Thursday, July 8, 2010

Living your childhood dreams...

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture” -- 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, an award winning teacher and 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...

"On September 18, 2007, computer science professor Randy Pausch stepped in front of an audience of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver a last lecture called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” 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.

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."

See it here

Randy's last lecture isn’t about dying, instead, it's about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment and about living your dreams! It is inspiring and life enhancing. So I've shared it here with you. If you've already seen it, then watch it again, I have many times, and it continues to inspire and remind me to live my dreams, savour every moment of my life and appreciate the people I love. If you haven't seen it before, then take the time now to do so, it will definitely enhance your life.

Check out Randy's book here:

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.


  1. What an extraordinary man! I'm so sorry for the students who would have been in his classroom but will not.

    “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”--Randy Pausch

    Very similar to my personal favorite: "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails."

  2. Hi Jean, thanks for commenting, I really appreciate your thoughts. Yes, he was an amazing human being, and his spirit lives on. I think Randy's example can inspire us all to live our lives with passion and compassion.

    smiles, Grant


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