Book Review: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

I first ran across The Last Lecture when I was surfing YouTube one day, and while I didn't have time to watch the whole lecture, I found the entire premise interesting. Imagine that you've been diagnosed with a severe of pancreatic cancer and 10 tumors in your liver will end your life in just 3 to six months. That's the situation that Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch found himself in. With only a few months to live, Pausch was invited to give a "Last Lecture" as part of a lecture series. The book is Randy's story…at least, in preparation for the lecture.

The Last Lecture is a short, but sweet account of a man doing his best to prepare his family for his inevitable death. As Pausch describes his effort, the book and lecture were the only chance his young children would have to understand what their father was really like. More than that, the book is a message to all of us who don't have to cram our lives into three to six months: Live your lives to the fullest, reach for your dreams, and help others reach for theirs.

It's an empowering little piece of wisdom that Randy gives to readers of his book. Like all good tools, it's how we use it that becomes important. Most of the short book is written as anecdotal pieces of wisdom as Pausch describes his preparation for the last lecture. As readers, it's up to us to take Randy's experience and use it drive ourselves further. While Randy Pausch might not be a giant like Einstein, the world is a better place because of his struggle. Randy's book invites us to stand on the shoulders of his experience. If we chose not to, we have only ourselves to blame.

Review: 5 out of 5

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