One of the most popular YouTube videos this fall is a lecture given by Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. Pausch has terminal pancreatic cancer, and the irony was that he was delivering his "last lecture," part of a series in which Carnegie profs delivered the talk that they give if it were the very last lecture they were to deliver. In other words, the most precious insights they could share with students. Pausch recently reprised this speech on Oprah, and as of yesterday, was still alive and lecturing. He's been told he has months to live.
Pausch's message wasn't about dying, but about living. It was originally delivered to his students and meant for his three young children, but there are wonderful lessons for all of us (and millions have viewed his message on the Internet since it was delivered earlier this year.) Randy's message is funny, poignant, and very relevant. I'll bet it becomes a best-selling book and Hallmark or Lifetime movie within the next year.
But before you click through and view the lecture, grab the tissues – you'll either be laughing so hard you break into tears or just tearing up as you hear Pausch talk about his life and life's lessons.
Listen to it yourself, but consider some of these insights. He asks his audience to consider whether they want to be a "Tigger" or an "Eeyore." A Tigger, as anyone familiar with Winnie the Pooh knows, is enthusiastic, energetic, and fun. His exuberance can be a bit exasperating, but he has boundless energy and drive. An Eeyore, on the other hand, always sees the glass as half empty and expects the worst in everything and everyone. An Eeyore is never disappointed because he never expects much to start with, but he also never gains much, either.
Pausch also reminds us that brick walls — the failures or events that may put our dreams at risk — are there for a reason. They are there to show us how badly we want something and how much harder we're willing to work to get it. Pausch advises everyone to show gratitude for those who help us along the way. And finally, to stop complaining and whining and just work harder.
Pausch's comments are so relevant to those working to build Quixtar businesses. As I think about the people gathered at Achiever's this week, they're all Tiggers — they're energetic, they've worked hard, they're hopeful and optimistic — and they've kept moving forward despite obstacles. Anyone who's achieved anything in this business will glady tell of their successes, but just as quickly share their failures or moments that they questioned their dreams or thought of giving up. Because achieving something is even sweeter after overcoming obstacles or experiencing spectacular failures.
For an IBO, a brick wall might be a prospect who blows off a meeting to discuss the opportunity. It might be a customer who isn't convinced Artistry essentials is better than what she's using today. A brick wall might be a personal situation that distracts an IBO from her dream of building a business that will eventually allow her to leave her job. Or just another brick in the wall (apologies to Pink Floyd) might be the friend or family member who tries to dissuade you from pursuing your business.
Almost every day, all of us have something happen that could derail us from our goals. Sometimes it's not a brick wall but a brick tossed in your path that may slow you down or trip you up a bit. And if there's a whole wall, well, that just means you need to find another way around to reach your goal. Because unlike Randy Pausch, most of us have the gift of time to try again. And that's something to be grateful for.