the time to get to know you, and always knew how to make you laugh – or at the very least smile”

  4. letsgrowleaders

    Shawn, so glad you joined the conversation! I love yours…. perfect!


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