A few years ago, a friend of mine — who also happened to be one of the most talented comedians I’ve known — suffered a heart attack. As a comic, this guy was absolutely hilarious. He was always bursting with rambunctious energy and zany, off-the-wall humor. So his heart condition came as something of a shock to me. It just didn’t seem possible that a person so full of life could also be so ill. But my friend never recovered from his heart attack. He died at age 43.

Airstream RV Blog #72 – Randy Pausch from Sean Michael on Vimeo.

Sometimes it takes tragedy to remind us what’s important. For the past several months, Dr. Randy Pausch and his book The Last Lecture have become sensations. Faced with terminal cancer, Dr. Pausch was given six months to live. Instead of curling up into a ball of self-pity, he went about the business of leaving a legacy for his family. Pausch attempted to “catch time in a bottle,” and summarize his life’s lessons for the benefit of his children. He succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

For Dr. Pausch, life was all about having fun. “I’m dying and I’m still having fun!” he exclaimed. He pointed out that we spend much of our lives chasing carrots instead of chasing dreams. He said that true meaning in life comes from relationships with friends and family, rather than material possessions.

Much of what Dr. Pausch taught is applicable to the RV world. How many times have you heard about the person who bought a beautiful RV, only to never use it due to health problems? Or the person who postponed his dream year after year, without ever making it a reality? In fact, these sad stories unfold every day. All too often, we allow our fondest dreams to wither on the vine.

My wife and I often have conversations with older RV owners in campgrounds. “Good for you,” they often say, “for traveling while you’re healthy.” For the two of us, traveling around the country and the world is a dream come true. Sharing it with others via our website, TheLongLongHoneymoon.com, is icing on the cake. Whenever I feel the slightest hesitation about pursuing this dream, I remember my friend. And from now on, I’ll also remember Randy Pausch.

Have you achieved your childhood dreams? If not, are you taking steps to do so? At the end of your life, you’ll be happy you did.

Perhaps more importantly, during your life you’ll be happy you did.

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  3. David, I feel the same way. Not only is Randy’s philosophy inspiring, so is his grace and courage.

  4. I’ve seen that video, it is one of the most amazing, moving, humbling, inspiring things I have seen in my life. Seriously.

  5. Marc, thanks for the tip. We will be watching the show tonight!

  6. Marc

    If you have never seen “The Last Lecture” it is on tonight. It’s on the show

    Primetime, ABC at 10:00pm Eastern Time. I have seen the show but will watch it

    again. IMO it will move you deeply.

    Just received the book a few minutes ago via my UPS driver.

  7. John Malin

    Thank you Cheryl. My daughter gave me the book for father’s day, this was a great addition to the book.

  8. Thanks Cheryl, I guess this is my take on motivational speaking! It’s a little different from our usual blog videos, but it’s a message we all need to hear sometimes.