I got a message from my friend Sophronia Scott today, who runs a business called The Book Sistah which helps aspiring writers get their books written and published. In her message, she said:
"Forgive me if I’m a bit out of sorts today. I’m still reeling from some terrible news. Earlier this month I received a wonderful note from a new subscriber, "Linda" (not her real name), telling me how much she was learning from my work and outlining what she intended to do to get her book published. These steps included targeting her article-writing topics more and starting her own newsletter. I responded with words of encouragement and asking to hear more about her project.
Yesterday I received an email from Linda’s daughter telling me that a few days ago her mother had been in a fatal car accident. "I know that she had been trying desperately to get her book published," the note said, "and when everything settles down a bit I am going to do everything I can to make this dream come true for her." I was shocked and saddened. You’ll recall I have written here about the early deaths of writers August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein and Octavia Butler and how they reminded me that we don’t know how long we have to use our creative talents. But Linda’s loss hits even closer to home because I experienced a small bit of her passion and untapped potential. It is a loss for all of us because we might never know how we might have been changed by what she had to offer.
Don’t Put It Off
I guess I’m saying this is another reminder that if something is important to you, don’t put it off. "
I want to echo Sophronia’s thoughts as I think about all of our "life’s work" that we sometimes let slip and slide with the hectic pace of our lives. If you are teetering on the edge of a big change or putting off something important, please take this as encouragement to get going. Don’t put it off for tomorrow.
A great reminder to do what matters most to you. And, to do it in a way that is not fear driven (“oh my gosh — the sky is falling & I may be dead tomorrow”) — but one that is full of joy and the richness that life has to offer.
It works as a good excuse-buster too because that age old lament of “I’ll do it Someday” doesn’t hold water because “Someday” is not a day on the calendar!
Thanks for sharing this personal account.
You can’t live your life in constant fear of dying.
People die. So will I. So will you.
Make plans for years ahead, and don’t let fear guide your acts.
Great post! We must make every day count. Thanks for reminding me today.
For that matter, don’t put off any thing non-trivial.
Its a joy to get organized (make easy with constant reminders) and tick off something on your to-do lists. By putting off, some times we loose friends, relationships and in the context of Entrepreneurship the business itself. Entrepreneurs spend hours and thousands of dollars to get their marketing program going on and if they put off on following up on a customer, its dead meat.
One of my best friends wanted to apply for H1B visa and thought he can do it in next couple of weeks despite my constant reminders and blog posts. Boom, the next week the quota was over. All his dreams to come to US now has to wait for an year and half now.
Every loss seems to be a reminder that one should carry with him a sense of vigilance regarding our approach to life. Yet, that sense must be tempered with the fact that we are all so incomplete. Being on the journey is were we reap our true rewards. I hope her daughter gets her late mother published but, I also hope that I die on my way to doing something great.