January 8, 2019

Whenever one of my weekly emails doesn’t get delivered to its recipient, I get a message and its either a “soft” bounce or a “hard” one. A hard one means the incoming server has rejected my email for good and the email addressed gets automatically removed from my recipients list. In layman’s terms this means the recipient has changed job (new email, old firm rejects incoming mails), or deleted a private email account.

Last Sunday I had a hard bounce from an old friend who worked at the IMF (International Monetary Fund). We almost started our careers together at the same bank, became good friends and even he moved and worked in Washington DC we had the odd conversation, Facebook contact and ever now and again when on his missions he stopped over in Heathrow or Frankfurt we even managed to meet. Every time it was like I had seen him the night before. He is one of those people you always get an honest, no nonsense, analytic opinion, never shy of telling you the hard truth in a respectful way, I considered him a true friend, even oceans divided us.

When his email bounced I first thought he quit at the Fund and maybe he came back to Germany enjoying his retirement, but his LinkedIn account had him still working there. It was only when I looked on Facebook that I found out he had passed away in a tragic accident at the age of 57. It thoroughly shocked and saddened me and its one of those moments when you think: Impossible, can’t be! And yet, it can.

In Ray Dalio’s book Principles, which I recommend reading, regardless if you work in the financial industry or not, he writes on page 2222:

Life can be shorter than you think. I can only repeat what you read from others and I before:

Go change that job your unhappy with, separate/divorce from those toxic relationships, visit the places you wanted to see, try what you ever wanted to try and so far postponed to retirement. I have never been a big fan of the term, “it goes on my bucket list”…

The present moment is the only one you have, live to the full, enjoy it, do something with it, be grateful for it before it bounces.


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