I’m going to share one of most important life lessons I’ve ever learned. This life lesson came a few months ago from my partner, Joe Mercadante, who passed away last week.

Joe was at our apartment complex to take care of a few problems we were having. While he was there, I called him about another issue at the same property. During our call Joe said he would take care of the situation right then and there. In fact, his exact words were:

“Fuck it – I have a free pass now.”

A few weeks before Joe said these life changing words, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic cancer. His cancer diagnosis seemed to completely change how he looked at everything in life. It gave him a great deal of freedom and unlocked a sense of urgency in everything he did. He no longer would tolerate any useless drama.

In this particular situation, Joe needed a tenant’s approval to enter an apartment to take care of a repair. We couldn’t get a hold of the tenant, which would have required one of us to make a second trip to the property after getting the tenant’s permission to enter their apartment. Joe simply didn’t care about the tenant’s approval. He just went in and fixed the issue.

Joe technically violated the tenant’s rights by entering their apartment without permission. He wasn’t entering their apartment to do something wrong. He was entering their apartment to make something better for them.

You see, Joe’s free pass allowed him to do whatever he wanted to do without wanting or needing anyone’s approval. He realized that everyone would give him space to do whatever he wanted. He didn’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. This mindset gave him massive freedom.

Now, I’m suggesting Joe was hurtful to anyone. He certainly wasn’t.

His free pass simply allowed him to make decisions very quickly because all of his priorities became crystal clear. He just wanted to get shit done NOW. No messing around. No hemming or hawing. No indecisiveness. No wondering what so and so would think. None this mattered to him anymore.

What DID matter to Joe was doing what he wanted to do, or needed to do, right fucking NOW.

He no longer had to worry about all the small stuff, and this is because the small stuff didn’t matter to him anymore. He simply didn’t have any time for it.

I’ve thought a great deal about what Joe said that day and I’ve come to the conclusion that we should all give ourselves a free pass.

A free pass to no longer worry about every little thing.
A free pass to be decisive without waiting for anyone’s approval or opinion.
A free pass to do what we want to do right now.
A free pass to say what needs to be said (in a loving way).
A free pass to do what needs to be done.

A free pass to live exactly how we want to live.