Just finished Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, the pop culture book of the year written by that Carnegie Mellon professor who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer. Liked it, didn’t love it like “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and any book review I’d attempt would pale in comparison to the scores of others already out there (check a few of them out on the Last Lecture Amazon page).
While I’d give the book an overall three stars out of five (no doubt the surviving Pausch’s would be broken up about that), it did have some occasional gems. Among them:
- “You’ve got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work.”
- “When you’re screwing up and bobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you.
- “There’s a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It’s not something you can give; it’s something they have to build. (Coach Graham) knew there was only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.”
- “Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”
- “Time must be explicitly managed, like money.”
- “You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.”
- “Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less of it than you think.”
- “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.”
- “It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you get hit . . . and keep moving forward.”
- “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: word hard.”
- (A message to his kids): “(D)on’t try to figure out what I wanted you to become. I want you to become what you want to become.”
- “(T)ry to remember that some of the best caregiving advice we’ve heard comes from flight attendants: ‘Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
- “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.”
I could do worse than to post these sage words on a wall in our family home. Come to think of it, I think I will.