Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The head fake

About a week ago, I finished reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, and I can honestly say this is one of the best books I have ever read. I strongly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Randy, a humble, intelligent, observant and hardworking man, shared a wealth of knowledge and lessons in this last lecture. He captured life and death in such a beautiful way - warm and inspiring to his readers. Each chapter went through a lesson or bit of advice he felt important enough to share. There were simply too many amazing tidbits in this books to adequately talk about everything, but my favorite quote - and probably the one that applies to me the most - is the one above.

In the ending of the book, Randy talks about giving his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon and at the end of his speech, he shared the "head fake" of his lecture with the audience. (A head fake, he defines, is when he teaches his students one lesson and they inadvertently learn something beyond what the lesson entailed.) So the head fake was that his last lecture was not about achieving your dreams, but about learning how to lead your life correctly and letting the dreams come to you.

I read this quote probably 30 times over and again as if I had suddenly awaken from a long nap. No one has ever put this idea so beautifully into words and it finally resonated with me. All the time I worry about my future, my decisions, my path, blah blah blah, even though I know I shouldn't worry. With Randy's advice, I am allowing myself to stop worrying. Allowing myself to have faith that the decisions I make are based on good judgment. Knowing that if I continue to live my life well, then everything else will follow. The dreams will come to me.

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