Today, I write this with the heaviest of hearts. Sunday night I was planning my week. I went through a process that I learned from my friend Scott where I look back at the week before and made a list of my accomplishments. Then, thought about where I fell short. That led to planning the week ahead and picking out a few high impact commitments for the week. To this day, I call this the Dinsmore Review when I’m writing up my task list.
Before I shut down my computer, I checked my email and saw the subject line – “News about Scott”. It didn’t register at first and then I clicked it open. It said something about “tragic” news. I immediately checked Facebook to see if there was anything on there and that’s when the wind was knocked out of me.
Scott Dinsmore died from a tragic accident while climbing Mt Kilimanjaro over the weekend.
No…not Scott…the guy was untouchable. He was THE ONE. I mean, he was traveling all over the world the last 9 months to show people what was possible – that, they too, could live w/out regrets and impact the world in a tremendous way.
I mourn for his family and really for the world – it’s a profound loss.
With pain, there is still hope. And as hard as it is write now, I celebrate his legacy – the world is truly a better place because of Scott Dinsmore.
Man, this is tough. As many of you have seen over the years in my writing, I reference Scott all the time. You see, I met Scott five years ago…not in person, but online. I read a post he wrote on Zen Habits and it resonated with me so much that I reached out to him and hired him to work with me as I was getting started with making an impact via the online world (and beyond). In fact, I think I may have even been his first “official” coaching client. For about a year, I had the privilege of talking to Scott on an every other week basis for an hour at a time. We hit it off right away. And, I was blown away by his passion and his willingness to help. He exuded humility and had a zest for life that was so contagious. How could you be that cool, that good-looking, that intelligent and still have a way about you that was all about serving others? It almost didn’t seem real – this dude was so All In on adding value to others that I would get off the phone and just be rearing to go trying to figure out my path. I was fortunate to have many conversations with him as his old blog, Reading for your Success, was turning into his new REVOLUTION, Live Your Legend. It wasn’t about money for him…it was about impact.
I’ll never forget we were having a drink at World Domination Summit a couple years ago and I was talking about how my blog subscriber growth had stagnated. He looked me in the eye and said something to the extent of – “You’re looking at the wrong metric dude. Look at the impact you’re making.” You see, I had just partnered up with my friend Adam, which I’ve written about many times and we were in the middle of our Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his book launch. It was a conversation I remember so vividly. That was Scott. He would build you up. His primary driver was impact. And, look what he’s done.
I’ve been at a loss of words the last few days and haven’t written anything but I’ve been reading a lot of tributes about Scott. What blows my mind is the number of people who have never met him, yet, he’s changed their lives…changed the course of their lives! Talk about impact. That’s what he wanted…he wanted to see the best in others….to pull out the greatness that’s inside every person in this world. He really believed everyone has something – some special ability that they can share with the entire world. And….that’s the truth. What if everyone single person in the world found out what their unique greatness is…and went all in….ALL IN! Could you imagine?
Scott always referenced a quote by Jim Rohn – “You’re the avg of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I heard it from him….and I use it all the time when I talk to groups or in one on one conversations. Scott always said “Environment is everything.” Surround yourself with game-changers…world-changers…and magic happens. Live Your Legend happens. I remember him returning from a fishing trip to Patagonia with his dad and he talked about reading The Alchemist again. He was going to name his movement something like Epic Life….and coming back from that trip he had the name – Live Your Legend. The Alchemist talks about Living your own personal legend….it talks about every single person having a personal legend – that’s it – that’s our unique greatness…that’s the one thing that makes you different….and special.
Every week for the last 5 years, I’ve looked forward to reading his articles. Talk about commitment to the cause – I’m not sure if he ever missed a week. And, he was all about adding value….he wanted his writing to stand the test of time. I know it will. I used to ask him about when he was going to write his best-selling, world-changing book….he would get that grin and chuckle and say something about not being ready yet. I knew it was coming at some point…and I know that his writing on Live Your Legend has to be put into some sort of book form….there’s just too much wisdom, passion and value to not have it immortalized.
And, his TED talk a couple years ago…now seen by almost 3 million people….all about finding your passion and doing work you love…which, by the way, is about to be on the main TED site soon. I see this talk living on for many years to come. I will show it to my kids when they’re old enough to understand it and I will recommend it to all the high school and college kids I talk to. The best part of this talk is the rawness of it….it’s passion personified….I’ve even watched it with no sound and you can just feel his energy. I know he was a last minute fill in for the event and he prepped his ass off, going over his talk many times, with his wife Chelsea as his audience. I know that if he had months to prepare it never would’ve been as good. He rose to the occasion and delivered a walk off home run. I get chills as a write about it. And…I will watch it often.
And, when we would be in our coaching calls, we would talk a lot about my career in sales and wanting to make more of an impact. He never pushed me to quit my job….it was all about finding ways to make an impact regardless of your situation. And, that rings so true today. You can make a difference. You can do some amazing things regardless of where you are in life. A simple smile and asking someone how their day is can change the trajectory of that person’s life. Kindness, as Scott says, can do wonders. He loved referencing Ghandi and always talked about a song he loved – Be the change that you want to be. It wasn’t lip service. He lived it. He breathed it.
That’s it. Be the change that you want to be. We can all make a difference. It’s not about being some A list blogger or big TED speaker or NY Times Bestselling author….it’s about starting from where you are. And…a commitment to do something to put your dent in the world. Maybe it’s writing a hand-written note to someone thanking them…maybe it’s sending an email to someone you haven’t talked to in some time just to check in….or maybe it’s picking up the phone and just calling for no reason. There’s so much we can do every day to make a difference. Be the change that you want to be.
This is a profound loss no doubt. Scott’s impact was just beginning, I’m sure of it. He was just scratching the surface. It’s our duty to live our own personal legends. That’s what will keep his impact going. His revolution. His movement. His community. He, by the way, never said “my” TED talk…or “my” community. It was always “our” TED talk or “our” community. There’s such humility and brilliance in that.
I miss you already Scott. Your legend and your light will shine brightly for so, so many years to come.
I ask that you all keep Scott’s wife, Chelsea, and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
And, I challenge you to stop playing small in the world. Do something that matters. Find your own personal legend….it’s in there…you just have to keep looking.
If you want to learn more about Scott & Live Your Legend, here are some great starting points. Be warned – your life will never be the same.
His TEDx Talk on doing passionate work just went live on the main TED site with almost 3M views.
- The Live Your Legend Website
- Good Life Project Interview with Jonathan Fields – This is a great interview by one of the best interviewers out there – Jonathan Fields. These two were close friends and Jonathan was a great mentor to Scott.
- Leo Babauta of Zen Habits tribute to Scott
- Corbett Barr’s tribute to Scott
- Jonathan Mead’s tribute to Scott
- Kyle Wood’s tribute and 30 Scott Dinsmore quotes
- Tribute to Scott on Live Your Legend
- And, finally, here is the creed Scott created for the community at Live Your Legend