About once a year I pick up and read through Randy Pausch’s book, The Last Lecture.  I read through his thoughts on what mattered most to him in his final lecture as a Professor at Carnegie Mellon.  The significance is that he is dying of incurable cancer and is also dutifully preparing to leave behind his wife and family.  I highly recommended reading the book, especially if you ever begin to feel as though life lessons are getting too hard.

A favorite insight of mine from his writing is focused on experience.  “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.  Having failed once or twice with something often promotes tremendous learning opportunities for how to avoid failures in the future.  If you have always been successful (or told that you are), you might be completely oblivious to the pitfalls.

You won’t always be successful and you will come across hard lessons that promote great learning experiences to grow from.  Approach these opportunities with enthusiasm and passion as Randy Pausch did until his final day.


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