Monday, April 6, 2009

‘The Last Lecture’- Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

I happened to watch this video as a ‘viral’ forward from one of my friends.  When I watched it created a truly emotional impact on me. But when I looked at it from the advertising perspective, it was a brilliant ‘coincidence’ that worked wonders.  This video was shot by one of the members in the audience at the Carnegie Mellon University.  This was the ongoing series of lectures given by esteemed professors when they were leaving the university. ‘The Last Lecture’ was one such lecture given by Prof. Randy Pausch, who was diagnosed of Pancreatic Cancer had a maximum of 3-4 months to live. He gave this lecture to his students and staff. Randy was youthful, energetic, handsome, often cheerfully, darkly funny. It was a really interesting watch. This video became a rage on YouTube and was forwarded with genuine emotions and compassion to their friends and family. Prof Randy Pausch was voted the ABC Chanel’s American of the week, was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and wrote a book which Randy co authored with Jeffrey Zaslow, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, who attended the Last Lecture. This book became an instant bestseller. The viral video and the book together got so much popularity for the Carnegie Mellon University that it has become one of the most sought after and prestigious institution. The institute received so many admission applications due to the popular publicity. A few key take aways from the ‘Last Lecture’ that really were a food for thought were:

-  Never hate those who criticize you, your critics love you and care about you. When no one says anything, then they have given up on you... Which is the worst thing that can happen to you.

- When you do something young enough you are trained for it. It just becomes a part of you, and you are never scared of it.

- When you do not get what you wanted from an effort/initiative, Experience is what you would have acquired.

- Brick walls are there for a reason, they let us prove how badly we want something... Brick walls here are the obstacles we face while working on something.

- Never base your judgment on the first meeting! Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you...

- Always find someone better to hand over to, when you have worked really hard on something.

- Never ever lose the child like wonder.

- Don’t bailout half way! The best of the gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap.

-Apologize when you screw up!

- Focus on other sometimes and not yourself always. Randy gives a beautiful example, by bringing a cake for his wife’s birthday on the stage. He says that this lecture was my light and glory but I thought of my wife and how they did not celebrate her birthday.

Randy wrapped up the lecture by saying that if you did not make much sense of what he said all through the lecture, it was ok, because the lecture was not meant for you. It for his three kids, telling them how to lead their life.

 Randy lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008. Some of his last words were, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” —Randy Pausch 

Here is the video of the Last Lecture!

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