I have an arsenal of books that are my go-tos when I want to be inspired; this morning I picked up The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and it randomly opened on a chapter called: Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore? I thought to myself what a fantastic question. For those of you not familiar with these Winnie the Pooh characters – Tigger is energetic, optimistic and above all fun-loving, in contrast to Eeyore who is all about doom and gloom. I know who I would rather be, do you?
This book was born out of a lecture of real life anecdotes given by lecturer Randy Pausch. A last lecture is given by professors when they finish their tenure – their last hurrah so to speak – in this case it was all the more poignant because when Randy gave his last lecture in September 2007 he had just been told that the cancer he had had for over a year had become terminal. It is a relatively short read, with each chapter not more than five pages long. This man left behind three very young children so essentially he wrote the book for them so that one day they would know who their father was.
What I love about this book/lecture is that even though you know the end result (Randy died less than a year after giving this lecture) and there are moments that make you cry (like the heartbreaking moment when his wife asks him not to die) and others that make you feel inspired (like when he got to fulfill his childhood dream of being Captain Kirk, yes to actually be Captain Kirk not just meet him); mostly this story makes me laugh. This man really made the most of his life, the common theme throughout his story as he said it was ‘we cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand’ and as a result he was able to turn every life experience into a positive life lesson even before the cancer. He chose to be Tigger every time even when the cancer came, even when he was told he was going to die.
I recommended this book to everyone – it is a light easy read that will instantly uplift you and remind you to live… not just to breathe… not just to exist but to really live. For those of you who are interested but not enough to buy the book – here’s a link to the actual lecture. Have a listen and be inspired… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo