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#23: Books That Benefit My Business (and life) February 12, 2009

Filed under: 101 in 1001 — ericamay @ 11:46 am
Tags: , , ,

I just needed something to read. A small book, quick read, something to just entertain me for an hour or so. I wasn’t looking for something life-altering. I wasn’t looking for inspiration. I wasn’t looking for motivation. But I found it. All of it.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of the book “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, a gift from my parents to Jeff at Christmas. I was immediately immersed in the wisdom, candidness, openness and the practical-yet-stirring advice that this man was setting forth… all about achieving childhood dreams.

I’d encourage you to read a synopsis of the book here, but basically the book is a recount of the lecture Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, gave as his final farewell to the university… and to the world. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last July, but not before leaving a lasting impression on the world. I can’t really describe what the pages of the book contain, except that it tied together a ton of random moments throughout his life in a brilliant way. I just felt moved. I felt encouraged, but in a very realistic way. I felt determined that my childhood dreams (minus the figure skater part) are becoming a reality.

My favorite quote. I probably re-read this paragraph 15 times:

“Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.” 

So I didn’t start out reading this book to gain practical advice for my business. What I gained was so much more — an extra push to chase after dreams, to live a life full of the decisions I want to make, and to just go for it. I am so blessed to be surrounding by people who encourage me and believe in me — and it’s time to start living out our dreams.

Read the book. Find out more about it here. Buy a copy here.

And if you have 76 minutes to spare, you can actually watch his entire last lecture (what the book is based on) on YouTube.

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4 Responses to “#23: Books That Benefit My Business (and life)”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Okay, now I really know you’re a kindred spirit. I watched the lecture last year soon after Randy Pausch gave it, and was changed. I have the book, a gift from my Dad. (He bought 24 copies of the book to give to friends and family!) His story is so, so moving. I think it’s very important for those who are married, to see the devotion and loyalty he had toward his wife. He was quite a man. Thanks for this post, Erica- I think I need to break out that book again.

  2. Sarah Jeanne Says:

    I had a chance to read a couple chapters this past summer when I was home, and it was absolutely amazing. I’m going to have to borrow from my mom now so I can finish reading it. Thanks for the post Erica!

  3. klsumpter Says:

    This was the first book I completed for my 101 list. I love it! So inspirational!

  4. Jamie Mager Says:

    I have yet to read the book but I have seen the actual lecture on youtube and saw the 20/20 special. Wow. That’s about the only thing I could say after seeing it – just pretty amazing – so I totally agree with you.

    If you are ever in the mood for a second book for this item on your list – you should check out “The Fred Factor”. It’s not long at all – shouldn’t take more than a day to really get through. It’s probably more for business than life, but in no way can you not get some ‘life lessons’ out of it – and really shows how put the slighest bit of effort into something really goes a long way for everyone:)


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