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Guest Blog Post: What would you be, if you werent what you are?

Jun 12, 2012

ASD Reward Partner, Timothy J. O’Brien M.S., is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress and a Life Member of the International Society for Performance Improvement. Tim has been the Director of the Institute for Stress Management and Performance Improvement, since 1989. He has written articles for and presented at NFDA conventions and State Funeral Directors Association annual meetings.

Tim is also the author of the Grief Support Programs: A Season for Healing, A Reason for Hope: the Grief & Mourning Guide and Journal, and the Pet-Loss Grief Program: You will always be a part of me. He has published more than 400 print articles and wrote a bi-weekly “Life styles” column for Knight Ridder Tribune News and McClatchy newspaper services for 14 years. You can contact Tim at (850) 668-0696 or

If you were not a Funeral Director, what do you think you would be? Not what were you before you were a Funeral Director, but what, given your experiences, would you choose to be now? Would you be a sales rep? If so, what would you choose to sell? Would you be a counselor or therapist, a healer or a member of the clergy? Would you choose something very different and be a contractor, or perhaps a painter, or maybe own a restaurant?

If you were this other person, living this other life, how would it be different from the life you live right now? If you feel it would be better, what would make the difference? Do you know that it would be better, as you think or, do you just imagine that it would be better?

In your new occupation, do you currently know anyone who is what you would plan to be? Are they as happy as you imagine you would be? If they are, is it because of the reasons you think, or do you just imagine that is why they are happy? Have you ever asked them?

In your current occupation as a Funeral Director, do you know any other Funeral Directors who are happy? Are you happy being a Funeral Director, or do you wish you could wave a wand and be in that other occupation that you thought you’d choose to be? If you could wave that wand, what would change that would allow for a different level of happiness than you currently experience?

Is it possible that the cause of your unhappiness, if you are unhappy, is you? Is it equally possible that the cause of your happiness, if you are happy, is you? Either way, wouldn’t it be easier to change something about your attitude than to change careers to experience a satisfactory level of happiness?

“I know that I can choose and immediately assume any state of consciousness at will. This frees me from self-defeating beliefs that they are causes external to me, that determine my life,” Roy Eugene Davis. Could that statement be true? If it is, what state of consciousness will you assume to insure your personal fulfillment and happiness?

Yes, in many ways, this is an article of rhetorical questions; however, isn’t it at least worth thinking about? A happier you might be the product of your thoughts.

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear your insights.

Click here to read more guest blog posts from Tim O’Brien.

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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