"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don't seem as depressed as I should be, sorry to disappoint you. I assure you I am not in denial. It's not like I'm not aware of what's going on..."
Dr. Randy Pausch, when diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, decided to celebrate life with us rather than focus on his own death.
Professor Pausch, who died last Friday, will live on in our hearts and minds. His uplifting words and his attitude toward life and death have inspired the millions who watched his "Last Lecture, Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams."
At 47 years old, he left this life too soon, but he left us with a lot to think about.
"Find the best in everybody. You might have to wait a long time, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting, it will come out. And be prepared. Luck is truly where preparation meets opportunity."
"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."
And my personal favorite, "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it."
The simplicity of his words and the intensity with which he delivered them resonate with people from all walks of life.
We are all dying. Some of us know that the end is near. Most of us don't. I'm not sure which is the better option, but Randy Pausch leaves us with the understanding that it is not how much time we have, but what we do with that precious time.
What would you do if you knew you only had six months to live? What are the most important things in your life? Don't answer too quickly. But do think about it...we are all dying. No matter what our circumstances, every day is another opportunity to live.
Thank you, Dr. Pausch, for giving us the opportunity to share in your world. Your words live on; your spirit is alive. We are better off for having known you.
The Book: "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
The Video: "The Last Lecture"
Published On: July 28, 2008