Since I’ve got your attention on these matters, I think I’ll also share another source of inspiration that I’ve unearthed. I was going to tack this onto the end of my last post, but decided that it was important enough to get it’s very own post. This inspiration comes from an unlikely source. Well, maybe not unlikely, but undiscovered by me until just today. It came in the form of a news article shared to me today by Larry, an old co-worker of Jody’s from her CREA days. This article was about a fellow by the name of Randy Pausch, who just died today from pancreatic cancer. He was a university prof with a very distinguished pedigree in the world of virtual reality. So just what is the source of inspiration from him? Well that would be his 1hr and 16min lecture that he delivered in September 2007, which was his ‘Last Lecture’. Basically, profs at Carnegie Mellon are given the chance to reflect on their lives and give a lecture based on what they would say if it would be the last lecture they would ever be giving before dying. Well, in an odd twist, Randy was actually doing just that. He had already been handed his death sentence resulting from the cancer diagnosis, and had to come to grips with it.
However, he wasn’t sad. He wasn’t down. He wasn’t angry. He was ALIVE. Plain and simple. Sure, the lecture was mainly all about his accomplishments and what he learned along the way. But the entire subtext to me was an affirmation for how I try to live my life. I try to LIVE it. You really never know when your time will come. Life is a lottery. You don’t choose the numbers, but everybody plays. Don’t waste your time dwelling on negatives and talking about doing things. You’ve gotta slap a smile on your face, be grateful for what you have, and just get out there and do it. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with the way you lived your life, not with how much money you made. Is that really what people dream of? Making money and working hard. Hell no. You dream about doing stuff and seeing things, so why not make a commitment to yourself to do it.
Perhaps that’s one of my flaws, in that I may seem selfish to some, and you’re right, I am. Is it all about me? Of course not, but I certainly want to do the things that I want to do, and not regret anything, which is why I’m often just a little bit blunt and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Self-censure? Not for me kids. Sorry 😉
At any rate, I’m babbling just a little bit again, but I do think it’s important that some of you have a look at that video and see what you might draw from Randy’s story. Head over to the Carnegie Mellon webpage about the lecture, and then click on whichever link you’d like. I watched the YouTube clip, and it was perfectly fine. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably find yourself digging more into this amazing guy, and I’d love to say there’s a happy ending, but of course there isn’t, as he passed away July 25th, 2008. However, his spirit will definitely be living on. I just hope I can live as positive a life right now as he was able to in his final months. Just remarkable.
I’m going to leave it at that, and let you spend your time learning more about Randy rather than force you to read more of my rambling late Friday night thoughts.