Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch died today

Randy Pausch died today. That name might not mean anything to you... but I first heard his "Last Lecture" late last year through some of my connections at Toastmasters.

This guy found out that he had terminal cancer. When he received his diagnosis, he was given 3-6 months to live. Within a month, he gave a lecture that became known as "The Last Lecture" and took on a life of its own on YouTube.

You might expect that someone who has just been through the horrorof receiving a death sentence would be depressed and somber. You might expect them to be gloomy and pessimistic. And most folks probably would react that way. I think it's human nature for us to focus on the negatives and get "stuck" there. We dwell on thepast, worry about how things will play out in the future, and just generally focus on the wrong things.

Randy Pausch was different. Aside from just plain being an EXCELLENT speaker, the lecture itself is truly amazing. Rather than focusing on the negative, he talks about how to truly acheive your childhood dreams. He doesn't talk about how unfair life is. He doesn't focus on his negative diagnosis. He's not living in dread of the next thing that his cancer is going to take from him. He talks about how he reached some his goals, how he DIDN'T reach some of his goals, and what he learned along the way.

The lecture is posted in its entirety here:

It's an hour and 15 minutes... but definitely worth watching.

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