Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Thursday, October 4, 2007 6:12 PM
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[via Jeff Sandquist]

Now for something a little different…

When I usually see a blog post that says “watch this 90 minute video”, I go right past it. Who's got time for a 90 minute random video? But this time it was Jeff Sandquist saying it… so I read his whole post and it got my attention. So I fire up this video and listen to it while I'm getting some other stuff done and after 15 minutes I realize I keep jumping back to the video to do a “what did he just say?” so sat back and watched the whole thing. Two words sum this up: inspiring & touching. So what is it?

Carnegie Mellon University, like many other universities, has a “Last Lecture Series” where the theme is “if this is the last lecture you'd ever give, what would you do?” Unfortunately, for Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University CS professor, the title of the series is a little too true as he's fighting a battle with pancreatic cancer and expects to live only a few more months. His talk was about achieving your childhood dreams and it's just plain damn moving.

Jeff says it best: If you watch one piece of media this year, please make it this one. There's also a Wall Street Journal article on the speech, but don't read it… it spoils some of the points he made.

» Randy Pausch - Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (Sept 18, 2007)

Watch the whole thing… right to the end. I've already listened it it a second time. Thanks Jeff… thank you for blogging this.

It reminds me of another speech I'll never forget and reread every once in a while by Jim Valvano in 1993 at the ESPY awards when he accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage & Humanitarian Award. Jim was in a similar position, dying of cancer. At the time I was only 17 and didn't know who Jimmy V was, but I was watching the ESPY's and his speech just stuck with me. If you're a sports fan, you've heard parts of it. Jimmy V saying “don't give up, don't ever give up”… ESPN plays it every year on the ESPY's.

» Jim Valvano - Arthur Ashe Courage & Humanitarian Award acceptance speech (March 4, 1993)

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