I admit it...I am a serial reader. At any given time I am reading 3 books at once and likely will start another before any one of those gets completed. Luckily, every once in a blue moon the universe will send me a book that completely changes my life and makes it so that I have monogamous relationship with one book that completely captivates and engages me to the point where I cannot sleep until I have absorbed every word and thought divulged in the manuscript. (Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think & Grow Rich, The Secret, Eat Pray Love, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success to name a few).
This week The Last Lecture was my conduit to greatness. To attempt to describe this book would hardly do it justice. Professor Randy Pausch found out that he was losing his battle with pancreatic cancer and decided he would complete "The Last Lecture" he had previously committed to at Carnegie Mellon University. He knew he would not have the opportunity to watch his 3 young children grow into adolescence and that their memories of him would be vague at best. He wanted the lecture to serve as a guidepost for his children and be a way he could impart his wisdom and life lessons to aid them in the future. This book is AMAZING!! Obviously, because Randy Pausch was ultimately delivering this message to his children it is incredibly sincere and heartfelt. The lessons are simple and they serve as reminders to us on how we should live our lives day to day.
I couldn't put this book down! I was reading it on the car ride back from Orlando after the holidays well after the sun set with only the light from my cellphone until hubby took pity and muttered something about ruining my eyes and made me put the passenger lights on lol.
Randy delivers clever one liners and then expands upon them. Some of my personal favorites were...
"Brick Walls are not there to keep us out. They give us a chance to show how bad we really want something"
"You can always change your plan--but only if you have one"
"Experience is what you get--when you didn't get what you wanted"
"Dance with the one who brung you"-A reminder about loyalty and appreciation
One of my favorite sentences in the book comes at the conclusion in the lecture where he tells his audience "Its not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you"
This line in particular gave me chills because I am a walking testimonial to its truth. A little over a year ago, I thought I was on top of the world. I had money, a beautiful family, a blossoming acting career, a six figure sales career, and had started my entrepreneurial pursuits by opening a bookstore in a local mall. I also had a ego. Not so much arrogance, but a subconscious belief that I was better than others because of my "things" and my so-called status and even worse an all consuming addiction to accumulating more "things" to make myself feel whole. I don't know where I got this idea, in hindsight I will say it was nothing short of the devil. I was not raised privileged and worked very hard for all that I have accomplished. I overcompensated myself for the things I was denied in my youth. With this mentality also came rebellion and invincibility. I truly believed I was untouchable. I could do anything to anyone and not suffer repercussions. I believed I could act as ignorant as I liked and suffer no consequences. I indulged in some things I am not very proud of and lived a reckless life...until it all came crashing down around me.
James 4:6, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
God found a way to humble me by stripping me of so many of the materials things I held so dear. It was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because now for the first time in life, I am enlightened and awakened. I am not my things. I understand my need to serve and I live a blessed life beyond my ego. For the first time in a long while, I feel connected to a power greater than myself and united with my brothers and sisters of all walks of life. I understand that I am no better, greater, or fortunate. I believe that my new mission is not only one of wealth and prosperity but that I have a shared responsibility to motivate, inspire and educate others to achieve the same. My marriage and family are healthier than ever. The even better part is, the minute I begin to live my life right...it was like a whole 'nother door was opened for me. It was almost as if the universe said..."You thought you were doing it before...well you ain't seen nothin' yet". Similar to what Mr. Pausch said about the karma taking care of itself....
Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
Every day is a struggle when you are waging war against the devil and other negative sources. The devil is only concerned with you when he sees you making progress in your life and achieving prosperity. I do my best to "guard my gaze" and protect the information that I intake. I change the channel from ignorant television shows and I only absorb positive information that will help me for the better. Time is finite and cannot be wasted on frivolous things. I also had to leave behind many peers I love who are addicted to drama and do not wish to expand their minds. They are not bad people..just not good for me, at this current stage in my life. I have a belief and expectation that people around me should get on my level...not drag me down to theirs. They say your network is your net worth..and well mine was pulling me down worse than a charge off does your credit score. I am now expanding my circle to other like minded individuals that love living a harmonic life and realize that its not about competition but instead communion. I also am confident enough to befriend others smarter, prettier, and more successful than me because it inspires ME and challenges me to raise my bar.
The lessons from this book will definitely serve me in my quest to be a millionaire and I have no doubt that it will make me a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, business partner and confidante. It made me think about my childhood dreams. I wondered aloud what would I leave to my family as a legacy if I knew my service on this Earth was ending? What would I tell my children?? I hope you enjoy as much as I....