The Last Lecture
By Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–”Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” –Randy Pausch
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
By Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
FROM LIBRARY JOURNAL
by Malcolm Gladwell
Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he’s gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question inOutliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the “self-made man,” he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don’t arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: “they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, “some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky.”
Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots’ culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there’s more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples–and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps–Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. –Mari Malcolm
Allen’s practical philosophy of successful living has awakened millions to the discovery and perception of the truth that “they themselves are makers of themselves.” Building on the Bible verse. “As a man thinketh, so he is,” Allen insists that it is within the power of each person to form his own character and create his own happiness.
About James Allen
James Allen (1864-1912) was an Englishman who retired from the business world to pursue a lifestyle of writing and contemplation. His books are classics in the fields of inspiration and spirituality. Although best known for As a Man Thinketh, he authored several other books that deal with the power of thought including THE PATH OF PROSPERITY, EIGHT PILLARS OF PROSPERITY and James Allen’s BOOK OF MEDITATION FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR.
Allen’s books illustrate the use of the power of thought to increase personal capabilities. Although he never achieved great fame or wealth, his works continue to influence people around the world, including the New Thought movement.
From Library Journal
Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Chopra builds on this powerful thought in this that expands his life’s work in spiritual approaches to daily living. He explains the laws of pure potentiality, giving, karma, least effort, intention and desire, detachment, and dharma and includes useful suggestions on how to apply these fundamental, natural principles if one is truly searching for purpose and a satisfying life. Ancient Vedic concepts form the basis of this philosophy of living that transcends the Eurocentric theological dogma that seems to preoccupy Western thought, especially among Americans.
A Complaint Free World
From Publishers Weekly
Bowen is a minister with a very simple message: quit complaining. If you do, you’ll be happier and healthier. Hence his Complaint-Free World challenge; the goal is to stop for 21 consecutive days. Why 21? That’s how long it takes to break a habit, according to Bowen, who has appeared on Oprah and The Today Show discussing his challenge. And while there’s no scientific proof his program works, he includes testimonials from people who’ve stopped their chronic carping and now lead more positive lives. As for issues that might make you complain about not complaining-e.g., how do you enact social change without first finding fault with the present situation?-Bowen points to Martin Luther King Jr. and his I-have-a-dream speech. He “did not stand on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and say, “Isn’t it terrible how we’re being treated….”
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
by Eckhart Tolle
The Four Agreements
Sit at the foot of a native elder and listen as great wisdom of days long past is passed down. In The Four Agreements shamanic teacher and healer Don Miguel Ruiz exposes self-limiting beliefs and presents a simple yet effective code of personal conduct learned from his Toltec ancestors. Full of grace and simple truth, this handsomely designed book makes a lovely gift for anyone making an elementary change in life, and it reads in a voice that you would expect from an indigenous shaman. The four agreements are these: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. It’s the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering. –P. Randall Cohan –This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill
First published in 1937, this is the end product of two decades of research conducted by Napoleon Hill. His research started when Andrew Carnegie (the steel tycoon who was then the richest man on earth) gave him the assignment of organizing a Philosophy of Personal Achievement. Hill, who was a poor journalist, armed with just an introductory letter from Carnegie, set out to interview over five hundred successful people including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, George Eastman, William Wrigley Jr. and Charles M. Schwab. Hill then revealed the priceless wisdom of his research in the form of the thirteen steps to success (in Think and Grow Rich) and the seventeen principles of success (in courses and lectures he conducted).