What if you found out you were going to die… shortly? What would you do? How would you live your remaining days? Would you crawl under a hole and wait? Would you bungee jump or sail around the world? It’s a deep and introspective question.
Two years ago today, July 25, 2008, at the age of 47, a man that captivated the hearts of millions of people around the world (and mine), lost his battle to pancreatic cancer. Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon professor and alumnus, husband, and father to three beautiful children. What is an academic tradition, to give students a “last lecture,” the notion that: if you knew you were going to die, what would you tell your students… actually became his own last lecture. He called it “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” and he delivered this inspirational speech at Carnegie Mellon University on September 18, 2007 to an immensely captive audience, including Randy’s family, friends, students, and colleagues. When he gave the lecture, he had just been given 3-6 months to live.
And why I would like to honor his life today, on the anniversary of his death, is because Randy Pausch was certainly not sitting on any fences when it came to how he was going to live the remainder of his days. He maximized every waking minute, and made every one count. I don’t want to give too much away. I urge you to watch his lecture, as I did in its entirety almost three years ago, and then I would love your feedback and thoughts below. Randy said that he gave the lecture for only three people in this world (the answer is in the video).