The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is an inspiring book. You can download it free as well as also read it online on the page. In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture a phenomenon and gave it an indelible shape. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
The obvious part is being with my family and taking care of it. While I still can, I take advantage of every moment with them and do the necessary logistical things to ease their path to a life without me. The less obvious part is how to teach my children what I would have taught them for the next twenty years. They are too young now to have such conversations. All parents want to teach their children what is right and what is wrong, what we think is important, and how to deal with the challenges that life will bring.
We also want them to know some stories from our own lives, often as a way to teach them how to lead their own. My desire to do that led me to give a “last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon University. These lectures are routinely videotaped. He knew what he was doing that day. With the ruse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to get into a bottle that would one day be washed on the beach for my children. 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 gave a lecture.
|Name of Book||The Last Lecture|
Many professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” You may have seen one. It has become a common exercise on college campuses. Teachers are asked to consider her disappearance and to reflect on what matters most to them. And as they speak, the audience can’t help but ponder the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we were to disappear tomorrow, what would we want as a legacy?
For years, Carnegie Mellon had a “last series of lectures.” But when the organizers started asking me to do so, they changed the name of their series to “Travels”, asking selected professors to “offer reflections on their personal and professional travels.” It wasn’t the most exciting description, but I agreed to follow it. They gave me the September space. At that time, I had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but I was optimistic. Perhaps he would be among the lucky ones who would survive.While I was receiving treatment, those leading the lecture series kept emailing me. “What are you talking about?” they asked. Please provide a summary. There is a formality in academia that cannot be ignored, even if a man is busy with other things, like trying not to die. In mid-August, I was told that I had to print a poster for the conference, so I would have to decide on a theme. That same week, however, I received the news: my most recent treatment had not worked.
I only had months to live. He knew he could cancel the conference. Everyone would understand. Suddenly, there were so many other things to do. I had to deal with my own pain and the sadness of those who loved me. I had to dedicate myself to putting my family’s affairs in order. And yet, despite it all, I couldn’t help the idea of giving the talk. The idea of giving the last lecture that really was the last lecture filled me with energy. What can I say? How would it be received? Could I even get over it? “They will let me out,” I told my wife, Jai, “but I really want to.” Jai (pronounced “Jay”) had always been my cheerleader. When I was excited, so was she. But she was wary of this whole idea from the last conference. We had just moved from Pittsburgh to southeast Virginia so that after my death, Jai and her children could be close to her family. Jai felt that I should spend my precious time with our children, or unpack our new house, instead of spending my hours writing the lecture and then traveling back to Pittsburgh to deliver it.
“Call me selfish,” Jai told me. “But I love all of you. Any time you spend working on this conference is wasted time because it is time away from the children and me. “I understood where she was coming from. From the moment I got sick, I had promised myself to give in to Jai and honor his wishes I saw it as my mission to do everything possible to ease the burdens in my life caused by my illness.
Content of Book?
- I. The Last Lecture 1
- II. Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
- III. Adventures and Lessons Learned
- IV. Enabling the Dreams of Others
- V. It’s About How to Live Your Life
- VI. Final Remarks
- About the Author
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