The Last Lecture
Recently during some school work I was introduced to this lecture. It’s both inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. Really, that’s how life is though if you look at the bigger picture. That is why it’s important to focus on the inspiring parts and build upon it so that great things happen and we give future generations the ability to start of better than the one before.
Randy Pausch is giving what is typically a “hypothetical last lecture.” Traditionally the last lecture is the lecture a professor would give to students if hypothetically they knew they were going to die and it would be their last lecture. The thing was, Randy was dying of pancreatic cancer and had only months to live. He openly admits that this stinks and that he doesn’t like it. After all, he has three little kids at home. Although he was pursing medical treatments and doing what he could, Pausch also knew that he didn’t deal the cards. He didn’t want pity; he wanted to focus on life and how to live.
Pausch talked about his life beginning with childhood and experiences that he has lived. One of my favorite quotes is- “if you don’t achieve your dreams, you can still get a lot by trying for it. There’s an expression I love: Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”
Lessons Learned From Randy Pausch And The Last Lecture
- Don’t discount the experience.There really is a building block there to get you where you need to go.
- Childhood Dreams. It’s important to look back at where you came from to understand where you want to go and how to get there. Sometimes, when you do, you’ll see that you’re actually further along or have more experience than you thought.
- Remember the importance of people over things. Pausch tells the story of a new car and the first time his niece and nephew ride in it.It’s important to take care of things, yes, but it’s always more important to remember the value of people over the value of things.
- Decide if you want to be an Eeyore or a Tigger. Do you want to always see the negative side of things or be optimistic? Don’t wallow- move forward.
- Tell the truth. Always tell the truth. It is a very difficult thing to do at times, but your word is your bond. There may come a day when all you have is your word. Everybody messes up, it’s better to tell on yourself than be told on.
- When you screw up, apologize. Own what you did, and know how you are going to improve.
- Show gratitude. I love the story that Pausch tells about taking students to Disneyland. It was because they had worked so hard and he wanted to treat them on his own nickel. When you’re gracious, you’ll get a lot farther in life than if you feel entitled.
- Complaining and Whining don’t solve a problem. Pausch tells a very interesting story about Jackie Robinson and his contract. Looking now, the fact this clause was in his contract was absurd and appalling. The point though, is that you can stand there and complain or you can spend your time playing the game as hard as you can. Until the haters ask if you’re hiring.
It’s up to us as individuals to live life. No, we can’t always pick our circumstances but we can choose our strategy. As a new year begins, it’s a reminder of a fresh start and deciding where we want to go from this point. Live it to the fullest. Live it well. When you do, you’ll start to see dreams finding you.