(A Note: I’ve actually started this post a few times, but then I have to grab another tissue, wipe away my tears, and start again…. this is the face of post traumatic stress…. so bear with me, please….)
At least a dozen people have sent me links to what ABC called “A Lecture of a Lifetime.”
Some background: Dr. Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has only a few months to live. He has proof of his disease in the images of the tumors in his pancreas. Of course, it was important for me to see those — because his prognosis is the same one I received — just a few months to live.
Diane Sawyer did a wonderful interview with Dr. Pausch on Good Morning America yesterday, which you can see here.
The big difference, of course, is that I learned my diagnosis was wrong. I was told I had just a few months to live (life turns 180 degrees) and then figured out that I wasn’t go to die at all — at least not then (another 180 degrees, back to where I started.) Listening to Dr. Pausch just brings up all those old fears and feelings and — melt down time.
I hope you will take at least the 8-9 minutes to hear what Dr. Pausch has to say in the Sawyer interview. It is brilliantly simple, and simply brilliant.
In many ways, having had the same prognosis-related experience, I count myself as one of the lucky ones. NOT because I was misdiagnosed and learned I was really just fine, but because like Dr. Pausch, I was given the rare opportunity to examine my own life, assess what I did and didn’t like about it, and make the changes needed to be all I want to be.
YOU can make your own luck in this way. If you are one of those fortunate people who can learn from other’s experiences, then listen to Dr. Pausch, and follow his suggestions.
One of them is a long-time favorite of mine: Luck is the point at which preparation meets opportunity. Be prepared for the opportunities in your life. Keep an eye open for them. Take advantage of them. Substitute “someday” for today.
Remember — everything, EVERYTHING, happens for a reason. You are reading this post for a reason.
God bless you and your family, Randy Pausch. You have made a difference in this world you will leave behind.
Find two updates to this post:
June 10, 2008: Randy Pausch, a Commencement Address of a Lifetime
February 10, 2008: Update on Randy Paush and His Lecture of a Lifetime
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