I have been putting off reading “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” by Randy Pausch until now, mainly because I can hardly find any spare time to read.
Professor Pausch, a computer science professor from Carnegie Mellon University, was asked to speak at the lecture series: Journeys to share his reflections and insights on his personal and professional journey at the school on September 18, 2007. This lecture series used to be called the Last Lecture. Ironically, Professor Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the time, with only 2-5 months of good health left. This was indeed his last lecture. Professor Pauch died on July 25, 2008.
Have you ever thought, if you were to die tomorrow, what legacy you want to leave behind for your love ones, what value you want to leave for your kids and what wisdom you would want to impart to the world? To Randy, he gave an inspirational speech "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams". The last lecture he gave extends his legacy as an inspiring professor, providing insights into how he seized every living moment, made the most of his life, overcome his obstacles, achieved his dreams and enabled the dreams of others.
I often complain that there are so many things I want to do, yet so little time. Have I truly sat back and thought for a moment what legacy I would want to leave behind for my kids if I were to die tomorrow? What is most important? What is the priority of life? Do I have dreams not yet achieved or dreams of others that I can enable?
In Professor Pauch’s speech, he provided several inspirational stories. I especially like the stories about the football coach. The football coach showed up for the first practice without any football. When asked where the footballs were, he replied with a countered question “How many people are touching the football at any given time?” I chuckled when I read that story. It is full of wisdom. Learning fundamentals is what matters. Another story was the one practice that he rode Professor Pauch all practice and it was a good thing. Why was it a good thing? As Professor Pauch put it, “Your critics are your love ones telling you that they still love you and care”.
I believe you will learn many lessons from the inspirational stories he told. You can find information about Professor Pausch and his last lecture at http://www.cmu.edu/randyslecture/
Now, I am all inspired. I just need to sit back and do more thinking. I just need to stop making excuses and find more time.