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First Word: Seize the Day

First Word: Seize the Day

He is the founder of a nonprofit that fights injustices committed against children.

As a student, he once spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of meat. He’s now the Hon. Consul for the Republic of Uganda.

When his grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, he sat on a bench outside the dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll. He now runs a large law firm in Washington while also teaching at two different law schools in California.

He once pursued a girl for three years before she would agree to go on a date with him. She’s now his wife.

He doesn’t make appointments. Every Thursday, he quits something.

He regularly sets up office on Disneyland’s Tom Sawyer Island.

Clearly, Bob Goff is more interesting than the most interesting man in the world.

His recent book, Love Does (which was his first foray into writing—and, of course, hit the New York Times best-seller list), tells story after story of Goff’s very intentionally unconventional life—how he engages dreams, pursues strategic whimsy and truly loves people.

Goff creates intentional margin in his schedule (hence that not-making-appointments thing) so he can always be in the moment. He lives out his faith in tangible, inspiring ways and is touching countless lives along the way.

For example, Goff put his cell phone number in the back of Love Does—yes, his actual number—and tries to never let anyone who calls go to voicemail. And he’ll fly halfway around the world to attend the wedding of a person he just met. Who does that?

People like Bob Goff don’t just inspire me, their lives challenge me. They see each day differently than most of us. They see God opportunities in every moment, and then seize them with reckless abandon.

As we cruise to the end of yet another year—barring any Mayan surprises—many of us will inevitably take stock of our lives and think about tweaks we want to make moving forward. So with this issue, as you can probably understand, we wanted to go to Goff for some year-end advice. He’s a pro at embracing and cultivating an intentional carpe diem passion in his daily life, so who better to challenge us as we head into the fresh-start of a new year? (You’ll find the resulting article on page 60.)

Maybe you can tell, but I’m kind of a sucker for carpe diem. It’s the common thread through some of my favorite movies: Field of Dreams, Good Will Hunting and, of course, Dead Poets Society. (That hallway scene where Robin Williams shows his students pictures of previous generations? Probably no movie scene inspired me more.)

The plots of these movies drip with people who move from a place of restless complacency to complete, passionate pursuit. They go all-in.

It’s also probably no surprise that Rick Warren and Richard Branson rank among my heroes. While very different, they are guys who don’t see obstacles; they see opportunity. They look at incredible, unrealistic, massive dreams and say, “Why not?” They try to change the world and in doing so, inspire others to do the same.

We’ve been publishing RELEVANT almost 10 years now, and looking back, that’s one of the common themes you’ll clearly find in the magazine. We love giving voice to people who challenge status quo, point to what’s possible and spur our generation to say, “Let’s go!” Cynical people bore me.

I always want to pursue life outside of my own context and comfort zone. Take our cover story on actor Rainn Wilson. Many people don’t know the funnyman is also intentionally using his platform and resources to make a difference in areas important to him: Like starting a foundation in Haiti that’s doing charity differently, and cultivating a massive multi-faith conversation through his website, SoulPancake.
Wilson knows he won’t be on a hit show the rest of his life, so he’s purposefully living every day and pursuing every opportunity with a larger life imprint in mind. Would it be easier for him to just save his money, rather than pouring it into projects he’s passionate about? Sure. But then what difference would he have ultimately made?

Life is all about purposeful risk-taking. Passionate selflessness. Gratitude. Love.

That’s the way God created us to live—being fully engaged in the moment and realizing the eternal impact each of us can have when we have our ear to God’s heartbeat.

Carpe diem.

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