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20 September 2007

Be thankful for brick walls.

Oh, man.

Many colleges and universities are sponsoring what they are calling "Last Lectures," inviting speakers to deliver what they would if they knew it was their last lecture. For one professor, the "last" part of "last lecture" is very real.

Jill Fallon has posted a must-see story and video, the "Last Lecture" of Randy Pausch, a 46-year-old Carnegie Mellon professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer, who has only weeks or months to live, who will leave his wife and three very young children behind. Among his lessons for us?

"Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things."

"Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you." Sometimes, he said, "it might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting."

After showing photos of his childhood bedroom, decorated with mathematical notations he'd drawn on the walls, he said: "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it." Don't worry about resale values, he said.

This is for my kids, he said at the end of his lecture. His wife and children, he said, "mean everything to me. They give a purpose to life and a depth of joy that no job [and I've had some of the most awesome jobs in the world] can begin to provide. I hope my wife is able to remarry down the line. And I hope they will remember me as a man who loved them, and did everything he could for them."

His lecture - and his way of dying - is really what 37days is all about. At some point in our lives, each one of us will only have 37 days to live.

[Thanks, Jill, for pointing me to this.]


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If this was your last lecture, what would you say? Watch this inspiring lecture by Randy Pausch, a 46-year-old Carnegie Mellon professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer, who has only weeks or months to live. Thank you to the... [Read More]


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Reminds me of an experience I had online, where a woman, whose dog had just died, wrote to me and requested that I let my dog on the couch, in remembrance of her dog.

He now lives there, permanently. Thinks he owns it, actually.

I love the idea of maths equations all over the wall. That's art, that is.

Again with the making me cry! My prayers are with his family.

That's an awful lot of lemonade he's making... He's had too many lemons.

But he's one of the best examples of "Yes" I've seen in a long time!

"It is not about how to achieve your dreams,
is about how you live your life. If you live the right way,
the Karma will take care of itself,
the dreams will come to you."

His last saying in this recording. How inspiring words to say. Thanks for sharing this . It touched me , specially tonight when I read the posting while I was writing an article for my upcoming next exhibition title:
Vida" .
I am doing this exhibition in support of the Cancer Foundation in Barcelona. My message : Live Life.

Ok, so this time I was taking Sudafed and I hadn't blinked for several hours...the tears were very helpful. Thanks!!!

This was so moving...I've forwarded it to several people.

I had just finished writing a sort of whiny post on my blog, and then I read this.
It certainly made me look at my life in a different way.

I'm amazed and inspired by the courage and message of people like this.

Thank you for sharing.

I'm going to go home and give my kids paintbrushes.

Thanks for sharing Dr. Pausch's story, Patti! My mom passed away from pancreatic cancer, so this one is exceptionally meaningful.

Wishes of strength and courage to him and his family.

ok --once again all I can say is thank you for pointing me toward this! ;-)

"At some point in our lives, each one of us will only have 37 days to live."

But not all us will know it.

I truly love your blog. Thanks again for sharing something so inspiring and making us take notes of our lives -- we should all live like we only have 37 days left -- love, forgive, laugh, rejoice...

Some lessons from Randy Pausch’s last lecture that especially moved me:

1. Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.
2. Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
3. Never lose the child-like wonder.
4. If we do something which is pioneering, we will get arrows in the back. But at the end of the day, a whole lot of people will have a whole lot of fun.
5. Be good at something; it makes you valuable.
6. If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, and the dreams will come to you.

Check out the tribute quiz on the lecture at : you can add your own questions at the end of the quiz.

Again I have listened to Prof. Pausch and can't help but love his positive attitude and charisma. But I keep listening to hear him tell his children how they can prepare to go to the Beautiful place called Heaven . The Bible says of Jesus: "I Am the Way, The Truth, The Life--no man comes to the Father but by me." None of our good works will buy us a place--Jesus did that when He sacrificed His Life for us on Calvary. Now it is up to us to repent and accept His gift of Eternal Life. I have been diagnosed with metistatic cancer myself, and only the Blessed Hope through Christ gives me Peace and Joy as I wait to see what lies ahead. You and your family are in me prayers. In Christian Love, Kay

A truly touching video. He is an inspiration to us all.

Hi Patti,

I came across your blog while surfing for more info on Randy Pausch after I came across his Last Lecture clip. I was so incredibly moved by what he had to say and I wanted to know more about him, esp. since I'm a survivor of Hodgkins lymphoma and did not, as the saying goes, waste my cancer. I learned a lot of lessons I would have preferred not to learn, but on the other side of the battle, I emerged more compassionate, fearless, and accepting of life on life's terms. At least for a while.

If you're not vigilant you can slip back into the dark forest of fear, loneliness, self-pity, pessimism, and despair. I came across Randy Pausch today, the same day I happened to write an email to a friend who sent me some unexpected and comforting words. I was reminded of psychotherapist Viktor Frankl who said man could find meaning in life by creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; by the attitude he takes toward unavoidable suffering.

It was his experience (he was a concentration camp survivor) that man always has the ability to choose; no matter the biological, or environmental forces. He believed that optimism in the face of tragedy allowed one to turn suffering into human achievement, use guilt to change oneself for the better, and use life's transitoriness as incentive to take responsible action. These seem to dovetail beautifully with what Randy Pausch is doing with his Last Lecture presentation. And I needed to find all of it--including your blog--to be reminded that we have a responsibility to use our gifts and talents in order to help others and to find satisfaction and contentment in our own lives.

I love your blog. I love the message you're broadcasting to the world. The world is in desperate need or more healers and less whiners, myself included. So there, I just stepped over the line. I'm now part of the solution instead of the problem.

Thanks for helping me to get to the other side. It can be a haul sometimes, even though all I have to move is half an inch.

All the best,

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