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August 25, 2012 was the date that I lost the opportunity of achieving one of my childhood dreams. The opportunity to ask Mr. Armstrong to personally describe to me the incredible weightless feeling of walking on the moon for the very first time in human history. I remember many star-filled evenings I would gaze up at the moon, planets, and stars with my dad and I was utterly fascinated by the thought that someone had actually been up there. While I still don't know if I've ever actually gazed upon the Sea of Tranquility, I'll never give up looking for it. There are many life lessons to be learned, and Dr. Randy Pausch is an incredible example of what an individual can accomplish when they never give up. Many times in life I have given up, or very much wanted to give up, on relationships, success, education, or even trivial things such as fixing my truck or cleaning the house. I have learned that giving up is the easy way out, and as Dr. Pausch suggested "brick walls are there for a reason, they let us prove how badly we want something" (Pausch, 2007). Nothing worth wanting is worth giving up, only it's taken some tough love, and an amazing wife and family to help me to come to that realization. Like many of us, I like stuff. Expensive stuff. And expensive stuff costs money. I've always made pretty decent income, but I've always had a pretty significant outgo as well. My love of stuff had cause me some great pain up until several years ago, to the tune of over $70,000 in debt. I worked hard to never be late paying my bills every month, but it was really getting old to continue paying for stuff I didn't even remember buying. I seldom had any money left over for doing anything fun, and I had no money in savings. It's a... ... middle of paper ... ...st important take away from his lecture. While it may be trying at times, I'm going into the office from now on with a new attitude. I'll have a smile on my face as I'm having my rear-end handed to me, because I know my boss still wants me for the job. I'll just consider those presumed failures as experiences, because "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted" (Pausch, 2007). Dr. Pausch was an incredible speaker whose words continue to captivate millions of people today. Had I been presented the opportunity to know him or at least watch his lecture years ago, he would have been near the top on my list of dreams. I think that could be another lesson learned: Don't wait for your dreams to happen to you, make your dreams happen for you. Unfortunately, I'll never have the opportunity to meet Mr. Neil Armstrong, but I still have Buzz Aldrin.

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