What is your brick wall for?

Yes it’s true: the Bills lost.

Watching the game, it seemed like we were scared before we even started. I mean penalties resulted in a loss of over 100 yards. Yikes! But as is the case in life, it is what you do with a failure that makes the biggest impact. We lost, but what now?

This same sort of conversation happens any time things go wrong or badly. I am a huge fan of Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture“. Randy was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who died from pancreatic cancer. He gave a last lecture to a packed house as a tribute to his children as well as his students. He wanted to leave that one last message. In this lecture, he says,
“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. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

 I absolutely believe this to be true. Too many people give up when a small speed bump hits their road. It’s ridiculous. How many marriages end because they just don’t “feel” in love anymore? How many degrees goes unfinished because it’s just “too difficult”? How many dreams go unachieved because someone just isn’t motivated enough? You will never accomplish anything if it’s easy.

That’s right. If it’s easy, you won’t ever accomplish anything. Think about it. Think about your greatest accomplishments. Did they come at great expense, great effort, or even superhuman intervention? Of course they did!! You don’t celebrate the stupid little easy things. You celebrate the things that you had to work for! You celebrate when you overcome adversity, conquer disbelief, or finish purely exhausted. And what happens when you quit?

Do you just stop? Do you just give up forever? Isn’t that truly what people regret the most?! I’ve never regretted going for something or trying something. I will always regret not trying to audition for that big scholarship. I will always regret not doing that particular pageant. I will always regret not listening to my dad. Most importantly, I will never have a regret from trying things because I made a decision to try, and I learned more from my failures than I have from my successes. Now isn’t that the bottom line?

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