Considering Death as a Motivation to Work

Imagine standing in a funeral home. You approach the casket. Oblivious to the chatter in the room, you lean forward to view the body encased in the elongated box. You peer at the face and gasp.

The features inside the coffin belong to you. This is your service. Your life has ended.

Now close your eyes. Imagine the eulogy. What do you want people to say? What accomplishments would you like listed? What words do you hear when people describe the person you were? Did you make a difference?

We try to separate business from our personal lives, but we have many chances during our work day to impact the lives of others.

On the job, we often miss opportunities to develop meaningful relationships of an appropriate kind. We don’t offer a helping hand when possible. We ignore the heartache etched on a co-workers face. We fail to pray for someone in crisis. We deny our ability to work productively when possible. We erase the satisfaction of a job well done and the chance to encourage others to enjoy the same.

Why do these opportunities pass? I believe fear mostly.

  • We are afraid to take down our protective walls and get close to someone in an appropriate manner. To open ourselves to the risk involved in developing meaningful relationships, instead of subsisting on the surface of acquaintance.
  • We fear having more asked of us if we dare cross the line into helping another.
  • We are scared of getting involved when someone else is in obvious pain.
  • We are frightened of what people might think if we dare ask permission to pray.
  • We are afraid of working too hard and creating higher expectations.
  • Fearing we won’t finish a task well, we begin many projects to excuse ourselves from getting things done.
  • We are scared others might get the things in life we want, and we will have to watch from the sidelines.

I believe these are the things that hold us back from success.

But looking at your decisions through the lens of your life’s end can give you the courage to choose differently.

A mediocre life is not a celebrated life. Safe doesn’t give you a sense of deep satisfaction. Comfortable won’t allow you to risk for the reward.

Consider death, and let it motivate you to work toward the end of your life as you’d like it to be. You might just rest in peace.

How do you want people to view your life? Will they say you chose courage or comfort? Will you leave a smile or a frown?

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

Brighten the World Around You

Make a Difference Right Where You Are

Isaiah 57:2 (NIV)

Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.

Contact her via or


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