Mark Cole and Richard Chancy recording the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast. Photo by Jason Brooks.

Two weeks ago today, I lost a very good friend. A great friend. A brother.

On Friday, November 22, 2019 around 4:00pm, my friend Richard Chancy suffered a sudden and unexpected heart attack and went home to heaven. He finished his race, leaving behind his wife, Kristy, his seventeen-year-old daughter, Jordan, and countless other people who have been eternally impacted by Richard’s life.

It was a significant loss for me—Richard and I were in a band of brothers, a group of men that have grown up together through intentional community for several years. We’ve been through so many of life’s developments—marriages, births, career milestones—and we’ve grown stronger as a result.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” That was the result of mine and Richard’s friendship, and of our band of brothers. We made one another sharper.

Last week, we celebrated Richard’s life in an amazing service. Today, John Maxwell and I share leadership lessons we learned from his life on our podcast. But there’s only so much that memorials can do; at some point, you have to put the memorializing aside and get back to the business of life.

Not too long after Richard’s passing, one of our team members who worked alongside Richard wrote, “The other side of grieving is gratitude.”

That wisdom has helped me reframe my perspective as reflect on losing one of my closest friends. As I grieve, I also grow because of the three things this circumstance has reaffirmed in me.

1. Know your purpose.

We only get one life, and it’s meant to be lived for a reason. How long we get to live it isn’t known, so the earlier we can identify and intentionally live out our purpose, the more of a difference we can make.

Richard encouraged everyone to write out a purpose statement for their life. His was simple and inspiring: “Ignite Passion in Others.” I want to encourage you, take some intentional time to search within yourself and find your purpose. Do this periodically to help define and refine your purpose.

2. Live your purpose.

Do what you were made to do. That’s as simple as I can say it, even though I know it’s not as easy as it sounds. There will be challenges in everyone’s life, but when you and I live on purpose for our purpose, we make the world—and our lives—better.

Richard was relentless in his pursuit of his purpose. He never let fear, or anything else, stand in the way of what he was created to do. He had an insatiable appetite for helping others know their purpose as well. When you start acting in your purpose, your intention for others will come to life, and that’s really what life is about.

3. Live until you die, and don’t get it confused.

You’ve heard it said, “life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.” It’s easy to get caught up in the small things that seem boring, but we don’t have to live with that perspective. We can infuse each day with energy and joy if we’re intentional.

Richard lived with this level of urgency. He would constantly look for opportunities to give breath to others and take their breath away. It was part of how he lived out his purpose.

I miss my friend. But I know that I’ll see him again one day. For now, I am committed to living out these three lessons for living: know your purpose, live your purpose and live until you die.

Friends, we have just our one life and it matters in ways we can’t understand. So let’s make it count.


  1. Newton Sgobbi - S.Paulo, SP - Brazil. on December 6, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Although I’ve known J. Maxwell for many years, have read his “Leadership Bible” cover-to-cover, as well as some of his books, only just some time ago I deeply dive into all the JM world available online, and of course, this blog. It was a big surprise, however I never wondered he may produce all things alone, the capacity, the quality and the highness of the people who are supporting the enterprise impressed me so much, in particular, but not diminishing anybody else, Mark & Richard. These guys’ recaps and comments over Maxwell’s teachings are so good that not only reinforce but cement and enrich the teachings, and this has no price. Unfortunately, Richard left us, but his collaboration is still present in recording but mainly in spirit. My condolences for the family and his work team. Thank you Richard, and let’s honor his legacy by keep on going and keep on climbing.

  2. Dan Williams on December 6, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you for your life. I know you will miss him. Thank his wife for his service.

  3. Richard Moore on December 6, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    My condolences to Richard’s family, colleagues, friends and your good self.
    Richard sounded like an amazing man, husband and friend to many

  4. luis adan on December 8, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Es realmente saber que hay personas buenas en el mundo,
    gracias por compartir su sabiduría y enseñanza, me siento con futuro y hambre a la vida por las buenas enseñanzas que Richard Chancy nos deja.
    deseo pronta resurrección a subfamilia.

  5. Joe Sasso on December 8, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Legacy is built on the people you Love and leave behind. They will continue to develop your legacy and their own.
    Prayers of gratitude for Richard and for the legacy that is yet to be completed.

  6. Tim Mathern on December 9, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Your article reminds me of the phrase ” LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK”. I carved it into a plank and mounted onto two posts in my front lawn. It is a treat for me to look out the window and see passers by stop for a moment to consider its meaning in their lives. It appears Richard let his life speak which now is a blessing to people in their grief.

  7. laura milewski on December 9, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Thank you – the Universe has continued to bring to my attention purpose and I’m a huge believer in “Mans Search for Meaning”. This post took my heart and activated more. Thank you.

  8. David on December 9, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    I wish I knew what it felt like to really find your purpose.

  9. YAO Aristide on December 10, 2019 at 6:47 am

    My condolences to Richard’s family and to you. Thank you very much for this advise

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  11. Stefan Opalla on January 10, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    every day at 5 a.m. when I drive to work, I hear here in Germany the John Maxwell podcast. Day by day, month by month. Last year the podcast made a difference in my life. It helped me to grow, and to start writing a book about the purpose of Life. Life is a puzzle, and we never can see the whole picture, but our life is a part of that. We complete the puzzle. The podcast made a change in my life, and I think Richard´s life influence our life with his work on the podcast. And Richard´s life was a part of our life and we can be very thankful for his service. His work was very precious and a blessing to our life´s

    • Dan Williams on January 10, 2020 at 4:40 pm

      I am sorry about your loss. We have to prepare for life as well as death. We need to prepare for the hills and valleys of life. I pray that your life is gaining since then.

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