"The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
- Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch was 47 years old when he died from pancreatic cancer. He was, as the Independent of London put it, "the dying man who taught America how to live." His book, The Last Lecture, is an international best-seller and it offers many wonderful lessons about life.
Randy Pausch's "last lecture" was delivered in September 2007, at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught computer science. The lecture began with him standing before a screen beaming down chilling CT images of tumors in his liver, under the title...The Elephant in the Room. He then said to a stunned audience, "I have about 6 months to live." He said, "I'm really in good shape, probably better shape than most of you," ... dropping to the floor to do push-ups.
He went on to say, "I'm dying and I'm having fun, and I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left." He talked about his childhood dreams and what they had taught him about life. He said, "If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself ... your dreams will come to you."
Randy Pausch really was a dying man who has taught America how to live.
He died on July 25, 2008, but his wisdom, his passion, and his attitude are lasting sources of inspiration for all of us.