Saturday, September 19, 2009

Randy Pausch - The Last Lecture

On Thursday night I had the privilege of hearing Jeffrey Zaslow speak at a YPO event. He is the author of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Pausch was a Professor at Carnegie Mellon who died last year of pancreatic cancer.

I read the book yesterday. Jerry is a great speaker. Very entertaining. He also writes well.

One exercise universities often do is ask professors to deliver what would be their last lecture. Their last words of wisdom. (Good exercise for all of us to think about). The difference with Randy's lecture was he knew it was his last.

The lecture was multiple points of wisdom delivered through stories. Stories can be powerful ways to convey messages. Things like:

Be Persistent

Be a constant learner

Tough love is good (if it is delivered tactfully)

Learn from Tough Love (very tough to do - it is easy to reject feedback)

Earnest is better than hip

Don't complain - Just work harder

The book talks about Randy's dreams. His bucket list included things like experiencing weightlessness, writing for World Book, working for Disney etc. Most he achieved. Some (like playing in the NHL) he did not.

Randy had a great sense of humour that showed through. He also had a great optimism. He lived a frugal life. His energy inspires. He loves quotations (he calls them clich├ęs) like I do.

The book is a bit of a tear jerker near the end. He has a wife and 3 children under the age of 6 (well, not the wife).

The full lecture video is available here. Or google and watch shortened ones. I suggest watching the short version video together with reading the book to get the full effect.

He reminds us "It is all about how you live your life." and that is our choice.


At 7:58 AM, Blogger FRANCESCA said...

I read the book-very touching & inspiring.
The Lecture's on YouTube, lengthy but worthwhile

At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Diwali SMS said...

Although I knew there was a video of the same lecture in youtube, I being interested in becoming a reader rather than a viewer, bought this book and now suggest this book to everyone who want to read and connect to some of the author's anecdotes with those of your life, That being aside, i feel that this book is a good read because it comes from a person who really has lived his childhood dreams and enjoyed giving guidance to many others, with a headfake revelation at the end....


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