When Randy Pausch gave his “Last Lecture,” he titled it “How to Really Achieve Your Childhood Dreams.” But he revealed his “head fake” – that he was actually talking about how to live your life. Busy as you are with your own day-to-day existence as a Sandwiched Boomer, caring for growing children and aging parents, take time to consider some of Randy’s thoughts about living life to the fullest.

Balancing hope and realism, yet the ultimate optimist, Randy describes himself as a “fun-lovingTigger” not a “sad-sack Eeyore,” using A.A. Milne’s characters from the Winnie-the-Pooh classic. Let’s look at one of the ways his optimism plays out in Randy’s life. Anticipating that things will turn out in a positive way allows Randy to take chances as he reaches out to those around him. He asks for things he wants – help with specifics, emotional support, connections – and usually gets them. He turns to counseling as a means of developing strength, for himself and his wife, through the process of living and dying. And he recognizes that connections go both ways, paying the premium for emotional insurance for his family in the future by putting in the time and effort with them now.

Are there things that you too want but have been reluctant to ask for? What if you actually thought you would receive them? Would that make it more likely for you to begin clarifying your requests? By asking for help, you have the opportunity to make things easier for you as well as give you family-in-flux and those around you the chance to participate by pitching in to support you. Give it a try!

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