I woke up to a message from my friend Leo, asking if I’d heard the news about Scott. I assumed that it must be some amazing story or accomplishment, as that’s the sort of thing you hear about Scott.
“He died. On Kilimanjaro.”
The last I’d heard from Scott was ten days prior. Five of us have an accountability group, and in his update he was talking about his plans for the future, and his apprehension about being away from the computer for a week to climb mount Kilimanjaro.
I’m still stunned that he’s gone. He was in extremely good health, was young, and wasn’t a reckless risk-taker. Kilimanjaro is an extremely safe mountain, claiming just a few lives per year against the tens of thousands who climb.
Scott’s goal in life was to change the world by encouraging people to do work they love. He created groups of people in 150 different cities around the world who met regularly to support and motivate each other. Scott was in the middle of a year-long trip around the world with his wife, but he still made time to host reader meetups. When we’d talk about his business, his overriding priority was the wellbeing of his community, not the money he made from them.
The real tragedy of his death is that his impact on the world, while significant, will fall short of its potential.
Scott was so overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic about life that I couldn’t help but wonder if it was an act at first. It wasn’t. I don’t think I ever once saw him where he didn’t have a beaming smile across his face. Whenever he was part of a group, he brought the energy level up and kept everyone in a good mood. It’s probably no coincidence that even his wife’s email announcing his death contains a ray of positivity:
“The only thing that gives me comfort during this very difficult time is to know that he was out living his dream and truly lived each day without regret. We got to spend nearly every day of the last 8 months
with one another, exploring the world – and our last few days were spent out in nature, disconnected from from anything other than one another.”
I think that’s how Scott would feel, too. I’m sure he died with no regrets, and wouldn’t do anything different. He lived a good life, left behind friends and family who loved him, and impacted thousands of people across the world in ways that will continue on.
Photo is Scott speaking at TEDx Golden Gate. Take twenty minutes and watch his talk — it’s really good.