On Life, Death and the In-between.

First off, this is not a political blog nor am I inviting a political discussion. This is simply a human, heartfelt response to someone’s passion and passing, someone I only learned about recently and whose life and story have impacted me in a way I’m finding hard to articulate without a lump in my throat. Along with the news of two other passings, I feel compelled to share this message. 

On Passion and a Life Well Lived. 

My friends,
Love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.

Jack Layton, Canadian Opposition Party Leader on Aug 20th, 2011, a day before he passed away from cancer at age 61. (Via the National Post).

Jack Layton, passion, purpose, life and death

Source: National Post via Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images

Now, I don’t know much about Canadian politics but am struck by the outpouring of love and respect from supporters AND detractors of this man, especially the detractors.

The entire country has come together to acknowledge Jack’s incredible legacy, honouring him with a state funeral, usually reserved for Prime Ministers & Governor Generals.

I’m fascinatedly (yes, I make up words) trying to find out all about his life, his path, how he came to be such a man with the presence that he had.

You know what I found?

He wasn’t loud. He wasn’t brash. In fact, they called him meek mannered.


He had courage. Integrity. 

He believed in something bigger than him.

And he oozed PASSION!

Passion for Canada, for Canadians.

He went doing what he loved, as long as he could. His life reads like a man on a mission.

THAT’S a Legend. A life well lived. 

It gives me shivers. Makes me teary. When you are passionately living life full out, people are drawn to you, inspired by you, lit up and empowered!

You change lives. Others. And yours.

The happiest people in the world have TWO things in common – a passion/goal and seeing progress towards it.

That simple.

I ask you now – are you living the life you want? Do you wake up excited to start your day?

What are you passionate about? 

If you could do anything, be anyone, have whatever you wanted with no limitations – what would it be? Not the wild flights of fancy that are escapist dreams, but what your soul says to you when you get really quiet and listen to it.

I’d love you to reply to this post and tell me. 

I’d like to gather all the responses and turn them into a special edition blog post or free pdf giveaway to inspire others to live with passion. This is the sort of action a man like Jack Layton has inspired in someone who had barely heard of him till yesterday.

If you are wondering how to find your passion, here are 5 ways to do just that.

Here are some excerpts from his last letter to Canadians. I can’t read without crying.

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope.

You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future.

My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

Cherish every moment with those you love.

Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change.

I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world.

You too will be helping so many people, giving them permission to share their passion, simply by sharing yours.

Life’s too short (and long!) to not spend it doing what you love.

Following your dreams.

No matter what you’re doing or how far you are from your goal, today is the day you can start doing something about it.

This is my heart’s desire for you.

What is yours? Please share below in the comments, thank you.

If you want to live more authentically, connect with the essence of who you truly are & get your SHINE back, check out the 21 day Inner Sparkle e-course.

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Xoxo, Tia

Facebook comments:



  1. says

    This is a great post that brings honour to what Jack wrote in his letter, thank you.
    I’d like to say more about what my passion is, but I’m actually at a stage in my life that I don’t know what it is… I’ve lost my passion. But I can tell you that reading a post like this and a letter like Jack’s, makes me really want to figure it out. I appreciate your words.

    • says

      Crystal, do you remember what you were passionate about as a child? What’s something you used to do that would make you lose track of time? If you had a million dollars, what would you do? If you just KNEW you could not fail, what would you do then?

      Those would be good places to start mining for what lights you up. I will be creating a course/program to help people find their passion, please stay tuned! In the meantime, I’d love to hear what comes up for you when you answer these questions 🙂

      DARE to think big, outrageous dreams and don’t let practicalities get in the way at this stage – you’re just doing a little fun digging. Looking forward to hearing from you here or via email tia at coachtia.com.

      Thanks for sharing what’s going on for you and welcome to the YLYW blog 🙂 xo

      • says

        It is weird that I have a hard time answering this? I think I remember wanting to be a singer or a teacher when I was a kid… but my voice is terrible and I lost that drive for teaching sometime in junior high (because I saw how teachers were treated).
        I try to think about what my dream would be, but you’re right, practicalities get in the way. Is there a trick to blocking that? 🙂 I know that we put too many limitations on ourselves and label it as rationality… but I really need to learn how to drop that so that I may see things more clearly. You’ve definitely asked me some tough questions that I am trying to ponder… I look forward to reading about your program!! I need it 😉

        • says

          I’m writing a post for you and others who feel the same way, Crystal! It will be published tomorrow so come back and check. Thanks for being the catalyst for it 🙂

  2. says

    Hi Tia,

    I really enjoyed reading your article. I must say we should live our lives with love, passion and pride and respect and enjoy every moment of how you live.

    I am passionate about music, offering people Christian spirituality and 12 Step Recovery Coaching. The reason I chose music is because it is peaceful, and in life everyone wants to be in peace and music is the only thing which brings the world close to their inner self and others.

  3. says

    I would LOVE to write a book and be a motivational speaker. I would LOVE to write, an article for a magazine to a book. I want to share my life experiences and sense of humour…and help women know that their trials are not unique as we all struggle.

    Reading your questions to Crystal – I remember (and still have in binders and notebooks), books and stories that I have written. I have notebooks with journals and writing of my thoughts and experiences at different times of my life. Writing, sharing my thoughts and ideas and creative spark – that was where I lost myself and can to this day when I write in my blog or in an old-fashioned journal.

    Great read about Jack Layton – here’s to being loving, hopeful and optimistic.

    • says

      You’re on the right track then by blogging, Samantha! Isn’t it such a great feeling to know what you want and be making progress towards your goals :)? Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    This is a great post. A lot of times I get self-centered when thinking in terms of goals and dreams. Lately, I have been thinking in terms of larger visions. I watched a very inspiring movie the other night and made me think about this. It was ‘Bobby’, about Robert Kennedy and directed by Emilio Estevez. It was released in 2006. There is value in thinking beyond your front gate.


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