2A – Pre-mortem


At the first step of predictive analysis, we probe the purpose of our future self (as in the entity we investigate). The idea is to take a moment in our future world we started building, and have a look back on what is it we aim to achieve. What is the ultimate idea that drives the future self, and what is the future legacy we want to leave behind.

In the space below, write your obituary – what you would want written about you when you have passed away many, many years from now. Write whatever comes to mind, even if it feels like stream-of-consciousness. Use words, phrases, sentences. Don’t over-think this exercise. Do not edit, censor, analyze or critique your thoughts. Take 10-15 minutes to complete this exercise. You can re-visit this exercise again in the future, so do not try to perfect your answer now.

Questions you should ask yourself as you do this exercise:

  • What and/or who did you impact or change? Why?
  • What character traits and values did you consistently demonstrate over your life? At your core, who were you?
  • Who did you care for? How did you impact or change this person/these people?
  • What were major accomplishments in your life? At the ages of 40, 50, 60, 70?
  • What did you show interest in? What were you passionate or enthusiastic about?
  • What was your legacy?

Facilitation tip

The exercise is based on practices from executive coaching. Stopping to think what really is the legacy you want to leave behind is a powerful tool to frame what matters to yourself, and in this case for the future yourself.

Pre-mortem canvas

Required time and participants

30- minutes
4-6 persons / group

Related information
Psychology today

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Next method: 2B – Anti-futures


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