The Carnegie Mellon University has a tradition of having its professors to give a talk titled “The Last Lecture”. The talk was basically for the professor to imagine that should it be their last lecture, what would they want to say to the audience and what legacy they want to leave behind. When it came to Randy Pausch’s turn, a computer science professor, he didn’t have to imagine giving a last lecture. He was actually giving his last lecture. He was diagnosed with a terminal cancer, and the doctor estimated him to have 3 to 6 months left to live.
But the lecture he gave – “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” – wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because as he said it, “…time is all you have, and you may find one day that you have less than you think“). This is a talk that, despite being delivered by a person who is dying, is all about living.
Enjoy the talk below, as much as I’ve enjoyed it.