You may have heard of “The Last Lecture.” It is the last lecture given by professors at Universities. It is a time when professors expound on their life experiences and what matters the most to them. It is the classic “If you only had one day left to live, what would you share?”
Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He gave his “last lecture” in 2007. His lecture has been posted on YouTube, an article on Mr. Pausch recently ran in Parade Magazine, and he and his wife were interviewed by Diane Sawyer.
Randy Pausch has pancreatic cancer. The first diagnosis came in the summer of 2006. In August 2007, Mr. Pausch learned that the cancer had metastisized to his liver. Randy Pausch gave his Last Lecture in September, 2007.
In his lecture and in his recently released book, Mr. Pausch recommends the following for a life well-lived:
- To always have fun
- To dream big
- To ask for what you want
- To dare to take a risk
- To look for the best in everybody
- To make time for what matters
After watching the video and reading the article in Parade, I realized is that what Mr. Pausch is promoting is to live in the present moment. At one time I thought that was so cliche; to live in the present moment; to live life to the fullest. I believed that only meant doing daring things, like sky diving and bungee jumping and swimming with sharks. But it doesn’t.
To live life to the fullest, to be in the present moment means to live simply and clearly; to sit with the sun on your face, to hear the birds chirping, to watch a flower bloom, to give someone a hug. To remember your childhood dreams and to follow new ones. And yes, that may include sky diving.
In fact, this week, Mr. Pausch’s inspiring words motivated me to do something I probably would not have done a year ago or even two years ago; perhaps maybe never.
If you haven’t read Mr. Pausch’s words, you can read the article in Parade magazine and view his lecture here.
You’ll find his book on Amazon here.
Here is to following your dreams, to living life to the fullest, to being present, and winning stuffed animals. Have a wonderful weekend.