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“The last lectur” – Randy Pausch Essay

Randy Pausch, a remarkable professor in Carnegie Mellon, delivered his last lecture and book entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in 2007. Because he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he was dying but he tried to leave what he wanted to educate his children in the future. After recalling his memory, he found that all meaningful things in his life were related to his childhood dreams. Thus, he talked about his dreams, family, and lessons from daily life. He also gave advice on how to live. As a dying man, he stayed optimistic. His book was like a record of details in his lecture, and both of them cause huge impact worldwide.


Randy Pausch, a professor in Carnegie Mellon University, had lots of remarkable devotion. Although being diagnosed with cancer, he didn’t stay pessimistic. He planned for the rest of his life rationally and orderly. To make effects on other people and educate his children, he accepted to deliver a speech about his special life experiences. The topic of the last lecture was “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” In the speech, he mentioned about how to fulfill dreams and how to live optimistic.

“Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things,” was a value Randy Pausch highlighted during the speech. Indeed, dreams are always blocked by obstacles. With Randy’s ideal purpose, people would try hard and overcome all obstacles if they have thirst for dreams. However, having thirst is not the only factor for achieving goals because dreams need to be connected with reality. In childhood, people tend to dream big with no limitation because they are too naive to have practical plans.

After growing up gradually, people will assess how many dreams they can fulfill in the future. That is the process of connecting dreams and reality. People need to differentiate which dreams can be put into practice to achieve, and which ones are too hard to fulfill. As for Randy, he realized whether the obstacles could be broken or not, and tried his best to fulfill his dreams.

Randy used his abilities to break the walls blocking his dreams. For example, one of his dreams was being zero gravity. At that time, he received the message that college students could submit a proposal to NASA to join a competition. If winning the championship, students can get the chance of being zero gravity. Then, he faced the first brick wall. The consulter didn’t be allowed to experience zero gravity with students. However, he didn’t give up. After he found NASA allowed students to bring a local media journalist to this activity, he overcame the prohibition by getting a press pass. He achieved this dream because of professional abilities and insistence.

Besides mentioning about fulfilling dreams, Randy also conveyed his value toward unfulfilled dreams and life. As for those dreams he couldn’t fulfill, change was his solution. He said, “I probably got more from that dream not accomplished than another one I have accomplished.” This attitude can be applied when people failed. Lives not always match to people’s expectation because there are lots of ups and downs through the whole lives. When blocked by the brick walls which can’t be broken, people need to adjust themselves, changing the original plan and go around the walls.

Although the dreams were too hard to be achieved, they could be shaped into practical and simple ones. Using life experience to illustrate value is always the best way to demonstrate because the real story is more attracting to people. However, learning an outlook on life by undergoing an incident is easier than hearing others’ experience. The life experience needed to be accumulated by time. Aging can make people become more mutual since people won’t actually realize others’ value until they experience by themselves.

Although Randy’s life was short, his experience was filled with unique and meaningful incidents. His faith toward life was convincible enough to influence the audience’s value. Achieving dreams needs strong thirst, abilities, and diligence. Randy Pausch said the obstacles of fulfilling dreams could be compared to brick walls. Thirst for dreams can motivate you to break them, while abilities can be compared to the strength for breaking obstacles. If you can’t break the walls, don’t be upset, find another way to pass through. As for attitudes toward life, Randy used experience to teach the audience and his children to be optimistic towards living. In addition, he also utilized these values to face his dying life. Randy Pausch published this book as record of the speech, and they both caused strong influence on millions of people, also influenced my value towards life.

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