A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” They are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave — “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” — wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment. It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
Nearly overnight the YouTube video of Randy’s last lecture went viral. With more than 14,000,000 views, this inspirational professor continues to inspire and teach long after he has parted this life. With humor and optimism, this collection of stories and anecdotes uplifts everyone who reads it.
Rated: Mild for language. No violence or sexuality.