There is a video floating around the Internet that is about a man named Randy Pausch that is dieing of cancer. He is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and specializes in Virtual Reality, a real interesting fellow. Some versions of the video are about 70 minutes long this one is kind of a readers digest version; http://video.stumbleupon.com/#p=ithct48cqw.
The reason I am sharing this with you is I watched the 76 minutes lecture he gave to his students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon called “Really Achieving your Childhood dreams”. This lecture is said to be his “Last Lecture”, a tradition in which they ask a professor, “if you were dieing what you would you say at your last lecture”.
Dr. Pausch says a lot in 76:26, but his take home thoughts are those about living right. His main point is that we should all have a vision and carry that vision out. This ties so well into our NYLT, where we talk about developing vision and setting goals, then seeing those goals to reality. Dr. Pausch had a vision of what he wanted his life to look like, and now he is at the end of his life, can clearly see how his “Movie is going to end” and he has taken the time to reflect and share some things that made him successful. Interestingly, he said he wrote his “Last lecture” not for his students or faculty, nor the 400 people that attended the lecture, or the millions that have downloaded it on You tube. He wrote it for three people. His children.
You can watch it on your own and learn from it. I just want to share one of his thoughts that really struck me as poignant. He talked about three keys to living well. They are:
1. Tell the Truth.
2. Apologize (Properly)
3. Wait, People will show you their good side (Be Patient)
I want to elaborate on number two. Like he says, there are many bad apologies out there today. We see it all the time in our politicians and sports figures. It seems they are always on the tube telling us they are sorry for this or that. But notice it says Apologize (PROPERLY).
What we see from our sports figures and politicians are by (his) definition, and I tend to agree, bad apologies.
If you are going to say you are sorry… do it right, be sincere. There are three elements to a good apology. 1. I am Sorry. 2. It was my Fault. 3. How do I make it right.
It is the third part that most people leave out. It is not enough to say you are sorry. What are you going to do to make it right. Children most usually get it right, at least in principle. You always hear little kids say, “I am sorry, I’ll give you this…” Now its not about give and take, but the principle of making it right shows sincerity. Without it you have not apologized correctly.
As I watched Dr. Pausch for 76 minutes I did not see a man about to die. I saw a man that was living his life to the very end. A man that understood what it took to have a good life and how to share that life with others. He did not apologize for being happy with his life, even though he could see the part of the movie where the credits start to role.