January 24, 2012
“The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” -R.P.
The LAST LECTURE. Have you read, listened or seen the video on You tube? WOW! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo
Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon. He was a great teacher- one who was truly invested in seeing his students succeed.
In 2007, Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Happily married with 3 small children, he aggressively fought his cancer and also prepared his Last Lecture: “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” He compiled his legacy for his kids and he gave the rest of us some amazing pointers on how to live life to the fullest. His lecture is about living, not dying.
His use of childhood dreams as the foundation for one’s life direction is eerily poignant. Using his life as an example, he traces his early wishes into his later accomplishments. In addition to validating childhood musings, he offers many common sense tips on-
“HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE” or “Here’s what worked for me.”-R.P.
Some of Randy’s gems are:
- Dream Big…and “fuel your kids’ dreams.”
- Don’t Complain, Just Work Harder. “Complaining is a waste of time and it won’t make you happier.”
- Don’t Obsess Over What People Think Of You. Worrying about what other people think of us is another waste of time.
- Tips On Working Successfully In A Group: Meet people properly. Find things you have in common. Let everyone talk. Check egos at the door. Praise each other. Phrase alternatives as questions.
- Look For The Good In Everyone.
- Watch What People Do, Not What They Say.
- Loyalty Is A Two Way Street.
- Show Gratitude. “Go out and do for others what others have done for you.”
- A Bad Apology Is Worse Than No Apology. Do it with sincerity. Admit what you did was wrong. Express you feel badly for causing hurt feelings. Ask how to make amends.
- Tell The Truth. “Honesty is not only morally right, it’s also efficient.”
- Get In Touch With Your Crayon Box….”smelling a crayon takes you right back to childhood, doesn’t it?”
- No Job Is Beneath You. If you end up in the mail room, “be really great at sorting mail!”
- Never Give Up. “Brick Walls are there for a reason! They say how much do you really want it?”
- All You Have To Do Is Ask. “Ask those questions. Just ask them. More often than you’d suspect, the answer you’ll get is, “Sure.”
- The Lost Art of Thank-You Notes.
“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. And despite my love of efficiency, I think that thank-you notes are best done the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper.
Job interviewers and admissions officers see lots of applicants…read tons of resumes…but they do not see many handwritten thank-you notes.”
Randy tells the story of a young woman who applied to his program and with grades that were not quite good enough. Yet in the final review of her file, a handwritten thank you note was discovered. It had been sent to a support staffer who had helped her with arrangements when she had come for her interview.
That handwritten note told “me more than anything else in her file,” Randy told his colleagues. And it was “decided that she was worth taking a chance on.”
That handwritten thank you got her into the program. She earned her master’s degree, and now works as a Disney Imagineer!
“Despite all that is going on in my life and with my medical care, I still try to hand write notes when it’s important to do so. It’s just the nice thing to do. And you never know what magic might happen after it arrives in someone’s mailbox.” -R.P.
Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow, The Last Lecture. Hyperion Books, New York, New York. 2008.