21 Quotes From “The Last Lecture” That Will Change Your Life

“The Last Lecture quotes are perfect for when you need a break from the complacencies of life.” 

“The Last Lecture” may just be the peppiest book ever written by a dying man. Originally titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, Randy Pausch has compiled something that may have deviated from its topic (intentionally), but still extraordinary nonetheless.

At the end of his lecture, Randy asked his audience if anyone managed to uncover his “head fake”, a term he uses extensively to describe a hidden agenda or message.

No one realized until he explained the concluding message of his lecture.

“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.”

Here are some of the best quotes from “The Last Lecture”:

  1. An injured lion wants to know if he can still roar. It’s about dignity and self esteem, which isn’t quite the same as vanity. – Chapter 1, Page 8
  2. Part of that is because if you dispense your own wisdom, others often dismiss it; if you offer wisdom from a third party, it seems less arrogant and acceptable. – Chapter 4, Page 23
  3. Kids, more than anything else need to know their parents love them. Their parents don’t have to be alive for that to happen. – Chapter 4, Page 26
  4. Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome. – Chapter 6, Page 33
  5. When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better. – Chapter 7, Page 37
  6. I mean, Shatner, was the ultimate example of a man who knew what he didn’t know, was perfectly willing to admit it, and didn’t want to leave till he understood. That’s heroic to me. – Chapter 9, Page 45
  7. Tenacity is a virtue, but it’s not always crucial for everyone to observe how hard you work at something. – Chapter 10, Page 48
  8. The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The bricks walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. – Chapter 11, Page 51-52
  9. I watched Dr. Wolff use semantics to phrase whatever he could in a positive light. When we asked, “How long before I die?” he answered, “You probably have three to six months of good health.” – Chapter 12, Page 62
  10. People are more important than things. A car, even a pristine gem like my new convertible, was just a thing. – Chapter 15, Page 70
  11. For Jai and me, our dented cars became a statement in our marriage. Not everything needs to be fixed. – Chapter 18, Page 87
  12. Through the whole ordeal, I don’t think we ever said to each other: “This isn’t fair.” we just kept going. We recognized that there were things we could do that might help the outcome in positive ways… and we did them. – Chapter 19, Page 93
  13. Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think. – Chapter 23, Page 111
  14. 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. And it won’t make us happier. – Chapter 32, Page 139
  15. Treat the Disease, Not the Symptom – Chapter 33, Page 139
  16. Look for the best in everybody. When you’re frustrated with people, when they’ve made you angry it may be because you haven’t given them enough time. – Chapter 36, Page 145
  17. 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. – Chapter 37, Page 146
  18. 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. – Chapter 39, Page 148
  19. Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things human can do for each other. – Chapter 41, Page 151
  20. One thing that makes it possible to be optimistic is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. – Chapter 46, Page 161
  21. It can be a disruptive thing for parents to have specific dreams for their kids. As a professor, I’ve seen many unhappy college freshman picking majors that are all too wrong for them. Their parents have put them on a train, and too often, judging by the crying during my office hours, the result is a train wreck. – Chapter 59, Page 197

    © 2018 Xavier Lee – All Rights Reserved / Featured Image Photographer: Beata Ratuszniak

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