Monday, July 28, 2008

The Power to Dream

It's funny how one blog leads to another and another and then before you know it, you're sucked into the blogosphere! I stumbled upon this video clip from Starwalker's blog a la Tiny Dancer's recent post and what do you know? I picked up another token of inspiration. And this one truly is in it of itself. His name is Randy Pausch and until today, I didn't know who he was. For those of you who don't, you should, and for those of you who did, consider yourself blessed. I wish I had known this man when he was alive--he reminds me of my own father, both of whom possess a deep-seated belief in the goodness of humanity and the value of self-discipline. Sadly, however, Pausch passed away due to pancreatic cancer on July 25.

As my curiosity would have it, I initially clicked on the video thinking..okay, I'm only going to watch 5 minutes and then get back to work, only to be so enamored by his eloquence, enthusiasm and charisma that 5 minutes turned into a whole 75. Come know you wanna. Words cannot do justice to the impact his lecture will have on you, so see for yourself and then tell me you didn't get inspired.

Some of Pausch's words of wisdom that I heart:

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."

"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough."

"Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity."

"You cannot change the cards you are dealt, just how you play the hand."

This clip was his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon and its' great for a variety of reasons. For me, it's a reminder that good people do exist in this world and that there are those of us who have values and morals and believe that karma is an omnipresent force of nature. With all the crap we're being fed by the mass media and reality T.V. shows, I know I've sometimes lost faith in finding the good in people. It's reassuring to know that not all is lost. Moreover, Pausch also touches on life and how we, as human beings, have the power to affect change in many capacities, with the only questions being: Are we willing to do something about it? And if so, will we quit when we encounter the 'brick walls' in our endeavors or will we persevere and climb over it or better yet, knock it down!?

And most importantly, it's about dreams (both big and small) and how we can make them come true. In essence, it's about leading your life in a way that you ALLOW yourself to dream those dreams. I think that as adults, we sometimes become so jaded with life and the reality of it all, we forget to think about the days when we felt uninhibited to dream. The days as children when we were asked about what we wanted to be when we grow up and without thinking about money, grades, or any externalities, we just blurted out what first came to mind. Whatever happened to them good ole days? In the spirit of dreaming of an MBA, I think we need to put the kid back in each of us. For the past year, I've been catching up on my favorite childrens books--they're so pure, innocent and unadulterated and they all give me the power to dream (yet again). Some of the ones I absolutely adore are: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Ramona Quimby series, Freckle Juice, Fancy Nancy and so much more. Recently, I've also gotten into the Gilda Joyce series and Blue Balliet's Chasing Vermeer, the latter of which combines art, mystery, and math (go figure!) to take the reader on a journey through the eyes of sixth graders.

It's been a bit more difficult to find adult books that are worthy of my time, but quite fittingly, Professor Pausch's book, The Last Lecture, published in April and has since become a national bestseller, may just be my next great read. I'm heading to my local Barnes and Noble to peruse a copy. I'll keep you posted with my review.


Starwalker said...

hey chandarap, nice post, a new take on what the lecture was about... fro inspiration (my take) to the uter goodness (your theme)... its a shot distance, and a crucial one. congrats on making that journey. i have another gem of a quote from the lecture: The best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap. Don't bail.

it ould easily have been a lecture about rhe end of life, but he made it about life.

On Track to an MBA said...

Yes, Starwalker! How can I have forgotten that one? It's a classic, don't ya think?