An oldie but a goodie: Randy Pausch’s last lecture

Randy Pausch has gotten about 9 million views on his YouTube “Last Lecture” so there’s a decent chance you’ve already seen this — but in case you haven’t, or it’s been a while since you last watched it, I’m asking you to set aside the hour to do it.

C’mon, you watch some TV shows that waste an hour of  your life but aren’t this meaningful.

ABC News wrote a story about Randy Pausch’s legacy that started like this:

Randy Pausch, ‘Last Lecture’ Professor Dies

Randy Pausch, the charismatic young college professor who chronicled his battle with pancreatic cancer in a remarkable speech widely-known as the “Last Lecture,” has died at the age of 47. He was at home, surrounded by his wife, Jai, and his three children.

… Pausch’s lecture and subsequent interview was one of the most powerful accounts of hope, grace and optimistism ABC News has ever featured, and drew a worldwide response.

… It all began with one, age-old question: What would you say if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you?

That question had been posed to the annual speaker of a lecture series at Carnegie Mellon University, where Pausch was a computer sciences professor. For Pausch, though, the question wasn’t hypothetical.

Pausch, a father of three small children with his wife Jai, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — and given six months to live.

I’ve written a lot about transforming your career but Randy’s lecture is about transforming your life. We’ve all heard variations on the theme: what would you do differently if you knew you were dying? Randy speaks to it in an accessible, compelling way.

And here’s the dirty little truth: we’re all dying. Besides birth, it’s the single experience we all have in common. It might be tomorrow or it might be 50 years from now but you can say with absolute certainty that one day, you will die. So will I.

What would you like to do differently before you die?

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