© Gaye Wilson 2012

Ninety years ago this week, on 6th November 1912, archaeologist Howard Carter stumbled upon some steps leading down to a hitherto unknown royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

It was the tomb of Tutankhamun, an Egyptian king who died while in his late teens.

The discovery was a turning point in the history of Egyptology. It showed the richness of tomb goods that were provided for royalty in ancient Egypt. Up until then, royal tombs had been plundered of their wealth long before they were discovered by archaeologists.

Whilst this is all very exciting, the point of this post is not the riches that Carter found, nor the notoriety that followed the discovery. The point I want to make here is that Carter was broke, and nearly at the end of his time in Egypt. He had spent several years coming the Valley of the Kings trying to find an undiscovered tomb, with no success.

But he didn’t quit.

He didn’t give up.

He kept looking, and finally found the tomb that made his name.

If you want something badly enough, never EVER give up.

References you might like to read about the discovery of Tutankhamun:

© Gaye Wilson 2009
I just finished reading one of the most appalling stories I have ever read: Carolyn Jessop’s tale of escape from a polygamous religious sect in the USA. It’s called Escape and it is a chilling account of rape, physical and mental abuse, child molestation and repression that is happening right now.

After seventeen years as a plural wife in horrible circumstances, Carolyn Jessop managed to escape the community with her eight children. She fought to gain custody of them against the considerable financial and other power of her husband and the cult in which he was a highstanding member.

How does this relate to All Paths To Victory? Heaps.

In order to escape from an intolerable situation, Carolyn Jessop did a number of things, all of which were essential to her success.

She made the decision to leave the cult.
When things became too intolerable to bear, and she was in constant fear for the safety of herself and her children, she made the monumental and scary decision to get out.

She prepared herself for action.
Although she owned nothing in her name, she managed to save medications for her handicapped son, and prepared herself as much as possible mentally for the action required.

She took action.
When the time came, when circumstances were the best they would ever be, she took action, and secretly bundled her eight children into a van and drove away, despite the protests of some of the children.

She enlisted help.
Her sister and brother had already left the community, and she asked them for help, which they gave. She also asked for help from politicians, once she was out of the community.

She fought for what she believed in.
She fought for the custody of her children. She fought her eldest daughter who was so brainwashed that she returned to the cult when she became a legal adult. She spoke out against the cult and its manipulative and abusive members, and was heard.

She followed through.
She’s now a member of an organisation that is dedicated to assisting members of religious cults who have been abused. In other words, she not only worked for and obtained her own victory, but is also helping others with theirs.

I salute you, Carolyn Jessop.

Go here to read the book.

© Gaye Wilson 2008
Dr Randy Pausch, about whom I wrote in this post, died yesterday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 47 years old. He left behind a wife, three small children and two major legacies: his academic work, and his famous Last Lecture.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”

Dr Pausch knew he was dying, and he prepared for it as well as he could. He got all his affairs in order, lived as well as he could physically and emotionally, and he created a legacy. He didn’t go down without a fight. He kept living, even though he was dying.

His Last Lecture has been seen by millions of people all over the world. It has been made into a book which has been translated into over 30 languages. His message was simple:

Live life while you have it. And leave a legacy of that life.

What about you?

What are you doing today to create a legacy?

What will you do tomorrow to enjoy life and help others to enjoy theirs?

What will you do next week that will have a positive impact upon the world around you?

There’s a Chinese proverb that is appropriate here:

Be not afraid of growing slowly.
Be afraid of standing still.

Thank you, Dr Pausch, for your life and your philosophy. My heart goes out to your family.

Donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 2141 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, CA 90245, or to Carnegie Mellon’s Randy Pausch Memorial Fund (www.cmu.edu/giving/pausch). If you can’t donate to either of those, please donate what you can to any cancer research organisation near you.