The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

“Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.”

That is the driving force behind Randy Pausch as he discusses his last lecture, points to little life lessons, and provides his philosophy on living to the fullest. The book is set after the Carnegie Mellon professor has given his final lecture to a standing room only crowd at the university. It puts his words of wisdom into text to be shared with millions, while ultimately serving as a lasting memory for his children.

The chapters are short and the reading is quick. Pausch pulls from his experiences as a child growing up, his marriage, becoming a father, and many challenges in between. Each chapter provides a clear message of Pausch’s philosophy about making the most of our short lifetime. Even at 46 years of age, Pausch had to ask himself, “What makes me unique?” His answer was found among his childhood dreams.

When they say a book changed my life, they meant this one. The first major lesson that will stay with me for ever is that kids should be allowed the freedom to express creativity. If that means coloring on the wall, that is okay. Creativity in adults is low mostly because we grew up being told how things should be done and what not to do.

Lesson #2: Have something to bring to the table, because it will make you more welcome. If you want something, find a way you can add value for all parties. This advice will definitely come in handy as I continue to seek that first post college job, and establish relationships throughout my life.

This book covers so many topics, like why Wikipedia may be better than the printed encyclopedia; how to become a Disney Imagineer; and why positive spin isn’t always bad PR. Packed full of memorable quotes, inspiring ideas, and sound philosophy, I give this book a 5-star rating.

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