I’m always seeing, hearing or reading things that go in one ear and out the other, as if I’ve subconsciously decided they weren’t valuable enough to retain. But every now and then I stumble across something unforgettable. We don’t always need to follow a map to find treasure. It might be a book or a person or an experience, that for some reason you store at the front of your mind, and it shapes you.
Here are a few of my unforgettables:
- The Last Lecture; This is a book written by Randy Pausch that I think about all the time, despite having read it almost ten years ago. I’ve owned a copy three times, and given every one away to spread the brilliance and enlighten somebody else. Randy writes about his life sentence with cancer and what is really valuable in his life, but more importantly what really isn’t important. Like spilling wine on a nice carpet or drawing on the walls. We can get so stressed about the little things, and material things, which are actually pretty irrelevant at the end of the day. I think about his book when I make mistakes and orchestrate a pity party to grieve them, when I should be taking the lesson and moving forwards. The book shaped my priorities, like spending money on things that really mean something to me or to one of my friends. I don’t compare the cost against things I consider immeasurable. And I certainly don’t cry over things I can’t change. When I put a dent in my car this year, I didn’t make a fuss at all because it had already happened, all I could do was laugh. It wasn’t the end of the world so I didn’t allow myself to pretend that it was. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just the way we play the hand.” – Randy Pausch
2. Laura-Grace Tarpley; I met a tall, perky American girl last year at work. She’s academic, hilarious and kind-natured. Laura is one of those people you never let go of, because they are just too special. We challenge each other in conversation, although generally agree on everything too – like how great Taylor Swift is. And we are always honest with each other, even when the truth isn’t pretty and gentle. She is living a completely different life to me, but our values are aligned. Boldly, Laura spent a year in New Zealand – alone, after completing her degree, and upholds the longest long-distance relationship that I have ever heard of. She gets me and I can always turn to her for support, advice, a hug or a reality-check.
3. My favourite quote; There are two wolves fighting inside all of us, one is anger, jealously, greed and the other is love, truth and kindness. The victor is the one we feed. I think about this when I’m at moral crossroads, and it helps me to be the best person I can be, the best version of Jade by feeding the right wolf.
4. ‘Fuck yes or no’ article by Mark Manson; You have to excuse the language in the title, but the article is unbelievably true. It’s about dating but it applies to other aspects of life too. The lead premise is; ‘why would you want to be with someone who is not excited to be with you?’ It has dictated all of my decisions regarding relationships, choosing not to be with people that I’m not 110% sure about. If you don’t know – the answer is no. Relationships and friendships swing both ways, so there’s no point pouring effort into someone that isn’t going to blink twice. Value yourself enough to not go on sale. ‘The entrepreneur Derek Sivers once said, “If I’m not saying ‘Hell Yeah!’ to something, then I say no.” It served him well in the business world and now I’d like to apply it to the dating world.’ – Mark Manson.
5. Nelson Lakes alpine tramp; My first alpine tramp in New Zealand was full of physical challenges, porridge and rewarding views. After climbing for hours at a time, you really appreciate the view from the top of a mountain, because you’re running on endorphins and you earned it. It was the longest I have ever spent migrating from hut-to-hut in New Zealand’s outback and changed my perspective of a landscape I hadn’t fully explored. I had the best experience of my life and it cost next-to-nothing. After that adventure I can honestly say I’d still be content if I never left New Zealand again.