A Man Who Lives His Words? Indeed.

Dan Erickson matches message with action.

By ROY HARRYMAN

There's a tiny universe of people who impact us to the point that we remember their words and recite them.

Quotations from authors would be at the top of the list. Or maybe it's an actor's punchline from a movie. But what about the words of people whom we've actually met? And beyond that, people whom we actually know?

I think all of us have experienced the letdown of having our heroes cut down to size by meeting them. 

But there remains that rare breed of people whom you actually admire more by meeting and observing in real life. My friend Dr. Dan Erickson is one of those chosen few.

If you know Dan, then you know that he was recently diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. But understand right here and now that this is not a eulogy (nor is it the first blog post I've written about him). Dan is fighting the good fight until God takes him home, whenever that is.

I'm praying that God gives Dan many, many more years because his life is the definition of inspiration. I rarely get through a week without being reminded of some of his original quotes:

  • “I don't fear failure. I fear succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.”
  • “Let God turn your mess into His message.”
  • “Don't peck with the turkeys, soar with the eagles.”

I could go on and on. Friend him on Facebook if you want more.

Dan's singular message is: Your life matters, so make it count.

He's a great author and speaker. But more importantly, he lives his message. 

In the last decade, he's probably accomplished more than he has in his entire life. But in order to do that, he had to quit a steady job and go out on a limb. In the same period, he's been hit with open heart surgery, financial challenges and the endurance test of being a road-warrior on the speaking circuit. And I'm leaving out numerous other trials.

Yet Dan's never too busy or burnt out to be found at his “office” at Starbucks meeting with someone to breathe courage into their lives. He treats the staff like royalty, praying for and with them them. 

As I describe Dan, I don't want to idealize him beyond recognition. He's human just like us. We've all got our baggage. But he hasn't let that luggage keep him from loving people and making an impact.

It strips away all of our excuses doesn't it? He recently wrote a book called “Ready to Fly.” Dan's life and words remind that, whether I feel ready or not, it's time to fly – to make a mark, to love people.

It's only fitting to close with a Dan Erickson quote: “Imagine the possibilities.”