Sunday, November 9, 2008

Book review - The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Thought my first post would cover a book I read recently - The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Most folks may have heard of this story already, as it seems to have a pretty significant on-line (You Tube) following. Randy Pausch was a Professor, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, who used his participation in a lecture series to record various messages for his 3 young children - messages that he did not expect to be able to communicate in person at the time that they would be relevant and understood by his kids.

I thought it was a good book. Certainly sad at time, but at other times funny and thought-provoking. A little introspection aint a bad thing. Of most significance, to me at least, is when he directs folks to ask themselves if they are spending their time "on the right thing". A great question from somebody painfully aware of how finite life is.

There were several other quotes in the book that I found to be pretty compelling:

(1) "Just because you're in the driver's seat doesn't mean you have to run people over."
(2) "If I work hard enough, there will be things I can do tomorrow that I can't do today."
(3) "Brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
(4) "We cannot change the hand we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
(5) "It doesn't matter how well you polish the underside of the banister."
(6) " You can always change your plan, but only if you have one."
(7) "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love and care about you, and want to make you better."

Worth a read if looking for a winter book ...

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