How do you mourn for a friend you have never met?
This week, the world lost a living legend and I lost a mentor.
Scott Dinsmore, founder of Live Your Legend, died earlier this week due to an accident while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. A feat that he had been dreaming of doing all his life. He was on his 8th month of a yearlong adventure of traveling the world with his beautiful wife, Chelsea, when everything came to an abrupt halt.
The accident came without warning and took from us a loving brother, a dutiful son, a doting husband, a loyal friend, an incredible human being and an inspirational mentor to thousands of people around the world.
Scott’s mission in life was a simple one:
Change the world by helping people live a life of passion – a life of purpose – and he has helped thousands of people on every continent to do just that with Live Your Legend.
His TED Talk How to Find and Do Work You Love has almost 3 million views on YouTube and sums up his passion and his mission. If you have about 18 minutes, please watch it and get a glimpse of the man that left his indelible mark upon this world.
[As a side note, TED has featured Scott’s talk on their homepage as a tribute – Nicely done, TED!]
When I first discovered Scott, I was in a very dark place. My life had no direction, no purpose, no passion, no hope. I’m not even sure how I found him, but my life hasn’t been the same since. And I’ll never forget my first impressions of him when I saw his TED talk.
I thought he was full of crap.
Even after exploring his Live Your Legend (LYL) website and participating in a couple of his live webinars, I was still extremely skeptical.
I could not believe that anyone could be that energetic, that passionate, and that compassionate about helping other people without some kind of hidden agenda. One that most likely one that attacked my wallet!
And yet, here I was, constantly reading Scott’s blog posts, listening to his words, and watching him speak. Absorbing everything he had to offer.
The simple truth was that Scott was an anomaly. Who you saw is who you got and there are now countless tributes to him that attest to this fact. He was completely transparent and utterly genuine. There was no ulterior motive. No hidden agenda. Just truth, integrity, and a boatload of childlike wonder and exuberance.
I could not help but be drawn in by his energy and his light. All the while having my cynicism kicking and screaming and desperately looking for some dark hidden secret, yet finding nothing but sincerity, honor and compassion.
As much as I wanted to deny the existence of such selflessness, his warmth shone like an inextinguishable sun and I was but a mere moth dancing in the glow.
Scott’s passion for his purpose was infectious and I was hooked.
His sudden passing was a sucker punch to the gut and it ripped a hole in my heart. For the first several days after hearing the tragic news, I was filled with a mix of anger and incredible grief. My heart was in agony over losing a dear friend and mentor. All these emotions confused me for one simple reason.
I had never met Scott Dinsmore.
How could I possibly be so affected by the loss of someone I had never met?
I guess that is a testament to the man himself. He was able to touch so many lives in such an intimate fashion that his loss is being felt around the world on a personal level.
I was a lost soul when I found Scott. His passion awakened in me something that had been dormant for decades. A passion for life. For the first time in forever, I truly believed that there was more to this life than what I was accepting and that I could not only find the happiness and fulfillment I desired, but I could also make an impact on this world in the process.
I saw possibility where I once saw dead ends. I saw light where I once saw only darkness. I found myself sharing his words with anyone who would listen with the excitement of a small boy on Christmas morning.
I was alive!
Scott’s Start a Blog challenge helped me find my voice and give me the confidence to express myself and my ideas. I would never have taken those first steps if it were not for the confidence that he had in me.
I delved deeper into the LYL community and took his How to Connect With Anyone course. Through CWA I met incredible people who not only shared this belief that anything was possible in life, they also believed that anything was possible within ME.
I am proud to say that I still have these friends and the list continues to grow. I have never felt greater support and love than I do with these people that I am blessed to call family.
He was there for me every week with his posts and podcasts. I relied on his experience and wisdom to help me through difficult times. His ability to connect other people to one another has given me some of my dearest friends that I will cherish for my lifetime.
This was all thanks to Scott’s vision and guidance, and I would not be where I am today without him. What I owe him goes far beyond a simple “Thank You”.
What kind of person would do all this for a complete stranger? Better yet, one that asked for nothing in return except to help others along the way? Only a caring mentor, a loyal friend, and a loving brother would.
How could I not mourn the loss of someone so dear to me? How could I not mourn the loss of my brother? I never met Scott, but I loved him profoundly and I will miss him terribly.
What is the Lesson?
Whenever there is a tragic loss, my initial thought beyond the grief is an attempt to find meaning. I think a lot of us do this to help ease the pain, but, truth be told, sometimes bad things just happen.
But I did find a lesson in this loss. A personal lesson for me and a lesson that has been taught time and time again, yet most of us choose to ignore it.
Scott lived every day as if it were his last. He embodied the spirit of that cliched phrase and took advantage of every opportunity given to him. He experimented with every aspect of his life, was unabashedly authentic, and genuinely cared about everyone he met.
Scott lived with no regrets and died doing what he loved. Living life to the fullest and he lived more in his 33 years than most people do in a lifetime. In fact, my first 33 years pale in comparison.
So what is the lesson?
There is No Tomorrow
There is only today and what you make of today is completely up to you. How will you spend it?
Will you continue to choose to live an ordinary life? Or will you push your limits and find out what is possible?
Will you take for granted that those you love will be here tomorrow? Or will you tell them today how much they mean to you?
The fear of risks keeps many of us from pursuing adventure, but, as Scott often repeated, “The biggest risk is doing nothing.”
Doing nothing leads to regret and the road to unhappiness is paved with regrets. Imagine a life led without it. What would your world look like without regret?
How many regrets are you living with now? How many more do you want to carry 10, 20, or 30 years from now?
I regret that I never took the initiative to tell Scott how much he meant to me. How he saved my life. How I did not live up to his own teachings about reaching out and connecting with people who inspire you.
I will never allow that to happen again. I will never take anyone or anything in my life for granted ever again.
Scott developed The Creed of Living Legends. Below is a poster of this creed which details all the attributes to live by in order to experience a life of meaning. I’ve had it on my wall for several years and blindly passed it every day. I will do so no longer.
Scott lived life to the fullest until the very last second and I will honor his legacy by doing the same.
How will you live your life today?
Thank you for being here, Heroes.