Tag Archives: Dreams

Lessons Learned from Randy

Tribute to Randy Pausch on Google

I, like millions of people have watched Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture on YouTube. This lecture is extremely powerful, empowering and has been impactful in my life. I developed a great appreciation for Randy’s wisdom and the lessons this Carnegie Mellon professor had for us. This talk is meant to teach life’s lessons as his legacy in life.

Now that Randy has past away, how can his legacy live on in me? I am a firm believer in that everything that is put before me, there’s a lesson to be learned. So what are my, as Randy puts it, “Lessons learned…” What lessons can I get out of Randy’s life experiences, and his passing, to “achieve my dreams and enable the dreams of other.”

I thought about that a little bit more and went back to listen to the lecture. This is what I came up with – my list of 10 things I’ve learned from Randy’s lecture (in no particular order):

1. The Brick Walls are there for a Reason: Walls are there to separate those who do not want it bad enough from those with the dedication and commitment to live their lives to the fullest. It is there to allow us to climb over them and get to the other side even when we do not know what is on the other side. Reaching for what you want requires work – so work hard. Scale those walls and show that you have the desire.

Everyday life has a way of putting hurdles in our path. Some may seem insurmountable, but it is in my passion for life that I can overcome them. It is in me to excel and jump over those hurdles.

2. Disney Imagineering – The Nicest “Go to Hell Letters”: Anybody can get chewed out and rejected. It is in how you receive & accept the feedback (even just seeing it as feedback). Learning from the rejections & the failures is one of the biggest lessons in life. At the end of the lecture Randy says it is the rare person that can “cherish it and use it” to grow as a person.

3. Wait Long Enough & People Will Surprise & Impress You : Perseverance is the key. Give people the time & the space they need to find their own greatness. Guide them along their paths so they can get themselves to where they want to be. As Randy says, “Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.”

Give up whatever impression you may have of them. Don’t make them wrong and allow them to be themselves. You may be surprised!

4. Good Way & Bad Way of Saying ‘NO’ : It is in the attitude & in the words I use that I can influence/ get people to do what I want from them. It is a way of being that I can create for myself. I can have something worth saying but saying it to empower others (not to disempower them) is where the powers lies.

At the end of the lecture he shares something Andy Van Dam told him. “It’s such a shame that people perceive you as so arrogant, because it’s going to limit what you are going to be able to accomplish in life.” Randy continues with “What a hell of a good way to word – you’re being a jerk!” It was in the positive nature of the wording that this became a constructive conversation.

5. The Next Star Wars Film :When Tommy shared his dreams, Randy said “You know they are probably not going to make those next movies…” and Tommy said “No they are!” This shows me that no matter what people say or think, just live your dreams. Don’t let people dissuade you from living & achieving them.

6. You Obviously Don’t Know Where the Bar Should Be – You’re Only Going To Do Them a Disservice by Putting it Anywhere : Dream Big!! Randy was amazed that his students did not stop and “just kept going!!” Do not sell people short by my own limits and perceptions. Encourage people to give their best & they will surely do so. See people bigger then they see themselves and they will live into who you make them out to be. Create an energy where greatness comes from believing one is great!

7. My Favorite Moment in 10 Years is a Brilliant Ad Lib : “He pulls out his ninja sword and says – ‘I am dishonored!’ and just drops.” What I got from this moment is that the best part of life are the moments that are unplanned and are true and honest from the heart.

This is where we get to live our life to the fullest and where I can create a great bond with people. Being authentic, honest & real with myself will allow me to be just that with others.

8. The Yin and the Yang : The left and right side of the brain are essential for the success out of anything I do. The Geek and the Artist in me / the Good & the Bad are both necessary for being complete. One cannot live without sharing with the other.

9. Paint My Bedroom : Let your kids paint their bedroom. Allow them to flourish & encourage them to be self-expressed. His parents may have been reluctant, but they saw the spark in his eye and encouraged him to express his creativity. They allowed him to express himself – even if it was unconventional art.

As an architect, I know the value the environment can cause to spark the creative flame in people. And I also know the value I can create in my son by giving him the space to express his artistic flare.

10. Are You a Tigger or an Eeyore? : Are you going to live your life having FUN or not? You get to choose. Like Randy says, it is not only a choice but its a requirement. “I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there’s no other way to play it.” There really is no other option. We will all die and at the end of our lives, do we want to be remembered, like Randy, “as a person who had fun” or as a person who never allowed himself to enjoy his life. You choose!

