Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blog Post #6

I just finished watching Randy Pausch's last lecture. At first I was dreading finding time to watch an hour presentation, but now that I have finished watching it I am glad that I took the time.

There were many things that Mr. Pausch discussed in this lengthy but entertaining video. He set the scene by starting off with a famous quote: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." This quote alone speaks volumes. Mr. Pausch was speaking from the perspective of someone who was dying from cancer and choosing to live his remaining days in a positive manner. Coming from a viewer with a Christian perspective, I believe that God created each and every one of us uniquely for a purpose. We are who we are and there isn't anything we can do about it. Since we are also given a free will, it is up to us to determine how to live our lives according to how we were created.

Mr. Pausch continued in his lecture addressing the fact that every one of us has childhood dreams. He spoke about his different childhood dreams. There were 6; being in zero gravity,playing for the NFL, authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia,being Captain Kirk, winning big stuffed animals, and being an imagineer. Throughout his lifetime he managed to meet (in some way or another) each one of those dreams. As he expounded on each dream and how it was met in a certain way he shared different lessons he learned along the way. For example, when building up to this dream of becoming a player for the NFL he learned from one of his elder coaches, "When you’re screwing up and no one's saying anything to you anymore that means they gave up." This statement speaks truth beyond value.

As I listened to Mr. Pausch speak about recognizing his dreams and seeking to fullfill them I realized that he expressed the value of many different qualities: perseverance, dedication, positive attitude, and vision. Not all of his dreams came true right away. A lot of the times he hit some brick walls. He spoke about these brick walls in his lecture saying,"Brick walls are there for a reason: not to keep us out but to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." Because of his vision, perseverance, dedication and positive attitude he was able to meet the goals he set forth and climb over the brick walls.

Another lesson I learned from watching this video is "that there are two ways of saying 'I don't know'." Mr. Pausch experienced this and shared his thoughts about this experience in this last lecture. He encountered two key figures in his life that both told him they didn't know but in two differnt ways. The first way was said with anger and frustration, closed to the possibility of finding out due to possible embarrassment for not knowing. The second way is to honestly say you don't know, but be open to finding out more information; a way that expresses interest in learning rather that being closed to finding out.

Mr. Pausch shared his enthusiasm for "enabling the dreams of others". As a professor he learned the value of being able to help others in this way. Yes, it is pretty awesome to have your own dreams and achieve them, but to foster an environment that allows others the freedom of attaining theirs is noteworthy. He mentioned that the best gift a teacher can give is the gift of self-reflection. I can also apply this value of self-reflection to my walk of faith. I find that the more time I am able to spend reflecting on my actions--what I say and what I do--the better person I become. Why? Because it is in self-reflection that we see where we are and can measure it up to what we want to be and make the decision to change or remain stagnant.

Finally Mr. Pausch addresses his lessons learned while achieving his dreams and enabling others to follow theirs. The following lessons are those he mentioned.
1. Parents and other mentors are important.
2. Helping others is important.
3. Allow room for creativity.
4. Tell the truth.
5. Show gratitude.
6. Don't complain and just work harder.
7. Find the best in everybody.


  1. Thorough, Thoughtful, Well Done!

    I liked the way you emphasized self-reflectio - as a way to grow, whether in your faith or in your life as a shoe. That is what i want to have happen in EDM310. Self-reflection, not slavish attention to grades.

    Well done!

  2. Hi Brittany... First I would like to say, I really enjoyed your blog post. Mr. Pausch really inspired me with his video.I also dreaded watching this hour long lecture; but his situation and approach to accomplishing his dreams ultimately kept my attention.