There are always a handful of books I treasure and while the list may change over the years as I enter new chapters of my life, there are a few that will always hold the coveted “treasure” title.  One such book is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  I love this book for a couple of reasons.  First, it was given to me as a gift from a couple of my favorite clients and dear friends.  On my birthday, they gave me this book and a Tigger coffee mug in which a stuffed Tigger resides.  The inscription inside the book read:  “Dearest Joan, May all your days be “Tigger” days! Thanks for being special you! With love and Gratitude, Nancie and Dave”  Needless to say, they touched my heart with this thoughtful gift.  (You’ll have to read the book to understand the Tigger reference.)  Then, I read the book.  It gave even more meaning to their thoughtful gift.  Since that time, I have watched the video of Randy Pausch giving his last lecture.  It sealed the deal – this book will remain on my treasured book list forever.  In case you haven’t read the book or watched the video of his lecture, let me give you a glimpse of this gem and encourage you to give yourself the gift of this man’s wisdom and insight.

The Wisdom of the Last Lecture

The Wisdom of the Last Lecture

Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He wasn’t just any professor.  His humanity was apparent in everything he touched and he didn’t lose his playful, childlike wonder through his keen intellect.   He worked in cutting edge innovation with creative giants, including Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts, and Walt Disney Imagineering. Then, one day, he was given the news we all hope we will not receive – he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Rather than succumbing to his mortality, he embraced the remaining moments of his life.  He thoughtfully prepared and gave his last lecture. While it was titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” it was actually a presentation of his life lessons. He shared his wisdom with extraordinary compassion, energy, wit and intellect.  I highly recommend watching the video of The Last Lecture – it’s a template for truly living into each moment.  I have no doubt he will inspire generations to live their best lives.  I hope to be one of them.  Here is a summary of the highlights I gleaned out of the video.

The life philosophies according to Randy Pausch:

We cannot change the cards we were dealt, we can only play the hand.

Tell the Truth
Be Earnest
Apologize when you screw up
Focus on others – not yourself
When you do the right thing, good stuff has a way of happening

Be good at something – it makes you valuable
Work Hard
Be prepared
Show gratitude
Don’t complain: work harder
Find the best in everybody no matter how long it takes

If you live your life the right way then karma will take care of itself and dreams will come true