You may have heard about the death of 47 year old Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor Randy Pausch last week from pancreatic cancer. Pausch was most famous for his "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" speech made last fall just after he learned he had months to live.
With wisdom, good humor and a total absence of self-pity, he ruminated on his life's lessons. Audiences loved it and, within weeks, his "last lecture" became a giant YouTube hit and led to a best-selling book, The Last Lecture. He was interviewed on ABC's Primetime in April and much of that interview was rebroadcast this past Tuesday.
He told the packed auditorium during his speech that he fulfilled almost all his childhood dreams - being in zero gravity, writing an article in the World Book Encyclopedia and working with the Walt Disney Co.
The one that eluded him? Playing in the National Football League.
"If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you," Pausch said.
In the talk, Pausch also talks about the importance of tenacity. "The brick walls are there for a reason," he said. "The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
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