He was born in 1950, the son of an actor and actress. When he turned 20, he joined the cast of a television show that portrayed a traveling family rock band. His producers didn’t care whether or not he could sing because his good looks would carry the show.

And they did.

But after season one, he convinced his producers that his voice could carry the show as well.

And it did.

David quickly became the adolescent heartthrob of girls across America—and his song “I Think I Love You” shot to the top of the charts.

At the height of his popularity in 1972, he sold out Madison Square Garden in one day and performed before two back-to-back sell-out crowds at the Houston Astrodome of 56,000 each. His fan club numbers surpassed Elvis Presley.


But the pressure of being a celebrity grew so intense that David consciously imploded it. He divulged his alcohol and drug abuse in a magazine interview and then quit touring and acting in his television show.

Instead, he focused on his songwriting and recording career. Then he registered another hit in Great Britain, “I Write the Songs,” penned by an obscure, young songwriter named Barry Manilow who later recorded it himself and became much more famous than David. The singer continued recording hits in Great Britain and Europe.

Then he directed his energies toward theater and starred in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on Broadway to great acclaim.

In the 1990s he recorded more Top 40 hits before hosting a show on cable television and eventually starring in a popular Las Vegas show.

Granted, David fought his demons. He struggled with alcoholism and multiple broken marriages before being diagnosed with dementia.

Three years ago, he began experiencing liver and kidney failure and passed away a week later.

By now, if you’re a Baby Boomer, I’m sure you know his name.

David Cassidy.

But do you know his last words?

According to his daughter Katie, in the final lucid moments of his life, he uttered something I completely wouldn’t expect.


Are You Wasting Time?
When I read the account of David Cassidy’s final words, I couldn’t shake it. Here was a famous man, adored by millions, worth millions (my assumption), and in his final moments, he expressed regret about wasting too much time.

So why would David Cassidy say he was wasting time? Think about all he accomplished. He made a career as a celebrity, but to my knowledge, he didn’t give much thought to being significant.

You see, a great chasm exists between celebrity and significance.

In my younger years, I wanted both. But as I “move closer to the front row,” as my dad likes to say, I’m more concerned with significance. Legacy.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to make a similar confession to David Cassidy’s.

That’s why I began investing myself into writing years ago, which eventually led me to start Illumify Media.

You Can Leave A Legacy with Words
Words are powerful. They define reality and, in fact, can create it, too.

Here’s my point: significance always trumps celebrity. All of us are hard-wired with the deep-felt desire to leave a legacy. Fortunately, the different ways we can leave a legacy are legion.

It begins with reaching out to the people around you. Sitting with them in their pain. Loving your neighbor. Feeding the poor. Mentoring a young person.

And I hope you do it.

When I became an accidental bestselling writer twenty-four years ago, I was pastoring a church of 200 in rural Iowa—and the first two books I ghostwrote could have filled a football stadium with people.

That’s when realized that I could impact hundreds, thousands, even millions of people through my writing.

That lit a fire inside me that burns to this day.

You see, books don’t just last a lifetime, they last FOREVER. Years after you’ve moved from the “front row” to the “stage,” people will still be reading your books. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll STILL be making a difference.

Don’t Be Like My Friend
A few years ago, a friend met me for lunch and told me his wife was encouraging him to publish his fiction novel.

“My wife thinks it could be a bestseller,” he confided.

“How far are you into it?” I asked.

“It’s all in my head. I just need to write it down.”

Please don’t be that man.

At some point, all of us face the decision of whether we’re going to leave a legacy or just talk about it. All too often we wait until it’s too late to do what’s important.

We’re thirty-five days into 2021. Please, I encourage you, don’t waste time. Once it has passed, you’ll never get it back.