I read in my local newspaper earlier this week that Carnegie-Mellon professor Randy Pausch died at age 47 of pancreatic cancer. Some of you may have heard of Randy late last year for his “Last Lectureâ€? at CMU on “Achieving your Childhood Dreams,” which has had almost five million views on YouTube (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo&feature=related). Randy, a husband and father of three small children, knew about his terminal condition in 2006 and died wanting no sympathy (his own words) because he had been able to achieve many of the seemingly lofty goals he set before himself as a child. In other words, he had taken the proper perspective of work vs. “life outside of workâ€? and been happy with his priorities.

Having lived and worked in the Bay Area for over 30 years, I have seen many colleagues and friends with a “Silicon Valley� mentality – working long hours, including weekends, and feeling a need to be connected 24/7. To me, this is fine so long as it doesn’t interfere with an enjoyable lifestyle and fulfilling relationships with family and friends. I love what I do (currently marketing for a memory IP provider) and I too am immersed in a busy work schedule, but I also see the need for and importance of reasonable R&R, doing things I enjoy doing.

The many orchards and hot houses that populated Silicon Valley when I arrived here in 1974 are long gone, replaced by silicon factories and design facilities, along with the housing needed to support the people working there. But there are still roses to smell and opportunities to live your childhood dreams in what is one of the most lovely and opportunity-filled regions in our country. For those of you who live here, take time to enjoy your stay along with getting the satisfaction you do from your work. Randy had the right idea – you don’t get a second chance so make the most of the first one.

And take time to see and hear Randy’s Last Lecture – you won’t be disappointed.

Posted by admin, filed under Uncategorized. Date: July 28, 2008, 8:19 pm | No Comments »