Posted by: gregistheanswer | May 31, 2008


Living is not the same as avoiding death.

These two things don’t get you the same thing.  X does not equal Y in this case.

I think most of us would agree that this is true, first of all.  Secondly, choosing Y, avoiding death, is not making the most with what we have here, this opportunity which we are living out every day and every year, culminating in what we call a LIFE.

But on what side of this coin we spend the most time is what matters.

One side of the coin is being fully alive, fully present, risking everything, every moment, blood pumping, full of vitality, eyes open, doing it and doing it right now with integrity and responsibility, learning everything you can and using what you learn to experience all that life has to offer.  And then getting up again and going for broke again.

The other side is avoiding pain, embarrassment, looking bad, and rejection, resulting in a life spent not knowing yourself and what you are capable of, while also not letting anyone else to know you and what you are capable of (such as love, connection, intimacy, vulnerability).  It’s full of justifications, excuses, and reasoning on why not.

I am most inspired by the people that have received a death sentence from their doctor.  Even though we all “know” that we have a death sentence hanging over our collective heads, and that we can’t escape this life alive, how many times have we been inspired by people like Dr. Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University Professor, father, and husband, who has received the news that he has 3-6 months to live and makes the absolute most of the time that he has left?  Randy, thankfully, has used some of that time to communicate openly with us about his dreams and what it means to him to really live.  I feel that people like Randy, that are living out the rest of their time, are the people that I have the most to learn from.  And if any of us want to maximize the life we are living, these should be our role models.

Without further ado, for those of you that haven’t been introduced to Randy, here is his video.  Please note that he is still alive and actually just gave the 2008 Commencement Address (also on youtube).  Oh, one more, note..this is a long video because its a college lecture and fills up the entire hour period.
I hope you enjoy and learn and put it to use.


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