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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's been a few days...

... but as you can imagine, between two coasts along with other things, it's been a busy couple of days. Nonetheless, tonight, I've got a few minutes to sit here and share some thoughts with you today.

I did not plan on posting this tonight, but over the last couple of hours, someone I have come to know pretty closely learned of the passing of a lifelong friend.

This friend passed in her late twenties... way before her time... and leaving behind a fiance who was, along with her, planning an upcoming wedding and a group of friends wondering right now as you read this why such a thing had to happen.

There is no easy way to explain a premature loss. There are no words which can convey on-demand healing or which can wipe away emotions, love, memories or grief. Nothing I can write here will ever be a cure to the very ill feeling which encapsulates the heart and soul when you face life enacting it's change agent...

But I do feel like there is something which I shared with my friend I'd like to share with you. It's from a talk that someone I admire gave to the graduating class at Stanford in 1995. His name is Steve Jobs. He founded Apple, Pixar, NeXt computing and now sits at the head of pop culture as the single largest shareholder of the Walt Disney corporation.

He's also a revolutionary-minded person who has inspired me in my career to, well, live just a bit past the edge at times. And, as Nick Daley in Tampa reminded me, it's in being one of the "crazy ones" that we find our calling in this life. At least to those of us who are indeed crazy in some misfit sort of way...

By that, I mean, this...



Anyway...

In his Stanford speech, he addresses a time when he faced death. He had pancreatic cancer. Doctors told him to get his affairs in order. He eventually overcame this threat and in doing so, he overcame this threat to lead Apple to it's greatest renaissance since, well, it was founded.

He also gave us some amazing words to consider...

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.
Now, go read it again. The message there is so powerful. The words there are so inspiring and telling. So much so that I shared this one piece with my little girl on her 5th birthday...

Someday, I hope she realizes what daddy was talking about.

There are no words I can say which will make my friend feel better. Nothing I can write will erase the heartache of her - and of her friend's - very real loss. The pain is real. The silence of an absent friend is deafening.

But if this - being what it is - happens to be a change agent for even one, then my hopes are that it would be a catalyst for remembering that this life is indeed a blink when it comes to the scope of forever. We're only given a few precious moments on this globe, in this life, to make a mark. To change someone else for the better. To dent the universe in such a way that it will never be the same again as the result of that ding. To change the world in some small way which forever brings so many a new sense of balance and harmony.

Tonight, to my friend whom I adore and to so many of her other friends, I would just share this...

Make a mark in this life for your friend. Do that which your friend couldn't do and do it in a way that it makes an impact which will change the world. Find a way to knock the world just a bit off it's axis so that for years to come people will remember your friend... and the love that was had among the friends of this one whom time called home. Be the difference. In doing so, the spirit of who this friend was will continue to live on, and the impact of the time spent here will be so substantial.

And, remember, that indeed, our time here is limited. Live YOUR life. Don't settle. Don't live according to someone else's dogma. Blaze your own trail and find your own way. You might be surprised what you find as you do.

To my friend who even right now is crying tears of loss and trying to cope with these feelings of confusion which are all a part of grief... I can say this to you. You've changed me for the better. You came along and reminded me of things, showed me even more things, believed in me and understood me in spite of me and in spite of my colossal failures at times when it comes to some things. You've made a difference in at least one life.... and that life was mine. I'm looking forward to being around to see how you continue to be the catalyst in this life that you are... and I know that you'll be successful because you've already been successful... at least to me.

Live life like there is no tomorrow. Embrace now like it may never come again. Love like you'll never know love after the next sunrise... and above all, as Steve Jobs said in that speech all those years ago...

"Don't settle..."

May God bring peace to those living through this loss... And may this being of supreme peace bring you the many blessings and joys you and your family have been searching for...

From the capital city of the free world.... goodnight...

and "stay hungry... stay foolish..."

With all the love I can give,

-t.