I first heard about Randy Pausch a few months ago when he was the subject of one of Diane Sawyer's specials. For those of you who don't know, he was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who passed away last week from pancreatic cancer. Randy was born in Baltimore, MD and spent his childhood in Columbia, MD. He became famous because of the lecture he delivered at Carnegie Mellon's traditional "Last Lecture." During the presentation, he recounted many events in his personal and professional life that highlighted important messages that he wanted to convey. His style is a mix of comedy, honesty, humility, wisdom, and intelligence. He discusses the achieving childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others, and how we might we might do both. Some of his key points include:
Decide if you are "Tigger" or "Eeyore"
Never lose the child-like wonder
Loyalty is a two-way street
Never give up
How to get people to help you
Don't complain, just work harder
Be good at something: it makes you valuable
Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it
Be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity
Two other ideas that Randy presents are the "brick wall" and the "head fake." Brick walls are those obstacles in life the slow us down from achieving our goals. In his view, they give us an opportunity to show how badly we want something. When you come across a brick wall, you have to decide if you are going through it or if you will let it stop you from achieving your goals.
The "head fake" is indirect learning that happens without our knowledge. Childhood sports are a great example of the head fake. Kids learn how to play the sport as expected, but the head fake is that they also learn about teamwork, leadership, motivation, and other important life skills.
Dr. Pausch has inspired millions of people worldwide. I've included the full video of his lecture below. I hope that you find it inspirational as well. If you would like to learn about Randy Pausch click here.