Book Thoughts by Rachelle
I love books that inspire me! While reading The Last Lecture, I just kept thinking how amazing Randy Pausch’s story is. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and this book is how he decided to make the most of the life he had left. The legacy he left behind for his family, for everyone, in The Last Lecture is truly fantastic.
The whole book is quotable, but I’m going to share just one piece that I absolutely loved from pages 36-37:
After playing little league football and getting chewed on by the coach, “…one of the assistant coaches came over to reassure me. ” Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn’t he?” he said.
I could barely muster a “yeah.”
“That’s a good thing,” the assistant told me. “When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.”
Randy went on to say: “… your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.”
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”—Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
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