Review: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch


Randy Pausch was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer when he gave his “Last Lecture” on childhood dreams. His lecture wasn’t about dying, but the importance of overcoming obstacles, enabling the dreams of others, and seizing every moment. This book is about living and what we want to be our legacy. Randy Pausch as since passed away, but his dreams live on through his family and this book.

I absolutely loved this book. I first learned about Randy Pausch on Good Morning America. I was drawn in to his spirit and amazing ability to face his struggles with such an uplifting attitude. I have not watched the actual lecture although I would like to. The book is an amazing life lesson from an amazing man who is sadly no longer with us. You can’t read this book and not take a second look at how you are living your life. I have dog-earred so many pages that I can’t possibly talk about all of them, so I will just offer up some highlights.
The first is a quote of his, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” For those who are chronic complainers and would rather pout, whine, or b**ch about their life, I hope this gives them another perspective. I hope that I play the hand as it was dealt me without cheating or throwing it in too early! Randy also states, “if you took 1/10 the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.”
I loved his giant stuffed animal story. He spent many hours and who knows how much money winning giant stuffed animals at fairs and parks throughout his life. It reminded me of the giant stuffed animals I had won. As a child I tended to win a lot of drawings and I remember my friends and family being “envious” of the fact that I won frequently. I wish my luck was still as overflowing as an adult, although I have won a lot of books lately. Anyway, one of my big wins was a giant stuffed Kangaroo. At the time I won it, it was bigger than me. I can still see that Kangaroo sitting in my bedroom..over the years…the head getting to heavy and leaning forward so it didn’t sit up straight anymore. I have no idea where that kangaroo is now…probably long thrown away, but it certainly was something I truly adored. Then as an adult, I went to an amusement park with my current boyfriend who won a huge Tweety Bird for me. I remember carrying it around the park with me the rest of the day and the thrill of everyone looking at you with envy of your big prize. The tweety bird is now our family reunion mascot. So, he gets pulled out of hiding every 3 years to help direct traffic to the reunion location!
Finally, I was extremely interested in his Tigger vs Eeyore philosophy. As Randy sees it, there is a decision to make…am I going to be a fun-loving Tigger or a sad-sack Eeyore. Unfortunately I seem to know too many Eeyores and not enough Tiggers. I am trying to remove myself from the Eeyores in my life. All they do is make me want to complain and feel bad for them. They have no intention towards bettering themselves or their situation but instead tend to dig deeper into their negativeness. I don’t want anyone to see me an Eeyore, I don’t want my kids to be Eeyores, and I don’t like being around Eeyores. So, I am going to look for those Tiggers in my circle of family and friends and ask them if they would like to go for a bounce!
These are just some of the messages that spoke to me, but there were many others. I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you are struggling with something, whether you need a boost, if you are working on achieving a goal, if you are a parent, or if maybe you think you might be one of those complainers or Eeyores. You won’t be disappointed!
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