The Dreams Will Come to You
One of the staples of “the college experience” at many schools is the “last lecture” — a beloved professor sums up a lifetime of scholarship and teaching as if they were heading out the door for the last time. But a “last lecture” by Randy Pausch was different in every possible way. The professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University was just 46, and this really was his last lecture because he was dying.
“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” – Randy Pausch
His lecture was taped, and thrown up onto YouTube. The Last Lecture sums up what life should be about…what really matters at the end of the day. Within the first two pages I could already tell that Randy’s outlook on life and his family was far different that what I had grown to expect from the “average person”. He was humorous, accepting yet resilient, positive, and strong without showing crack in his armor. His fortitude shined through and through in his interactions with his Wife, Jai, his young children who wouldn’t remember him when he was gone and his friends. The choices he made, the things that he decided to focus his energies on and the amount of care and detail he put into his Last Lecture were simply astounding. I not only respected this man, but I had a certain fondness and admiration for him, I wanted to know him.
His stories of painting on his walls and his old school football coach made great impressions on me for various reasons. His creativity and willingness to imagine, dream, hope and execute when the opportunities came along is something that I found myself lacking and so I’ve decided to take a page from his book.
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!” – Randy Pausch
As a teacher of sorts he had the responsibility and joy of teaching and inspiring others. This last quote that I’ve selected is what I would like to make a driving force in my life because Randy never lost sight of it and in time his dreams were brought to fruition because of the many times and ways he had paved a path for his friends, family and students.
“Focus on other people, not on yourself.” – Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch passed away on Friday, 25 July 2008. R.I.P.
However, his legacy lives on through The Last Lecture book and video presentation.
“She game me a window into myself,” – Randy Pausch
This book is a great gift. It is a gift of hope and affirmation, of strength and guidance. I have to thank Debi Graham for lending me this amazing book. I will be buying a copy for myself so that I can read it again. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
You can watch Randy’s inspirational last lecture video below:
- Book Review of “The Last Lecture” (socyberty.com)
- Live Life Without Regrets – Practical Lessons From the Last Lecture (ravenbrookpost.com)
- Increasing Pancreatic Cancer Awareness: Randy Pausch and Patrick Swayze (everydayhealth.com)
- “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” – in BU 461 Business Strategy (smcbusacct.wordpress.com)
- 10 Books Every College Grad Needs to Read (bestcollegesonline.net)