After receiving the very hard news that my friend and client Mark Taylor died in a skiing mishap, I am still reeling, in shock at the too early loss of a Good Man.
Now I say that with intention, he was a Good Man, not always an easy man, not a simple man, but a Good Man. Working with him I so came to appreciate the difference. He demanded a higher standard, he was a stand for “going for it”, and this showed up in his coaching. He didn’t want soft and gentle feedback, he wanted the truth, straight between the eyes and he wanted to be pushed to the edge of his ability.
Ironic that in some ways that is what killed him. His desire to push the limits, go to the very edge of what was possible and to do so with passion and gusto. He was a man to be reckoned with, a veritable force of nature. So really, what other way was there for him, but to meet nature full on, testing himself to the extreme and going out in an intense and dramatic way. He did like to be a show stopper. Well, you stopped us in our tracks alright, my friend. And now we are all thinking of you, remember all that you were and all that you gave. You are an inspiration and will be missed.
But that is not all that you leave. For me your legacy is the reminder to live life large and fully, every day. Live as if there is no tomorrow, because none of us really can bank on tomorrow. In that moment when I have a choice: to pick a safe path or one that leads to joy, fulfillment, intensity and the unknown – I will think of you and I will risk the path less travelled, wherever it leads. I will pick passion over practical. I will choose having a full, real, big life over a half-life, one where I am already dead but still breathing. I will say YES to my wild and precious life, knowing that we don’t necessarily get second chances.
We don’t have forever, as we were just so harshly reminded, but we do have NOW. And there are two things that that makes me think of. One is making NOW count, not frittering it away doing things that are important only to other people, doing things that aren’t true to us or our hearts – that aren’t how we would live if we only had one more day, one more week, one more month or one more year left. The other is to consider what decisions or action do we need to make or take now, today, in order to set ourselves up to live a life of meaning and value, a life we are proud of because it is a full expression of who we are and what we stand for. A life where people will remember us for being on purpose, and true to ourselves.
I know what I need to do and will do to honour Mark’s memory. How about you? How will you let his legacy change your life?