Randy Pausch is dying. Pancreatic cancer, and he was told, about 6 months ago, that he had 6 months to live.
A professor with Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Pausch became a hotshot at making computers more fun than they ever had been before. He's one of those young professors whose classes people fight to get into.
In September of 2007, he gave a lecture in a series called The Last Lecture.
The title of his lecture is: "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams."
This thing is fun. They guy is pretty tickled to be where he is, and delighted to have done what he set out to do as a kid. Keep in mind, this man has a personal expiration date that implies that if he signs up for "Fruit Of The Month" club, he's probably not going to get to find out what comes after "Bartlett Pear."
Why's he cheerful?
Because he actually has achieved his dreams. Is, even now, still living them.
And he gives advice, in a very interesting, quick, funny way, on how to achieve one's dreams.
Well, a guy who can laugh at the face of his own death has a pretty damned good place to stand while giving such advice.
So here's the lecture. It takes a little while, and you may want to just let it run in the background (though he does use lots of visual aids) while you surf other stuff. If your attention span is shorter, you can watch the much shorter Oprah version of the lecture. (Okay, that right there should tell you something about the quality of what he says-- I actually linked Oprah.)
Look: It's not sad. It's not boring. You can always close it halfway through.
Not smarmy. Not "spiritual." Interesting.