If you don’t know the story of Eric Liddell, check it out ASAP.
I think it is a fantastic case of knowing exactly who you are and exactly what you want out of this short life.
Of course, his story was popularized in the classic film, Chariots Of Fire.
In the northern Chinese city then known as Tientsin (now Tianjin), a Scottish missionary mulls over the ever-spreading gossip: people say the occupying army of Japan will soon round up all foreign nationals in the city and place them in an internment camp. He realizes that he has already missed his chance to return to the West, to his wife and daughters, then living in Toronto. This Scotsman had been born in Tientsin in 1902 and had returned there to serve after being educated in England and Scotland, and after having won a gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics in the 400-meter run and a bronze in the 200 meters. His name is Eric Liddell, and in March he will be taken to the Weihsien internment camp, and will die there, of a brain tumor, in February 1945.
-Alan Jacobs, The Year Of Our Lord 1943 (Amazon)