The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

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I read “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch a few years ago and I loved it.  Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnage Mellon.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and only had a six months to live.  Before he died, Randy Pausch gave his last lecture at Carnage Mellon.  The advice he gave during the lecture struck a cord with millions of people.

Randy Pausch talked about the importance of family, humility, and working toward your dreams.  There is an abundance of good advice in the book, so I decided to read it again.

While reading the book, I found myself thinking about my own personal goals.  A few years ago, I finished a PhD program and a huge dream of mine was fulfilled.

However, since then I have floundered a bit.  I don’t have another dream or personal goal.  I started thinking about what I want to accomplish next in my life.  I have a some ideas that I am researching.  I will post an update once I get it all straight in my mind and let everyone know what I plan to achieve next in my life.

Amazing Accomplishments

To me it seems amazing that anything is ever accomplished in the Thaler household.  We have a mix of extreme introverts and type B personalities, which makes things interesting.

Common Conversations in the Thaler House:

  • Thaler A – Can you do such and such?
  • Thaler A (days later) – How come you didn’t get such and such done?
  • Thaler B – You were serious about that?  I thought it was a suggestion.

 

  • Thaler A – Can you do blah blah tomorrow?
  • Thaler B – It depends on what time I wake up?
  • Thaler A – What time do you plan on getting up in the morning?
  • Thaler B – I don’t know, it depends on how tired I am.

 

  • Thaler A – We need to complete the whatever project today.
  • Thaler B – First, I have to lay on the couch and psych myself up for that project.
  • Thaler A – Cool, I’ll check back with you in 30 minutes.

 

  • Thaler A – We have to reschedule the such and such appointment.  That will make three appointments in one day and I can’t deal with that much human interaction in the same day.
  • Thaler B – Agreed, I will reschedule the appointment.
  • Thaler A – Cool

The amazing thing is we do actually manage to get things done and take care of all our responsibilities.  It’s baffling, but true.

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Positive Character Traits

In Matthew 12:22-50, Jesus has a lot to say about character.  For example,

  • A tree is known by its fruit
  • Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks

Webster defines character as the mental and ethical traits of a person.  Those traits could be positive or negative.

Positive character traits that I try to incorporate into my life include:

  • Humility
  • Kindness
  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Generosity
  • Gratitude
  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Friendliness
  • Dedication

I don’t always live up to my goal, but I learn from my mistakes and try again.

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The Life You Want – Book Review

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I found this book at a thrift store and it was really cheap, so I decided to give it a try.  I must admit it was better than I expected.

The book discusses how to create reasonable goals, develop motivation, continue even when motivation is declining, and how to increase your personal happiness.

I give it an A-