Cultivating gratitude and joy: a simple lesson from an extraordinary man

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It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day events of our lives, the cascades of both good and bad and let them define the nature of our current experience. It’s so easy to get lost in the past or absorbed in what will be.

But, what an amazing gift it is to simply be here, in the present, right now. Without regret for the past, nor anxiety about the future.

I was reminded of the need to, as Ram Dass put it decades ago, “be here now” by the words of Carnegie Mellon professor, Randy Pausch, who recently diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, offered one of the most majestic “classes” I’ve ever seen.

It wasn’t about computers or engineering, it was so much simpler than that. Because, he didn’t have time to speak about anything beyond what mattered most.

One of the things that resonated so deeply with me was when he shared how, when preparing this final lecture, the head of the school asked him to make sure he talked about the importance of having fun at whatever you do to earn your living. And, his response what a befuddled, “how could you do anything but?”

Now is a perfect time of year to join Randy in this last lecture, to be reminded, amongst the hubub of the season, to reflect on the bigger, more important gifts we enjoy and to build upon his offering as we look forward to creating a new year ahead.


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1 response

One response to “Cultivating gratitude and joy: a simple lesson from an extraordinary man”

  1. I’m glad you’re spreading this compelling video to an even wider audience, Jonathan. I saw it several months ago and it affected me deeply.

    Against all odds, Randy is still kicking. He went scuba diving off the Caymans on Dec 1st. He claims he’s in the running for “the healthiest dying man alive.”

    Updates on Randy are here: