Sunday, July 7, 2013

#BookReview--> The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch



If you are asked to give a lecture titled The Last Lecture in which you have to envision yourself as dying.

What will you say? 
What is it that you will convey to your loved ones, friends and colleagues before you die?
What wisdom will you impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance to do so?

All these questions and more come to mind when one thinks of such a possibility. It looks surreal that such a situation might arise because we by design are meant to deny the inevitable i.e. DEATH.

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture he didn't have to imagine himself dying as he had been recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had only a few months to live.

 Randy, a dying man, wanted to leave a legacy for his children, a guide that would help them achieve their dreams, a medium to know their father who would soon be dead and not be a part of their lives....
So he did what he was good at. Being a professor, he lectured and named it "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams".

 “If I were a painter, I would have painted for them. If I were a musician, I would have
composed music. But I am a lecturer. So I lectured.”

It’s a touching journey and a last lecture that will force you to re-evaluate your life...

He was faced with the challenge to deliver a lecture which would be his last offering to everyone and that is what it became. An unforgettable legacy to people around the world about living your life to the fullest, enjoying each moment, achieving your dreams and adopting a never say die attitude.

Randy aptly named his last lecture as "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" which was not about dying but about overcoming obstacles in your life, achieving your dreams while enabling the dreams of others, seizing each opportunity you get to make a memory because “time is all you have… and you may find one day that you have less than you think”.

As he said, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand”  and that's what he did. He played the cards that were dealt to him to the best of his capabilities. Although he was dying but Randy was giving death a run for its money by not letting himself succumb to the grief, hopelessness and sadness associated with his condition. He was living his life, was busy creating memories with his kids and wife and preparing his family for a life after his death.

This book is a legacy for his children as well as for everyone. It acts as an eyeopener to the fact that life is unpredictable and while we have it we should be grateful and never have any regret in our lives. He has combined his wisdom with humor, intelligence, inspiration and a moral that will be shared for generations.

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”

 Randy shares his experiences from his life and provides a deep insight into his life, his beliefs, his inspirations and the motives that drove him.

The experiences, situations, the decision phases that he faced feel valid for our lives also. The morals, conclusions, wisdom give a solution to some or the other situation that we faced or might be facing.
The story is saddening but inspiring and leaves you feeling sad for the family and for Randy.
I also felt cheated, cheated of an opportunity to interact with this terrific guy because I got to know of this book and about him too late. He had already left this world. :(

Randy proved that no matter what card he was dealt he was capable to taking the best of it. He was a man who is an inspiration and will continue to inspire all through his book to go out there and succeed. Work hard and “Dreams will come to you”.

This is a book that moved me immensely and made me re-evaluate the choices that I was making. It inspired me to take chances and work hard to achieve my goals and even if I fail at least have the satisfaction of having tried.

The Last Lectureis a must have on everyone's book list and is a compelling story of a dying man who lived thirty years in a matter of a few months. He enjoyed life till the very end and even in death came out a winner who never quit.

I give The Last Lecture a 5 on 5. An ultimate guide on how to live your life, I strongly recommend it to everyone.

You can also watch The Last Lecture given by Randy at www.thelastlecture.com

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