Randy Pausch's lecture is already a certified phenomenon, but came to my attention recently (again) when glancing at the top-selling books of last year - this was #2 on Amazon.com, which is pretty inspiring in and of itself. If you didn't know, the best-selling book is basically a hard-copy version of his widely-popular lecture he gave in late 2007 at Carnegie Mellon.
If you haven't seen it, it's an hour well spent. It would be a disservice NOT to include it on this blog at some point. Here is the lowdown:
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors 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?And here is the "Last Lecture" in full. Enjoy:
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 (because “time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”