Gone too soon

LifeToday I am not going to publish a post on social media or business development. Today I am not sharing a cool video with great insights from a business authority. No. Today I want to write about something that I have been reflecting for the past couple of days. I want to talk about Life.

On April 26th, a friend of mine, Lukasz Willman, suffered a fall during a bike ride in the forrest. As a result of his injuries, he died later that day.

Although we were not close friends, every time we had the opportunity to meet he always had a big smile and a great attitude. We had interesting and meaningful conversations and I enjoyed his company very much. I know he was liked and loved by many people and that he will be terribly missed.

Now …. every death is a tragedy, but knowing that a healthy, kind, friendly, successful, cherished guy in his mid-thirties suddenly dies … well, it is a big wake-up call. His death has affected me and for the past couple days, I have been reflecting on how I’ve lived my life, on all the the things I have done, on all the things I want to accomplish and on the legacy I am building for my two kids.

But also, I have been thinking about the things that I have not done. Things that I thought I was committed to achieve. Things that represent meaningful work and that … well because of different reasons (read excuses) I have “left for later” or categorized as “someday/maybe projects”.

I have been thinking about the concept that I have shared with you in one of my previous posts entitled: “A life-changing principle: Die empty“. In it, Todd Henry shares his idea of working everyday on “emptying yourself”. In other words, to get whatever is in you, out of you to do your daily work. To leave nothing unspoken, uncreated, unwritten, undone. In other words, to divest yourself of whatever is inside of you.

After listening to that podcast and writing that post, I decided to establish the “Die empty” idea as a guide to everything I do. Well, I confess that I have not been consistent. This tragedy has made me get back on track.

I have also been thinking on the story that Benjamin Zander shared in the final moments of his remarkable TED Talk. He told the story of a lady that survived Auschwitz, who told him that when she and her younger brother were in the train going to the concentration camp, she noticed that his shoes were missing. So, she told him “Why you are so stupid? Can’t you keep your things together for goodness sake?” … Unfortunately that is the last thing she said to him, because he did not survived.

After she left Auschwitz she made a vow to “never say anything that could not stand as the last thing I ever say“.

I have watched that TED talk dozens of times and every time I keep reinforcing the idea of applying this into my life. Unfortunately, often I have caught myself not following that commitment. Specially with my kids. I have realized that sometimes I am too strict with them and I overreact. This tragedy has made me realized that I must take this possibility to get back on track.

So this tragedy has really put things in perspective to me. And, well, if I can give you some sort of advice is to live your life fully. Do not take anything for granted. Take chances. Start something meaningful. Go for it. Take that dance lesson you have been wanting to take for so long. Learn that language. Tell your loved ones how much you love them and focus everyday on having a big impact in their lives. Call that person you have been wanting to call … Whatever it is … go for it. Do it. Life is too short …

I wish I had taken the opportunity to get to know him better.

My thoughts and prayers go to his family.

RIP Lukasz Willman (1973 – 2011)

Photo by Konrad Mostert


7 responses to “Gone too soon

  1. Thank you for ‘waking me up’ I should get back on track as well… and I will.

  2. Ivan,
    I too lost a friend this week. She was only 45 and had been battling breast cancer for four years.

    Your post is timely and a lovely reminder about what’s important.

    My friend Carolyn was from Manchester and always full of life. In some ways she was an unsettled person, always wanting more and searching for her thing. She seemed to find all that she had been searching for in the last few years. She lived her life to the full but I’m sure she didn’t die empty because she died way too young.

    I will miss her deeply and keep her close in my heart.

    R.I.P Carolyn. Sx

    • Suellen,
      I am so sorry for your lost. Thank you for taking the time to comment here and my thoughts and prayers go to Carolyn’s family and friends.
      I think the best thing we can do to honor them is to focus on what’s important.
      Take care Suellen and once again, thank you.

  3. thank Ivan for sharing that with us. We, so often, think that there is tomorrow and we will be able to do so many thing tomorrow….but sometimes — one day, there is no more tomorrow.

  4. That’s a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing!

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