Tuesdays with Morrie and the Last Lecture - Randy Pausch Essay Example
Tuesday’s With Morrie & The Last Lecture In Tuesday’s With Morrie, the book really gives you a different perspective on life - Tuesdays with Morrie and the Last Lecture introduction. It teaches you how thinking positively can really shift your attitude. It also shows how much we should appreciate life and how we need to live each day to our fullest potential. At the end of the day to know that we’ve done our best. To summarize the three main ideas from this book can be illustrated with Morrie’s quotes. These quotes summarized are Live Life, Trust Others and Do Good. Live life; “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live”. pg 53) This is such a powerful thought because the one limiting factor in our lives is fear. We have fear every day, fear of disappointing others, fear of things that are coming up, but most notably the fear of dying. We all know that it is coming but we all try our best to hide that and keep living. The perspective in the book gives you a completely different view. By knowing that death is coming and accepting that fact, you will begin to notice many more things in life. Perhaps it’s just the simple things when you actually let silence dominate for awhile.
You’ll begin to notice the smallest sound, maybe the ticking of a clock, maybe a bug buzzing around. These are things that you would hardly notice if you were just going on with your busy life. I honestly think that’s the beauty in life. How powerful is it to get to a state where you can see and recognize these things. That’s why the quote is so powerful and eye opening in the sense that it shows only when we’re in the right state of mind can we really live. Morrie also emphasized to trust others “You closed your eyes. That was the difference.
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Sometimes you cannot believe what you see; you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you’re falling. ” (pg 43) How often do we go through life rationalizing every single thing that happens? I’ve always been a strong believer in whatever is meant to happen will happen no matter what you do. Morrie also emphasized to do good. “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important.
This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. ” (pg 61) How many people do you know in your life are unhappy with their current position? How many don’t like their jobs? How many don’t feel like they have enough meaning in their life? It seems that especially in our society everyone is a walking zombie. They tend to pursue what they think is happiness, but really that happiness is being defined by others.
I’m a strong believer that happiness is genuinely something that comes from within and it’s not an easy thing to maintain. You have to constantly work on being a good person and having a positive attitude in order to find meaning in life. This can be done in several ways whether it’s overall changing your attitude so that everything is more positive or maybe even quitting your job to pursue your passion. You get what you put into this life. If you push for your dreams you may not always get what you wanted but maybe it opens up other opportunities or teaches you valuable life lessons.
This quote really tells us to reevaluate who we are and what we want to accomplish. Do some good in life. In Tuesday’s with Morrie, Morrie was the teacher and Mitch was the student, and most days the relationship stayed that way, but it was clear that Morrie was learning along with Mitch. I, too, have often had that same experience in my personal and work life. Morrie talked about this in his book, “By throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.
You know what pain is. You know what love in. You know what grief is. And the only thing you can say, ‘All right, I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment. ‘” (pg 72) Another important thread in the book is the topic of death. “Everybody knows they’re going to die,” Morrie said, “but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. ” He later added “Do what the Buddhists do. Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘is today the day? Am I ready?
Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be? ‘” He hammers home the point by saying “learn how to die, and you learn how to live. ” (pg 62-73) Tuesdays with Morrie has given me the priceless gift of a fuller life. It challenged the way I experience emotions, it gave me the strength to cry and introduced me the endless gifts found in books. Most important it caused me to enjoy and find meaning in the daily ride of life as much as possible. These quotes from the book Tuesdays with Morrie are just a small portion of the pure greatness of the book.
There are many spots that teach great lessons and really make you think. I suggest that if you haven’t picked up the book or read it to do it today. Keep an open mind and try to take some of these lessons to heart. If only we can learn to live everyday to the fullest, have full trust that things will be ok and devote yourself fully to passions or bettering those around you, and then we can really and truly say that we’ve lived life! Similar to Morrie, Randy published his book The Last Lecture; he tried to teach his audience not about dying but about living.
Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture; he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have… and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe.
It was about living. Both Morrie and Randy share that common characteristic that learning how to live the right way is really important. The ultimate goal was to inspire his audience with a sense of urgency and mortality; ultimately encouraging them to consider their own lives and what they want their legacy to be. In his bestselling book The Last Lecture, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, Pausch goes into more detail as to the motivations and struggles of not only coming up with the ideal topic, but in following through with his intention of sharing his message.
He also reiterated some of the key points: we must live our lives with a childlike wonder and big dreaming, while valuing every moment and pursing that which is dear to us with vigor and determination. Randy reiterated to find brick walls worth tackling “Brick walls are there for a reason. ” (The Last Lecture, page 79) Pausch lived his life with the understanding that anything is possible. He believed fully in the potency of childhood dreams. Always the scientist though, he also understood that not all dreams would come easy. There will always be variables, mistakes and accidents along the road of life that are beyond our control.
