Dr. Pausch’s ‘Last Lecture’, titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, was given to his CMU students and colleagues on 18 September 2007.
Despite Dr. Pausch’s medical condition, the focus of his lecture was on life and living it well. Listed below are the important lessons that he shared.
What Not to Do:
- Do not give up striving for your dreams: Even if you do not achieve them, there is still a lot that you can gain out of trying.
- Do not give up when you fail to get what you want: You have gained experience in the process instead.
- Do not give up when you face obstacles in your path. The obstacles are there for a reason: Not to keep you out but rather, let you prove how much you want something.
- Do not feel offended or discouraged when other people point out your mistakes and shortcomings. They do so because they care and want to help you become better. When no one points out to you that you have done a bad job, it just means that all of them have already given up on you.
- Do not complain and whine: Doing so does not you to solve the problem. Instead, work harder. That will be more helpful to you in the long run.
What to Do:
1. Always maintain a sense of fun and wonder, no matter how old you are.
2. Be optimistic and enthusiastic in all aspects of life.
3. Treasure people over things: Human beings and relationships are more valuable than material goods.
4. Work and play well with people by:
– Telling the truth and living with integrity.
– Apologizing properly:
o Say: “I am sorry.”
o Admit: “It was my fault.”
o Ask: “How do I make it right?” This third part shows sincerity, but is often lacking
– Being patient when managing people whom you do not like or work well with. No one is pure evil. Wait long enough, and those people will show you their good side.
5. Remember to show gratitude to those who have helped you.
6. Live your life the right and proper way, and the larger forces will take care of things. Eventually, your dreams will come to you.