What is the Tombstone Test?


by Don Smith

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“They say such nice things about people at funerals that it makes me sad I am going to miss mine by just a few days.” –Garrison Keillor

The Tombstone Test: What Legacy Will You Leave?

The tombstone test typically consists of only two questions. Often used in leadership training, it is straightforward, yet taken seriously can have a profound impact on your life. Here is the test:

  1. What do you want your tombstone or obituary to say?
  2. Are the actions you are taking today in line with the legacy you want to leave?
The tombstone test: children playing in the park.
Are You Focused on the Right Things?

Spend some time answering these two questions, and you may find yourself changing your life. If you want to align your actions with the legacy you want to leave, be sure to download our life goals workbook, which starts with this test.

I had a friend pass some time ago whose legacy is close to what I want mine to be. His funeral was a loving tribute from his daughters and people whose lives he had touched. You can read more about what I learned from Leighton in the article “3 Lessons About Life I Learned from Leighton“.

What Legacy Will You Leave?

What is the Tombstone Test?

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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