Pushing the envelope? Or not?

Very sadly, a high school classmate of my wife’s passed away this week.

A story like this is always sad, especially since he was a young man (early forties). And more so since he recently quit a standard career to finally pursue (and achieve) his life-long dream of being on radio.

So why am I writing about this? And what possibly does it have to do with you, my dear reader?


Hearing this news made Mrs. Schnick very sad. We’d learned he was sick, and had been monitoring his progress over the last several days. The news hadn’t been good. And when he passed, Stephanie wept for him, and she and I offered a toast in his honor.

But here is why I am telling you this story:

Over the course of the evening, Stephanie told me stories, recollections, and other anecdotes that she recalled from his life. And then she said:

“The guy was always pushing the envelope…”



I suddenly panicked. Would people say that about me? Would they say, “Todd sure pushed the envelope, he sure lived on the edges…”

Or would they say, “Yeah…him? Yeah, well, Todd was the status quo. We always knew where he stood. There were never any surprises with Todd.”

Let me assure you. I don’t even want to be associated with the status quo.

And neither was Rich, my wife’s friend. He stood for something different. Pursued a life-long dream.

And that’s what people are recalling upon his passing.

In my humble view, there is no higher honor.

And that’s what we ALL should be striving for. To have people talk about our vigor, our passion, our willingness to push the envelope.

Is that the way YOU are living? Is that the way you are constructing your days?

Yeah. Me either. Observing my wife lose her friend and hearing her talk about him has been a wake up call. And I share the story here to wake you up too.

Conduct business pushing the envelope. Live your life pushing the envelope.

If Rich’s story is any indication, it might end tomorrow. And honestly, we want people to reflect upon our passing in the context of pushing envelopes and walking on edges…

…not following rules, meeting societal expectations, or going to a job you hated.

No. Rich stood for something else. Honor that….


JOIN THE LIST HERE, and live a more intrepid life.

Drawing by Hugh.

  • eddie

    Todd I too fear the fact that I have been alive but have not lived. I am stuck at a juncture in my life at 57,

  • Todd Schnick

    We all go through it Eddie. Do something different tomorrow. First steps…