Final Words: The Last Lecture

I watched a lecture recently that Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford University in 2005. He spoke of his childhood, of being born out of wedlock, adopted and raised by a working class couple with no tertiary education. He spoke of his time at university and how he dropped out of his course after a few months; of how he created apple, became very successful and then got booted out of his own company.   A truly remarkable man who accomplished so much in his lifetime but still recognised the value of love and family.

Ever since reading about Randy Pausch and blogging about him earlier on this year (check it out here) I’ve thought a lot about what my final words would be to people if I had one last message to share before my time on earth elapsed. After the news of the death of Steve Jobs this week, a visionary who I really admire I felt even more compelled to write this post.

I aspire to be somewhat of a visionary myself one day. I don’t think I’ll ever accomplish what these remarkable men (Steve and Randy) did, as creating the latest Apple Mac or volunteering at Disney Land is not really on my list of things to do before I die. However, I’d like to know that I made some difference in people’s lives, even in the smallest way.

If this were my Last Lecture, I’d want to share my life lessons with everyone. I’d tell them that life is a day-to-day experiment, we don’t always get it right and sometimes it explodes in your face, but when you do, it’s absolutely brilliant. I’d say not to waste time on things that don’t matter and don’t bother worrying about what is to come or what might happen; but instead take a leap of faith and hope for the best.

I’d say forget the rules and push the boundaries. I’d say live a fearless life, always fighting to reach new heights, always challenging the norm and always questioning. I’d say be defiant and don’t let your past prevent you from unlocking your future. I’d say that one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt is that people change all the time and its not against the rules, so if you don’t like who you are, change it.

I’d tell them to make time for the things that matter, like family, friends and lovers.  Show and tell the people you love and care about how much they matter. Sometimes the things we take for granted, the things that go unsaid, like a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘I think you’re amazing’ are the words that need to be said. Because sometimes stating the obvious is underrated.

I’d say take a risk, be daring, because the only person in this life who can make your dreams a reality is you. Reinvent yourself if you have to, after all if  Cher can do it, anyone can. Don’t let who you are stop you from becoming who you could be. I’d say do something that matters. Forget about the money and the status and just do something for the good of mankind.

I’d tell everyone that being happy is the most important thing, so spend time on the things that make you happy. Because this is not a test run, there is no do over, you don’t get to re-write the script and there’s no room for regrets. All we have is right here and right now, so make it count.

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