Randy Pausch passed away today . He’s the 47 yr old college professor who delivered a last lecture titled ‘Really achieving your childhood dreams’ at Carnegie Mellon when he discovered that he had pancreatic cancer with a terminal prognosis. He delivered the lecture in response to what was a hypothetical question “What wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?” Unfortunately for Randy, he knew the question was not hypothetical for him.
Randy has said in many interviews, and in the lecture itself, that he wrote it for his three young children who are 2, 4 and 6. If there’s one thing you get from listening to Randy speak it’s the understanding that we need to remember what’s really important in our lives. We can get tied up in the problems surrounding us and the busy pace of our lives and we need to make sure we make the time for the people who matter. Just last week my son wanted me to accompany him on an excursion with his school. I said I couldn’t because I was too busy at work. He was disappointed. Today I’m thinking that I should have taken a day off and shared that experience with my 9 yr old son. I can’t get that time back now. Is my workplace going to fall apart if I’m not there for a day? No, it’s not.