Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Memorable Quotes from The Last Lecture

While the entirety of the book, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, is inspirational, here are a few quotes taken from the book that I enjoyed:

"That is what it is. We can't change it. We just have to decide
how we'll respond. We cannot change the cards we are dealt,
just how we play the hand."

"It just proves that if you can find an opening, you can
probably find a way to float through it."

"You've got to get the fundamentals down, because
otherwise, the fancy stuff is not going to work."

"The 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."

"It's not helpful if we spend every day dreading
tomorrow"-Jai Pausch

"Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have
finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely
to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier."

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you
wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you
have to offer."

"A lot of people want a shortcut. I find the best shortcut is
the long way, which is basically two words: work hard."

"As I see it, a parent's job is to encourage kids to develop a
joy for life and a great urge to follow their own dreams. The best
we can do is to help them develop a personal set of tools for the task."

"It's not about how to achieve your dreams. It's about
how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the
karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you."

Please, if you haven't done so already, read this book. It truly is an amazing read!

Happy Reading!,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review 2: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Title: The Last Lecture
Author(s): Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow
Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help, Psychology
Publishing Date: April 8, 2008
Publisher: Hyperion 
ISBN: 978-1401323257
Price: $13.17 at
Summary: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy PauschA 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.

My Review: I received this book as a graduation gift from a favorite High School teacher of mine. I remember the exact date that I received it (May 25, 2008) and as soon as I got home from Project Grad the day after my graduation, I cracked it open and began reading.

Many schools have a "last lecture" series, where professors give a lecture, pretending that it is their last. In this "last lecture" the professors are supposed to touch on things that are important and meaningful to them. They are to leave behind a bit of advice, a legacy so to speak. Carnegie Melon has a series like this, and ironically, for Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Melon, his "last lecture" really was his last. Now, I could tell you all about his life. About how he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, went through treatments which ultimately failed, and how he was given just three to six months to live, however, I think that Randy's story deserved to be read, so please click here to learn more about Randy's life.

The book The Last Lecture stemmed from Randy's "last lecture" at Carnegie Melon. Both the book and the lecture were meant for his young children, so that they would have his words and something to remember him by. However, because his lecture was such a hit, Randy along with Jeffrey Zaslow decided to pen this book, which is really just a written extension of the lecture.

In The Last Lecture, Randy talks about many different things, giving advice, and sharing lessons that he has learned throughout his life, hoping to pass those lessons down. Ultimately, though, he talks about achieving your childhood dreams and about how he had the opportunity to live out his own childhood dreams throughout the course of his life. 

I first read this book as a high school graduate, about to embark on my first year of college. I was scared, I would be moving away from home and I was unsure about how to deal with myself. But through this book, I was reassured in so many ways. I learned to keep my head up and to be optimistic, I learned how to get through those "brick walls" that life so readily offers us, and so many other things. Mostly, though, I realized that life is precious and how we handle it determines where we go. 

I want to tell you all more about this book, but I want you to read it for yourself. Randy Pausch is truly an inspiration. Even if you don't normally read "self-help" books, I encourage you to pick this one up. It's a quick and easy read and you'll find yourself thinking and rethinking about so many different things!

Overall Impression:

I am so grateful to the teacher who gifted me this book, for thinking about me and for knowing that this was the inspiration I needed in my life. 

Here are some interviews that Randy Pausch did before his passing regarding this book and his last lecture:

For more information on Randy & his Last Lecture please follow these links:
The Last Lecture book website
Randy Pausch's Personal Webpage
Randy's Last Lecture Site

Randy Pausch passed away on July 25, 2008, just mere months after the publication of his book and less than a year after his Last Lecture talk. He surpassed the doctor's predictions of him living for only three to six months, by living for eleven months after his diagnosis.

May Randy Pausch Rest in Peace and may his memory live on for the sake of his beautiful children and all of the people he has inspired throughout the world.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I gave up...

I just cannot get through The Atonement. No matter how hard I tried to get myself to just sit down and read it, I just couldn't.

I will try again later, but for now my mind just couldn't keep up. So instead, I've decided to begin reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I've already read the book, but when I read it I was at the ripe young age of 18. I'd just graduated from High School and I received the book as a gift from a very special High School teacher. At 18, I enjoyed it, but in all honesty, I've forgotten what the book said. At 20 (okay, 21), I'm at this age where I'm beginning to figure out who I am in regards to the "adult" world, so I think that I'm going to need it.

Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a very short time to live. He worried about teaching his children, who were very young at the time, all of the life lessons that a father would normally teach a child throughout their lifetimes. So, in order to teach his children all the things that he wanted to teach them, he gave a lecture, appropriately title "The Last Lecture" at Carnegie Mellon. He titled his lecture "Really Achieving Your Chilhood Dreams." Shortly after his lecture, he also turned it into a book. Which I am currently reading!

I really, really recommend this book to any and every one. It may seem like a self help book, but really, it makes you think. I'm already putting together a few blog posts on my personal blog based on some of the ideas in just the first two chapters of the book. Expect a review, like, tomorrow :)

Happy Reading!,