Until Randy Pausch got on stage at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver his now-famous “Last Lecture,” he hadn’t told students or colleagues that Carnegie Mellon had initially rejected his application to go to graduate school there; it was only after his professor at Brown intervened that the decision was reversed. Knowing that he had only months left to live, he regretted keeping that information a secret because he often encouraged people to “never give up.” He wrote that he was afraid that they’d think that he wasn’t smart enough . . . an astounding secret, given his level of accomplishments.
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture (Hyperion, New York: 2008), 174.