Sunday, April 20, 2008

Life Lessons: Randy Pausch's last lecture

First found out about this off the New York Times article on Apr 8, and only just got around to listening. It's really awesome, and you can find links to the video and transcript here. 70 min Youtube, so make sure you have a block of spare time, and you'll find it's well worth it.

Tons and tons of learning, but the part that resonated most with me was when he said "when you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up". Criticism is good, it means people care and hope you can change. Maybe because I screw up so often, I'm a bit more sensitive about this particular topic. But a little bit of a belated thank you to all of you. Some of the simplest pieces of advice I've received - like giving people reasons to help you do your job, or not scraping my heels as I walk, or that nothing is beneath me or beyond me - have already made a large impact in my life, and my main regret is that I wasn't always listening carefully for the advice that I've been given.

At a different level, just listening to this talk gave me pangs for a higher calling in life. What dreams have I had? Probably nothing much. But I've been hearing a siren call in my life for sometime now - I need to focus on it more, see if it's where I need to go...

Final note: isolated 1 slide in the lecture as my mantra:
1) Tell the truth
2) Be earnest
3) Apologise when you screw up
4) Focus on others, not yourself

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