Monday, September 29, 2008

The Last Lecture / Passions in Life

I recently watched a video that was very inspiring. It’s about a professor from Carnegie Mellon named Randy Pausch who was diagnosed with cancer and was told he had 3-6 months to live. The video is about his “Last Lecture” or if you were to give one last lecture before you died what would it be? The video has a lot of good points in it and I highly recommend watching it. Here’s the link:

In addition to this lecture there are few other lectures by Randy Pausch that I highly recommend watching. If you’re interested I can send you links.

There were many points in the lecture I found highly interesting. The first being: “Brick walls are there to keep out those who don’t really want it.” (Whatever task, goal, ect. “it” may be) There are always going to be metaphorical brick walls or obstacles you must overcome. If you don’t persevere you want break through them and achieve your goals.

One of my life examples is I want to learn Japanese. But they use a writing system that uses over 2000 different characters. This to me a brick wall I need to overcome in order to learn Japanese.

To summarize some of the other key points in the lecture.. (I won’t do them full justice so if you want to read on make sure you watch the lecture!) I agree with all of his points and want to apply them in my life, if they don’t already apply.

• Never lose your child like wonder (It’s just too important)
• Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore in life? (You can’t change the cards your dealt, but you can control how you play the cards) Basically find fun in everything you do.
• Help Others

Something to add to this point is that I remember reading an article I forget where that was about a study. The study was done to see what gives more satisfaction, giving or receiving a gift. Surprisingly giving a gift generated significantly more satisfaction and happiness than receiving. I believe this is true with no only gift giving but in general in terms of helping someone.

• Focus on others not yourself
• Apologize if you screw up (This sounds obvious but sometimes we don’t do it, myself included)
• Show Gratitude
• Get a feedback loop and use it/apply it
• Don’t complain, work harder

The example he uses is Jackie Robinson where despite being hated by millions and even spit on, simply worked harder.

• Find the best in everyone no matter how long it takes. (This one I believe even though it can be a draining task)

• Luck is where preparation meets opportunity

• Lead your life the right way and karma will take care of itself, your dreams will come to you.

Something else that the video said is something I’ve know but highly advocate. You won’t ever find real happiness in money or material objects. The real reward you get is from the experience you obtain. The difference between money and time is that you can make always make money back, you can never get your time back.

The video also made me want to re-examine what some of my passions are in life. By understanding your own passions it can help you figure out what you should do with your life, and how to live it. I think that pursuing your passion is one of the better ways to find happiness in life. One thing to remember is that everyone has a different definition of happiness and that there is a vast range of what happiness can mean. Although this may be true I think that no matter what your definition may be, pursuing one’s passions will lead to happiness.

Here is the list of my passions that I came up with. I wasn’t able to finish the list but I came up with a couple big ones.

Experiencing and Learning –
The world is a huge place, there are tons of people in it and there is also a ton to experience. I have the opportunity, why not experience it. This is part of the reason why I am where I am today.
For some reason learning makes me feel good, there’s something rewarding knowing that I’m becoming a smarter and better person with everything I learn and experience.

Helping others –
I’m not entirely sure but I’d like to think I’ve done a lot to help others over my life. I want to continue to do so. The satisfaction that comes from it is very rewarding knowing that you’ve made someone else’s life better, even if its because of some small thing you’ve done for them. I think I’ve given lots of advice to friends throughout my life. I don’t know if they seek me in particular or what but I really enjoy giving them advice. I hope that whatever their situation is or was I helped them with it. I don’t know this may also be a reason why I am teacher now?

Relationships/Making new ones and maintaining existing ones –
One thing I’ve realized over my life is that someone may say “Oh man I love (insert city/area).” I think one thing they may not realize is that what they really love is the people in that area that they’ve met/befriended. In my opinion it’s the people, not the place that makes one’s life great. An example I have and can share is Tokyo. I love Tokyo because there’s tons to do, but if I were to go back today it simply wouldn’t be the same. Almost everyone I met while studying there is no longer there, so it simply won’t be as fun or great as it was then.

Sports – Staying active
I don’t know what it is, I don’t drink coffee, nor do I really drink soda -- I’m not exposed to much caffeine, but I almost always have tons of energy. I was never diagnosed with ADD or ADHD haha but sometimes I can’t sit still. I love sports because they keep me active and because I have a healthy competitive drive. It’s important to also realize the difference between a healthy and negative competitive drive. What I mean by this is the means you go to achieve your goal. An example of a negative competitive drive would be if you cheat in order to win, or lose sight of the most important aspect of the game itself, to have fun/enjoy yourself. I believe competition is important because it drives us to better ourselves, improve our skills, and generally promotes progress. I think one of the reasons I like video games so much is because of the competition in the game. I don’t really play any games here in Japan but recently I’ve only been interested in multiplayer games that involve teamwork to achieve a goal. This is very similar if not the same as my passion for sports.

I have more passions, but this is what I’ve come up with so far.

What’s your passion in life?

No comments: