Real inspiration by Dr Randy Pausch— The Last Lecture

What if you know you will be dead in three to six-month span? Have you ever had the courage to think what will happen after your death? But Dr Randy Pausch did courage to inspire and teach the world to cherish every moment of life when he came to know he will die soon. Dr Randy Psauch in his last lecture of “Achieving your childhood dreams” inspired not only 400 seated people in an auditorium but also inspired millions of people out there watching the video on the internet.

Image source: Wikipedia

Dr. Randy Pausch

Randolph Frederick Pausch was an American computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University(CMU) in  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He born on 23rd October 1960 in Baltimore and graduated with a degree from Brown University in Rhode Island, 1982. He chose Computer Science field and continued education in it. He obtained the doctorate in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh in 1988.

He got diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in September 2006, which was big bad news but he never loosed hope. He underwent a major surgery Pancreaticodectomy with an unsuccessful attempt to halt the disease. In August 2007, doctors told Randy has left only three to six months of good health. In October PET scan and CT revealed cancer metastases to the liver and spleen with 10 tumours in the liver. With a limited time span, he wants to inspire many people and bring something good to the nation with better plans.

With his enthusiasm for computer science linked to entertainment tantalized him to produce a software named, ‘Alice— The Infinitely Scalable Dream factory‘ which is very helpful to the children to make movies and games and learn basic computer programming while having fun.

The Last Lecture — Really Achieving Childhood Dreams

Dr. Randy Pausch delivered his Last Lecture exactly 11 years ago on this date i.e. 18th Sept 2007 led by Randolph Frederick Pausch with a title; “Really achieving childhood Dreams” a humorous and heartfelt talk in front of his students and colleagues that has videotaped and spread unexpectedly throughout the internet. Pausch earned his worldwide fame for his most inspirational “Last Lecture”. The lecture created a sensation — more than six million hits on web videos. You can view this lecture on Youtube by clicking on The Last Lecture.

Dr.Randy Pausch The last lecture
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After the lecture, Pausch was shocked and flattered after seeing the attention to his Last Lecture.
On 22nd October 2007, Pausch appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he briefed about his “The Last Lecture” and discussed his life’s situation. Everyone who attended the lecture and show said this. It was an amazing reminder of how each one should live their lives.

Pausch also gave his appearance on May 2008 in television show Good Morning America and gave light on how to live life.

With his excellent skill of time management, he delivered one more lecture about “Time Management” on 27th November 2007 at the University of Virginia, to an audience over of 850 people. This video can be watched here Time Management by Dr. Randy Pausch.

Dr. Gabriel Robins friend and colleague of Dr. Pausch said that “Randy was a force of nature”. Robin recalls Pausch was the person who enjoys every moment of life. He excelled not only in his field of Computer science but also in humanity. “He had a very visceral, fundamental resonance to the core of humanity. It’s not an accident that people flocked to him; people of all ages, cultures, and religions. I thought of him as a genius of many things – not just science and research, but branding, marketing, selling, convincing, leading and showing by examples.”

“He has raised the level of fun in education to a new dimension,” Robins said. “Randy Pausch’s impact will continue to touch many people for years to come.”

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CMU President Jared Cohon spoke with candour, Pausch’s contribution to the university in terms of education and humanity was remarkable and stunning. He then announced that CMU will celebrate Pausch’s impact on the world by building and naming after Pausch’s raised pedestrian bridge.

Pausch spent the final few months of his life in areas like influencing, entertainment which is far beyond his specialty. In his last lecture, he showed gratitude towards whoever helped him along the way: professors, colleagues, a football coach and especially his own parents.

Pausch along with Don Marinelli, professor of drama and arts management became co-founder of Entertainment Technology Centre(EMU) in 1998 and also Pausch commenced building Virtual world’s creation.

Pausch died at the age of 47, which means just started living his life. He died on 25 July 2008 because of complications of Cancer.

Other Recognitions

After his worldwide famous lecture at CMU, Disney owner Hyperion paid $6.7 million for the rights to publish a book about Pausch’s lecture. Book with a name of “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch and co-authored by Jeff Zaslow. That book was a New York Times bestseller book.

To add a cherry to the cake, J. J Abrams director of Star Trek movie became a fan and truly inspired by “The Last Lecture” and invited Pausch for an insightful role in that movie. Pausch also accepted that invitation and ran to Los Angeles California to shoot his scene.

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Pausch said, “If you lead your life the right way, the Karma will take care of itself.”

“The dreams will come to you.”

” Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls aren’t there to keep us out. The brick wall is there to show us how badly we want things.”

“Be good at something: it makes you valuable.”

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”

After being famous, ABC news declared Pausch as one of it’s three  “Person of the year” for 2007. TIME magazine named Pausch in its list under 100 influential people in the world.


Life will be challenging always but the important is to accept that challenge and look optimistically. Like Randy Pausch lived his life only for 47 years but he remained alive for centuries because of his inimitable way of living life.

I hope this inspires you and gave you a mindset to live life optimistically. I would love to hear your experience after watching Randy Pausch’s videos in the comment section below.



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