Randy Pausch died today. He became famous on September 18, 2007, when his "last lecture" was webcast and went viral. Later, it became a best-selling book, The Last Lecture.
Pausch's last lecture was called "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." It is a wonderfully inspiring speech and well worth the hour and sixteen minutes it takes to watch it on YouTube.
Pausch says many memorable things in his speech, including this: "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." No, it is not original to him, but the words have serious weight coming from a man with only months to live. The fact is, life often is about what happens when we don't get what we want. How do we respond? How do we learn to channel our energies in new ways? How do we keep our creative edge when life takes an unexpected turn?
Pausch says that he learned a lot from the dreams that he accomplished. However, it is no surprise to hear him say that he learned so much more from the unfulfilled dreams - at least those that he tried to accomplish but for one reason or another could not.
Pausch delivered his lecture to about four hundred people at Carnegie Mellon. But, he says, his real audience was his three children - he wanted them to hear his dreams and to be inspired to create theirs - even when he wouldn't be there to guide them!
In memory of Randy, lets think about our dreams - those that are current and those that seem now like distant memories. It is never too late to move towards your dream. Growing up, I remember my father saying countless times, "He who builds no castles in the air, builds no castles anywhere." Build a castle today. Dream something big - and then go and do it!