Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Back to the Start

Sometimes, in the midst of all the hard work, long hours, and frustrating meetings, you can begin to feel as though you will never see the long term vision come to fruition. I bump into this brick wall every so often. I've been pretty good at pep talking myself to this point - taking inspiration wherever I can find it. Some of you may be aware of the story of Prof. Randy Pausch. He was on Oprah, and I believe his speech can be found on Youtube as well. Dr. Pausch is dying of pancreatic cancer, and he gave his 'last lecture' as a life lesson in how one should live their life - and how he defined what is important.
I love a few things that he said, and they've been going through my head everytime I hit the wall:
1. Brick walls aren't there to stop us - they're there to A)Keep others out and B) Teach us how badly it is we want something.
2. You have to decide now, are you a Tigger, or are you an Eeyore?
3. Have fun.

I don't write this to be the world's ultimate downer, but Dr. Pausch gives this speech knowing he has 3-6 months of health left in him. He has sold his house with his wife and moved to a new house that will be easier for his wife and kids later on, as it's closer to his wife's family. But on the upside, he's taking this opportunity to do everything he didn't do on his life list. He went scuba diving, he went skydiving, and he's creating amazing memories with his kids. I am so inspired by him. And he should know how powerful his message has been.

In terms of brick walls, he discussed them in terms of hearing the word no, being tied up in red tape, being held back by institutional beaurocracy. So he found ways around the walls. And he was quick to point out, that the walls he didn't scale were clearly the ones he didn't want that badly. Good lesson. I can reach back into my past and easily see the walls I turned away from, and the walls I took on. It definitely teaches you what was and what is important to you.

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