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Don’t Wait For Tragedy to Set The Stage

Don't Wait For Tragedy to Set The Stagephoto credit: framestealer, Flickr

Have you ever read or watched those crazy inspiring stories about someone who had a near death experience, or found out that they only have a short time left to live, so they dropped everything and completely change their life in order to make the most of what’s left. Or to START living after remembering or realizing that we’ve only got one shot to make the most of it.

If you have heard any of these stories then I’m sure you remember The Last Lecture by Carnegie Melon professor, Randy Pausch. For those of you who aren’t familiar, I recommend watching the YouTube video of Pausch’s “Last Lecture.” He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September of 2006, and in this lecture Pausch  gives “an abridged version of his speech on the Oprah show in October 2007. The talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk”, with a topic such as “what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?” (Wikipedia)

Pausch’s speech resulted in some super inspirational quotes… here are some of my favorites:

The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have.
Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.
It’s important to have specific dreams. Dream Big. Dream without fear.
– Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008.

I decided several months ago that I didn’t want to wait for a tragedy to occur before doing the things I dream of, those things that seem to be almost out of reach.

In some ways, those who have experienced an event that’s caused them to drastically change their lives are fortunate. They’ve made conscious choices to spend their days doing what they love most. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Do you know who is even more fortunate though?




Even if you’re life hasn’t been cushy or perfect, if you haven’t yet had a definite expiration date stamped on your life then consider yourself golden because you have a CHOICE. And I don’t know about you but I’m surely not going to wait for something to scare me into wearing my passions.

To be fair most of us will never know when our time is approaching. Which is all the more reason to live like we mean it now.

My upcoming trip is only the first step and I’m going to do whatever it takes…change my lifestyle, live outside of my comfort zone, dare to be different, if it means that I’ll actively be chasing and accomplishing my dreams and goals. If it means that I’ll be able to help more people, be happier and that life will feel and be better…to me…then I’m going for it, baby.

And I hope you do too.

You do NOT need permission to follow your dreams and to do what you love. If you want to “retire” at 30. Go for it! If you want to move to a new city or country once a year. Do it! If you just want to work a little less and spend more time with your family or pursue a new hobby. Make it happen!

Don’t wait until you feel like you have no choice. Do what you love. Start now.

What’s your biggest passion? Have you started taking steps to live within that passion? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Unconventional Guides


  1. Kim Provensal

    Great Website Kristin! I can’t wait to hear all the details about your trip and possible meet you somewhere in New England!

    • Hi Kim! Thank you so much. We’ll definitely get together!! :)

  2. Love this post SO much and agree 100%. Huge Randy Pausch fan- his book changed my entire outlook on life. And yes, you are so right- don’t wait. Life is what we have right now and all that is certain is the present moment…live it to the fullest while you can :)

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