Vale Randy Pausch: Decide if You're Tigger or Eeyore

After the passing of an inspirational man, Professor Randy Pausch, I’ve decided to write a number of posts on what struck me in his Last Lecture. If you haven’t seen this lecture, I wholeheartedly recommend getting a cup of tea, and taking an hour to watch it. Then watch it again a week later. There are myriad messages in it.

The thing that teared me up with this lecture was this statement: Decide if You’re Tigger or Eeyore. How do you go through life? Randy says he has fun. The Dean at the university asked him to ensure he told people to have fun, and he says it was like asking a fish to talk about water. He knew no other way.

I found real resonance with that. Just like Randy, if you meet me IRL you kinda know which way I lean – I’m Tigger.

As I discovered last semester, for some stuff I simply don’t know how to be anything other than Tigger. My personal relationships, my work and teaching – for the most part I’m Tigger. Joy of Life, that’s me.

One student challenged me to be “normal” for just one class. She believed it wasn’t possible. She was right. Why? Because I don’t know what “normal” is! I really tried, too!

Even the (very quiet, sedate) dentist commented last week “You are always so enthusiastic, it’s really catching.” Then this week when we saw him again, he was almost bouncy himself. (Admittedly, that was a little scary.)

I figure hey, why be gloomy or even just emotionless and methodical in anything you do? If you find the fun in stuff, then doesn’t that rub off? Even if it’s not inherently a fun activity? For example, there’s nothing more fun than squashing the recycling with my 8-year-old to try and fit it in the bin.

But sometimes I have put conditions on my enthusiasm. And that sucks.

When we first launched our startup in Australia, I was the fish-wife. I complained every step. Eight years later, it has (touch wood) been doing great here, but I really didn’t help it along. I lacked the vision and the faith, and instead felt the fear.

There is security in fear. It’s calm and reliable being Eeyore. 

Now we’re going to the US, I’m exactly the opposite. And there are many reasons for that, which another post will explore. But it’s not because I feel a greater sense of security. With a start-up you can do everything right – in fact, better than right – and still have it fail.

I’m positive about it because I’m finding my security elsewhere and choosing to not be fearful. I’m not Eeyore. It’s a choice, just as Randy said, “Decide if you’re Tigger or Eeyore.”

It’s when you let go of fear that you get the vision. Tigger has vision.

3 comments

  • Ah Ms. Joanne, thank you for posting this… I’m saddened to hear of Randy’s passing, but grateful for all he left behind for us to read, consider, and ASPIRE to.

    I’m not always as much of a Tigger as I’d like to be. But I know that as more and more light gets into my heart, as the glass becomes more half full than half empty, I have increasingly less interest in the Eeyore part of me. Thank G-d!

    Cheers,

    Cheryl ~
    @jasperblu

  • Great post! Tigger all the way here 🙂

    Truly his lecture (and I think this idea in particular) are his great gifts to the world along with his children.

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