I read a book called The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, was very moved, and at the same time inspired and impressed. There are so many things that I can learn from him, and a big one will definitely be how to stay positive and optimistic. Extraordinary man! God bless you, and blessings to Jai and the children.
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” It has become a common exercise on college campuses. Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”—wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium.
With slides of his CT scans beaming out to the audience, Randy told his audience about the cancer that is devouring his pancreas and that will claim his life in a matter of months. On the stage that day, Randy was youthful, energetic, handsome, often cheerfully, darkly funny. He seemed invincible. But this was a brief moment, as he himself acknowledged.
In his moving talk, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.
Randy’s lecture has become a phenomenon, as has the book he wrote based on the same principles, celebrating the dreams we all strive to make realities. Sadly, Randy lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008, but his legacy will continue to inspire us all, for generations to come.
Watch the video “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”
Some excerpts from the book The Last Lecture :
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
“When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you….You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better”
“The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something”
“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier”
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To get a copy of the book from Amazon
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow