The important things
Randy Pausch, was a man who lived his life to the full in many ways. You can read about his amazing story here. He is most famous for his "Last Lecture" speech which went viral in the time before he died. However, there is another speech he gave a graduation speech at Carnegie Mellon University that I always go back to when I am low in spirits. Here are some excerpts from the speech that give me hope in times of difficult. But before that I feel like I have to say, I think there is both light and darkness within every one of us. Some days, it's harder to fight the darkness to see the light, some days it's nearly impossible. Light and darkness are abstract concepts, but sometimes there are no words for the sadness and anxiety that consumes us. But I choose to believe, every day, that the world is a beautiful place, even if I can't see it right now, and I must fight the darkness because better things are ahead of me. It is hard to see strength in a world where vulnerability is equated with weakness. In the past year, I've tried to live as vulnerably as possible, with my heart on my sleeve. Not everybody understands this choice, and there is nothing wrong with that. I have lost friendships and perhaps inadvertently upset some people, for which I am truly sorry. But my solace comes from knowing that I have tried to live in way such that I have been authentic as possible in my actions, choices and interactions with people. Pain and an excruciating sense of fear is an unavoidable byproduct of this choice. But we're doing our best.
" We don’t beat the reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well and living fully, for the Reaper will come for all of us. The question is what we will do between the time we’re born and the time he shows up, because when he shows up it’s too late to do all the things that you always want to kind of get around to."
"I think the only advice I can give you on how to live your life well is first off remember, it’s a cliché but I love clichés, it is not the things we do in live that we regret on our deathbed. It is the things we do not. I assure you I’ve done a lot of really stupid things and none of them bother me. All of the mistakes and all of the dopey things and all of the times I was embarrassed, they don’t matter. What matters is that I can look back and say pretty much anytime I got a chance to do something cool I tried to grab for it. That’s where my solace comes from."
"The second thing that I would add to that and I didn’t coordinate on the subject of this word, but I think it’s the right word that comes up, is passion. You will need to find your passion. Many of you have already done it. Many of you will later. Many of you may take until your 30’s or 40’s but don’t give up on finding it because then all you’re doing is waiting on the Reaper. Find your passion and follow it. If there is anything I have learned in my life you will not find that passion in things and you will not find that passion in money because the more things and the more money you have the more you will just look around and use that as the metric and there will always be someone with more."
"Your passion must come from the things that fill you from the inside. Honors and awards are nice things but only to the extent that they regard the real respect from your peers. To be thought well of by other people that you think even more highly of is a tremendous honor that I’ve been granted."
"Find your passion, and in my experience, no matter what you do at work or what you do in official settings that passion will be grounded in people. It will be grounded in the relationships you have with people and what they think of you when your time comes. If you can gain the respect of those around you and the passion and the true love, and I’ve said this before, I waited until 39 to get married because I had to wait that long to find someone whose happiness was more important than mine. If nothing else I hope that all of you can find that kind of passion and that kind of love in your life. Thank you."