Friday, September 28, 2007

On a story that'll break your heart

Okay, so Carnegie Mellon University used to have lecture series, called "Last Lectures," that asked professors what lecture they would give if they knew it would be their last. Just as they renamed it "Journeys," indicating that it characterized the professors' journeys through life, they brought in Randy Pausch - who gave his actual last lecture.

The entire lecture can be found here, and it really is inspiring. It's not even close to short, but it's worth watching the entire thing. It kind of underscores the general unfairness of life that a guy like that won't be around six months from now.

This would be a great lead-in to my own hypothetical "last lecture." I will not be providing such for the following reasons:

1. I couldn't possibly follow that up.
2. I'm barely a quarter of a century old. While I've amassed a good number of life lessons and some valuable experience, I certainly don't have enough of the good stuff to fill up a lecture. I don't have enough to fill up a blog.
3. I can't say I've lived a life of such quality that people should be taking my advice or looking to me for guidance. It's certainly worked for me (so far, anyway), but I've Gumped my way through so many of the tough times that I couldn't even tell you how I've ended up where I am.

So here's what I'll give you instead:
It is better for things to suck differently than for things to suck the same way they were sucking before.

That's it. That's the one thing, in my 26 years, that I've learned for sure that might be applicable to someone else's life. It's not Randy-Pausch-level inspiring, for damn sure, but it works.

What've you got? What one thing do you know for sure that might change someone's life?

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