Idea of the week – The Last Lecture

I’m putting a whole book as Idea of the Week here, because the book is absolutely overwhelming.

I heard about Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” a few months ago. His story is simple:

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon who delivered a sum of his life’s learnings in an hour’s speech and a book called “The Last Lecture”. Professors normally give “Last Lectures” before they retire, as a farewell message to their students, summing up their years of knowledge and experience. But Randy Pausch took it to a whole new level.

He talks about how he was  diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, operated, and after a year found out he had only a few months to live. But his tale is not a sad one. He describes how he was able to live his childhood dreams. And how his life learnings helped him to enable others.

His talk is available online, via Youtube, and you can also get the book via Amazon (I recommend the book, it’s more dense and I found myself laughing and crying at the same while reading it):

What I take from this book :

Your childhood dreams represent you, with your most naive hopes.
Then life hits, and you’re going through changes. You hit brick walls*.
You take learnings out of them.
And somehow, the dots connect. If you look carefully enough, your hardships are your lessons.

And the reason you get the hardships is that you bring the value from them to fulfill your childhood dreams.

Look at it from a practical angle.

  • There must be something you really-really wanted when you were a kid.
  • There has to be something you were very good at.
  • There has to be a difficult time you overpassed in your life.

And somehow, there has to be a connection between the three dots above.

Maybe you can’t see it right now. But mostly it’s about enabling others so that they get over similar hardships easier. And you may do it by using the best skill you have, the one you enjoyed since ages.

And somehow, it will make you achieve your dream.

Because *brick walls are here to remind us how badly we want something.

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