My Brother Makes Me a Better Man

May 12, 2011 — 2 Comments


As I’m writing this I’m in Toronto sitting in what was once my brother’s bedroom. Attending a seminar last night in TO I decided to spend the night at Steve’s old place. This will be one of the few last times (if not the last) I get to do this because his place has been sold…Another “piece” of him gone. I spent so much time here every month with Steve this was like my second home.

I brought the trophies we won from our first bodybuilding/fitness competition along with a picture of my brother and I that he used to keep in his office at work. The picture in this blog is of the trophies and picture displayed on the mantle of his fireplace in honour of my brother.

Alissa and I only intended on entering our first competition together to honour my brother. This in itself was already such an accomplishment for us and that so few ever achieve that just by following through with it was a major “win” for us. We were never once concerned with how we would do or placing. This took a lot of the pressure off us and kept the experience fun. But we were still very motivated to do our best because we were doing this in honour of my brother  and wanted to do so in a manner that was worthy of how we felt about him…he deserved our best effort.

Besides giving us a goal that would help keep us in shape and support us through such a difficult time with something positive to focus on, a big part of my motivation in deciding to do this was reading e-mails I still have from Steve sharing the things he thought about or planned on doing but never did. So even in “life” you may still be “alive” but that doesn’t count as “living”.

People need to take more chances just to be able to embrace the “experience of life” more fully!

Steve didn’t know how much time he had left. I don’t know how much time I have left. Do you know how much time you have left? But what Steve knew, what I know, and what you know are things we’d like to experience while we still can…But most importantly don’t let yourself get distracted by “false fears” telling you why you should not or cannot do something. This is about experiencing life in NEW ways that help stretch you to become more of what you’re capable of being. There’s a greatness in you, in every one of us looking for a way out! And you won’t find it in your comfort zone. It’s up to you to seek out and create life experiences worthy of bringing out something greater within. I love it when I hear people say “Oh I could never do something like that” in response to what we just did for example. Guess what? I told myself the same thing! Why do something you know you can already do? That’s how the majority already live their life day to day. It’s only through the process of doing something that “scares you” that your greatness can find its way out and you evolve into something bigger and better!

Although I was already aware of this, unfortunately it took the loss of my brother for me to more fully appreciate it and begin acting on it. Among the many meanings associated with the deer, it is said “the deer gives up its life so others may live“. As I will share at another time, the deer and everything it symbolizes, holds a very special meaning with Steve’s death. Because of what has transpired in my life since, in some ways I feel Steve gave up his life so I could live. Energy never dies; it only changes form. I live with and draw from Steve’s energy every day. My brother continues to make me a better man 🙂

2 responses to My Brother Makes Me a Better Man


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us, Jeff. You are such an inspiration! It is so true that we can only grow by expanding our comfort zone. And if we don’t grow, we die…. even if we continue to physically live, that doesn’t mean we are alive! We only have one chance at life, so we should live it fully, as we never know when it ends. And people are afraid to expand their comfort zone, because they are afraid of failure. Well, there is no failure in life, it’s only gained experience. Thank you!

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