Don’t Take Today for Granted: A Brief Tribute to Scott Dinsmore

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Yesterday, I learned that Scott Dinsmore died.

Most of you probably don’t know who Scott Dinsmore is. Although I’ve had a few brief Twitter exchanges with him in the past year, I’ve never met him in person. In fact, if I passed him on the street, he wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap.

But the work he’s spent the last few years doing has had a pretty big impact on me.

Scott Dinsmore is the creator of the über-successful blog Live Your Legend, where he helped people find and do work that truly matters to them. The tagline on his website reads:

“Change the world by doing work you love.”

Back in 2012, Scott gave an inspirational TEDx talk titled “How to Find and Do Work You Love” that has become one of the most-watched TED talks of all time, garnering nearly 3 million views on YouTube.

Importantly, Scott didn’t just talk the talk. He also walked the walk. As he discussed in his TEDx talk, Scott began his career working at a Fortune 500 company. But just a few months into that gig, he realized that working in corporate America, sitting behind a desk for 40+ hours per week, made him want to “slam my head through the monitor of my computer.”

Shortly thereafter, he quit his job, launched a blog, and set out to build an online business where he could convince people to go the same route he did: finding and pursuing work they love.

Back in 2011 or so, when I was in the midst of my own career crisis, I read a lot of books and blogs that dealt with the topics of productivity, personal development, life mission, passion, and so on. Inevitably, I came across Scott Dinsmore, who was “blowing up” online at the time.

His enthusiasm was contagious, and I watched numerous videos of him talking about his blog and his business (for examples, see here and here).

He was one of the people who convinced me that I needed to make some changes in my life and do more things that I’m passionate about.

In addition, he made me realize that, just like him, I really enjoy helping others (especially students) find and pursue careers that get them excited about Monday morning. It was ultimately part of the reason I switched my research and teaching focus to the topic of passion and, subsequently, started this blog.

Over the past few years, I’ve incorporated his TEDx video into my passion class, and it always goes over well with students. I think it’s pretty clear from the video that Scott was passionate about living life to the fullest.

That’s probably why he and his wife, Chelsea, sold all of their belongings last year and set out in early 2015 on a year-long jaunt around the globe. They wanted to travel around the world hosting dinner parties and meeting many of the passionate people they had connected with online.

Over the past 9 months, Scott has run his online business from around the world and blogged about his many adventures along the way (to read about some of his adventures, see here).

On September 4, 2015, Scott posted a new blog entry titled,” I’m Going Off the Grid: Therapy for an Addicted & Over-Connected World.” In it, he wrote:

“For the next two weeks I’m taking my first digital sabbatical (in five years!) as I head to Tanzania to attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, track the Great Wildebeest Migration and do some volunteer work at a local school and orphanage.”

He talked about how important it is for all of us to disconnect from technology every once in awhile so that we can (re)connect with others and with ourselves.

Sadly, Scott died in a tragic climbing accident while on Mt. Kilimanjaro a few days ago.

As I noted before, I didn’t know Scott personally, but I’ve followed him from afar for the past few years. (For a personal account of what Scott was like as a person, check out Leo Babauta’s moving tribute.)

It’s weird, but since I found out about Scott’s untimely death, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him. I think he’s been on my mind for a few different reasons.

First, as I said, his writings helped get me “over the hump” when I felt stuck in my job a few years ago. Hearing his story got me to realize that making big changes in our lives is often easier than we think it’s going to be.

Second, as news of his death started to hit the Internet, I was amazed at the outpouring of love and emotion that flooded Twitter, Facebook, etc.

For quite some time, I’ve said that one of my biggest life goals is to have a massive funeral. If it (hopefully) happens, it’ll mean that I had a positive impact on others. And that, to me, is a legacy worth pursuing.

Clearly, Scott Dinsmore had a far-reaching and positive effect on thousands and thousands of people around the world. Although he was taken much too early, the legacy he leaves behind is without question.

The final reason I’ve been thinking about Scott a lot is because he was only 32 years old (which is 11 years younger than me). I’m sure that when he set out to travel the world for a year, the notion of having his life taken from him was nowhere on his radar.

And yet, it points out a very real fact about our lives: They can be taken from us at any time, without warning.

To me, hearing about Scott’s tragic death is just a reminder that we all need to be grateful for every day we’re given, because we never know when it all might come to an end.

Even when we’re having one of “those days,” when everything seems to be going wrong, remember that the highs and lows are all part of living an amazing, full life.

As the late Robin Williams noted in the Academy Award-winning movie, Good Will Hunting, “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

So today, rather than complaining about all of the little things that are bothering us, let’s take a look around and notice all of the amazing things we have going on in our lives. Moreover, let’s not wait to do the things we truly want to do with our lives.

Don’t take today for granted, because you never know if there’s going to be another one.

Rest in peace, Scott.

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