- Randy Pausch

My takeaway from The Last Lecture.

A book written by Randy Pausch, a Professor from Carnegie Mellon.

It’s been around two years since I last read the book. 
I happened to realize that I still come across instances where I make use of what I learnt in this book and this article is to help you do the same.

Randy Pausch describes his life’s experiences and what he learnt from them.
In this post I’m going to describe what I learnt from them.

Randy Pausch is diagnosed with terminal cancer. 
He mentions this one incident of when he was a child where he’s standing by a roller coaster ride in an amusement park with a bunch of people.

Everyone wants to ride on the front most coach of the roller coaster, but everyone just assumes that its meant for the elite, reserved or something of a similar sort where they wouldn’t be allowed to ride in the foremost coach.

Little Randy Pausch goes up to the guy that lets people in through to the Coaster and Asks, “Could we ride in this coach ?” pointing to the first coach.

“Sure, why not ?” replies the person as he lets them in ushering them into the first coach.

Everyone enjoys the ride as Little Randy Pausch recollects,

“What if I hadn’t asked ?”

Would we be riding in this coach ?

What would the answer be hadn’t he asked ?
A no.

Randy Pausch elucidates the moral of this incident to

“The answer is always a no, if you don’t ask.”

This story stuck deep within me. 
Imagine all those lost opportunities that got away just because you didn’t ask.

Fuck Shyness. 
Fuck being an Introvert.
Fuck all that paranoia.
Fuck thinking logically.
Fuck it all.

Fuck everything.

All I had to do was ask.

The regret is genuinely more painful in reality than one can experience as they read this.

Imagine a lifetime of missed opportunities.
You could’ve been wherever you wanted to go. 
You could’ve had everything you ever wanted.
You could’ve been whoever you wanted to be.

This is the sound of regret and it isn’t one bit appealing.

Truly, I don’t want to miss any more opportunities. 
I’m sure you don’t intend on doing so either.


The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch

If you had one last talk to give, what would it be about ?

Somebody said, Showing up is 90% of the game.

I’d rather:
Show up.
Work for it.
Rather than dwell in ambiguity of a “what if ?”.

I’d like to quote a verse from Bhagavad Gita.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥ २-४७

It essentially means that You have the right to work alone, but never to its fruits.Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.

Although this verse goes a step further. I’d like to enunciate over the last part.
Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction.

Asking for what you innately desire or want is indeed a trait worthwhile of being inoculated in our lives.

My takeaway from having Randy Pausch’s book is to ask without worrying about complications towards what we want.

My sincere respects to Randy Pausch. 
His ideals shall live on within his memory of people that are inspired by him.
Randy Pausch lives on today within our memories.


Prahalad Belavadi