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Monday, July 26, 2010

Inspire Me Monday--Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture: Acheiving your Childhood Dreams

For those of you who haven't heard of him, Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon who, in 2007, was told that his pancreatic cancer was terminal and that he only had 3-6 months of good health left.  In response, he launched a speaking tour about what he had learned in his life and during his career.  He also authored a book entitled The Last Lecture before his death.

I stumbled on this video of his lecture late last year.  Despite its length, it is worth every second to listen to or watch.  And it isn't "heartwarming" (I am not a fan of overly heartwarming fluff deliberately machinated to tug at your heartstrings)  it is just funny and empowering in a laugh-at-yourself sort of way.

My favorite line in the whole thing is when he talks about hitting an obstacle in his dream to become a Disney imagineer.  He said:
"So that was a bit of a setback...but remember, 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 people who don't want it bad enough.  They are there to stop the other people."

Photography is easy to get into but can be very difficult to progress into any type of legitimacy, simply because of the accessibility of digital cameras and the saturation of those (just like me!) who want to try their hand at it.  I bet every person out there has at least one friend or relative who is interested in or pursuing photography, and most have several, and there are even more who think that if they just bought a nice camera they could do just as well as you! (If I had a nickel for every time someone said, "You take great pictures! You must have a good camera.") I have known many who have bought a camera with the best of intentions and then gave up when the opposition was too hard.  I also know many long-established photographers who have become greatly discouraged by the burgeoning crop of startup photographers offering dirt cheap fees that make it hard to compete even if the image quality is not there.  To both of these groups I repeat what Randy said:  The brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it bad enough.  They are there to stop the other people!

I am of the opinion that if you want it, you can do it.

So if you have a spare hour or so, I plead with this lecture.  Especially if you need a pick-me-up!

To my fellow photographers...I am totally open to your questions and comments!  Don't hesitate to email me, no matter how silly you may feel asking the question.  I wish I would have had someone do that for me!  And if you want a little more in-depth mentoring and learning, ask me about my mentoring sessions or come join us at the workshop on September 11th!

1 comment:

Krys said...

I will probably need some mentoring, lol. I'll definitely email you with questions I have. I love your work. :) And good book too! I love The Last Lecture.