Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon professor, had terminal cancer and was fortunate enough to share his learnings in this final lecture. Sadly he recently passed on at 47.

He talked about the challenges through his career “some brick walls are made of flesh” and his journey to lead forth virtual reality, educating others, and achieving his childhood dreams, a master storyteller. Warning, you may swell up during his gesture to his wife at the end and then he gives us all his final departing words.

When I was a kid, I knew two successful men, they told me they had specific goals in life and the slowly worked towards them, they also both said these goals will change as you grow older, but you keep on setting them further and further.

I just spent the last hour and 16 minutes watching this video, I encourage you to invest the time then evaluate your own goals and dreams. While so unfortunate, it’s amazing that with technology, we can record the great minds, easily share around the globe at low cost, and archive for all eternity. Thanks Randy.

Update: There’s more discussion on Friendfeed, if you choose to join. I was talked out of thinking it was sad -sort of.

11 Replies to “Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”

  1. Hear, hear.

    I’ve kept up with the whole “Last Lecture” thing since the Yastrow column appeared last year, but as it happens I also had the good fortune to encounter Pausch and his work somewhat earlier. When I was getting ready to enter grad school ~5 years back, I found an online version (slides + notes) of his “Time Management talk,” which he reprised for a large UVa (and Internet) audience earlier this year.

    His stuff was such gold when I encountered it five years ago that I took a second then to send him a short e-mail thanking him for posting it. He answered promptly, and even from our brief e-mail exchange I got the same impression of him (level-headed, good-humored, super-smart) that we got to see so much of in the past year.

    He was a good egg and a great example.

  2. Thanks Tim

    Randy is fortuante in many ways, although I think it’s sad. He was lucky enough to know when his end date was, and was able to share his wisdom with others.

    He got to prepare and he did so by sharing. He gets to be remembered

    How will we be remembered? I wonder how I’ll be remembered.

  3. I read this blog and never comment. To Jesse’s comment, I think we can ALL be Randy Pausch. It requires being clear about our dreams, feeling entitled to achieve them, being humbled and appreciative about what happens in life, and the commitment to help others around us acheive their dreams. Jeremiah, thanks again for keeping it real. -Promise

  4. It truly is a remarkable video and motivational lessons in life for all. Many can learn that keeping it real and honest and speaking from the heart makes for huge engagement.

    There is actually an extremely moving Diane Sawyer interview with Randy on YouTube last week (All 5 YouTube segments are there under the search: “Randy Pausch (the last lecture)”) which has more about the family and was filmed over time. Coincidentally it is on ABC tonight.

    As always, thanks for sharing.

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