My Blog Roll, Part 1
And so begins my gradual description of some of my favorite blogs, the ones that I have chosen to link on my sidebar over… <– there. And instead of just saying, “Hey, check these out, they’re cool,” I’m gonna highlight a favorite post, give some more good suggestions and hopefully by then I’ll have roped you into subscribing to another blog. These entries will be in no specific order because the links are organized alphabetically, and I wanted to start with one near the bottom: Presentation Zen.
This is a blog by a guy named Garr Reynolds — check out his website for some more bio — who is a world-renowned speaker/presenter. Yes, he teaches at a university, but for the most part he gives presentations…oftentimes about giving presentations. Below is what he would claim is “a 7.5 out of 10,” but more than effective nonetheless.
This post is one of my all-time favorites. It’s about Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Dr. Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” presentation. Basically, Pausch was diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, a fatal form of cancer that is currently incurable. Yet, as you can see from the picture to the left, he absolutely exudes joy, happiness and life. It’s incredible. And instead of wallowing in self-pity, he says that he began “building safety nets” for his family. These safety nets would catch them when they fell in the coming days when he would not be there for them.
If we’re Facebook friends, you might have already noticed that I have a quote by Randy on my profile: “Brick walls let us show our dedication.” When life shoves an obstacle or “brick wall” between us and our goal(s), that brick wall is only a proving ground for us. We can either look at it and say, “Man, I can’t get through that,” or we can look up and say, “Maybe I can go over if I try hard enough.” The key is that reframing of the problem into a puzzle and a goal in and of itself.
The Last Lecture revolves around the central concept of achieving your dreams, your childhood dreams, your wild out-of-this-world dreams. And also about helping others achieve theirs. When you watch the presentation — it’s very long, but every second is worth the time, believe me — you can feel the love in the room flowing from all the students, coworkers, family and friends who have all achieved some semblance of their dreams directly or indirectly because of Randy. And his ever-present smile shows the inner peace and joy that he carries with him. Awe-inspiring to say the least. And I dare you not to get emotional when he brings out the surprise for his wife. I triple-dog dare you.
To Dig Deeper
- Brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s enrapturing narrative of her own stroke. Simply, wow.
- About Will.I.Am’s musical rendering of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech. Amen.
- Some presentation tips from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a master presenter regardless of his off-stage presence.
So there you have it. A little piece of my psyche. More to come…
“But inspiration does not come from mere words, it comes from actions and behaviors. Words matter and words and speeches inspire and stories can change the world. However, it’s not only the stories we tell, it’s really about the stories we live.” — Garr Reynolds