The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
You cannot change the cards you are dealt, just how you play the hand.
Dr. Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture (1960 - 2008)
The year has been a challenge for many. Struggling to stay on top financially. Keeping old revenue streams flowing. Generating new ideas when the legacy streams begin to slow. But still waters do run deep, and each one of us is more resilient, creative and able than we ever give ourselves credit. It is remembering this about ourselves that is the hard part.
Recently I came across a book called The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. For those of you not familiar with him, Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and was asked by the faculty to give his “last lecture.”
In terms of the university’s tradition, the last lecture was a hypothetical lecture given by a professor as if they had only one last opportunity to pass along their key teachings. In the case of Pausch, a 46-year-old father of three who had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, this truly would be his last opportunity to pass along his most important lessons.
While he ultimately reveals he gave this lecture for no one other than his young children, Pausch’s last lecture is one we should all listen to and pull from, particularly when we are faced with difficulties. Here is just a bit of Pausch’s wisdom as it serves as evidence of our humanity, resilience and strength:
• “Be good at something; it makes you valuable.”
• “It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.”
• “Brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop people who don’t want it badly enough.”
Vew Dr. Randy Pausch’s last lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” in its entirety—you should, it’s worth it.