Given Randy Pausch’s medical condition, it is astonishing that he is able to publish a book (with the help of Jeffrey Zaslow). Randy delivered the now famous “Last Lecture” last September when he was told to have only a few months to live. A while back, I wrote a brief summary on his “Last Lecture” and if you like what you read, this little book (206 pages, 61 chapters, paperback) will certainly inspire.
In my previous blog entry, I have covered Randy Pausch’s background, his positive outlook, and how inspiring he is. Hence, I won’t repeat myself here. The objective of the book is exactly the same as the objective of his lecture as seen in the video linked in my last entry.
“The Last Lecture” is organized in six sections and it is far from being a depressing book to read. In the first section, Randy Pausch touches onto his medical condition, how he and his family is coping with his aggressive cancer treatment, and why he is doing this – the lecture and now this book.
In the second section “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, Randy shares with us what some of his wild childhood dreams are and how he really went all out to achieve them. Some he has attained, some he hasn’t. It is inspiring to read how a goal focused person he is and how he walks the talk of brick walls are there to proof how badly we want things.
The section “Adventures and Lessons Learnt” probably contains the highest dosage of heart warming moments – a section dedicated to his mentor, his love story with his wife Jai, his and his sister’s children.
In one of John C. Maxwell’s seminar I have attended, his vision of the highest order of success is to make others to be more successful. Here in Randy Pausch’s book, he has devoted a section on how to enable the dreams of others. This section may cause you to reflect upon the things that you do and the person you think you are.
30 topics are packed in the second last section “It’ About How You Live Your Life” and they are a lot to be absorbed in the first read. You may become a better person who constantly show gratitude and always tell the truth; you may take on a new attitude towards your job; you may even want to be the ‘first penguin’ who dares to head for the potential ‘glorious failure’.
This entire book is by and large kept to a tone of positivity and optimism. To keep it real, you will also get to read about the emotional vulnerable side of Randy and his wife Jai. The short final section “Final Remarks” is probably one that fills with heartfelt moments and to remind us that there is a bigger picture in life out there, at times beyond us.
I can imagine some readers may find his ideas too hard to achieve. But here is my observation: You will get to read how he lives what he writes and from within his book, how the people around him succeed in doing so. My question is: If other can, why can’t you? The journey to achieving your dream is not going to be easy. That’s why we have to work hard for it.
Related blog entry: Last Lecture of Randy Pausch – How to Live Your Life