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This 5 page Reader was uploaded by Adrian Nelson on Saturday January 23, 2016. The Reader belongs to a course at a university taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 20 views.
Reviews for TheLastLecture_AdrianNelson.pdf
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Date Created: 01/23/16
This lecture impacted me by showing how sometimes, small things, good or bad, can really be a source of information that we can channel and plug into something else. Some of our worst experiences or most turbulent times can make way for a new path or new window with a better opportunity waiting on the other end. We need to stop looking at our flops and failures and life, stop, take a moment, and try to see what is being unofficially shown or said. Knowing and understanding that one thing leads to another and that things and situations happen for a reason. Dr. Randy Pausch is a very smart, funny, and honest guy. I enjoyed the lecture a lot. I loved that began the lecture with addressing the “elephant in the room”. I think that he did this in order to remove any pity and unsureness in the room about his ability, health, and reasoning for being there. He wanted the audience to see that the cancer didn’t faze him and that he was very much capable of giving a lecture that could inspire many mangers. Get it out of the way now so that it doesn’t dominate the minds of the listeners for the rest of the presentation. One of the first examples he gave that I really took a lot from is his dream to play football. He talked about how he had a coach that would be extremely hard on him, maybe more so harder on him than on any of the other players. And how instead of viewing it like he’s being hard on him for no reason, look at it as if he really believes in you and has not given up on you. Because once someone stops pushing you, it is believed that they have given up. And that’s a lesson that stuck with me my whole life. Is that when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care (Pausch, 2008, p.5). Instead of taking the criticism as just that, criticism, we should take it as the other person seeing the light, a sign of life and potential in us. It may be hard to see, but that is the ultimate compliment – that someone believes that you are worth the time of them using their time in trying to push you and get you to your fullest potential. It can be a bit disheartening to see someone lose faith in you. I believe that it could affect your confidence levels and how far you make it on the journey. We need support. We need people, particularly those that are close to us and those that we have a great deal of respect for, to see the potential and greatness in us in order for us to achieve that ultimate goal. Randy also talked about a philosophy that his coach had and how it made him think about fundamentals and how important they really are. And that’s a really good story because it’s all about fundamentals. Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals. You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work (Pausch, 2008, p.5). I think majority of the time the reason that we fail is because we don’t get the basics down. To many, the basics can be boring and require a good attention span. But like Randy said, in order to do the complex, fancy stuff, you have to get the basis, the fundamentals down. Fundamentals, no matter what it’s regarding are underrated and underestimated. The basics are the basics for a reason, they’re needed if you’re trying to go above and beyond. Learning the fundamentals sometimes takes time and no one seems to want to be patient and slowly work on it, ensuring that you’re getting it down and that it’s being done right. We want success so fast, but we often times don’t want to do the hard things or the easy (fundamentals) things either and I think that says a lot about our current landscape. He began to talk about leadership and how it is indeed an important skill. He talked about Captain Kirk and how he wasn’t the smartest guy around, but his sense of leadership and the skills he had with that taught even the smarter characters a thing or two. What I think is being said here is that no matter what, you have a talent, you have a skill set and it is something that can enable others and teach them something. Never feel as though you can’t do anything or that the things you can do are worthless, because that’s not the case. This is something that needs to be taught at a very young age. Teach our children to love them and the different things that make them special and unique. It’s something that I learned when I was younger and played football. I didn’t play a fancy or popular position, I played on the offensive line. I felt like I wasn’t as valuable to the team as the Quarterback or Wide Receiver. But I was praised for my great blocking ability and was told how important it was. I was protecting the quarterback who would needed that in order to get the ball to the other teammates. Although, being on the line didn’t seem as important, it in fact was. Without my position and skills, there is no way the Quarterback or any other special position player can make a play. Arguably, I played the most important position. Knowing that boosted my confidence and with me quitting football years ago not thinking it was for me, my confidence had only grown and spread to my abilities outside of football. And it’s a reminder of how I need to look at things and situations in my life. Even though I haven’t played football in almost a decade, that moment, that time, gave me something that I’m going take and use for the rest of my life. Valuable lessons from situations that aren’t meant to last forever, but merely to show and give you something that you can use forever. I think that Dr. Pausch did a good job at making sure his examples were and felt real. They weren’t really standard, they were all over the place, but that helps the audience better get a visual of what their dreams are and how they model theirs after his. Making the outcome for achieving those dreams much higher. I really enjoyed how visual and descriptive he was in telling his stories and I thought it was smart to have physical, tangible objects with him. Further driving the point he was trying to make. I loved how he kept referring back to that brick wall and how it’s not there to show us that what we want or what we’re trying to do is unattainable, but to discreetly inspire us to make sure we get over that brick wall. It is there to show us how bad what want something. I can best apply this to my college career. There have been many things that seemed unattainable for me and where housed on the other side of that brick wall. At times I felt discouraged and that I couldn’t get it, but something kept me going. I guess it’s the fact that I don’t like feeling like I can’t achieve or attain a certain thing. I think that is my brick wall. I was diligent, persistent, and confident. Because of that, I have attained and accomplished just about everything that seemed to be out of my reach or league. I think if done right, this could be a good ploy for a manager that wants to know or see how dedicated or how ambitious an employee is. It can be a fair test to see whether or not that person will do well under you and the environment you set and want to keep. I think the brick wall theory is a really good one. Randy is an advocate feedback and autonomy. These are two essential aspects of being a good manager and running an effective ship. Feedback is essential to things getting done and things getting done correctly. I think in terms of feedback, it is important to be honest and it is important to be frank. Don’t beat around the bush. With that being said, you can be both of those things without being nasty or rude. It’s important to keep tone in mind. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it. You want to critique the work, but you don’t want to tear down the worker. You don’t want their confidence in their ability to go away. Show them the mistakes they have, suggest what would help make it better, and encourage them. That, in my book, is good feedback from a good manager. Autonomy is needed for just about anyone working. But it’s really needed with those that are serious about their skill and craft. Allowing people to have space and be able to do what it is that you’re paying them to do adds to workplace satisfaction. It’s hard to be happy or even satisfied when you’re being policed on something that you believed you were trusted on. As a manager relinquish that control and let them do what they do best in a space that can’t be intruded upon. Randy points out that this provides a better overall experience from everyone that is involved. My thoughts and perceptions, and even a few actions have been changed after watching Dr. Pausch’s presentation. I’m going to stop looking at my flops and failures as just that and really see what I lesson I can take from it. I’m going to make sure I actually have the fundamentals down and that I’m not just rushing and assuming I have them down. I believe my completion rate in whatever I do will be much higher. Most importantly, I’m going to be proud of who I am and what I can do. It may not be as fancy or popular as my peers, but I will most certainly know that my skill set is valuable and needed by someone, somewhere. Never letting anyone decided whether or not my dreams are valid or mature enough is another thing I’m taking away from his presentation. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about my dreams. What I think and how I feel about them is the most important thing.
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