What is the Tombstone Test?

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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

Former bank director who enjoys helping people master their finances. Father of five, founder of The Personal Growth Channel, and business owner.

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  • Thinking through your life in detail as far as how you want to live before passing on has a miraculous effect on decision-making. I made a blanket decision a while back to live for fun versus from fear. Doing this felt highly uncomfortable at first because I faced many fears long buried to live this life but it has been beyond worth it from a fun and freedom perspective. Life actually gets easier when you decide to thrive versus living to survive and taking the tombstone test compels one to live to thrive.


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