I just found out yesterday that a friend of mine passed away. He was a regular in the bookstore that I’m also a regular in. We weren’t incredibly close and over the years I haven’t really seen him as much since he got a new job and moved. We were definitely more than acquaintances though and I would certainly call him a friend. He was only 46 years old and died from heart disease.

It always shakes you up when someone dies that you saw as young and not very different from you. (When I was 26, I had a friend die that was only 36. I saw him the weekend he died for a going away party. He was starting a new job in Florida the following week. I saw him Friday, by Sunday he was gone.)

My friend from the bookstore actually died back in October but I only found out yesterday. The blog I wrote yesterday, before I found out about him, referenced heart disease. Finding out about Ron made me look at the words I’d written with even more depth.

When you hear about someone dying at what you deem an early age, you’re reminded of your mortality. I mean, I almost immediately started looking at my life up until this point and wondered if I had really done enough (Too late if I feel like I didn’t, but honestly I feel like I did.) I’m looking now and wondering if the path I’m currently walking is a trajectory in the direction to experience the fullness that Life offers all of us.

Many of us get lost in thinking we’ll only experience that fullness once we’ve arrived somewhere. Actually, the statement I just said sets up thinking that if I walk this particular path, eventually I’ll arrive at a place of unparalleled joy and fullness. This isn’t the case. Once what I’m walking toward is met, my fullness should only be increased, not introduced.

What I mean is, if I am in fact walking a path that will ultimately bring me to a life of fullness, I should already be experiencing that fullness on some level as I journey.

I’ll tell you this– I have not yet achieved financial freedom by way of writing blogs or books. Do I think financial freedom is a level I desire to achieve that will bring with it a certain fullness? Yep. And I will achieve it. But my heart is on fire every day that I write. Because I love it. Every person that says something positive about what I’ve written, that it changed their direction toward something better, that it got them through a day… that brings incredible fullness into my life.

Our gifts and our talents are seeds planted within our hearts. Cultivating, feeding, caring for, and growing them will be the greatest achievements we each will ever know.

I’m not trying to turn my friend’s passing into leverage for me to tell you to live your dreams, but the reason I write this blog is to be transparent. All that I teach is based off of experience within my own life. And sometimes I talk about those experiences candidly. I hope and pray that Ron is resting easy having a chilled iced-coffee on a fluffy cloud somewhere enjoying the view. Much much love, my friend. See you on the other side!

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