Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Last Lecture

In my last post I mentioned that the last "hold in your hand" book I read was called "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. 

I promised details about this unique and inspirational book and it's author, so here it goes. 

Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. In August 2007 he was given a terminal diagnosis due to pancreatic cancer. 

Knowing that he had a limited window of "good health" he decided to give one last lecture at the college. It was presented on September 18, 2007 and serves as his legacy. 

The book I read is a compilation of observations and advice based on that lecture. 

In the interest of brevity (okay, quit laughing at the fact that I used that word in one of my posts) here's the link to Wikipedia with all the details of Pausch's life. Randy Pausch's Story

My favorite parts of this book were: Pausch's stories about his family including how he met his wife and what he loved about his kids. 

I also enjoyed his shared love for Walt Disney World and his stories about his visits. My favorite was about a cast member who did something that resulted in his family becoming lifelong visitors to the Orlando resort. 

I was a bit envious of some of his accomplishments. Getting to ride in the NASA jet that simulates zero gravity conditions and his time as a Disney Imagineer. 

I do admire the lengths to which he went to get to those two experiences though. 

Pausch drew me in with the subject of his final lecture: following your childhood dreams. It got me thinking about mine and which of them I have and haven't achieved. 

Here are a couple of things I'm taking away from this book. 

"Brick Walls" that block your way in life are put there so you can discover just how much you want what they're keeping you from. 

If you want something badly enough you'll find a way to get around or even knock down those walls.

"Brick Walls" aren't always circumstances or situations. Sometimes they are people.

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you really wanted. 

There are other lessons I've learned but I don't want to spoil things for those of you who may be interested in reading this book. 

If you are going to read the book and want more information about it here's the link to the video of Pausch's presentation on You Tube. 
The Last Lecture Video 

I really enjoyed and learned from "The Last Lecture." Randy Pausch was born just a month after I was. He lost his battle with cancer in July 2008. 

Of all the things that I gleaned from his book, realizing how blessed I've been in my life, in the time since he lost his, helps me live each day with a spirit of gratefulness. 

Now, my questions for you. What childhood dreams have you fulfilled or accomplished? Which of them do you wish you could still get to? 

Let me know. I'd be interested. I plan on discussing mine in a future post. I'd like to include some of yours as well.  

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