OK, so getting ten powerful tenets from Randy’s lecture is incredible and an amazing contribution, on Randy’s part! And then I get to the end of his lecture and he throws out “How to get people to help you?” This hit home because it has been a big one in my life. Inspiring & enrolling others to follow me has been challenging. So what is the “lesson learned?”

You Can’t Get There Alone : Acknowledge the people in your life. Tell the truth to others & to yourself. Show gratitude & appreciation. Have an intention or purpose in your life to live for and share that with others. Live for others and they will give you your dreams.

Inspire in them their dreams & they will be inspired by your dreams.

Lastly Randy reveals the great “head fake,” the lesson we did not know we were meant to learn –

It is not about how to achieve your dreams, but 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.”


So at the end of Randy’s lecture, I realize that in our daily life, we get caught up in the circumstances, the daily challenges and the hurdles we have to jump. Constantly bumping into the proverbial “brick wall” of life and constantly staying stuck inside my head. It is about getting outside of your ‘self’ & contributing to others. Being with others and giving of yourself to others. This is where life fulfills your dreams.

I have only one choice! I cannot stay wallowing in my junk. I must allow myself to experience life and to have fun while living it. There really is no other way to play it!

Thank you Randy for
who you were. Your legacy lives on!

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Foolish Old Man – #4 – Monday Morning

(Another portion of my short story…)

"What a beautiful morning!" exclaimes mercy. "Argh!" I reply. "I'm still in bed. Let me sleep!" I yell back as I cover by eyes with the warm toasty blanket. As I'm dozing off, Mercy decides to continue! "What a nice sunny day. Too bad, you're missing out on such a lovely typical Florida morning!" In spite of my plea to let me sleep, she continues. "I forgot to tell you. I need to take Kirk to the doctor's office for a followup. Can you pickup Marc after school today?" "Argh! Let me sleep!" and at that moment I roll over and cover my whole head." I'll call you later! Bye honey – luv ya!"

Finally some peace and quite! I think to myself. Now I can get a few more minutes of sleep. Finally, I close my eyes and doze off again. But in what felt like only minutes, the alarm rings! Beep!Beep!Beep!Beep!

"Shit! I can't believe this. Now I have to get up!

So this is how my Monday morning started this week. I just blow it off, though, and start my week anyway – what else can I do. I grab my coffee mug and get in the car. As I’m driving to the office my cell phone rings. I grab it and am ready to answer the phone when all of a sudden the traffic stops to a grind. I almost dropped the phone and hurry to pick it up and answer it!

“What! Mercy,” I answer. "Hi honey. How's your day going?" As I'm ready to yell and let her know how my day is going, I hear some sadness in her voice "what's the matter?" I ask her. "There's a problem with Kirk! The doctor is rushing him to the hospital." At that moment my heart just dropped into my stomach. I didn't know what to say. "You want me to come with you?" I asked. "No, that's ok. Kirk looks fine! I think its only a precaution that the doctor wants to take. He's ok I'lll call you later to update you. Bye"

As she hung up the phone I get the sinking feeling that things are not going to be ok today. See last night I had another one of my vivid dreams. I dreamt that I was standing at the gates of heaven receiving the newcomers. It’s a beautiful and euphoric moment full of joy and excitement! The feeling of happiness is like I’ve never felt before! I am the happiest I’ve ever been! My goodness, I’m standing at the gates of heaven with St. Peter, and my task is to welcome everyone into heaven. I cannot describe the greatness of the experience and the oneness of heaven. The only word that comes to mind is Nirvana!

I’m there greeting and welcoming people into heaven, when all of a sudden I’m feeling a little distracted. I continue greeting the newcomers and I just become aware that I am waiting on somebody – someone that I know – is expected to arrive.

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Every Morning…

Imagine every morning waking up and feeling
“I don’t want to live another day without my child in my life.”

Feeling that on the side of the highway
is where my child left this world.
Alone and hurt,
you left this life to live anew –
free of pain and sorrow.

But waking up, I see your empty bed
and I am preparing your clothes in
boxes ready to go. I drive to work
and see your memorial on the
side of the road and the tears come.

