A dear friend sent us a video clip of a speech by a dying man. No, it’s not a sympathy appeal for something neither a confession of a person on deathbed. It’s about Life- a life that he lived and some lessons learnt he is leaving behind as legacy for his beloved ones.
“After hearing him today, you may start seeing your life very differently.”- Oprah Winfrey show announced, before he started representing his original one and half hour long lecture into a 10 minutes’ talk.
His name is Randy Pausch. He is a middle aged man, father of three little children and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His original long lecture at university was downloaded more than 6 million times and still spreading across the globe. It was a tradition at university to give ‘Last Lecture’ thinking hypothetically "If you had one last lecture to give before you died what would you tell your students?" But for Randy it’s not a hypothetical situation- it is a real situation. He had a pancreatic cancer, has already gone through all remedies available like Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiations etc. and doctors have declared that he has a few months more to live.
The fitness of his body, the aura on his face and his positive tone make you admire him.. As he said, ‘Today’s talk is not about death but about life, how to live childhood dreams, how to achieve them.”
The crux of his 10 minutes’ speech is –
I don’t like dying. But I can’t do anything about the fact that I’m going to die. I don’t choose to be an object of pity.
I had a great- incredible, happy childhood. I was dreaming- always dreaming. And when I saw the man on television stepping on the moon, I felt, “Anything is possible.” We should never ever lose this spirit.
One of my childhood dreams was playing football in National Football League- which I didn’t achieve. But sometimes you learn a lot even by trying. “Experience is
what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”
I never made it to the NFL but football got me where I am today. My football coach Graham was of old school style. He made me practice without football, made me do pushups for 2 hours…I learnt fundamentals and hard work. Most of what we learn, we learn indirectly (or by “head fake”) Once my another teacher asked me, “Coach Graham is a tough coach?” I nodded “Yeah”, then he continued, “But that’s good. When you are not performing well and nobody is telling you that, that’s the time when he has given up on you. But if he makes you run for hours that mean he cares for you, he cares for you to make you better.” I remembered these words for my lifetime.
Another childhood dream was to work for Walt Disney as Imaginer. This dream I could realize to some extent. When I was 8, my family took me to Disney land in California and I was amazed to see Disney rides. “I want to make this stuff.” So I worked in this direction but it took me 15 years to reach there. I graduated and then applied but got nice rejection letters which I still have preserved. But ultimately I had developed a skill which was valuable for them and I worked with them on ‘Alladin’ project. So remember – Brick walls are there for a reason: brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us chance to prove how badly we want things. So never ever give up.
For childhood dreaming you need to have great parents. They let me paint my bedroom though it hurts the resale value of the house.
You can’t get there alone, and I believe in Karma. So while dealing with other people - Tell the truth; Be earnest; Apologize when you screw up- I’m sorry, it’s my fault, and the third part which we most often forget- how do I make it right.
Show gratitude. It’s a very simple thing but very powerful.
I don’t think complaining ever solves a problem. Don’t complain, just work harder. Your time, energy and efforts- you can spend it complaining or playing the game hard.
Have faith in goodness of people. Find the best in everybody; no matter how you have to wait for them to show it. We often don’t like some people or how do they did things, but be patient, they will show their goodness if you wait enough.
This talk isn’t just about how to achieve your childhood dreams; it’s much broader than that. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life right way the karma will take care of the rest. If you live properly the dreams will come to you.
If you want to see this video clip of 10 minutes, then click here. >>
If you want to go through the original long speech then click here. >>
[Randy Pausch is a computer scientist. He made his way through Walt Disney to being nation’s foremost authority for virtual reality.
He is a world expert in video games and virtual reality technology and creator of 'Alice', ground-breaking software for creating 3-D animations. He went further and created a model of edutainment – Building Virtual Worlds. Afterwards, he converted it to Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) – 2 year professional degree at Carnegie Mellon University where he and his partner made artists and technologist work together in team with fun. They are preparing future "Imaginers" (Imagination engineers)].
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‘If modern medicines are as good as we believe them to be, why have the diseases and disorders become more complex, more complicated in modern times?’ ‘If modern medicines were so proficient, why are the western countries, in spite of their affluence and latest research capabilities, turning towards Yoga and Ayurveda?’ ‘If Ayurveda is “old-outdated” kind of science, why is there so many hue and cries for patents based on materials like neem and mint?’
Well, if you find these questions logical and interesting, here is a new publication from Oasis for you on Ayurveda. The main purpose of this book is to guide people to be their own doctors- most trustworthy and most economical- to lead their lives in a very healthy and balanced manner for most of the time in their lives! The author doesn’t claim this to be a text book on Ayurveda. But it’s a book which questions and guides reader step by step- very logically and scientifically- to introduce the subject. It clarifies the fundamentals of Ayurveda and leaves further exploration of this science to the readers.
For example, the first section of this book starts with questions like what’s health, why health, why Ayurveda, how one’s health is related to Five elements etc. and answers
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them in a very simple and fluid language. The book also includes simple questionnaire to decide one’s Prakriti, to understand one’s Prakriti in depth and gives information how to balance doshas with one’s daily lifestyle amongst constant seasonal and life changes.
Another highlight of the book is that it very simply interweaves the principles of
life with health. It explains how Ayurveda is a way of life.
Some other questions which may lead you to read the book are-
Is there any wisdom in running to the doctor for each and every common disease or disorder? Or it is our ignorance and dependence?
It may be difficult and a bit complex to understand body-mind mechanism, but then, isn’t life itself complex? Do we leave aside living just because life is complex?
Does disease reflect only the physical problem? Or it has something to do with mind also?
Why does coffee cause some people severe constipation while the other enjoys it without any problem?
Why getting early comes easy for certain people, while other feels very lethargic in the morning?
Is it possible to live in a youthful state forever in our lives?
This is perhaps one of the best books you’ll find in Gujarati which introduces Ayurveda simply in 140 pages in astonishing depth. Read it and spread this as a ray of hope for our, too much doctor-dependent society!