Poignant Example of What Inspires You to Keep At It


In my career planning class last week, I showed the Randy Pausch video clip from when he was on Oprah. As this academic quarter comes to a close, I wanted to revisit the question that I had asked the students at the beginning of the quarter about what inspires them, about what motivates them, to keep focused on their career and life planning endeavors.

We had a brief yet lively discussion that was capped by a contribution from one of the students who said the following:

“What inspires me to pursue my career is that my brother doesn’t have that opportunity. He died from cancer when he was 21 years old. And even towards the end of his life, he was the one always cheering up everyone around him. So yes, I’m pursuing my career for myself, but I’m also doing it for him.”

She said all this boldly, but tears flowed down her cheeks. I know that all her classmates were touched that she shared such a personal story. After a few words, I thanked her for sharing. And I know that I’ll be sharing her story with all of my future classes as well.


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