The Last Lecture is a book written by Randy Pausch, who was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The best-selling book, according to the New York Times, appeared in 2007. It was written from a lecture given by Pausch, called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. It is a tradition at many universities, when a professor gives his last lecture. Pausch gave this last lecture though he was only 46. One month before delivering the lecture, he received a prognosis that pancreatic cancer diagnosed a year earlier was incurable. During the lecture, he discusses all he wanted his children to know after he died. Pausch included his childhood stories and all the lessons he wanted his students to learn and the things he wanted them to know about his life.
In his books, Pausch emphasizes the need for paying attention to what is important. He says that time is of immense importance, and people should seize every opportunity. He explains the need to work hard in order to achieve one’s dreams, self-confidence, courage, modesty, perseverance and dealing with adversity. As he grew up, he had the support of his loving parents that enabled him gain the confidence that is much needed in life. Randy Pausch recounts many experiences like football playing that gave him lessons of sportsmanship, teamwork, perseverance, ability to deal with diversity and hard work. After his father’s death, Pausch went through his stuff and came across citations and Bronze Star for his heroic achievement, but he never mentioned them in his lifetime. That day, he talked about modesty and sacrifice.
In one of the chapters, “It’s About How to Live Your Life,” Randy Pausch talks about his illness and its impact on the remaining time of his life. He describes how he tried to live with the condition and gives tips to the readers on how to cope with such life threatening situations. He advises people to allow themselves to dream large and achieve their goals despite the situations they are facing. Pausch says that people a have finite amount of time and energy, which, in most cases, people spend complaining instead of doing things that would help them achieve their dreams.
In his book, Pausch insists on maintaining a positive outlook on life. For example, he took pleasure in riding his convertible with the top down. He loved his wife and children. Pausch explained that overcoming problems depends on how couples cooperate. He also believed that overcoming such problems enables couple to stay together. This approach to life helped him live longer as opposed to many people who die in a matter of months after the initial diagnosis of the pancreatic cancer.
The book The Last Lecture was written based on the last lecture given by a dying professor Randy Pausch. The fact that he was dying helps the readers understand the importance of its title. The author aims to share his dreams with his students. Randy Pausch encourages every person to work hard in order to achieve their goals in life. In addition, he reminds people to enjoy life because there is only one chance to live. Moreover, people should not waste the opportunities that appear in their life.