Pausch spoke about "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" living not only your dreams but enabling the dreams of others. This coming from a man who had just found out he was dying so he speaks of "seizing every moment" (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think") he really knew what he was speaking about.
"The Last Lecture" is not a book about dying, it is a book about living. The book is filled with warmth, humor, and was truly inspiring. Another book I really enjoyed reading is Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane, a book of short stories about living in the moment. Both of these books
touched my heart.
About Randy Pausch
Randolph Frederick Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Brown University in 1982 and his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in August 1988. Pausch later became an associate professor at the University of Virginia, before working at Carnegie Mellon as an associate professor.
He gave his "The Last Lecture" speech on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon. Pausch conceived the lecture after he learned that his previously known pancreatic cancer was terminal. The talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk", with a topic such as "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" The talk was later released as a book called The Last Lecture, which became a New York Times best-seller.
Pausch delivered his "Last Lecture", titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, at CMU on September 18, 2007. Randy Pausch gave an abridged version of his speech on the Oprah show in October 2007. The talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk", with a topic such as "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?" Before speaking, Pausch received a long standing ovation from a large crowd of over 400 colleagues and students. When he motioned them to sit down, saying, "Make me earn it," some in the audience shouted back, "You did!"
During the lecture, Pausch was upbeat and humorous, alternating between wisecracks, insights on computer science and engineering education, advice on building multi-disciplinary collaborations, working in groups and interacting with other people, offering inspirational life lessons, and performing push-ups on stage. He also commented on the irony that the "Last Lecture" series had recently been renamed as "Journeys", saying, "I thought, damn, I finally nailed the venue and they renamed it." After Pausch finished his lecture, Steve Seabolt, on behalf of Electronic Arts—which is now collaborating with CMU in the development of Alice 3.0—pledged to honor Pausch by creating a memorial scholarship for women in computer science, in recognition of Pausch's support and mentoring of women in CS and engineering.
CMU president Jared Cohon spoke emotionally of Pausch's humanity and called his contributions to the university and to education "remarkable and stunning". He then announced that CMU will celebrate Pausch's impact on the world by building and naming after Pausch a raised pedestrian bridge to connect CMU's new Computer Science building and the Center for the Arts, symbolizing the way Pausch linked those two disciplines. Brown University professor Andries van Dam followed Pausch's last lecture with a tearful and impassioned speech praising him for his courage and leadership, calling him a role model.