Sunday, March 7, 2010

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dream

This video was truly amazing. It was completely inspirational. He mentioned how he had reached his childhood dream, and he gave small tips for you to learn while hearing the story. He mentioned he had reached his dreams and now he is helping to enable the dreams of others. He said to enable dreams of others, become a professor. Well, this may be true but I feel that there are other jobs that can enable dreams, too.

He mentioned many skills that are useful in teaching, one being fundamentals. Fundamentals are useful for teaching; you must get the fundamentals or the fancy stuff won't work. Another tip was corrections; when somebody is doing wrong and nobody is correcting them, that means that they were given up on. Critics are good. A good quote was "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." The next skill is learning. Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly (or by "head fake". For example, do we really want our kids to learn football, or do we want them to learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance. That is the head fake - the skills learned behind the scene. Another skill is leadership; you don't have to be smart but you have to know how to lead. Then the concept of the brick wall, when you are stopped by something you keep trying if you really want something. Another skill mentioned was "don't get discouraged when somebody doesn't give you what you want." You should just give them some time, and they might surprise you or impress you and change their mind. The last skill is watch the way you say things. Instead of shutting something down and say that "I don't know"; you can say "I don't have enough information, let's hear more."

Then we have the question of how do we enable the dreams of others? This video showed a good point about how students can do better then you think. For example, when he taught that class for the first year, and the students blew him away with their projects. He didn't know what to do, so he went to his mentor and asked "what am I supposed to do, they are past what I have planned to teach?" You go into the class and tell the students "that was good, but I know you all can do better". He also mentioned that he should not just set the bar anywhere, because that can limit the child's ability. The bar can always go higher. Using videos and technology to teach people is very useful. You need to make people self-reflecting; make them push themselves.

These are lessons that show what helps you achieve these dreams. The first lesson is the role of parents, mentors, and students. They push you to achieve. The second lesson was that you must tell your students to have fun. The third lesson was to never lose the child-like wonder. The fourth lesson that you must help others. The fifth lesson was that loyalty is a two-way street. The sixth lesson was to never give up. The seventh lesson was how do we get people to help you. The ways to get people to help you are: you can't get there alone, tell the truth, be earnest, apologize when you screw up, focus on others and not yourself. The eighth lesson was to show gratitude. The ninth lesson was don't complain, just work harder. The tenth lesson was to be good at something; it just makes you valuable. The eleventh lesson was to find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it. The twelfth lesson was to be prepared: "luck" is where preparation meets opportunity.

This man has really shown me a lot of valuable information. I am sad that he is not around today. He was one amazing speaker. I now want to strive for my dreams more now, and I want to enable others to work for their dreams as well. If everybody tries, they will be able to accomplish anything. That is one thing I do not let my dancers say is can't, because you can do anything you put your mind to.


  1. I really enjoyed watching this video and Dr. Pausch had a wonderful outlook on life. I found his video to be funny and inspirational at the same time. His video made me wonder if I could accomplish my own childhood dreams. In terms of education I found his curriculum for his student refreshing. I can't believe he did not offer any tests. He only offered projects. I wish my classes were like that because I myself learn by actually doing stuff.

  2. So much can be achieved if we put our minds and souls into it. A magnificent lecture for sure!