Today was the first day for 5 months with no builders in the house. Some good food and good music and a chance to pause, to enjoy work. #resetthecompass

After months of stressful rubbish, I feel like I’d lost the compass a little as the bits and pieces of a building project took over and wouldn’t go away. A pause, a day like today, brings you back your compass and reminds of the irrelevance of most things, when compared to friends and family. And the sudden demise of a friend taken before his time gives one a reason to reflect more deeply than usual.

I appreciate Linked In isn’t Facebook, but sometimes it helps to share. And since Nick Sanderson was a work mate, not a Facebook mate, this feels an appropriate place to write something worthwhile of a sudden death.

Nick’s business which I funded in 2000, didn’t succeed as we were a dozen years too early with cloud based telephony/CRM. I’ve got to give a talk on failure tomorrow: That can be part of the story! #failfast But we connected and I continued to work with Nick in various Budd projects. He was always considerate, steadfast, there for people as well as delivering brilliant results. He was a “lovely” person, in a way you can’t say about everyone.

It made me consider what makes someone as good a person as Nick. I struggled for my own words, but looked to two sources. One I’ll keep for Facebook.

The words from the Bushido, the Samurai code: – “Be prepared to die each day. Leave no argument unfinished, leave no debt unpaid”. Or to put it another way, live life to the full, each and every day.

I can’t describe Nick to you, if you didn’t know him. But the 8 virtues from the Bushido go a long way towards explaining why he was lovely. I’ve copied them out below. It areas to me with hindsight he worked to these exacting standards.

In my head, these themes, warrior like or principled, are important to work. How brave you are at work. How true to your principles you are at work. How you prioritise daily your family and friends, your colleagues; principles above dumb things.

Looking up various things about Nick, I found his favourite track which he chose in 2007 for an album of Budd “Fast+Simple” music – favourite choices made by our associate network. I feel for the loss in his family, which I’m sure cannot be described. But the words he chose by the Dixie Chicks fit “Forget sounds good, forget I’m not sure I could. They say times heals everything but I’m still waiting”.

So as you sit there reading this, count your blessings, turn to your loved one and give them a big smile for no particular reason or pick the phone up to someone #justcosyoucan #tellthemyoulovethem.

And at work tomorrow, when you go in, think of this blog and count your blessings. And, in Nick’s memory whether you knew him or not, challenge yourself to be brave and live up to your own principles as well as he lived up to his.

PS His wife Sue has asked if you would like to attend, the funeral is being held this Thursday (15th Dec) at 1pm at Haycombe Crematorium near Bath, and drinks afterwards are at the Wheatsheaf in Combe Hay. If you could please pass this on to anyone who knew Nick it would be greatly appreciated.

Eight virtues of Bushidō (as envisioned by Nitobe Inazo)[edit]

[31] The Bushidō code is typified by eight virtues:

Be acutely honest throughout your dealings with all people. Believe in justice, not from other people, but from yourself. To the true warrior, all points of view are deeply considered regarding honestly, justice and integrity. Warriors make a full commitment to their decisions.

Hiding like a turtle in a shell is not living at all. A true warrior must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is living life completely, fully and wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind. It is intelligent and strong.

Through intense training and hard work the true warrior becomes quick and strong. They are not as most people. They develop a power that must be used for good. They have compassion. They help their fellow man at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise, they go out of their way to find one.

True warriors have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. Warriors are not only respected for their strength in battle, but also by their dealings with others. The true strength of a warrior becomes apparent during difficult times.

When warriors say that they will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop them from completing what they say they will do. They do not have to ‘give their word’. They do not have to ‘promise’. Speaking and doing are the same action.

Warriors have only one judge of honor and character, and this is themselves. Decisions they make and how these decisions are carried out is a reflection of whom they truly are. You cannot hide from yourself.

Warriors are responsible for everything that they have done and everything that they have said, and all of the consequences that follow. They are immensely loyal to all of those in their care. To everyone that they are responsible for, they remain fiercely true.

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