Rather than lament our bad luck, Pausch encourages us to be the scientist. In the face of adversity and challenge, we need to evaluate our goals and, if worth pursuing, tackle them with everything we have. The balance is to dream like a child and commit like a driven adult. Randy also taught us that there can be beauty in brick walls. “The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop other people. ”(The Last Lecture, page 73) We all face brick walls from time to time – obstacles that seem truly insurmountable. And, if we were lesser people, we may pack up and go home.
And sometimes, that’s exactly the right play. Sometimes we need to realize that the time, effort and ingenuity that would be required to defeat that wall is simply not worth the investment. What Pausch teaches though is that we can only justifiably give up if we’ve looked at the situation from a distance. If we can admit that the goal is not one that ties into our life’s pursuit, then it really is worth walking away from. When we have taken the time to cement our dreams – truly rooting them in our very beings – we are able to distinguish those dreams worth pursuing from those less worthy.
If we stop, take a distanced view, and realize that the brick wall in front of us actually does stand between ourselves and our goals, then we need to tackle that wall with everything we’ve got. We need to understand that those brick walls are there for a reason. They’re there to stop those people who don’t want it bad enough. Randy also reminded us that the clock is ticking…“We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier. (The Last Lecture, page 139) As I’m sure many do as they near the end of their lives, Pausch reflects often in The Last Lecture about the preciousness of time. I think Morrie also realized this. As Randy points out in his book, the only true valuable use of what little time we have is in the pursuit of those things we truly want; those accomplishments and milestones that will mean something at the end of our lives. The reason he encourages us to walk away from certain obstacles is simply to allow us to refocus our attention on the brick walls that are worth tackling.
And, under no circumstances should we waste our time lamenting our misfortune. When you look back on your life (whether the end comes at 47 or 97), I doubt very highly that you will reminisce about the times you spent cursing your bad luck. Life’s too short – get out and live it the way you want it. Morrie and Randy enlighten us with novel thoughts that make us wonder about how we should be living our lives. Randy Pausch was human. He cried when he learned of his terminal cancer, and he struggled greatly with the fact his children would grow up without him. And yet, he spent his last few months on earth happy.
Happy because he had his family, and happy because he had lived his life in such a way that he accomplished more in 47 years than many people accomplish in 90. Randy Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008, but his legacy will live on for generations to come. His message is simple – dream like a child, then live with passion and purpose. It’s the Randy Pausch’s of the world that make our society a better place to live. I have been mesmerized with the Randy Pausch story since the first time I watched the unforgettable Last Lecture he delivered at Carnegie Melon University.
There is only so much of Randy’s story that you can read before you have to stop and walk away and then force yourself to either promptly forget it all or tell yourself he is just a character out of very sad fiction because this story cannot simply be real. How can a human being so heavily vested in life, when faced with the fast-approaching grip of death, continue to his last dying minutes to show care and concern for everyone around him, and keep up the spirits that Randy did to the very end? It baffles me beyond words. Randy and Morrie should immaculate strength at the end of their lives.
I wonder if Randy believed in heaven. He was a scientist, after all. But, I wonder if it would have even mattered? It’s not like dying is going to be a picnic. I wonder about a lot when it comes to death, and I am not – to my own knowledge – dying yet. At least, not with a definite timetable as Randy was, so I can only imagine the obsessive wonderment that would come over me if I were indeed given a few months to live, and the obsession would surely be about death, the very thing that we dread, not life. It would indeed be the opposite approach that Randy Pausch took. What an inspiration!
He reminded the world how to keep living and dreaming, as he was dying. What a bitter irony that is. So here, as I share with you what I took away from Last Lecture, which he co-authored by Jeffrey Zaslow, I will honor Randy’s wishes and focus on life, on his life and on what he offered through his short life to benefit ours. And for that, we can never thank you enough, Dr. Randy Pausch. When Randy talks about his childhood dreams, it makes you think of yours. When he talks about his work ethics, he makes you reconsider yours. When he talks about his romantic troubles, he seems like a very average guy but when he talks about eing a husband and a father, he is far above the ordinary. And when he talks about dying, which is on the rare occasions that he is not talking about living, he makes you wonder at how strange life really is, and why is it that when you learn how to truly live well from a brilliant guy who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, it tends to stick with you for a very long time. Like Tuesdays with Morrie and unlike The Last Lecture which never directly discusses death, Morrie in Tuesday’s with Morrie, makes us look at death up close and personal.
Not in a way that’s scary, but in a way that’s real – prospective. You may be wondering what is Morrie’s take on dying. He sums it up this way, “Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long. ” (pg 101) Before Morrie’s death, Albom was able to inform him that this book deal would be able to cover all of his medical expenses – Morrie cried; and so did I. Those two books are a quick read but so very powerful. I just know there are days when I am feeling down and I think, “Snap out of it. You have it so easy compared to others. Life is good! ” Life really is good, even when some days it just really sucks.