My Grandfather Dying, Reese Witherspoon and Committing 100%

My Grandfather Dying, Reese Witherspoon and Committing 100%

This is the most real story I've shared, a moment that changed my life forever.

Without this experience from 2015, LIVE A GREAT STORY wouldn't be where it is today. 

It was this exact moment that I made the 100% commitment to myself, my family's heritage and the world to pursue my own great story.

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Have you ever felt like something's just not quite right in your story, like you're not quite aligned with what you're supposed to be doing? 

“This is not why I’m here.”
“How do I get back on track?”
“How do I pursue what I know deep down is the right path?”

It’s a feeling of needing to make a change, of picking up the pen and being the author of your story. 

For me, that moment of fully committing to my path came when my grandfather passed away. 

This was in 2015, shortly after returning from my seven-month, one-way ticket adventure that totally changed my life.

I felt so inspired by the experience and specifically by all of the conversations with amazing people from across the world. 

All of us from different walks of life, different backgrounds, different paths ahead, connecting in hostel kitchens to cook easy meals and drink cheap wine while sharing our worldviews talking about life.

But I came back and that energy fell flat as the romanticism of travel faded away. 

I was figuring out a new life in a new city. 

I had moved to from Austin to San Diego and things just weren't clicking. Life was one closed door after another. 

There was no flow.

And that's when I spray painted LIVE A GREAT STORY on the wall, for the second time. It was a personal reminder to keep going, to keep moving forward with my story, to face the challenges and to keep making the choice to live my own great story. 

LIVE A GREAT STORY San Diego

Despite the uncertainty, doubt and fear of what was next.

There was momentum from the first ATX mural and people started taking pictures of San Diego mural but the LIVE A GREAT STORY idea wasn’t even an idea.

I felt lost, foggy and uncertain of what was next -- just kind of floating.

And then I got a call from my mom.

“Your granddad's in the hospital. And it's pretty serious.”

My grandfather and I actually shared the same name, my middle name is his last name, and I always felt a connection to him. 

And then he got sick and very quickly his health deteriorated.

And too quickly he passed away.

When he passed away it was a surreal moment, almost like a transition of energy, from him to me. He lived a lifelong pursuit, of going after it, through the ups and downs, continuing to push forward.

And so when he passed away I just felt this rush of energy, heritage, duty, momentum, pushing me to keep going after it. Don’t quit. Commit. Keep building LIVE A GREAT STORY.

And that's when I made the commitment.

I wasn’t sure where LIVE A GREAT STORY would go, how it would evolve or the business model but I knew that it had the energy and potential to powerfully inspire people to make their own story great. 

And that’s when I committed to run as far as I could with the simple message, to try and use it to make the biggest impact possible.

A couple of days later after his funeral ceremony, my phone started blowing up. It wouldn’t stop vibrating.

I opened my phone to see dozens of texts from friends that Reese Whitherspoon had just taken a picture next to the LIVE A GREAT STORY in New Orleans. 

Reese Witherspoon for LIVE A GREAT STORY

It was almost like this crazy sign from the universe giving me a nudge to keep going.

The universe nudged me, “This is your route.”
And it was full speed from there.

And ever since that day in 2015 I’ve been on a mission to spread the LIVE A GREAT STORY idea far and wide. 

I realized that we can all write our story and to make it a great story and I want to inspire people to pick up their pen and write their own great story.

And with each person that makes that choice, the idea spreads just a bit further. Each sticker, each shirt, each hat spreads the idea to more and more people. 

Because the energy is contagious. 

When you’re the author of your story and you’re taking ownership of your life, it has an impact on everyone you come into contact with. 

And that creates a ripple effect. 

Slowly LIVE A GREAT STORY started spreading. At first through social media, then a few stickers and buttons, then shirts, hats and flags… 

But these physical items were just the start. 

The “Reminders” as I sometimes call them were just the first step to spreading this message.

As the gear started spreading across the country (and then the world) I realized there was something else happening.

The universe, once again, was giving me another lesson that’s deeper than apparel and accessories. 

It’s the most impactful lesson that I’ve learned through the LIVE A GREAT STORY journey. It’s kept me inspired on my own journey while inspiring thousands of others in the process.

And tomorrow I’m going to share this one key lesson that has stood above everything else.

If you’re looking for your next step, to align with your inner hero, to confidently know exactly where you're going, this lesson will be foundational to helping you find the next breakthrough in your story.

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1 comment


  • Gail Top

    My dad died the day before he was to go on his dream vacation. It was a trip for his 82nd birthday, a gift to himself. An adventure of canoeing the Apostle Islands, hiking and perhaps camping. We spent every Wednesday afternoon sharing our dreams over a cold beer. Since he wasn’t able to go on his dream vacation, I have taken ( and left behind) some of his cremains. Dad has been all over South America, Machu Picchu, Galapagos, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, South of France, Spain, Greece and parts of the USA. He is with me. I certainly LIVE A GREAT STORY, because of this inspirational pioneer, my dad.


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