Randy Pausch Last Lecture on Oprah

Randy Pauch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, knew he would die soon. During an address at the Carnegie Graduation he called it beating the grim reaper, “We don’t beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and by living for others.”

Randy taught a message for all of us. His words are close to my heart because I believe with all my energy that no matter what our external circumstances are, we can find joy. Randy used his message of pancreatic cancer to deliver an important lesson about living that was given by authority from one close to death. Randy died at 47 years of age September 8, 2007.

Randy looked death straight in the eyes. It seemed to others that as he got sicker, his outlook got healthier. Randy Pauch said, “We can’t change the cards we’re dealt, just how we play the hand.”

I have to take it one step further. MS doesn’t usually lower the life expectancy; yet it often diminishes the quality of life. Death seems to healthy people the worst outcome. To people living life with a chronic disease, sometimes everyday in utter pain, death seems not like the Grim Reaper, but like an Angle of Peace. If the quality of life is bad enough, we might be grateful for death.

Whether or not our quality of life has diminished, we still have reality to face. Finding joy, no matter what our conditions, will make our days, well, endurable.

Knowing there is so little time left, like Randy did, he took the time to prepare to meet his Maker. I believe that no matter what our circumstances are, we need to live every day as if it’s our last.

Any of us could die tomorrow; having a chronic disease might increase the likelihood, but either way we need to make things right before we move on.

Here are two of Randy’s suggestions for emotional health;

Tell the truth, all the time.

Learn to apologize properly. Proper apologies have three parts, Randy said, “What I did was wrong, I feel badly that I hurt you, how do I make this better.”

Randy’s book about life, The Last Lecture is full of these life’s lessons and became a world wide best seller. You can get The LAST LECTUREhere. It’s a must read.

I love this blogging community! Without a fellow blogger, Monika Genehr, I would have never even known the gift that Randy has given the world.

Is Randy Pausch a man that you’ve heard before? What impact did his message have on you? Let me know in the comments below.


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. Hey Linda,

    Great post. I have always admired Randy and the message that he has sent to the world. Keep living your best life while you are here. Thanks for sharing.

    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,
    The GREAT Edward!

    • Edward,
      I can’t believe that I never heard of Randy! He was awesome! I really love TSA for being the avenue for me to find him!
      Find your joy,

  2. What an inspiring post Linda. I never heard of Randy, but after listening to him, he has given me so much hope for those little things in my life I stress about. I admire what you are accomplishing here on your blog. It is so wonderful and you are a true leader in your field.
    Donna Merrill

    • Donna,
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t seen or heard Randy before 🙂 ~ That’s the way I felt when I heard him too, full of hope! I love it!
      Find you joy,

  3. Hi Linda

    What can I say….. WOW in not good for this blog post now even WOOOOW!!!!!
    this is The most amazing blogs i read this week and weeks before that.
    The hole world need to read your blog post

    We need to learn how to live out life to the full from Randy and what he did is equal to my post that i did for this week he left his Opus behind for the world not just for his children.

    How many people stop dreaming or think a will never accomplish my dreams because of …… , but randy did not give up and just look what happen on the end.

    To be honest he did give me just more hope for my dream and Opus that I am going to left behind to the world see my blog and you will understand that it walk hand in hand with your blog.

    The best is that Randy make the best with what he had on the end and that is something that so many people miss to live a full life till the end and go out of this life with a joy knowing I did give back something to the world that will be there for ever and ever.

    Wow i can just go on and on but thanks you make my day and give me new hope for what I am doing.


  4. Linda,

    I had heard of Randy Pausch, but do not recall this particular video clip. What a powerful and inspiring message he sends about life. Thanks for doing your part.

    Mike Sweeney

  5. Linda-
    I actually saw that episode on Oprah and I had never before had heard of Randy or his story, but I was riveted to say the least. He truly had something to do with the person I am today and the outlook I have on life. I shortly after began a transformation of living in the now and appreciating life. I love your website and cause. Keep up the great work!

    • Cori,
      The Lord works in mysterious ways! It’s amazing the things that trigger us into personal growth. It’s wonderful that you were ‘triggered’ by watching someone’s story. I believe that no matter what motivates us to transform, our life is more enjoyable because of it! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Great to know this . Plus, Rabbi Shmuley talks with callers about what Randy’s story of courage and hope in the face of cancer has taught them about life.!!

  7. Hi Linda,
    You always sharing with us those things that surely be like, I always salute with Oprah but then “Randy” is also the best person I ever knew… 🙂

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