Quote: On Perseverance

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.

Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

I keep returning to John Green’s labyrinth (Looking for Alaska, a book that you totally should read). I came across this quote by the late Prof. Randy Pausch.

I liken it to my own maze, endless miles of foliage in any direction and now I can see it broken here and there will rough-hewn brick walls.

It’s goddamned discouraging. A risk of brick walls (or walls of any sort) is the temptation of banging my head against it. But if I’m honest, I’m the one who built it when I wasn’t even looking, doubts, fears, insecurities, etc. augmenting with whatever the issue is. Bam. Fecking wall. And then I’m mildly surprised, and loads of distraught when I come face to face with it.

Just as well. I mean, if I can still break out the pickaxe when I’m at rock bottom, then surely I can demolish this monster I created but even that is a gradual process. Patience is a life skill.  I do need to want out badly enough. Apathy is the beast we need to name and acknowledge.

I needed to see this today, a different perspective, and I thought I should share it with you.

I hope this finds you well.



Filed under Quotes, Thoughts

4 responses to “Quote: On Perseverance

  1. Love this message of perseverance and reframing Devina! Glad you found a quote that works for you or at least is helping give you whatever you’re going through another try. It’s unfortunate when the brick wall is harder for some of us based on societal oppression (e.g., racism, sexism) but nonetheless an interesting quote.

    • Yep, I’m always searching for inspiration, like a solid foothold or maybe a lamp. I finished Looking for Alaska for the second time last night (still so much to think about!), at the end Miles concluded they way out of the labyrinth of suffering, in his case, was to forgive.

      I would try to apply some of this logic to your comment. I agree, it takes on different degrees of difficulty depending on the type of oppression. Like with the LGBTQ community, it in itself exists in a type of labyrinth with a horrifically real history of suffering. How do we make it out? I want to think more on that but for now, but I’d say it’s solidarity (which is already a thing).

      The most important thing I am learning is to not embrace complacency, to not get comfortable in the maze otherwise I fail, and flail to an early death of sorts.

      I’m glad to see that you’re posting so much recently! Not that I don’t get it when you’re not 🙂

      • So inspired by you reading these books and thinking deeply about them, and I agree that solidarity is important. Yes, taking active steps as opposed to complacency sounds excellent as well. And thanks – I think I’ve been going through a lot lately so blogging has been fantastic self-care. And, it’s so inspiring to see people like you who consistently post and I want to be a part of that action. (: Sending warmth and strength!

      • Yep, I’m trying to actively read more. Blogging is exactly that, like therapy. Writing frees up the brain, articulating thoughts that would’ve otherwise remained quiet in the mind. Right back at you, Thomas. Sending them hugs 🙂

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