The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon Professor, gave his last lecture Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. The lecture has been spread across the internet as fast as LOLcats. Randy is also dying from pancreatic cancer. Since giving the last lecture he has written a book, The Last Lecture.

The Last Lecture became an instant best seller. In the book, The Last Lecture, Randy tells the many stories that inspire the presentation. My favorite section of the book is Section V: It’s About How To Live Your Life. In this section he provides a few rules to live by, or as he says it, that worked for him. Just reading the headings of this section is enough to get a feel of the book.

  • Dream Big – There is no limit to how big you can dream.
  • Earnst is Better Than Hip – Hip is fickle.
  • Raising the White Flag – Know when to concede.
  • Let’s Make a Deal – Know when to offer an agreement.
  • Don’t Complain, Just Work Harder – Complaining expends energy.
  • Threat the Disease, Not the Symptom – Get at the root cause.
  • Don’t Obsess Over What People Think – You can’t please everybody.
  • Start By Siting Together – If you need to work together.
  • Look for the Best in Everybody – They will surprise you.
  • Watch What They Do, Not What They Say – Actions speak louder than words.
  • If at First You Don’t Succeed – Try a Cliche.
  • Be the First Penguin – If you fail, let it be gloriously.
  • Get People’s Attention – To get your voice heard.
  • The Lost Art of Thank-You Notes – A simple hand written note speaks volumes.
  • Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street – Go out on a limb for someone and they might just return the favor.
  • The Friday Night Solution – there is no shortcuts to working hard and long.
  • Show Gratitude – Thankfulness is being thoughtfulness.
  • Send Out Thin Mints – as reward for personal request.
  • All You Have Is What You Bring With You – So be prepared.
  • A Bad Apology Is Worse Than No Apology – Be sincere.
  • Tell The Truth – All the time.
  • Get in Touch with Your Crayon Box – The world is not black and white.
  • The $100,000 Salt and Pepper Shaker- Good customer service can reward you with a loyal customer for years.
  • No Job Is Beneath You – There is dignity in hard work.
  • Know Where You Are – When in Rome be yourself, but remember you are in Rome.
  • Never Give Up – Perseverance goes a long way.
  • Be a Communitarian – Foster community building
  • All You Have to Do Is Ask – Don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Make a Decision: Tigger or Eeyore – Choose to be Tigger.
  • A Way to Understand Optimism – Optimism is not about being unrealistic, its about being prepared.
  • The Input of Others – Inspire others

[tags]randy pausch, canegie mellon, cancer, last lecture[/tags]

One Response to The Last Lecture

  1. How inspiring Randy Pausch is! If you liked “The Last Lecture”, another fantastic memoir I just read and highly recommend is “My Stroke of Insight” by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Her TEDTalk video (ted.com) has been seen as many times as The Last Lecture I think, and Oprah did 4 shows on her book, so there are a lot of similarities. In My Stroke of Insight, there’s a happy ending though. It’s an incredible story! I hear they’re making it into a movie.

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