Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Last Lecture – book

What do you write when you are 47 years old, bubbling with ideas and advice, have 3 young kids and 6 months to live?

Many of us watched Prof. Randy Pausch’s last lecture at CMU online. It made the rounds in September 2007. It was so popular that he followed it up with a small book, expanding on the stories behind his one hour lecture.

The book, which is full of anecdotes is essentially a how-to-live-your-life manual. It is not directly linked to retirement. For me, reading this book took me back to when I was in my late teens, when I read and reread two books by Feynman – “Surely, you are joking Mr. Feynman” and “What Do You Care What Others Think.”

The Last Lecture is small enough that you can finish it in one or two sittings if you so desire, though it might be better to enjoy it slowly. Do take the small amount of time it takes to read it. This is a book that I recommend to one and all.

Quotes from the book:

-- We cannot change the hand we are dealt, just how we play the hand
-- The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

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

Dr. Pausch lost his battle to pancreatic cancer in July 2008. Sure, the book is sentimental, but it is a ‘How to Live’ book that is bound to have something for all of us to learn from.

Tip: This Holiday season, if you are at a loss when looking for a small gift to give someone, think of this book. You will not go wrong.

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