Their is an academic tradition called the “last lecture”. Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die and had one last lecture to give, what would you say to your students. In this instance though, its not hypothetical. Dr Randy Pausch is dying and has been given only months to live.
In the video he reprises his last lecture, which he delivered at Carnegie Melon University, for the Oprah show.
The subject is Achieving your childhood dreams.
Randy Pausch sadly passed away in July 2008.
The important points of his talk are as follows. I consider these to be pretty good ways to lead our one wild and precious life.
* You can’t control the cards you are dealt, just how you play the hand.
* Anything is possible.
* Even if you don’t achieve your dreams you still get a lot from trying for them, there is a saying, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want”.
* When people push you hard it is because they care to make you better. If you are doing a poor job and nobody points it out to you it is because they have given up on you.
* Childhood dreams are important. Randy Pausch visited Disney at 8 years old and wanted to be part of making the cool rides. When he left college he wrote to them, got lots of rejection letters. He worked hard and gained skills that Disney needed, he went to work for them. It took him over 15 years.
* The brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. They let us prove how badly we want something.
* Be good at something, it makes you valuable.
* People vs things: Computer, Car, Ipod, TV, recognise that these are just things and not important. People are important.
* You better decide early on if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore. Tiggers are energetic, optimistic, curious, enthusiastic and they have fun. Never underestimate the importance of having fun.
* If you want to achieve your dreams, you better work and play well with others. That means living with Integrity and telling the truth.
* Apologise properly: There are some poor apologies out there. Three things make a great apology.
It was my fault.
How do I make it right?
* Show gratitude.
* You can choose to take your finite time, energy and effort and you can spend it complaining and whining or you can choose to play the game hard, which will be more helpful in the long run.
* If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.