One of the most unforgettable guests for me on The Oprah Winfrey Show was Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who gave us the gift that is “The Last Lecture”. While almost every sentence in this speech is noteworthy (there is a reason why it has been viewed by almost 18 million people worldwide!) personally I shall never forget the question he implored us to consider, nor the reason why.
“You better decide early on if you are going to be a Tigger or an Eyeore,” he challenged passionately, displaying his Tigger like traits as he bounded about the stage with enthusiasm. For this was a man who, while diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, who was choosing to live life fully, even while facing certain death. And let’s be honest here – we all have Eye-ore tendencies (some of us more than others) but when you are only in your mid 40’s and a father of three small children, it would be so easy (and forgiven!) to adopt the Eyeore persona. Not Randy Pausch though, oh no. In what I could only describe as spine-tingling in its inspiration was the fact he was purposefully and passionately pursuing the path of the Tigger, even with his grim diagnosis.
“I can’t control the cards I’m dealt, just how I play the hands,” Randy said during his lecture, begging his captivated audience to live with exuberance and joy every day, no matter what the hands of fate had in store.
“Never ever underestimate the importance of having fun,” he pleaded passionately, a man whose spirit had not been broken despite being imprisoned by a terminal cancer. “I am dying soon, and I am choosing to have fun today, tomorrow and every other day I have left.”
They’re wise words, I’m sure you will agree. Let’s all try our utmost to make sure we opt for the Tigger temperament as often as possible in life, if only to honour the legacy of this inspirational man.