Tag Archives | friends

The Passing of Steven Arif Abdullah Lyons and Why Love Endures

Eleven years ago this week a great friend died by my side in a hospital bed in Kuala Lumpur. I want to remember him today. Importantly, to remember the one thing about Steve that was insanely unforgettable. Read this post of his death, life and future, and you will never forget it. Promise.

A great leader is someone who knows how to inspire. Genuinely inspire. With time we forget what they said, we forget what they did, but we NEVER forget how the made us FEEL. Eleven years after his death, I remember crisply, clearly, vividly… how Steve Lyons made me feel. Invincible. Unbeatable. A king. A star. Wanted. Supported. And he made me feel loved. As he did many people across the region.

This is a story about Steve’s death. About the life he lead. The impact he made and left. And how Steve and his inspiring aura lives on- 11 years later. Quite simply, I publish below the email I sent to Steve’s massive circle of friends around the world just after he died. I know most of you don’t know Steve- it does not matter, give it a read. Some of you do. Enjoy the reminder!

Fish and Chips And The Secret To Success

As a new year begins, I have been reflecting on a burning question: what does ‘success’ really mean? And then I saw a movie where the lead actor gave me the answer. It really nailed it for me. And has given me a genuine insight that has changed my path. Here it is.

In recent years, and particularly since a health scare, I have been panicked by a lack of clarity around what ‘success’ means to me. I know it’s not about having more stuff, or more money, friends, power, status (or is it?). Maybe it’s about making a positive difference. Or is it around achieving one’s potential? Confusing. It has been causing me real anxiety.

And then Sven Baker told me he’d watched a movie, “Papadopoulos & Co.” It was playing on my plane. I watched it. “So- how do you define success?” the actor liquidator asked the failed business tycoon who had returned to his brother’s fish and chip shop. And his answer stunned me:

What Happened This Week When They Found A Tumor In My Throat

“Yip- it looks like a cancer,” the specialist sighed, pointing to the video picture of the tumor growing out of my vocal chords.

“Treatable?” I asked, petrified. “Oh yes,” he replied. “But not necessarily curable.” This was last Monday. So began the worst week of my life. Here’s what happened next.

My voice had been getting increasingly hoarse for months. “Acid reflux caused by increasing size of your gut,” the GP had counseled. Then I struggled swallowing. And could only speak in a whisper. So to the specialist I went last Monday. He had the bedside manner of a cobra, found a tumor, speculated cancer, gave zero reassurance.

“I’ll remove it surgically if I can on Wednesday. Then pathology. If cancer, come to the hospital next Tuesday and we’ll advice treatment. If it’s early stage cancer, then likely more surgery and radiation. If spread, then chemotherapy too and a 50/50 survival chance. If spread a lot, then not much we can do.” And that was it. I walked out into the sunlight devastated. So began the five worst days of my life… days underpinned by one terrible thing: