The fourth anniversary of Randy Pausch’s death still inspires a few

Jai Pausch, Randy’s wife, talks briefly about Randy, and his quest for pancreatic cancer funding.



The fifth anniversary of Randy Pausch’s death inspired millions, some who significantly changed after watching his Last Lecture video and reading his book by the same name.

Last year’s anniversary post.

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Perhaps The Most Difficult

Do You Think His Life Is Easy?
Do You Think His Life Is Easy?

Rule number one – Life Is Hard!

And perhaps the most difficult thing is to not give up. To not succumb to the pressure, the pain, the doubt, the fear, the sacrifice, the unknown.

Have you ever felt like this?  Do you feel like it now?  If you do, great!  If you don’t, perhaps you should be concerned. Concerned that you’ve slowly but surely lost the fire in your belly to do something great.

As Randy Pausch challenged the world in his book, The Last Lecture, to revisit our childhood dreams before it’s too late, I’m picking up where were he left off, when he died nearly two years ago (July 25, 2009).

Once you accept difficulty, your life opens up to enormous possibility.

Super Freak She’s Super Freaky

Kinda Freaky
Kinda Freaky

Okay, the human mind is remarkably strange.  This Rick James song from long ago is in my head. Why? Because I’ve just reflected on the past two jungle jeff blog posts.

Wake up calls. Corporate down-sizing. Christmas Day attempted terrorist attack. It’s all kinda freaky, super freaky.

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch. Pancreatic cancer. Wife. Three young kids. Best-selling author. Hero. Role model. Computer Science Professor. Oprah Winfrey Guest. Deceased.

These are unprecedented times. Turbulent times. Stressful times. Uncertain times.

But time marches on.  Question is, “Will we?”

Sense of Urgency

Sense of Urgency?
Sense of Urgency?

Reading a book has the potential to alter the way we behave. This can be a gift. It can also be a curse.

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch, was a gift.

Randy’s book helped me see the same things I always see, in a completely different light.

It was in the contemplative moments, inspired by his news, “You have about six months to live”, that really helped me see a blind spot.

A blind spot that most humans share.

Putting important things off because they are not urgent.

Health.  Family.  Spirit.  Life.  Legacy.

What does this have to do with leadership?

Do I really have to explain it?  Because if I do, it worries me that you still might not get it.

You will eventually, but what if someone disconnects your phone?

Leadership Books

The Last Lecture
The Last Lecture

I get it. There is only so much a person can read. We can’t do it all. Right there with you. And, many of us received new books as gifts recently.

What books changed your life last year?

There were a few for me.  Two had significant impact.

Up first, The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch.  Randy was a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor, in his mid-40’s.  He had a wife and three children under the age of six.

Then he got pancreatic cancer.

To paraphrase what I heard Randy say:

This isn’t a book about dying. It’s a book about living.

It isn’t a book for you and me. It is a book for Randy Pausch’s children.

How did this book change my life?

It is in living in the moment that makes us great leaders. Doing things – things that matter – with a heightened sense of urgency has changed my life.  I’ll tell you why tomorrow.