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Beating the grim reaper

I am in awe of Randy Pausch. Time is of the essence for this man, and his family, as he fights terminal pancreatic cancer; yet he is not wallowing in self pity. He is using whatever time he has left to leave a legacy that goes way beyond his professional achievements. This is a story of a man with dreams and a man who has managed to live his dreams. He has no regrets.

His Last Lecture was inspiring. I sat staring at my computer screen laughing, crying and generally overwhelmed by what I was seeing and hearing.

“Oh why didn’t I have teachers like this?” I wondered. I had no-one that believed in me or even showed the slightest inkling that there was any kind of passion flowing through their beings. Dry and boring are two words that automatically spring to mind when I reflect back on my formal learning experiences.

The book that followed this lecture is a special kind of read. It was written in conjunction with a writer, Jeff Zaslow, while Randy exercised on his bike for an hour each day so that the writing of it didn’t impinge on Randy’s time with his family. This little book is packed with stories and lessons of a life lived to the full.

Each day I check Randy’s update page where he posts how he is getting on.

On 18 May Randy reported that he and his wife Jai had been flown to Pittsburgh to attend graduation at the university where he had been teaching most recently – Carnegie Mellon. He was given the honour of giving the charge to the graduates at the end of the ceremony. As we have become used to, his message was short and to the point.

We don’t beat the reaper by living longer.
We beat the reaper by living well, and living fully;
for the reaper will come for all of us.
The question is what do we do between the time we are born and the time he shows up;
’cause when he shows up it’s too late to do all the things that you’re always gonna kind of get around to.

Randy’s advice on living well is:

  1. It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed, it is the things we do not.
  2. Find your passion and follow it. You will not find it in things or money. Passion must come from things that fuel you from the inside.
  3. It is the relationships you have with people, and what they think of you, that will matter most when your time comes.

His final words were:

I hope you can all find passion and love in your life.

Are you living a life filled with passion and love? This is something worth striving for.

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One Response to “Beating the grim reaper”

  1. […] have written about Randy Pausch a few times in my blog. I feel as though he is a personal acquaintance yet I have never met this man and […]

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