Living and Dying for Your Dream: On Scott Dinsmore, Jesus of Nazareth and the Cost of Living Your Dream

A little over a month ago, entrepreneur, explorer and founder of Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore, died at the age of 33. He was living one of his dreams, exploring the world culminating in the hiking of Mt. Kilimanjaro. His death is sad news for many, and while I never met him personally, I too have been touched by his life.  I, like so many others, had been inspired by Scott's enthusiastic TEDx talk,  his relentless pursuit of a legendary life, and his commitment to others to go and do likewise. He was one of the people on my "I-hope-to-meet-someday" list. I do not mean to be cavalier, in fact, I hope my tone is quite the opposite. Scott's life is a reminder that anyone can live their dreams. YOU can do amazing things. We can make an impact in the world that matters to us and so many others. Scott's death is also a reminder that our dreams for ourselves and the world can have a high cost, even our lives.

Scott Dinsmore reminds me of another great man who had big dreams: Jesus of Nazareth. A political insurrectionist who started a movement of peace in first century Palestine. He upset the status quo in both church and state by pointing out the systemic and collective evils of empire while inviting common folk into a revolutionary way of being, resisting the empire without violence. Jesus spoke about a new age of jubilee for ALL, and believed that moment began during his life and would continue after his death. It is commonly held that Jesus also died at the age of 33 at the hands of the empire for treason. Jesus has inspired me to think differently, to love courageously, to challenge the status quo, to love God, myself and my neighbor, even my enemy. I am inspired by a view of the world that stands for love while being ready to receive hate, that stands for peace in the midst of violence and that helps us to acknowledge our own shit, personally and corporately.

Scott set his eyes to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Jesus set his eyes to Jerusalem. What am I fixing my eyes on? What are you setting yourself toward?  

I'm not saying that living for your dream means that you must die at a tragically young age, but that living your dream MAY involve being ready to die for it. For Scott, the fear of death came second to his love of adventure. For Jesus, fear of death came second to being an inspiration and a provocateur. For me, I'm challenged to get a grasp on what really matters to me. Am I playing it safe? Am I really in action and in pursuit of my dream? Am I willing to die for what truly matters to me?  Am I holding back from starting a revolution? Is there anyone who benefits from my insecurity? Just like only I can answer these questions for myself, so you can answer them for yourself. As you consider these things, consider also what the collective witness of Jesus and Scott Dinsmore might inspire us to do:

  • Live for something that you can die for. 

  • Start a revolution that impacts the world for the better.

  • Be a heretic and accept the consequences.

So live your legend. Don't hold back. Don't let the fear of backlash, the fear of rejection or the fear of death squelch your life's purpose. Acknowledge and face your fears as you live for a transformed world filled with passionate people. I am provoked by great men and women who died for their cause not simply because they were martyrs, but because they really lived.  Be your dream, live your dream. Just know that if it is worth standing for, it is not risk-free or easy. 

What is your dream that you are willing to die for?