Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Your Life is Now

ARCHIVES

The title of this post is the title of one of my favorite songs, Your Life is Now, by John Mellencamp.  It has been on my mind since the very unexpected passing last week of an old high school friend, the Reverend Greg Hamby. As is often the case with news of long ago friends, I learned from Facebook of Greg’s death. He broke his neck while body surfing with his son on vacation at Myrtle Beach and died in ICU the next day.

The past couple of weeks have been the equivalent of an online funeral for Greg. Hundreds of people have posted their memories of him, their stories of how he affected their lives and their shock and grief at losing him so suddenly.

Greg was a year ahead of me in school and, while I always liked him, I didn’t know Greg that well. As kids, I loved his sense of humor, his slightly off center view of the world and his passion for rock and roll. As adults, I was a Facebook friend and was so impressed with the way his life unfolded, the wisdom and humor that he shared and that, when it came to music, he never stopped rockin’. How many Baptist pastors do you know who use a pirate flag for their profile picture and dedicate their Facebook banner  to a shot of Alice Cooper in full “Welcome to My Nightmare” regalia?  That was Greg.

Here’s the other thing about Greg. He clearly understood that his life, this life, your life is now.  He followed his heart into the pastorate.  He loved the Boston Red Sox and spent a week at their fantasy camp. Three weeks before he died he was at Fenway Park with his best friend Carl to check off a life time goal of seeing Sir Paul McCartney in concert. He passed away while he was having fun with one of his kids.

It’s easier to be present and fully attentive with people when they’re older. You know that they’re only going to be here so much longer. It was like that for me in the years before my grandfather died five years ago. As I wrote here then, he was one of the heroes of my life. In the last couple of years of his life, I had this very clear sense that any visit or conversation with him might be the last. It wasn’t morbid; it was joyful. Every time I saw him or talked with him, we laughed, told stories, hugged if we could and told each other we loved them.  When he finally passed away, I had zero regrets. We had said everything there was to say.

And that’s the final lesson I take from Greg Hamby. I didn’t take the chance to let Greg know how much I admired what he’d done, how he had lived his life and how funny and wise I thought his Facebook posts were. My guess is he knows, but it would have been nice to tell him nonetheless.

Your life is now. On this Mindful Monday and everyday, let someone know what you appreciate about them and how it’s affected you. You’ll feel better and they’ll feel better. There’s no downside, it’s all upside.

Rock on Greg.

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.