Last year I saw a video of Randy Pausch‘s Last Lecture. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve embedded it in this post. If you don’t know who Randy Pausch is he’s a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University who is dying of pancreatic cancer. He has a wife and three young children. He gave his last “Last Lecture,” titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007. Since then, millions of people have watched the video online and he even repeated the lecture on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Since seeing a video of the lecture I have thought about Randy and how he and his young family are doing and have often thought about the message of his lecture. On our trip to Cape Cod Jessica was reading his book. I thought it was just a repeat of the lecture but she told me it had a lot of back story and other advice and reflection that wasn’t in the lecture.
When we returned from the trip I picked up the book on a shopping trip to Target and on the day after my bike was stolen I started reading it to gain some perspective. I think it helped. I missed my bike, but the book helped me realize it’s just an object. No one was hurt, no one died, it could be replaced. The Last Lecture, the book, is written in short chapters and was consumed fast. You could pick it up and read it in a couple days. I did and you should too.
Here’s the video of the actual Last Lecture.