I was writing an email on my iPhone and forgot to open the garage door before warming up my truck. No one would have thought it was an accident. It sure makes me think.
Three thoughts on this one:
1) Are people accidently killing themselves because they are focused on their mobile devices?
The other day I left the gas stove burner on for 7 hours. I sometimes write emails while driving. I’ve charged my iPad while using it in the Jacuzzi tub. A bus almost hit me when I walked into the street without looking up from my phone.
Am I going to kill myself one of these times?
Is anyone going to believe it was an accident?
Today, the garage filled up with fumes and I got dizzy. I opened the doors before passing out. Next time I might not be so lucky.
2) Don’t make the same mistake!
It’s cold out and I see so many other folks addicted to their smartphones. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake.
The life of an 8pm Warrior can be crazy, hectic, and consuming. We’re like autopilot sleepwalkers sometimes: exhausted, overwhelmed, and distracted. We don’t need to add dead to the list.
Maybe we all need to wake up a bit.
3) Are we telling people who we truly are?
When I told others about my brush with death, my wife and a close friend both said they would assume I killed myself. Yes, 2010 wasn’t a great year for my business and I still ache from it, but I never thought people would make that mistake. It makes me wonder if my personal goals I discuss here on the blog are taken seriously. Do I sound like someone who would kill themself? Do I seem fake or delusional? Maybe I’m not telling people who I really am. Are you?
I’m not sure.
All I know is if someone finds me dead, I only want them to ask: A) Who killed him! or B) How did this accident happen?
Suicide isn’t an option. My death won’t make anyone’s life better, but my life will. The same goes for your life.
We’ve got families that need us, talents that can help others, differences that can be made. Some folks might believe their life will never be the same after a major failure. It might be true. That might end up being a good thing.
If we change our focus from ourselves to the lives of others, we find a new meaning for our lives.
We might find a new legacy to leave.
For any of my fellow warriors out there who have considered suicide, I want you to personally email me at Support@8pmWarrior.com so we can talk. I’ve been in the dumps too. I’ve felt worthless. I’ve wondered about my future. I’ve discovered that life really isn’t about me at all. It’s too risky to bet it all on yourself. That’s why I’m now focused on the lives of others. I invite you to join me.
My death won’t prompt candle light vigils around the world or make newspaper headlines. However, as long as I’m living I can still make a difference to someone. Until that changes, I will never take my own life. Never.
He offers us advice on one way to help avoid this tragedy in the future:
“Here’s something you can do right now, right where you are, and you don’t even need a book to show you how: when that next person walks into your office, calls you on the phone, or sends you an email, stop to seriously ponder the question, “Why am I glad this person is on the planet?”
When you have the answer to that question, take it from your mind, put it into words, and give those words to that person.”
- Trey Pennington
Trey, a fellow 8pm Warrior, killed himself this morning at a church in Greenville, SC. He was an amazing speaker, thinker, writer, and warrior. He had a beautiful mind. Trey also suffered from depression.
This tragedy reminds me of a quote:
“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
I didn’t come up with the idea*. I’m not the first 8pm Warrior and definitely not the only one.
It is a fascinating tribe and I enjoy learning about what drives leaders to work while others play, chase dreams while others sleep, and push on when others quit.
You are an 8pm Warrior
My fellow 8pm Warriors are some of the best people I know.
How do you find one? Since I write this blog in the evenings (and you’re reading it), the easiest place to find an 8pm Warrior is by looking in the mirror.
However, it doesn’t have to be a lonely path. If you’re up this evening learning, growing, pushing, and planning, you are definitely not alone.
When looking for other 8pm Warriors, you’ll probably know one when you meet one. However, I thought it would be fun to have a guide. Just in case you can’t tell, I wrote this blog post for 12most.com about common traits to look for. I think you’ll enjoy it.
*An 8pm Warrior is someone who uses the evening or early morning hours to work on a project they love. This includes, but is not limited to leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, artists, writers, or any other person who is passionate about their work and doesn’t confine themselves to a 9 to 5 schedule.
Even though I’ve had people laugh at the idea and tell me it’s too much, I stand by my view of the 8pm Warrior world.
I know self employed warriors suffering from serious health conditions because they have no health insurance. Some are losing their homes to foreclosure. Others have lost their families, their friends, or the business they spent their whole life building.
Some have died.
All were chasing their dreams and holding on to their passion for a better world, a better life. It’s in their blood. It’s what they do.
For those still limping along in this economy while wondering, praying, hoping, and dreaming…I get it.
In this tough global recession, many talented 8pm Warriors around the world are struggling with very difficult battles. Dreams shattered. Relationships broken. Visions fading.
I have my struggles and I’m not alone.
“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
It’s interesting that thousands of years ago, Plato understood a fact of life that is forgotten by many today. Even the most successful among us are fighting hard battles, yet sometimes social media and shallow modern communication methods make us feel alone on the battlefield.
We only share the good things.
After all, how many successful people do you know checking into a bankruptcy attorney’s office on foursquare, tweeting about their marriage counseling, or posting screen shots of their empty bank accounts on Facebook? When people only share the bright side, it makes it easy to forget the battles we’re all facing simultaneously.
But let us not forget! Let’s be kind, pick each other up, and make a difference in the lives of those around us. Now’s the time to build character and relationships for the future. Good times are ahead!
Let me know if I can help. 8pm Warriors have to stick together.