Unlike myself, many of you may already have a clue and know all about Randy Pausch. He is a college professor at Carnegie Melon who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September, 2006. He is also a father, husband and now author of a book called “The Last Lecture”. After being diagnosed with cancer, Randy thought up the concept of The Last Lecture for his students; he wanted to teach them how to about appreciate, enjoy and live life to it’s fullest. His “Last Lecture” was posted on Youtube for Carnegie Melon students unable to attend this class. However, this lesson did not stay within the confines of that University. The Youtube link was shared and emailed and posted until he was teaching his lesson to thousands worldwide. I finally got a clue a few weeks ago when I learned all about him thanks to Diane Sawyer and her ABC interview with him. Almost 2 years later, he has more than just students, more than just fans – he practically has disciples.
Oh wait… You don’t have a clue about this guy?
Close your office door, turn off the phone and take some time to GET ONE.
But here’s what I am really posting about. While my husband and I watched this interview, we saw something he did with his kids every night. It’s very simple. He asks his kids two questions:
What was the best part of the day?
What was the worst part of the day?
Huh. What a cool idea. So my husband and I have adopted this routine with our oldest son who is almost 5 years old. And guess what? We have learned gobs and gobs more about our son’s day than we ever did before. I’m not sure what it is. I ask my kid in the car ride home about his day. I ask him at dinner. I ask him when we take off his shoes. How was your day? NOTHING. But at night, when he is clean, cozy and ready for bed – and eager for one last snuggle that he doesn’t want to end quite yet – he is happy to answer these two questions.
And it also gives my husband and I a much needed kick in the ass. Oh yeah. What WAS the best part of our day? Yeah, there WERE good parts. That’s right! And there were bad parts. And its good to share those too. But if that was the worst part… eh… life ain’t THAT bad. It’s like I learn that the glass is half full and half empty at the same time – but I am just glad I got that glass in the first place.
Amongst the other profound life lessons, concepts, and tips I have learned from Randy Pausch, I thank him for that very simple one.
“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. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
The Last Lecture: