The Last Lecture

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Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams is a lecture by Randy Pausch, a professor who was diagnosed with liver cancer. Instead of choosing to withdraw himself from the world, he decided to inspire the world by giving them one last lecture about life’s wisdom.

Randy Pausch was an American Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. In September 2006, he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Instead of taking himself from the world, he chose to leave a legacy behind by using his last days to deliver his famous “Last Lecture”.

Randy Pausch delivered his “Last Lecture”, titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, at Carnegie Mellon Univeristiy on September 18, 2007.

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 then also co-authored a book by the same title “The Last Lecture” after delivering his lecture. The book has many of the nuggets of wisdom that he brought up during his lecture. It became a New York Times Bestseller in the first few weeks of its release, and was translated into 46 languages.

The lecture was mainly about how all of us can achieve the dreams we had as children and also to enable the dreams of others.

Some Wisdom from
The Last Lecture

» You CAN achieve your childhood dreams

The whole point of the lecture for the audience was that you could achieve all the things that you hoped for as a child. And that you should never lose sight of the things that you really loved to do when you were a kid.

If this inspires you right now, why don’t you go take stock and look back at what you really wanted as a child? Go make a list of things that you really want to do in this life!

» You can’t control how life treats you, but you can control how you respond to it

In Randy’s words, we can’t change what cards we’re dealt, but we can choose how we play them. The truth is that, we probably cannot control a lot of things in our life. We can’t control how the weather will be like tomorrow; we can’t control how people will treat us today; we can’t control the traffic; but we can choose how we respond to each of these events.

No matter how bad things seem to be, it’s always our attitude toward them that matter in the end. As a leader, you need to teach your team about the importance of the right attitude as well; you need to react well especially to unfavorable events.

There’s so much more wisdom from Randy that you can find by listening to his whole lecture. So if you have time now, watch it. I’m sure this one hour will be an hour well spent evaluating your own life as well.

If you want to read more about Randy on Wikipedia, you can click here

If you wish to watch the video on YouTube instead, you can click here.

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