Put Your Heart Into It
Monday June 21, 2010

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“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.  The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.  They are there to stop the other people.” -Randy Pausch The Last Lecture

When Randy Pausch gave his lecture “Really Achieving your Childhood Dreams” he knew his time was short.  He knew this really would be his last lecture.  He also knew he had to share all of his fatherly advice for his children now because he wouldn’t be there in the future to give it to them when they turned 12, 16, 18 and so on.

A brick wall.  You run up against them more often than you would like is a fair assumption.

Sometimes, your hands are thrown up into the air and you turn on your heel and resolve to find contentment in what you have achieved so far.  But why is that brick wall really there?  Did you ever ask yourself that question?

Some people use it as an excuse, an opportunity to blame someone else for getting in their way, but truthfully, they were the ones who decided to not fight through the brick wall, to stop and let the brick wall be their excuse.

I, along with all of you, have faced a brick wall or two, and I can say honestly, I have let a few stop me.  But when I look back on those, I realize the quote is absolutely correct.  I clearly didn’t want whatever it was obstructing me from with my whole heart.  Sure it would have been nice, but I wasn’t willing to put in the effort.  Examples: becoming a strong 800 meter runner in college – had the talent, didn’t have the heart, so I stuck with the shorter races.

The evidence is very clear now, as I am willing to fight for something that means too much to let go of.  For example, in my day job last year when the recession was just beginning to wreck havoc, my job was threatened, in fact, I was told by too many senior staff members good luck (in other words, bye bye).  That only fired me up more.  So I planned for the worst case scenario, and decided to go out and find a job as a back up plan, and I got one.  My boss found out and made it very clear to the potential new employer and myself that he wasn’t letting me go.  The happy dance I did lasted for days.

The moment a brick wall arises, the most frustrating part is that you can’t see past it.  You don’t know what your next viable option is.  You don’t know a strategy yet to conquer it, and that is infuriating especially for those of us (this would definitely include me) who like to know now how it will all work out even if you aren’t there quite yet.  But if you’re willing to take a deep breath, ask questions, scour your resources, you will find a way to tackle it.  And that scouring, that digging and persevering is what separates you from the “other people” that immediately threw their hands up and gave in at the sight of the brick wall.  You’ve already made the toughest decision when you remained focused even when you at first couldn’t see a solution.

The solution will come, take a deep breath, give yourself some slack and time and start to scaling that brick wall with the information you discovered when you decided to hunker down and not give up. Continue with this tactic, and you will be celebrating the arrival at your destination in due time.

15 thoughts on “Put Your Heart Into It

  1. Beautiful, wonderfully written post. And oh so true. Randy Pausch book was and still is one of my favorite books. It sits stoically on my bookshelf. Whenever I let life get the better of me I peruse the pages again and remember the valuable lesson he has taught me through his words. Never give up, always dream big, and most of all, there is no wall strong enough to remain standing if I want what is behind it badly enough.

    Have a great day!

  2. I like brick walls, I look forward to overcoming new challenges; set new goals and compete with myself.

    I absolutely loved Randy’s quote as well.

  3. Hi/good morning-I think the brick wall looks like an awful thing…not pretty at all. I hate and detest red brick, just a personal thing.
    But I think the main thing is that boy, awesome for you to gear up, plunk up and go looking and securing the new job. Congrats, well done.
    Things like that really give one a boost and the happy dance.
    I think that we are all looking for harmony, rather than new challenges. Sometimes baby steps are nice.

  4. Such a wonderful, insightful post! Too many times we can be our own worst enemy, and then there are the “phantom voices” that sabotage our confidence. Thanks for the inspiration and mood lift I needed! XO!

  5. Um, I think you wrote this for me! What a beautifully written post. I needed to hear this today, at this moment. Thank you. The universe gives what you need. xo Mish

  6. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I really loved it and will keep it in mind as I face the brick walls in my career right now–reminding myself that I do really want it and having heart {the way you did with your job} is what it takes to get it.
    xo Mary Jo

  7. Hey, you have done it again!!! See, I am going to use this post for my Wednesday Words of Wisdom because you nailed it on the head. Too often when we are faced with brick walls, we get shattered as opposed to shattering the walls. It’s all about perspective and patience coupled with determination!!! You can’t have too much of that!! Thanks for the Monday share!!! Hope you had a great weekend….


  8. fabulous post and fabulous blog. i found you from dawn’s site! this has inspired me to face down that dreaded brick wall. 🙂 love the photos too.

  9. Your Monday posts are always such a hearty dose of wisdom, encouragement, and brightness. This is definately my favorite lifestyle blog. I went to school at CMU, when Prof. Pausch was teaching, and I saw first hand what he went through. He spoke at my graduation just a few months before he died. That man has really lived– much more so than people who are 80 years old. He was a smart and loving man, and I’m proud to say I had the fortune of knowing him. He is like so many other people at CMU–on fire for what they want. I always strive to be like that. To let go of the things that don’t matter and to be consumed with the things that truly matter whether there is a wall or not.

    Thanks for this post. I really loved it.

  10. Becky – thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience – having known and been fortunate to be around Randy. It is thrilling to see more evidence that was already portrayed in his book being corroborated by people who knew who he was in his day to day life. Thank you and for the kind words as well. I’m so happy you stopped by.

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