Friday, September 5, 2008

Your next lecture. Take a stand.

I'm still being inspired by Randy Pausch's last lecture, the meaning behind his life lessons and what he accomplished by sharing his beliefs with the world (well, he might not have known it would be with the world but YouTube had a different idea).

And certainly the political season is in full force and, no matter your views, we know that it is time for both candidates to take a stand on their beliefs and communicate their strategies and action plans for fixing our economy and keeping us safe. As we hear speeches and listen to beliefs, plans and opinions, we can be influenced to shape our own thoughts in order to vote for the candidate that we feel will be best to lead this great nation.

Whether it's Randy Pausch or a politician, taking a stand for kids or country is vitally important. Mission critical, in fact. There are many professors like Randy Pausch and hockey moms like Sarah Palin and singers like Paul Potts in the world. People who are doing great things but for most of their life hide behind running their day-to-day lives, when the world needs to hear what they have to say. The world needs to hear their voice. To positively impact the lives of others. To inspire a cause. To challenge the status quo. To entertain. To move people at a cellular level.

So if tomorrow you were given a stage and you had a chance to give a speech the whole world may hear, what would you say? What lessons would you like to teach? What talents or experiences would you like to share? In what way would you like to influence others? What legacy would you like to begin creating and leaving for your family?

Each of us already have a stage and we probably don't even realize it. That stage starts in the form of a blog. An ebook. A book. A conversation at the coffee shop. A talk in front of a small group.

Harv Eker once said, "if you've learned something and you don't teach it, you're ripping people off." You know, that couldn't be further from the truth. Some people say they're afraid to put themselves out there. Yes, it does require a decision -- a rather simple acceptance of being who you are.

So what if. What if you share and you don't get any feedback. Who cares? That doesn't mean a life didn't get changed for the better. Some people will never tell you. Or some will tell you years later. As many trainers have said, "if I only make a difference in one life, it will be worth it." And I agree. But what if you could make a difference in 100. Or 1000. Or 1 million. Or 10 million.

Randy Pausch just thought he was giving a lecture for his kids and a few people at CMU. He didn't know that the lecture he would give on September 18, 2007, would be seen by over 10 million people on YouTube. Nor did he know the material would be published so quickly into a book that would live on long past his life. In fact, I just gave a copy of the book to my nephew for his college graduation, with a note that said "may you achieve all your childhood dreams." That one bit of inspiration, or the many millions like it, wouldn't have been possible if Randy hadn't of made the decision to press on, even in the face of impending death, to spend some of his last days writing a speech and putting some slides together. He made a decision. He took a stand. He shared his beliefs.

And so did our country's founding fathers. Proof that we can't take anything for granted.

So what's your next lecture? What of your life will you share with others? And when will you share? Take a stand.
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