Time Is Short: Live Hard! (Or: “Have You Lived Your Dreams Yet?”)

Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture

I chanced upon this book at Kinokuniya two months ago. It’s called The Last Lecture, and it’s literally the last lecture by a college professor named Randy Pausch.

The title of the lecture was “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. He gave it on 18 September, 2007.

Thing is, Randy Pausch was dying of terminal pancreatic cancer when he stood before that audience at Carnegie Mellon University, showing them images of his CT scans, and telling them he only had a few months to live.

But he didn’t talk about cancer in his lecture. Instead, he talked about his childhood dreams (among them, experiencing zero gravity, becoming Captain Kirk, and working as a Disney imagineer), and how he lived (or did not quite) each one.

The closing words of his book will haunt me forever. Pausch died on 25 July, 2008 at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and three young children. Plus hundreds of thousands of fans of his book (probably thanks to Oprah, who had him on her show).

I thought I’d share this YouTube video with you. It makes me tell myself: “Life is short – live each day as if it’s my last. Make every minute count. How am I living my purpose today? Have I fulfilled my childhood dreams?”

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)