Take a moment and think back to when you were a kid. What did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut? A ballerina? Or maybe a zoologist? Often times as children we know exactly what we want to do in life but later deviate from that path when our environment (i.e. parents, teachers, friends) convince us otherwise. If some of those dreams still haunt you from time to time then this speech by Randy Pausch is perfect for you. He teaches us in this video, entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” that no dream is unrealistic at any time if you want it bad enough. A former computer science professor at Carnegie Melon University, his talk was part of the Last Lecture Series where professors are asked:

“What wisdom would you impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?”

It wasn’t a far stretch for Pausch. Just before taping, he’d been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and given months to live. He died less than one year later. He did this more as a legacy for his three young children but the lecture has gone on to critical acclaim and inspired many in its wake.

I love what he says about obstacles:

Brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop people who don’t want it badly enough.

I encourage you to watch the whole video. It’s lengthy but well worth it.

So what were some of your childhood dreams, outlandish as they might be? Did Randy help you think of alternative ways you can achieve them? It’s time to think outside the box because after all, we’ve got one life to live.

Photo courtesy of blog.sfgate.com

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