Optimism (Michael J. Fox)
If I only had three words of advice, they would be, Tell the Truth. If got three more words, I'd add, all the time.”
When forty five year old Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer he chose to focus on living rather than dying. As a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy was asked to deliver a ‘last lecture’—a well-known tradition on campus that allowed for professors to take a break from academia and share worldly wisdom with students as if, hypothetically, they were dying and had one last lecture left to give. The only difference in Randy’s case is that Randy really was dying, a fact that only motivated him more. He agreed to deliver his last lecture, ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’ on September 18, 2007 to a packed McConomy Auditorium.
Randy began by sharing several of his boyhood dreams—some which he had achieved and others he hadn’t. He describes the importance of having dreams and how you can still learn a lot by trying for your dreams even if you don’t always succeed. He shares the values he has learned through his experiences that he hopes to pass on to others: integrity, honesty, character, hard work, laughter and gratitude.
Randy’s last lecture received so much praise and attention that he agreed to turn it into a book by the same name. It quickly became a best seller, outlining Randy’s lifelong philosophy and revealing the ultimate source of his motivation—his three young children.
Randy Pausch passed away July 25, 2008, but he continues to motivate us all, encouraging us to never give up on our childhood dreams.