Revisiting “The Last Lecture” from Randy Pausch, 15 years later

I’d started jotting down some notes for this post and had thoughts of sharing broader commentary, but the more I wrote, the more I felt my words getting in the way of the message as delivered.

Revisiting “The Last Lecture” from Randy Pausch, 15 years later
Photo by Adrien Olichon / Unsplash
If you’re not familiar with this talk, both Randy and the focus of the lecture, “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” are covered right out of the gate.

Set aside time to listen when you’re able—you won’t regret it. There are countless pearls you’ll find along the way. One message that’s stuck with me over the years, particularly in times of need:

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.

Fifteen years ago this coming December, it still gives me that needed push when facing those inevitable walls.

If you’re curious to know more, there’s a fair amount of media coverage on YouTube. In addition to a couple of TV specials covering Randy and the lecture, he gave a surprise commencement speech for Carnegie Mellon University’s 2008 graduating class that I highly recommend.