Everything’s Amazing

I’ve recently come to a realization.  Not a sudden epiphany by any means, but rather something that comes as a result of several smaller reminders that gradually add up into a much bigger awareness.  I’m incredibly unappreciative of all the amazing fortunes I undeservedly have.

I guess I’ve always been conscious of this flaw, but I’ve decided I should seriously attempt to cut down on my growing pessimism.  In the interests of saving everyone from what is bound to be some humdrum egocentric post, I’m going to try to keep this as brief as possible.  Earlier this week, Christina forwarded a New York Times story (originally sent via my mom) by an older Nashville songwriter recounting his wife’s devastating car accident.  Although very depressing at times, I highly recommend taking the time to read the article as the author’s reflections leave an impact.

Adding to the build-up, I decided to make the four and half hour trek up to Bloomington, IN to meet my mom and Christina for my sister’s basketball tournament this weekend.  Instead of listening to music (typically a huge sacrifice), I decided to finally pop in my audio CD copies of Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture.  My mom insisted that I copy her originals onto my laptop over this past Christmas break, but I had forgotten to burn them until this week. I had been aware of the lecture since its initial publicity in 2007, but never got around to watching or reading. Needless to say, I’m glad that I finally did.  Although some might consider the quote cliched, one of my favorite takeaways from the lecture was when Pausch stated, “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about 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.”

As you probably know, I’ve always identified with Bruce Springsteen’s music.  A fundamental reasoning for this affinity was fairly accurately summarized by Jon Stewart during his time with Bruce this Thursday.  Jon concluded the interview by thanking Springsteen for introducing him to a concept which Stewart felt was at the core of Bruce’s musical message: “By working to get away from your circumstance, you can make something better of yourself, but there’s no guarantee…the joy of it is chasing down that dream.”

The theme from listening to Randy’s lecture during my road trip seemed to loosely coincide with the message being discussed on Thursday’s edition of The Daily Show, which ironically also seemed to correspond with the New York Times article that I read on Monday whose story happened to complement certain lyrics from the band I’ve been obsessing over recently (“Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”).

I’ve spent way too much time staying unhappy and frustrated instead of searching for possible solutions.  Among many other benefits, I’ve got my health, a solid education, and an incredible support net of family and friends.  I’ve had an unbelievably easy life up to this point, but I’m still never happy.  Louis C.K. nailed it on Conan last fall, and it’s time for me to stop being one of people he describes:

We’ve all been given this amazing gift, and it’s our own responsibility to make the best of it.  I can do a much better job personally, so call me out if you see me finding ways to continue dropping the ball.

3 Responses to “Everything’s Amazing”

  1. Danny Boy Says:

    Mom sent me this to read and I found it funny because I’ve had this quote stuck in my head all day:

    “ You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” – Mother Theresa

  2. Mommie Says:

    Danny Boy sent me the following which I thoroughly agree with and find it interesting that you both were thinking along the same lines in the same week:

    “For what it’s worth, it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit… start whenever you want… you can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that stop you. I hope you feel things that you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

    Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  3. WheeeGuy Says:

    Of all the poetic sources which you normally draw on for posts on your blog, I’m surprised and delighted that Louis CK was the nail driving your final point.

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