"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch
Alright I'm a little slow, I know this book was super popular when it first came out and I'm just getting to it. It was worth the wait though! What an inspirational and insightful book. Randy is a professor at a college and is asked to give a last lecture. Thing is he has terminal cancer and has been given only a few months to live so it really will be his last lecture. He wants to leave a legacy for his three small children. By giving the lecture he will be able to pass wisdom on to them when they will most need it. He talks about following your dreams. He had a list of his childhood dreams and he met all but one of them. "Now our lives together had to be squeezed into a few months." Hard to imagine knowing how long you have here on this earth isn't long and trying desperately to fit a lifetime into a few months. "That is what it is. We can't change it. We just have to decide how we'll respond." No matter what we are dealt, that is all we can do, decide how we are going to respond. "When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you." That is not a place I want to be but then that means I have to be willing to listen to criticism and that's not easy either. "There is only one way to teach kids self esteem: You give them something they can't do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process." What is better than a sense of accomplishment? "Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something." Will we keep reaching? Will we keep trying? If so it was worth it. "Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think." We know not when we will be called home. Say what you need to say, love those you should love and live fully. "We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier." Good advice. "Find something nice to say, even if its a stretch. The worst ideas have silver linings if you look hard enough." Sometimes we just need to look harder. "Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer." We all have experience and every bit of it is valuable. This book is a short read but a good one.