Nine years ago today, I was awoken by a phone call whilst in Canada that changed my life. I was told that a close of friend of mine, Detho, has tragically died overnight at the tender age of 24 years old.
Today I’d like to take a moment to celebrate a great mate who although no longer with us, lives on in everything I do. 100 Things in many ways is his legacy.
Detho’s sudden passing rocked not just me but a vast community. At the same time it created a moment for myself where I chose to reassess my life. For me, I began considering the same questions asked by many people who may have have lost someone close to them; Why am I here? and What am i doing with my life?, but ultimately there was only one thought that stuck in my head that day, and it has never left;
If Detho had the foresight to know that he only had 24 years on the planet, would he, given another chance, live his life the same way or make changes? Ultimately was he happy?
I never got the opportunity to ask him this question of course, but the more I thought about the concept I came to my own conclusion that Detho wouldn’t change a thing! Detho lived a life that represented his values. A life that rightly or wrongly by anyones else’s standards best represented who Detho was on a primal level. A life that included friends, beaches, team sports and family. He lived authentically and true to himself, and with this realisation I believe that although far too short, his life was one that offered him happiness. What more could you ask for looking back on your last day?
That very night I decided to turn the same question on myself, if I was to die today would I look back and be proud at the way I was living or given another chance would I want to change anything?
It was the first time that I’d ever stopped and given true thought to my own direction in life and my answer scared me; if given another chance I would change everything. I wasn’t happy.
It seems to me that in our community/society, we’re not often encouraged or in fact given permission to truly consider who we are as people and whether we are leading a life that best represents ourselves. It took me to the age of 24 years old to first consider this. With an answer that left me feeling sad, lonely and angry, I took it upon myself to make a change. I picked up a pen and a piece of paper and I began jotting down in bullet points things that I believed would put a smile on my face. That was the only rationale and it was based on my own realisation that being happy was of priority to me.
This of course was the beginning of what you know now as 100 Things, a movement that blossomed from my own personal journey to simply live a life that reflects my values.
Why is that typically it takes a dark moment for us as people to first give thought to our own sense of happiness? It certainly shouldn’t. Ultimately it takes just one moment to give yourself permission to consider your values and then a simple choice to pursue them. It is that easy. Your list does not have to be extreme and there is no right or wrong. Balance is important, as is honesty and the commitment to yourself that you are willing to make a change. Change results from action. This is up to you.
On a day that leaves me and everyone else emotional at the loss of someone so special, I urge you not to wait for a dark moment in your own life to first consider what your own happiness looks like. Instead give your self permission to consider this now.
What’s on your list?
You may find that this question is the start of something far bigger than just you.
Rest in peace Detho- you should be proud of what you’ve created.