The fictional undertaker and perspective

My family is getting more annoyed with me. (And it’s not because we are spending every hour together COVID-19 sheltering.)

While washing the dishes or folding the laundry or cleaning the bathroom or doing any of the chores I have done a thousand times, I have started speaking out loud as if I am giving a eulogy at my own funeral.

“Today, we gather to remember Jonathan. Jonathan will be missed. Nobody did the dishes faster or with more precision than him. The dishwasher was always loaded appropriately…”

To give the eulogy more gravitas, I made up a voice. It’s dark and heavy and has a bit of an accent. It’s a voice suitable for a fictional undertaker.

When my wife gives me the look, I stop. It was funny once and now not so much. My goal isn’t to annoy, though, it’s to remind. I use the fake eulogy to direct my attention back to what really matters.

The easiest thing we can do is major in the minors. To spend too much time doing low value activities that “have” to get done in lieu of working on the few things that matter.

The goofy voice provides instant perspective. Perspective helps recalibrate attention.

How do you maintain perspective?

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on May 5, 2020

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