In reading the comments to posts like Jeremiah's I often see one or two that say something to the effect: "we need more people like him." This is the same thought I've had on the rare occasions when a mentor or an individual went above and beyond the inspiration meter in my life.
It would be easy to let ourselves off the hook on this one. Pausch was a smart, articulate, and cultured human being who dealt with his circumstances the best way he knew how. Who can claim all the same conditions? Why does anyone need to in order to make a difference?
How many opportunities do we miss every day to do the connective thing? Why do we often choose to focus on what's different instead of what is common? What can we do to start behaving like we mean to be inspiring, helpful, constructive? Maybe part of the answer is to become that way. I suspect that in most cases, we are distracted and off balance when the world bounces off us.
The economic model has moved to a conversation where every interaction counts. If I could design like David, I would express some of his charts as waves, others as evolving circles with downward and upward curves. We are not ever exactly in the same place - not companies, not people, not markets.
Interactions mattered to humans before. Yet today, it is the sum total of experiences people have of you as well as those you have of companies and people that drives behavior. That is at the heart of brands - where they become lovemarks. Today brands are not only trying to create an experience, but also working on closing the loop on the experience people have. The two could be different. They often are.
Economy also comes into play when we think about transactions. Our customers are not seeking interactions with us every time they buy. We do not seek interaction with everyone we meet. There is a cultural undertone to this discussion, too. I remember when I first came to the US, I thought it strange that everyone would greet you with expressions like "how are you doing?" or "how is it going?" and then not wait for the answer.
In fact, on many an occasion I learned that the person asking was using the phrase as an expression, not as a true inquiry. They really did not want to know! Think about the answers we offer, though. In the US, we generally say "good," or "well." In Europe - Italy and France specifically - we'd say "not bad." Of course, the response is situational and depends on whether you know the person or not.
Back to Pausch. His lecture linked above is about helping others achieve their childhood dreams and achieving your own dreams. I achieved my first dream twenty years ago. Since the age of six, I wanted to live and work in the US. The other big dream of mine will probably take a whole life to realize. What will get me closer to that one will be how I deal with the learnings from working to achieve other dreams. Not all dreams come true.
What dreams do you have? As Pausch said, remember that brick walls are there to train and demonstrate your resolve, not to keep you out. Some brick walls are made of flesh. If you're going to do anything pioneering, you will get arrows in the back. This is very similar to what I remind myself - you know you're onto something when you encounter opposition.
When you hold something dear, give it to someone better than you to take it forward. If you watched the video, you know to pay attention to the head fakes, they matter to the conversation.