Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brick Walls

"Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people"
— Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

Each year on or around my birthday, I like to spend some time looking back at the year that just passed and really thinking hard about what I have achieved and what I did not achieve for the year. This introspection is usually marked by resolutions, if you will, for what I want from the next year of my life. I have not completed this task yet for this year but I did manage to get a small start on it. Rather than doing the ritual "contemplating of my navel"- I spent the weekend with my husband, my parents, my sister and her family which left very little time to look inward until bed time each night.

One thing I did realize is that when it comes to the brick walls that Randy Pausch describes above- I think that I am the one who builds mine. I don't just run into a brick wall standing in the middle of my road, I build it- brick by brick. I am not saying that I am a pessimist or that I don't want changes badly enough to climb over those walls- just that I am the one who stops myself from doing the things that I want to do.

I think maybe I tend to overanalyze things and look for the solutions to problems before they exist rather than searching for the opportunities. That is a mindset switch that I need to make. If I can find a way to break out of that cycle, not only will I get over those walls but they will come tumbling down in the process. The question is- how to do that. That will give me another layer to consider as I decide how to shape the next year of my life.

If you have not seen Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" I urge you to go to Carnegie Mellon's website and watch the entire lecture. If you let it, it will change you. I am going to watch the whole thing tonight before I start back working through this process.

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