I was deeply saddened by the loss of Dan Wheldon yesterday. Dan was a two time Indy 500 winner and talented Indy Car driver. He was involved in a horrific crash at the Las Vegas Speedway and died shortly after.
Whether or not you like or watch auto racing, you can empathize with the pain his wife, two small sons and friends are going through today. These terrible tragedies should remind us of the value of life and its brevity. Like Steve Jobs famously remarked, knowing you are going to die is a powerful motivator for doing great things with you life.
I often hear well meaning people say that someone (like Dan Wheldon) died doing what he loved. Certainly Dan knew the risks and accepted them. And by all accounts, he loved racing very much.
The bigger point, to me, is to live doing what you love. How often do we defer joy? How often do we mistakenly think that circumstances or monotony can really prevent us from loving what we’re doing?
We choose moment to moment whether to love our work, our circumstances and our lives. It is a choice that too frequently falls off our conscious radar. The loss of a human life is a terrible thing, but in pausing to reflect, we can at least extract some good.
RIP Dan Wheldon. I didn’t know you but was and am inspired by your example, and the excellence you brought to your work.
And may we all spend today and as much of every day we can living what we love.
I, too, am saddened by this tragedy. But your take on it has me reflecting on how I spend the minutes of my own day.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Often I try and convince myself that I love what I do (usually if the money is good, in most cases at least!) – just being plain honest. I hear people talking about passion and discovering your true passion – how do I discover this for myself?
Tanseem, you ask a good question. Passion is about doing what gets you excited and that you feel is important, to yourself and others. In my book, The Encore Effect, I say there are four sources of passion: what we do, why we do it, how we do it and whom we do it four. While many have an overriding passion, most people have a number of passions, some about work and other passions related to their personal lives. I think the first question for finding your passion is to begin by asking, “What matters to me?” The answer to that question will point you in the right direction.