Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.
— W. Clement Stone

Life is short and we never really know when it’s going to be done.  Something recently happened in my life to give me another big wake up call and reminder about making the most of each given day.

I had gone to the Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce to give a workshop on email marketing and as has been my experience with this particular chamber the audience was very interactive and ready to learn.

In this particular workshop there was one gentleman who stood out from the rest even from the moment I walked in the door. His name was John Carrigan and he was the first one there - having arrived 20 minutes early. Throughout the workshop he was fully engaged and asked many questions.

At this point in his long career, John shared that he primarily was focused on engaging with retired military officers and encouraging them to take their leadership skills into the private sector.

After the workshop he asked more questions and then sent me a follow-up email that afternoon asking if I would be available to do further speaking for some groups he was involved in. 

Because of my busy schedule I was not able to reply to John’s email until a few days later. After running errands I routinely checked my email when I returned home a few hours later and got an email that took my breath away.

It was from John’s daughter, Jennifer, who regretfully had to share with me that John had been in a bicycling accident the day before and had not survived his injuries. I was shocked and saddened that I would never get to know John further. I was saddened even more so for the people who loved and cared for him and will be missing him so greatly in their lives.  

I was saddened for the ideas and work he had for his organization that he will not get to finish both for him and for the people who would have benefitted from his work. You can read more about John’s work here.

Life or fate or whatever you want to call it had the final word. There was no discussion or anything for John to fear – his life is now finished.

It really has got me thinking again about the things in my life that aren’t finished. This includes the people I have yet to meet or haven’t had time to talk to recently. Also, this includes spending more time with those I love while I can and creating the work I was put on this planet to do.

Steve Jobs once said, “Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” 

Now we can scream in haunted houses and dress up as ghosts and goblins during this time of year, however, the greatest fears that we can overcome are the ones that stop us from living our life out fully. Because when we each get to the end of our road – and it’s pretty clear that we will – it’s about the good stuff we did as we pushed past the fear that really did make all the difference.

What if you acted upon the thing you fear most right now?

Usually the thing you fear most really isn’t that scary after you take that first step… Your actions towards it will change the direction of your life and make all the difference.

Happy Halloween.

To Your Successes and Victories,
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles