Auckland, New Zealand

February 2, 2020

Gone too soon.

As the grey clouds have rolled in and out of Auckland this week, and I've waded forward through the past to build a new future, I've been thinking a lot about what really matters.

This past weekend, a pretty famous basketball player died suddenly, and I was struck by how hard it hit me emotionally.

As a kid, my dream was to play professional basketball, and though the growth spurt I needed never came through, the sport and its players have always been close to my heart.

If you'd asked me about him last week, I'd have been nonplussed (his team always beat my favorite team, after all.)

But when the news came - it hit. I spent a lot of that day reeling, going for a walks, unable to really focus.

I like to think I'm pretty intentional about life - I spend a fair amount of time doing reflections, examining my values, figuring out what combination of authentic and audacious to really choose.

But nothing brings sharp focus like the unexpected death of a contemporary, a peer - someone like me, who I thought had years of full, active life ahead.

You never know in life.

On my bathroom mirror, I have a faded post-it note taped up that's been all around the world with me. It's a quote from Steve Jobs, who also died too soon.

I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Life really is beautiful and fleeting and unfairly short.

We never know which one will be our last walk, text message, coffee with a friend, or conversation with a loved one.

Let's both make something wonderful with the time we've got.

Have a meaningful week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I read all week was also the hardest, and potentially triggering. It's about how the #metoo movement is reaching into some of the more isolated and pious communities, and the stories that are finally being heard.

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