YouTube stars rarely have any staying power. Here today, gone tomorrow most of the stunts and embarrassing moments pass by like weekly fashion statements.

“The Last Lecture” is an exception to the rule and this video and introduction to this unique author may stay with me for the rest of my life.

Randy Pausch first came to my attention via You Tube but he’s dieing from pancreatic cancer.

He’s 47… with a wife and two young children. He has a successful career and suffering from a disease which has only a 4% survival rate. My own friend Teddy Francisco passed away from this malady a few years ago.

A computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pausch delivers what he calls his “last lecture” with a stirring breath of intellect, humility and sensitivity that deserves admiration. What he leaves his friends and family is a wonderful testament to a life well–lived too – another lesson for us all.


If you haven’t seen the video, it’s an hour long – but well worth the time. The audio book and printed copies expand on the story that Pausch call’s “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

One of the most elegant and inspiring stories of the year, Randy looks back on a life of curiosity with all things human. He weaves together key moments in his life and navigates through a fateful destiny that brings him to the point of this lecture and goodbye to family and friends – amplified by the media.

There are plenty of great stories in this book too including one that my best friend Tracy Strickler spoke of again this past week.

We had been discussing the stories from this book including the “hundred-thousand dollar salt shaker” and on a wave of coincidence, she heard the same tale from an optometrist consultant who visited Dr. Cham’s office in Colonial Heights. A true example of what this book means to people who catch the drift.

Other favorite moments include his fascination with idol Captain Kirk on Star Trek.

Pausch describes how cool he thought Shatner was in his role, but agreed he wasn’t the smartest man on the ship. He trusted Spock for the brains, Scottie to engineering and “Bones” to medicine. What made him cool was the fact he was a cosmic romeo who knew how to use the talent of others. This made an impact on him later in life when he met Shatner at a virtual reality demonstration – as one of his many dreams manifest itself.

I’ve never heard the phrase, “dutch uncle,’ but believe we need more of them around and I had to smile in the beginning of his lecture when he admitted a death bed conversion. – “I just bought a Macintosh.”

There are many moments to make you smile and make you think, but everything’s not rosy in this families final days. The book also contains plenty of brick-walls and chronicles the pain of letting go and that message is the one I’m just beginning to understand more and more each day.

Looking back, the message from Pausch isn’t simply the an autobiographical eulogy, but rather the discovery of meaning – especially enabling the dreams of others.

Perhaps it is a goal in our youth to find our own dreams, but this expressive message from Randy Pausch brings atttention to a greater goal –  to enable other people’s dreams too. This awareness and practice brings the world a rich message that deserves momentum.

YouTube stars rarely have any staying power. Here today, gone tomorrow most of the stunts and embarrassing moments pass by like weekly fashion statements.

“The Last Lecture” is an exception to the rule and this video and introduction to this unique author may stay with me for the rest of my life.

Randy Pausch first came to my attention via You Tube but he’s dieing from pancreatic cancer.

He’s 47… with a wife and two young children. He has a successful career and suffering from a disease which has only a 4% survival rate. My own friend Teddy Francisco passed away from this malady a few years ago.

A computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pausch delivers what he calls his “last lecture” with a stirring breath of intellect, humility and sensitivity that deserves admiration. What he leaves his friends and family is a wonderful testament to a life well–lived too – another lesson for us all.

If you haven’t seen the video, it’s an hour long – but well worth the time. The audio book and printed copies expand on the story that Pausch call’s “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

One of the most elegant and inspiring stories of the year, Randy looks back on a life of curiosity with all things human. He weaves together key moments in his life and navigates through a fateful destiny that brings him to the point of this lecture and goodbye to family and friends – amplified by the media.

There are plenty of great stories in this book too including one that my best friend Tracy Strickler spoke of again this past week.

We had been discussing the stories from this book including the “hundred-thousand dollar salt shaker” and on a wave of coincidence, she heard the same tale from an optometrist consultant who visited Dr. Cham’s office in Colonial Heights. A true example of what this book means to people who catch the drift.

Other favorite moments include his fascination with idol Captain Kirk on Star Trek.

Pausch describes how cool he thought Shatner was in his role, but agreed he wasn’t the smartest man on the ship. He trusted Spock for the brains, Scottie to engineering and “Bones” to medicine. What made him cool was the fact he was a cosmic romeo who knew how to use the talent of others. This made an impact on him later in life when he met Shatner at a virtual reality demonstration – as one of his many dreams manifest itself.

I’ve never heard the phrase, “dutch uncle,’ but believe we need more of them around and I had to smile in the beginning of his lecture when he admitted a death bed conversion. – “I just bought a Macintosh.”

There are many moments to make you smile and make you think, but everything’s not rosy in this families final days. The book also contains plenty of brick-walls and chronicles the pain of letting go and that message is the one I’m just beginning to understand more and more each day.

Looking back, the message from Pausch isn’t simply the an autobiographical eulogy, but rather the discovery of meaning – especially enabling the dreams of others.

Perhaps it is a goal in our youth to find our own dreams, but this expressive message from Randy Pausch brings atttention to a greater goal – to enable other people’s dreams too. This awareness and practice brings the world a rich message that deserves momentum.