The Last Lecture

The Last LectureAs the saying goes, “When you die you want to die empty”…which means that you would have lived a full life. THE LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zazlow does just that. How do you begin to say goodbye when you have so much to do and so little time? You begin to filter through the clutter and focus on what really matters to you. So when you are diagnosed with a terminal disease, such as he was with Pancreatic Cancer, importance and priority take on a whole new meaning.

“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” or “the last lecture” was the gift Randy Pausch chose to give his family (immediate and those at Carnegie Mellon) as a loving keepsake reminding them of how much they nurtured, challenged, inspired and motivated him to accomplish and experience his deepest dreams/desires. The author takes you on a journey back to where the seeds of his ambitions were planted up to the point where he gave his “last lecture.”  Randy Pausch reflected on how he defined himself as a husband, father, son, brother, friend, and colleague, as well as how he would like to be remembered.


  • “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.”
  • “When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you… You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.”

Dreams for My Children” is the last chapter of the book and a fitting final tribute to the children he will never see reach adulthood. Randy Pausch reminds us that we are important, that our lives matter and that we are not accidents. If you look back on your life you will find that you have made a difference, an extraordinary difference in someone’s life. The Last Lecture  is not about death, it’s about life, it’s not about preparation, but about celebration. The only difference between Mr. Pausch, you or I, is that he had a timetable to work with, but tomorrow is not promised to anyone. As Carl Bard said, “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

Click play to view the video of his Last Lecture entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

Let’s BOND over BOOKS  rates The Last Lecture as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs)…just the right mixture of content and pages.

Permission was granted from Hyperion.

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