sexta-feira, 25 de março de 2011

The Last Lecture

On a rainy day I walked into a little magazine store. As an avid book reader the first thing that caught both my eye and attention was a bottom little shelf with covered with books. I crouched down and must have spent the next half an hour there skimming through that wonderful world of pages, ink and letters. At last I left with three new books in my bag and a large smile on my face. Honestly, I don't even know why I bought Pausch's book. I had never even heard about him and didn't have a clue of who he was. But as soon as I started reading his book I knew that he had something important to say and I would be doing myself a favor to learn with his words.
The fact that he was a fellow teacher must also have been something that made me "bond" with the book. This first book of his is nothing more than snippets of his "Last Lecture" which he delivered at Carnegie Hall. He was asked what wisdom he would try to impart to the world if he knew it was his last chance. And last chance it surely was, because a month before giving the lecture, Pausch had received a prognosis that the pancreatic cancer with which he had been diagnosed a year earlier was terminal.
Despite knowing he only had a few short months to live he continued upbeat, making the most out of life, enjoying its simple joys to the full and giving, giving, giving. Always making of life a giving experience.

A beautiful chapter of the book - I think one of my favorites - is where he speaks in the meaning of helping others achieve their dreams. Rather than achieving only our own personal dreams, what will give you even more pleasure and satisfaction is helping others achieve their own dreams. Potential is there in every being, but a true leader makes you realize how you can achieve your dreams with your potential. And that's what distinguishes a leader from everyone else.

Many things in my own personal life were put in focus and I took a chance to stop and choose what it is that I want to be the meaning in my life. 
What were my childhood dreams? Did I still want to achieve them? My answer was a loud and clear: YES! I still wanted to travel to India (one of my first childhood dreams - this dream developed after seeing a benefit dance concer for the blind which occured there), I still had the deep desire to write a book on my life (another MAJOR childhood dream), I still imagined myself speaking French fluently, and I still dreamt in building a charity work for children. I wrote all my childhood dreams on paper and then defined clear, concrete goals to start from that moment on. And so, after tapping into my childhood dreams I am now starting to set those dreams in motion!
How about you? Dig deep, re-discover your childood desires and make them come true!!!

Here is a little about Randy Pausch and his book "The Last Lecture":

Each year at a series known as The Last Lecture, a Carnegie Mellon University faculty member is asked to deliver what would hypothetically be a final speech to their students before dying. It is a wonderful tradition in which both speaker and listeners take a moment to reflect upon what matters most in this life. In September 2007, the speaker, 47-year-old computer science professor and father of three, Randy Pausch, didn't have to imagine that he was confronting his imminent demise because, in fact, he was. Pausch had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, at the time of his Last Lecture, had only been given three to six months to live. Pausch's speech, entitled "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," was every bit as upbeat and inspirational as the man himself. Rather than focusing on dying, it was a speech about living, about achieving one's dreams and enabling the dreams of others, about truly living each day as though it were your last.
As of this writing, Randy Pausch's Last Lecture has been downloaded by over 10 million viewers. If you haven't watched the Last Lecture, let me recommend it as an excellent investment of one hour of your day today. You'll find various methods of doing so

So far Randy Pausch has beaten the odds, and he continues to inspire his audience. The Last Lecture, published April 2008 by Hyperion, resulted from collaboration with Jeffrey Zaslow, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. With a desire to elaborate on his ideas in print form, but not wanting to take precious time away from his children, Pausch, a self-avowed efficiency nut, spent fifty-three daily bike rides on his cellphone headset conveying his thoughts to Zaslow who helped shape the stories into book form.
The Last Lecture is a slender book that can be read in just a few sittings. It is full of stories and aphorisms, many of which are familiar from its video progenitor. We revisit Randy Pausch's fulfillment of his childhood dreams and the principles he learned along the way. These gems include Pausch's view that "life's brick walls are there to show us how badly we really want something," the notion that "experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted," and a quotation from the Roman philosopher Seneca who said that "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Pausch is a fantastic storyteller, and recalls and distills the essentials of his life's anecdotes more than most of us would be able. The Last Lecture addresses more of his struggles with cancer than it did in video form, but always from the angle of a challenge requiring a creative solution, which is how Randy Pausch seems to have approached his entire life.
This book will be read by millions, but was written solely for Randy Pausch's three young children, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe, for whom Pausch is recording all of the fatherly advice he won't be around to give later on. It is because Pausch's advice is so universal in its wisdom and his voice so clear in its delivery, that we eavesdroppers can also benefit.

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