“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” –Randy Pausch
For my October Book of the Month selection, I thought I would choose a short book. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a book that has wisdom that is timeless. It was a national bestseller in 2008 and as many of you may have read it, I think it is worth picking up and reading again. Randy understood that three of the most important things in life are family, focusing on really living and leaving a legacy of having lived a life that mattered and continues to matter from the impact that you have in this world. I really try to focus on these three things in my life.
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, 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.
The Last lecture by Randy Pausch can be purchased here.
Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carengie Mellon University. During his lifetime he achieved many of his childhood dreams, one of which was to be a Walt Disney Imagineer. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer after which he gave his now famous “Last Lecture” that has now been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube. Randy died on July 25, 2008 at the age of 47.