Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Last Lecture

I did it again. I read a book that made me cry. You'd think after reading The Art of Racing in the Rain I would've learned my lesson. It appears I have not.

I've been eyeballing this book ever since I started working at Hastings. I saw an interview with Randy Pausch on Oprah and was blown away by his story. In case you don't know, Randy Pausch was diagnose with terminal cancer and as a professor he was able to give a final speech, or Last Lecture. Go here to watch the YouTube of it. I dare you not to cry. It's a little over an hour long but worth every minute of your time.

Seeing as I am terrified don't like to cry I purposely avoided the book but still I was drawn to it. I'll never read it, I told myself as an excuse not to buy it. But then I started working at the library and I was no longer tempted to buy the book. Instead, the local library not only had the book but they also had the book on audio. So one day, I took the plunge and checked out the BOCD.

Though I teared up regularly, Randy used humor and inspiration in his book that's not about dying, but about living. Here are some of the things I took with me from this book.

Two quotes from his father, "never make a decision until you have to". And, "just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean you have to run over people." The first I had never really thought about but makes sense. How many times do I make snap decisions when another choice would've been better? Plenty. The second one just makes sense period.

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.
I recently had my 6 week review at work. For the most part it was a good review but there were a few things said that stung just a bit. My three month review will take place in the next few weeks but I'm no longer dreading it. They're taking the time to tell me what they see I can improve on. They still care. That's a good thing.

Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
Ah, isn't this the truth? So many things in life are too easy for us and the generation coming up. We need challenges in our lives to show us just what it is we're willing to fight for. This next quote is closely related.

Brick walls are there for a reason. And once you get over them -even if someone has to practically had to throw you over- it can be helpful to others to tell them how you did it.

I've faced a few brick walls in my life. Some I can tell you about easily. Others are still a little hard to talk about but I will if you ask me. I hope the next time I'm up against a brick wall I look at it like this, with these filters over my eyes.

There were dozens of other things I wrote down in a journal of things I wanted to remember from this book. Simple things that I already know, but need to remind myself of from time to time.  If you have the chance to read or listen to this book I hope you will. At the very least, I hope you'll take the time to watch his last lecture. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Sassy Girl said...

I actually read the book and that even made me bawl. I don't think I can watch the video.