A dear friend of mine, someone whom I’ve known for more than 20 years, passed away recently. It was sudden. A diagnosis came and then about eight weeks later, poof, he was gone.
Last weekend we gathered to honor his amazing life, and what a life it was.
Upon returning, I got the hit to not do my typical ezine this month and, instead, write something to honor his memory. So, Jimmy, this one is for you, my friend.
There’s a saying to “live everyday as if it were your last day.”
And that, in so many words, was exactly how Jimmy lived his life–pursuing his passions relentlessly every single day. Day in and day out. Even when he got “no’s or deals fell through or he ran out of money. This is definitely not a man who died with the music still in him.
He literally poured out his heart, soul and mind for decades–writing spiritual and personal growth books, developing financial market theories and tools, designing, publishing and marketing his own work, and pursuing a lifelong passion: filmmaking. (In the ’70s, he got his masters degree in film from Columbia University.)
His latest project was taking on the gargantuan task of creating a multi-part documentary on what seems like an impossible subject to tackle: “The History & Future of Humanity.”
People called him crazy. Obsessed. Over the top.
And maybe he was those things… but so what?
He DARED to get his voice, his art, his passion out into the world. He dared to shine his brilliance and dream big. To dream a big fat impossible dream and get up every single day with relentless drive and JUST DO IT.
Even if it meant living on the edge. Even if it meant people calling him crazy. (He would often poke fun at himself and say “Yep, I probably am.”)
This was a man of enormous courage, persistence, creativity, genius-like intelligence and action.
In those last weeks of his life, I spoke with him by phone and had the opportunity to visit with him, even though we now lived miles apart.
On those occasions, with as much strength as he could muster, he urged me to LIVE IT UP for him. To eat, drink and be merry. To seize the day. To take hold of each precious present moment and savor it. To give with wild abandon and not waste a second of life holding back.
I’ve been thinking about what this really means for me–and for you.
Quite simply, it comes down to this:
It’s time. Enough already. Time to get your voice, your art, your message, your gifts out into the world. Time to not hold back anymore. Time to come out from hiding and share your passion with others with ALL your heart, with every fiber of your being.
Time to live on the raw edge of ALIVENESS, as if today were your very last. And definitely time to stop freakin’ caring what others think of you, or if you’re bothering people. So what.
I say all those things because that “you” I’m referring to is also “me.” I had a million and one excuses to not send this email to you today. Too busy with clients. Too exhausted from travel. Too emotionally drained. Too many things on my “to do” list. Too… blah blah blah.
Steve Jobs in his famous commencement speech to Stanford grads said this:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
So a simple takeaway from this is to look at your calendar.
Do you wholeheartedly LOVE everything on it today? I mean, really and truly? And what about this week? And next month?
Are you waking up each morning excited to do what you absolutely and totally and madly LOVE? Doing what your heartreally, really wants? Not what you “should” be doing or what “makes sense” logically or what’s going to bring you the most money. As Steve Jobs says, those things are secondary.
So my urging to you today, via a precious soul who has gone on to a different dimension, is to LIVE IT UP. Seize the moment. Carpe diem.
Live today as if it were your last. Look at your calendar from the lens of “What would I LOVE?” and take those steps each day that have you live on that raw edge of becoming more and more of who you truly are.
You are Divine. You are Brilliant. You have a Wild and Precious Life to life. You have Great Gargantuan Gifts to Give. So, go do it. Now. Today.