The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch

All Reviews

40 + 482 in other languages
Barbara ABPBarbara ABP wrote a review
(*)(*)(*)( )( )
風流雲散風流雲散 wrote a review
CandyCandy wrote a review
This was a very good book I would recommend to all people. The author got a terminal disease with 3 to 6 months of life remaining, but he was not beaten. He had lived a great and fruitful life in around forty-year of age, achieved most of his dreams, including experiencing the zero gravity, working as the Imagineer in Disneyland and developing the virtual reality world. All his legacies were very inspiring to me.

Randy finally presented his last lecture for the audience, and most importantly, for his beloved kids to know him better when they would grow up without him. In his talk, Randy emphasized the importance of having childhood dreams and the ways to lead our lives. He talked about the basic principles of life: have fun, have dreams, good time management, hard-work, kindness to others, persistence, be prepared, honesty etc. All of these were well-known and yet easily-forgotten. I therefore particular like Chapter V - It's about how to live. It was a summary of his way of life.


"Luck is indeed where preparation meets opportunity."

"even if I was in a position of strength, whether at work or in relationships, I had to play fair. Just because you’re in the driver’s seat, doesn’t mean you have to run people over."

"Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: 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."

"The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something…are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people."

"I just want you to know that it feels great to be alive, and to be here today, alive with you. Whatever news we get about the scans, I’m not going to die when we hear it. I won’t die the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that. So today, right now, well this is a wonderful day. And I want you to know how much I’m enjoying it."


Time management: 1. Time must be explicitly managed, like money, it doesn't matter how well you polish the underside of the banister; 2. You can always change your plan, but only if you have one; 3. Are you spending your time on the right things? 4. Delegate; 5. Take a time out.

Raising the White Flag: sometimes, surrendering is the right thing to do, particular to the one you love.

Don't Complain, Just Work Harder: Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals.

Don't Obsess Over What People Think: Don't let others worry about what I'm thinking. And you yourself don't obsess over what others think. You will be 33% more efficient.

Start By Sitting Together: find things you have in common; let everyone talk, don't finish someone's sentence; phrase alternatives as questions to allow people to offer comments rather than defend one choice.

Watch What They Do, Not What The Say: when it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it's really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.

Be the First Penguin: Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

Show Gratitude: I could never adequately pay him back, so I just have to pay it forward. Go out and do for others what somebody did for you.

All You Have Is What You Bring With You: One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose.

All You Have to Do Is Ask

Make a Decision: Tigger or Eeyore: I'm going to keep having fun everyday I have left. Because there's no other way to play it. I could pack a lot of fun into those thirty years. But if that's not to be, then I'll just pack fun into whatever time I do have.

The Input of Others: Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.