His passing brings sadness but it was not unexpected. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago. A well-known professor at Carnegie-Mellon University, he became renowned for his developmental work in the world of computer graphics. Pausch did not resign from his life after learning his fate. His predicament inspired him to write and present a last lecture encouraging others to achieve their childhood dreams. Randy lived to see his.
Pausch preached a mantra focusing on the importance of family, mentoring and creating a thoughtful legacy for oneself. In his words: "We can not change the cards we a dealt, only the way we play our hand." At face value, his talk pivoted on what many of us consider common sense peppered with his undying joie de vivre. His Last Lecture gained its popularity from the way it was delivered, not necessarily due to its novel content.
The Last Lecture was recorded for posterity as Randy's goodbye to the world. He simply wanted to create a vehicle to be remembered by for his family, friends and associates. The nearly two hour recording was posted on You Tube and became a phenomenon. His edgy assertive style and die-hard positive attitude quickly gained fame by word-of-mouth and media spin.
For a few months, Randy seemed blessed. His medical condition improved. He was invited to reprise his lecture across the country. The lecture was transcribed into a best-seller book. Now his flame has gone out but his love of life lives on.
We would all be blessed if our work, thoughts and beliefs were so universally received as Randy's. He was granted his last wish. If you are looking for new drive and direction in your life, The Last Lecture is a good place to find it. Spend two hours reading Randy's thoughts or watch him in action. You will be glad you did and that is exactly what he had in mind.