Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

by Jeff Turner on September 22, 2007

All over the country, universities put on what is called “The Last Lecture Series.”

It’s a unique program. Faculty members are invited to give a hypothetical final lecture, as if it were the last lecture they were ever going to be able to give before they die. They get to choose the content and it gives them and the audience a chance to hear what they feel is the most important thing they could share before they left.

Randy Pausch - Carnigie Mellon UniversityThis past week, 47-year-old Carnigie Mellon University professor, Rancy Pausch was invited to give one of these last lectures. Only in this case, it wasn’t hypothetical. He has only a few months left to live.

His topic: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. (Or enabling The Dreams Of Others)

I heard about the presentation yesterday morning while driving in traffic on the way to Marina Del Rey. Excerpts of the presentation were presented in audio form and I could not resist finding a video of the presentation to watch in full. It’s brilliant. It’s motivational. It’s inspirational. Randy Pausch is one of the creators of Alice, a 3D authoring system that teaches children how to program while having fun creating animations. “The best way to teach someone something is to make them think they’re learning something else,” he says.

He starts off the presentation describing what he was NOT going to talk about: Cancer, things more important than childhood dreams, like his wife and children, and spirituality & religion. However, he did say he had a recent deathbed conversion…. “I just bought a Macintosh.” 🙂

Some of his advice:

  • Decide whether you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.
  • Never Lose The Child-Like Wonder
  • Help Others
  • Loyalty Is A Two Way Street
  • Never Give Up

This is NOT a short lecture. The speech itself is an hour and fifteen minutes long. In my opinion, it was 75 minutes very well spent. Gather your teenagers around the computer and make them watch it. It’s some of the best “television” they’re ever going to see. And a lesson in how to approach life.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

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