Life Advice from The Last Lecture

I recently watched Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture and loved his lecture on time management, so I wanted to write a blog post all about his life advice. The lecture and the resulting book were a final love letter from Randy Pausch to his wife and children, but the book also ended up being a bit of a love letter any parent can give a child. The focus of The Last Lecture is the pursuit of childhood dreams.

This is a list of my favorite take-away points and life advice from Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. These are mostly quotes so credit entirely to Pausch, but if they resonate with you, you may want to read his book, also titled The Last Lecture, co-authored with Jeffrey Zaslow.

Your critics are still showing that they care if you fail or succeed.

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”

Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. Give them time.

Have your cake and eat it too – compromise.

Pioneers get arrows in the back.

Respect for authority, while also questioning it, is healthy.

Never lose childhood wonder.

Ignore what men say and pay attention to what they do.

Be earnest. Hip is short term. Earnest is long term.

Apologize when you’re wrong.

Share the focus and the spotlight.

Don’t bail.

The best gold is at the bottom of the barrels of crap.

When you do “the right thing,” good stuff has a way of happening.

Show gratitude to the people who stand by you.

Listen to feedback, don’t defend. Cherish it and use it.

Work hard.

Don’t complain, just work harder.

Be good at something, it makes you valuable.

Find the best in everybody, no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.

Be prepared. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

If you lead your life the right way, the rest will work out.

When your mind leads you to negativity or distraction, remember “not helpful.”

When things really get tough, put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.

Better to be a “used to be” than a “never was.”

Don’t tell people how to live their lives, tell them stories and let them choose.

You can choose to spend your finite time and energy playing hard or complaining.

Those nuggets are my favourite take-away points from The Last Lecture (video). They speak to me. Which is your favorite?

D is for Dream. All summer I've dreamed of having my toes in the soft sand of Delaware.

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