Adventure or Adversity…The Choice is Ours

the only difference between fear and adventure is how much you breathe   Rob Kalnitsky

I remember a day soon after Thanksgiving many years ago. My grandmother had had a stroke and I was traveling in a caravan with my husband and my father. My father was driving his semi truck. My husband and I each were in separate cars due to a business trip my husband had been on. Our intent was to return to my home in Butte and then my father and I would travel on to Idaho to see my grandmother.

About halfway to our destination, my father’s truck broke down. He needed a ride to the nearest town to purchase the a part. My husband took our oldest three children and traveled home. The kids needed to be in school the next day and my husband needed to be at work.

I remained behind to give my father a ride along with my youngest daughter. What we thought would be a few hour delay, turned into a couple of days. The part was not to be found anywhere. Finally, my dad had to order the part and we had to return the city our trip had originated from to pick it up.

From our first hour dealing with the broken truck to the last, my dad called our situation an adventure. It was his way of making better a difficult situation. We often had a cranky 3 year old on our hands that was tired of being confine to a vehicle and having no ability to play. (This was before DVD’s and vehicle movie systems or tablets!)

My dad taught me a great lesson…one that we used many times after that. Anytime a situation in our lives became difficult, it was an adventure!

None of us escape difficulties in life. However, we can minimize those difficulties by the attitude we choose to have.

I hope you will have a wonderful weekend and that you will enjoy today’s story!

The Last Words that Inspired Millions

Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was a very popular and respected teacher. He was happily married with 3 children – 6-year-old Dylan, 3-year-old Logan and 18-month-old Chloe.

In 2006, he was diagnosed as having pancreatic cancer. He got every treatment possible, but in 2007, the doctors told him the cancer was incurable. They said he may have as little time left as 6 months. He had no choice but to accept that the battle was over.

Still, he kept an optimistic attitude, and never wallowed in depression – he had a family to care for. He spent a lot of time thinking about ways to make the loss as easy as possible for them. He wanted his children to have happy memories of him, and to make sure they knew how much he loved them. After he was diagnosed, he spent nearly all his time with his family, drawing strength from the moments of joy he had with them. He moved houses so that his wife would be closer to her family and have some emotional support. But he was always wondering if there was more that he could do.

His university invited him to take part in the “Last lecture” series. The concept of it was for people to give the speeches they’d give if they were to die soon and this was their last lecture. For Randy, this scenario was close to the truth. This lecture would be his chance to leave as many words of wisdom for his children as possible, while he still could. He wanted it to be a sort of “message in a bottle” that his children could watch when they are old enough to understand.

So, in September, 2007, he gave his last lecture, titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. He dedicated the lecture to his children. He spoke about the dreams he had when was a child, and how he proceeded to fulfill them. He talked about what he had learned from really going after his dreams, no matter how many obstacles were on his way. He also told stories of helping other people reach their dreams, which made him as happy as pursuing his own. He shared all the lessons he had learned during his life and encouraged people to have fun, and to make the choice to have a positive attitude.

The rest of the lecture was dedicated to all the people in Randy’s life. He paid tribute to his mentors, friends, co-workers, parents and his wife. He also took the chance to give his wife her birthday congratulations – he brought out a big birthday cake and had the audience sing happy birthday to her while she was wiping tears from her eyes.

The positive, fun and light-hearted tone the lecture was given with was incredible. His inspiring life lesson – to never give up pursuing your dreams, and his positive attitude while facing a terminal illness made it a truly inspiring experience.

The speech was videotaped and put on Youtube. It quickly went viral and made him famous. He had never planned on this, but he was now inspiring so many more people than he could’ve possibly imagined.

The lecture inspired people to turn their lives around. His suggestion to allow kids to express their creativity and paint their bedroom walls themselves was put into action by many people. Countless people were inspired to start chasing after their dreams and change their lives. His positivity and can-do mentality was infectious.

Randy appeared on the Oprah show and on Good Morning America. His positivity and his genuine love of life and other people shined through in every appearance and he never failed to inspire and impress. A book was published about his life, titled “The Last Lecture”. It became a bestseller.

Randy was glad that his lecture helped people, and was grateful to all the people who had contacted him to express gratitude and support. He was very humble about it, describing the lecture’s success as surprising and attributing it to luck.

In July 25, 2008, Randy passed away at the age of 47. His words of wisdom affected many people and he managed to leave behind a big legacy while not even trying to. He died a happy man who had gotten to live a wonderful life.

Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: http://forinspiredlives.blogspot.com/2011/03/overcoming-tragedy-3-inspiring-stories.html

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