The Last Lecture . . . an inspiration for living

Thanks to my friend Pat in Las Vegas for passing this inspirational story along to me. Randy Pausch is a 46 year old time management expert with only months to live. He will leave behind a wife and three children aged 5, 2, and 1 year. In September 2007 he stood in front of an audience of 400 students and  delivered his last lecture at the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Here is how be begins:

“There’s an academic tradition called the ‘Last Lecture.’ Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die and you had one last lecture, what would you say to your students?” Randy says. “Well, for me, there’s an elephant in the room. And the elephant in the room, for me, it wasn’t hypothetical.”

The elephant in the room he refers to is death. He knows he is dying of pancreatic cancer. In October 2007 he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Since I rarely watch Oprah, I missed it then, perhaps you did also. The approximately 10 minute video below is the reprisal of the original “last lecture” he gave his students that he repeated for the Oprah audience. At the end he points out that he didn’t write the lecture for his students.

He wrote it for his three children, so that they can watch it when they’re older. What a legacy to leave for your children. It’s a very inspiring message for all of us about how we can better live our lives. If you have the time, I think you’ll think about your life a little differently after you view it in its entirity. 

posted by joeandrews0827 at

2 thoughts on “The Last Lecture . . . an inspiration for living

  1. I saw this man on Oprah a while back. What an inspiration and his words are so important! I’m glad you posted this so I could be reminded.

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