Every morning I feel the rage and anger for
that careless driver who took
your life from me.

Everyday I feel your absence.

But each morning I awake again
and continue to live this life
because I know I must.
God does have bigger plans for me.

I wake up and continue my life because
I don’t want yours to be forgotten.
I need to let the world know that you
are a person naked celebs of significance.

That you mattered – to me!

I need to remember, I need to live!
To be free and laugh again.
I am the only one that can set me free!
And for that I need to learn to forgive.

Forgive them, forgive you, forgive me.


This is another dream/visitation that I experienced fully awake. The feelings I got were feelings I have never felt before, but feel them I did. These words came to me early in the morning. I awoke and sat down with the urge to write. These words are not mine and the feelings expressed are not my feelings. I am sobbing with such pain and sorrow as I write these words. The pain and suffering that these words express is running all my emotions and are mine to feel. I am feeling the pain of a parent who has lost a child – though I have not.

At first I reasoned them to be hollow because I have not lost a child so how can I be writing in first person. I even tried to rewrite them from a stranger’s perspective & my computer would not have it. So I accepted what was coming to me. Secondly a thought entered my mind for a moment. I always have these premonitions in dreams – so could this be of a future day in my life?? NO not my son!!!! The emotions became horrifying for a second and the pain and sorrow became mine.

Then I got present to where these words were coming from. These words were meant for someone – I don’t know who – to read & not for me to keep them in my scrapbook. So I would like to share them with you. I know that I don’t know what it is like to lose a child – so maybe these words are really hollow, but I think I got a stranger’s glimpse into what a parent might be going thru.

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Visitation #8???

Oh no!! another dream! This time it’s my father! I dreamt that my brother & I got the news of his passing and we were hugging each other in sorrow. The dream was so deep and so personal that I woke up crying. I was crying because of the pain & sorrow, but maybe, as I have previously analyzed (visitation #7), this is the first sign of my visitations.

Now don’t think that I take the visitations lightly or that I am blindly falling for it. For years I was a skeptic & took them to be dreams with the coincidence of life just happening. But over the years I have learned that there is no such thing as coincidences. So now I keep my analytical process, while accepting that there are things beyond our knowledge. I have to accept the visitations as they come.

Actually my analytical process is continually being refined. The two step process is now five steps. 1: The dream happens. 2: I am aware that it is a dream no matter how real it was – or should I say – I actually remember the whole dream in the morning. This step is important since the only time I remember my dreams is when I write them down. Otherwise they are gone by the time I brush my teeth. 3: The visitation occurs within a few days of the dream. 4: the visitation actually occurs visually or audibly. 5: It is clearly not a dream state. I am awaken by the voices & I see the image or hear the voices after waking up.

So now I apply my analytical process to this current occurrence. The dream of someone dying occurred & step two, I did not forget it in the morning. So I was dreading step no 3. Actually It occupied my mind for the next few day. I called my dad & told him I loved him. He was actually not feeling well. I prayed for him. I did not want to go to sleep for the next few days for the fear that step 3 would occur. I am happy to say that step 3 never occurred.

I have had many of these type of dreams in the past without actually getting a visitation. But this time it was my dad. It scared me! I need to develop an additional check point so that I do not jump into any conclusions.

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Visitation #7

I had another visitation! On Sunday I woke up from a dream that someone had passed away. I could not tell who the dream was about, but the feeling was that they were dying. I recounted my dream to my wife & at that moment, I did not think much of it.

But – last night at 2:25am I awoke because I was heard a muffled voice behind me. I also heard some chatter over head – somebody talking to me. I could not make out what the voice was saying. I know I hear that voice, but I was desperately trying to hear what they wanted to say. By now I lost that voice. I got out of bed and walked around the house to see what could be causing it – nothing. I was still distrusting that it could be something other than the physical. As the title states, this is not the first time that I get a visitation. But it still surprises me. I still think that it could be something physical that is causing the noises. So I have to understand the patterns in my visitations. First, I get a dream of somebody dying. When this occurs I have to pay attention to the next dream. Second, a day or two later I get a visitation – it will be the message. So when I am awoken by somebody talking to me I should not take it lightly.

So to continue.. Sure enough – in the moring I woke up and my wife is on the phone & tells me that her best friend called with the news that Dave W. has passed away.

David Goodbye – go in peace.

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