lessons from the loss of Cory Monteith

Should I? Or shouldn’t I?

Whether we realize it or not we are constantly asking ourselves these two questions, a sort of “weighing our options.”

With my son turning five and his thirst for knowledge exploding I have started explaining things in the form of action – reaction.

Everything we do, good or bad, has consequences.

This is nothing new to any of us…and most of the time our minds instantly calculate whether we should, or shouldn’t, do something.

Unfortunately the temptation to do less than we should, to sleep in that little bit longer, to skip going to the gym, to put off our homework till later, to avoid things we know we should do is incredibly strong. Because it’s easier to be lazy than work. To sleep more than wake up early. To veg on the sofa than work out. To play than to study.

We even have a word for it, it’s called procrastination.

Now procrastination has its own consequences which we must accept, but I’m not here today to talk about that.

The other day I turned on Facebook and saw a friend’s post – Cory Monteith R.I.P.

Naturally, being the expert on actors names I am (sarcasm), I googled his name and was shocked to find out that it was the lead male actor of Glee, who I knew as Finn.

Dead at 31.

People could hardly believe it.

The twittersphere was abuzz.

He had been seen going into his hotel room a few hours earlier, but what had lead to his death was unknown.

Two days later my wife told me that she had read on USA Today that he had passed away from a deadly combination of heroin and alcohol.

A young man, with his entire career ahead of him, gone.

There are two important lessons to learn from this tragic accident.

  1. A single mistake can cost you everything
  2. Success doesn’t mean happiness

We like to think that Hollywood stars have it all. That’s the life we want and yet each year we read about another star having their life cut short. It’s somewhat unsurprising these days.

In the past few years we’ve had Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, and now Cory Monteith all leave us.

One minute they’re on top of the world. The next they’re six feet under.

It’s scary, but it’s life.

We never know when our time will come so we must make the most of what time we do have.

Each day I wake up is a good day.

It gives me one more day to make a difference, to help friends and clients live a better life, to share knowledge with my wife and son. That’s all I can really ask for.

At the beginning of this post I said that we are constantly asking ourselves whether we should or shouldn’t do something, but maybe a better question is — Is it worth it?

If Cory were here with us now I’m sure he’d say it wasn’t.

The price was too high.

Too often we fall prey to the idea that it-cant-happen-to-me. But I think it was Boy George, who said it best, “I woke up one day and all of my friends were dead.”

Just because it hasn’t happened to us yet, doesn’t mean it won’t.

Action – reaction.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Cory will be missed but with any luck, his life will serve as a lesson for other young people out there.

If something costs you your life, your marriage, your health, or your friendship, then the price is too high.

Adrian Shepherd


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