logo 12min

Start growing!

Boost your life and career with the best book summaries.

Start growing!

Boost your life and career with the best book summaries.

logo 12min

ULTIMATE The Last Lecture Summary

5 min read ⌚ 

The Last Lecture SummaryWe have all thought about death and what we would leave behind us at least once in our lives.

Numerous schools organize an array of “last lectures” in which they request that teachers envision that they are about to pass away and to think of what they would like to pass on before they go.

Who Should Read “The Last Lecture”? And Why?

On Sept. 18, 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who had terminal pancreatic cancer, conveyed his “last lecture.”

Pausch spent the time offering his gratitude for all the blessings he has had, as opposed to concentrating on his loathsome tragedy.

Pausch condensed his life philosophy in that 60-minute lecture and discussed the significance of aspiration, diligent work, and persistence. Pausch’s primary goal was to leave some heritage for his kids.

His book, coauthored with Jeffrey Zaslow, develops further the topics he talked about in the lecture, named “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Pausch’s words, both through the taped presentation and the book, spread worldwide.

About Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow

Randy PauschRandy Pausch was an educator of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. He died on July 25, 2008, after delivering his “final lecture.”

Jeffrey ZaslowJeffrey Zaslow is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and was one of the attendees at Pausch’s last lecture.

Listening to his words, he got inspired to write his story that later on brought him international success.

“The Last Lecture Summary”

The ultimate irony was that Randy Pausch, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, took part in such a series under the name “Journeys.”

Conflicting feelings tormented Pausch as he arranged the address. Being a family man, Pausch had little valuable time left with his friends and family. Jai, his wife, was vexed that the address concurred with her 41st birthday – the last one they had together.

Notwithstanding his wife’s insistence, Pausch felt that his speech could serve as a heritage for his kids. He needed them to get to know him and what he cared about.

So, succeeding in getting Jai’s blessing, Pausch arranged the lecture.

The talk concentrated on creating a significant life and the importance of one’s dreams. On Sept. 18, 2007, Pausch, 46, held his lecture in front of 400 people, including his better half.

Pausch opened by citing his dad as saying, “If there is an elephant in the room, introduce it!”, and along these lines got clear about his illness and his looming demise.

After telling who he was and talked about his family and childhood, he moved on to presenting the list of his six childhood dreams. They were as it follows:

    • Being in zero gravity
    • Playing in the NFL.
    • Authoring an article in the World Book encyclopedia
    • Being Captain Kirk
    • Winning stuffed animals
  • Being a Disney Imagineer

All of them had come true.

Pausch experienced weightlessness in 2001 when a gathering of his students presented a proposition to NASA for a virtual reality venture aboard the organization’s zero-gravity plane.

the last lecture pdf

Despite the fact that he cherished football, Pausch never played a pro match, yet received useful lessons from his mentor.

Since his family underlined learning and mindfulness, Pausch adored exploring the encyclopedia.

He always imagined himself as a contributor. He got that possibility quite a while back when World Book’s editors asked him to compose a passage on virtual reality.

Furthermore, one of Pausch’s adolescence icons was Captain Kirk, the commander of Star Trek film and tv-series.

Pausch appreciated Kirk’s authority and managerial abilities, including how he was able to establish a sole vision for the team.

In his adulthood, Pausch was co-creating a book on how science had accomplished a considerable amount of the innovations presented on Star Trek.

That is when William Shatner, the on-screen character who depicted Kirk, went by Pausch’s virtual-reality lab.

Shatner stayed three hours at the lab and made numerous inquiries. Pausch got his dad‘s adoration for the plush toys you can win at fairs. Pausch gathered many throughout the years, and he showed them amid his last lecture.

After introducing his last words, Pausch had a big cake moved onto the stage and asked the crowd to sing  “Happy Birthday”  to Jai along with him.

He thought that he is lucky because of cancer, unlike a sudden death, gave him and Jai the time to get closer.

After the group of onlookers serenaded Jai, she strolled in front of the audience. She and Paucsh kissed and embraced each other, as she asked him not to die.

Key Lessons from“ The Last Lecture”

1.      Dream the possible dream
2.      Stop complaining and do something
3.      Happy or sad? It’s up to you

Dream the Possible Dream

Pausch couldn’t witness Armstrong’s first step on the moon, even though it made him believe that everything was possible.

However, his father, having realized the importance of the matter, photographed Armstrong’s first step on the TV screen.

Pausch used this anecdote to talk about inspirational moments. Most of the time, those moments require you to be adjustable and find means to achieve the things you wished for.

Stop Complaining and Do Something

Paush’s graduate school landowner, a former champion athlete, taught him about the significance of disposition.

A business related mischance left the landowner a quadriplegic, an event that made his fiancé abandon him.

However, rather than pitying himself, he took the chance to become an authorized marriage counselor. He got married, adopted kids, and never whined.

Whimpering about life and the world’s injustices takes up time and requires effort. It won’t take you places. And despite everything, if you just whine and do nothing about it, you’ll remain hopeless.

Happy or Sad? It’s Up to You

Many individuals with terminal illness don’t allow themselves to have a good time. That is not the case with Pausch.

His whole family masked up like the Incredibles toon characters at Halloween. Pausch likewise went on a scuba-diving trip with three dear companions who were all aware of his illness.

They all behaved like youngsters and avoided genuine disease talk.

After his diagnosis, Pausch had a vasectomy and bought another convertible. Such upbeat activities sustained his happy state of mind and even enabled him to fantasize about getting cured.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Last Lecture” Quotes

I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there’s no other way to play it. Click To Tweet All my life, I’ve been very aware that time is infinite. Click To Tweet We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier. Click To Tweet All of the things I loved were rooted in the dreams and goals I had as a child. Click To Tweet We cannot change the cards we are dealt; just how we play the hand. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Pausch gives excellent life-affirming guidance. You’ll see his true identity and the traits that made him himself. You’ll weep.

You’ll remember and thank for your blessings. You’ll forget about self-pity. You will get inspired and motivated and want to live life fully. For all these reasons, we strongly recommend “The Last Lecture” to everyone.

logo 12min

Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

Explore key insights and ideas from 2500+ titles in audio and text

logo 12min

Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days

Explore key insights and ideas from 2500+ titles in audio and text

Scroll to Top