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Mapping Out the Most Important Speech of My Life

Last Sunday, Father’s Day, I delivered the most important speech in my life. It was my dad’s eulogy. It had been on my mind for the last couple of weeks as I knew his time was very limited. I haven’t had many experiences with funerals. I reflected; I had a lot of questions. What would I say? How can I memorialize the man that raised me, in the best possible way? What makes a good eulogy? What makes a bad one?

Given the 38 years we shared, I had a lot to share. And, if any of you have been in this situation before, you’ll know that it is a very emotional time. Even if you’ve prepared for the day, there are still feelings that emerge that can sweep up on you like, as a friend said, a tsunami. It was very important for me to deliver a eulogy that celebrated my dad’s life, not indulged in my own emotions.

So, I pulled out a pen and paper and started mapping out my thoughts. What made my dad the man that he was? What was most important to him? How can I honor the relationships that he nurtured, the ones that he held most dear?

In the midst of my mourning, I felt incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work at Mindjet, learn mind mapping, and be able to use this skill for something that transcends business. I mapped my dad’s relationship with my mom, my sister and her family, and myself. I mapped about the other important people in his life, his larger family, friends, and community. And, I mapped about the things about my dad that made all of us smile and laugh.

Last week, though the clouds of my emotions, I turned to this powerful technique to create clarity. And, I was able to share with my family and all of his friends, the highlights of his life. On father’s day, I celebrated my dad in a more meaningful way than I had ever done before.

Today, I’m sharing my story with you to remind everyone that we could be mapping more than our meetings, our project plans, and our strategies. Mapping is transformational. It creates clarity and alignment, not just in business, but in life. And for this, I’m forever grateful.

Thanks to everyone who had reached out to share their condolences. All of your support helped a lot!


About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

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