I find inspiration first and foremost in my father who showed me the fruits of hard work, the importance of integrity, and the grace in making a difference without seeking acknowledgement - all through example. And in my mother, who taught me the value of selflessness and gave me the courage to persevere against the odds.


Quotes

"My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny."
- Elaine Maxwell

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."
- Sir Edmund Hillary

"Every man, as to character, is the creature of the age in which he lives. Very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their times."
- Voltaire

"It's not the things we do in life that we regret, but the things we do not."
- Randy Pausch


People

Randy Pausch (more)

Randy Pausch was an American professor of computer science, HCI and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006, and in August 2007 he was given a terminal diagnosis: "3 to 6 months of good health left". He gave an upbeat lecture entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008 (source).

I first learnt about Randy Pausch on the day after he passed as the news rippled across the internet. I took particular interest because he was a computer science professor at CMU. I found the original video of The Last Lecture with the introduction by Steve Seabolt (Electronic Arts) and it really moved me. Here was a man who actually lived his dreams, helped others achieve theirs and consciously chose not to dwell on death. There's more in the video (it was condensed by CMU later) below:


I highly recommend that you watch it if you haven't already. Go ahead, I'll wait!


Mahatma Gandhi (more)

His willingness and determination to put worthy causes above his own needs is something I find worth emulating. His thoughts and actions awoke a nation to take charge of its destiny. His life continues to be an inspiration to millions around the world. If it ever comes to standing alone for what is right, I pray I have the strength to keep my ground and not compromise on my values.


Richard Branson (more)

He works hard and he plays hard. He's got his failings but he's nailed some of the basics like few others in this world. Even while struggling with dyslexia.


Others

I look up to people who may have once been at the point I am now and went on to make a difference in this world. All while sticking steadfastly to their values. It could be the billionaire who gave away most of his wealth away to charity, or it could be the unknown soldier who made the ulimate sacrifice so that an ungrateful populace could enjoy their freedom. They are all heros in my book.

There are many people that I am fortunate to know personally and whom I draw inspiration from but can't list here because of the need to respect their privacy.

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