Aspirations Exercises

Listen here (or read below)



Exercise 1: Your Legacy

A palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware 6, summarised her conversations with her patients in her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. These are:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I’d let myself be happier

By being intentional about your whole-of-life priorities and articulating them, you minimise the risk of getting to the end of your life and having regrets. It’s about living the life and being the person that you aspire to be by making conscious choices and aligning everyday activities, behaviours and decisions.

Imagine that you are giving a eulogy about yourself at your own funeral. Consider what you are saying about yourself, and what is the difference between what you would say if you were giving the eulogy today and what you would like to say about yourself at some future time. Explore the following questions:

  • Did you spend your time and energy on the things in life that were really important, or did you waste your time on urgent yet insignificant activities, postponing the real priorities?
  • Did you fulfil your potential/your purpose/your dreams for yourself in your relationships with others and in your work/vocation? If so, how?
  • What is your legacy – what did you leave behind?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • Did you meet everyone else’s expectations or your own?
  • Did you regret doing the things that you have done or the things that you did not do?
  • Did you find the courage to be true to yourself?
  • Were you happy?

Write a mini eulogy to yourself for each pillar – self, relationships and work.





Discuss your legacy as you would want it to be for each pillar with a trusted partner.

Ask your partner to challenge whether your legacy is true to the pillar. For example, have you articulated a legacy that describes the impact that you want to have on others in your Self aspiration statement? Have you described a work-related legacy in your Self or Relationships pillar?




Exercise 2: What brings meaning and really fulfils you?

    • For each of the three pillars: yourself, your relationships with others and your work/contribution, think about the times in your life when you have felt the most alive and engaged. What really excites you? Keep coming up with new ideas, don’t impose any constraints.
    • What was happening in your life when you felt fulfilled? What is it about these experiences that fulfilled you? Can you spot any patterns or recurring features that could translate into a reason for being?

  • Write three statements describing what you aspire to that will fulfil you and give your life meaning for your Self, in your Relationships and at Work.





Discuss and challenge what gives you energy, meaning and fulfilment for each pillar with a trusted partner.