Magazine 2013
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
Author: Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow  
Type of Book/Genre: Non Fiction  
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton  
Place: Great Britain (U.K.) printed and bounded in India.  
Year of Publication: 2008  
Pages: 206.  
Price: Rs.295/-.  
ISBN: 978 0 340 97773 6  
Neha Gada  
“An injured lion wants to know if he can still roar,” the author says in the very first lesson. This book is all  
about the values, aspirations, principles; approach towards the life, that author wants to explain his children.  
Prof. Randy Pausch was a computer science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh suffering from  
pancreatic cancer. He had three little children (Dylan, Logan and Chloe) and loving wife ‘Jai’. He was diagnosed  
with about ten tumors in his liver that he quotes as ‘The Elephant in the room’; his chances to survive were  
minimal; had just few months in his hand. He wanted to spend this few months with his family and also wanted  
his kids to know, how much his father loved them? He felt sorry on part of kids to lose their father at an early age  
and also that he would not be able to see his kids grow older. Especially, when they will face challenges and  
will require father figure. So he finally did something memorable for them to cherish for lifetime.He was invited  
by his college to deliver a lecture attended by 400 audiences but he basically delivered that lecture for his kids;  
he knew the lecture would be video graphed that would add as memory for his kids to know that his father was  
such an influential speaker and that was his last lecture. The Last lecture was approximately 70 minutes long  
that talked about the attempt he made to achieve his childhood dreams, his adventures that taught him lessons  
of life, his enabling of dreams of his wife, fellow students and peers as well as some basic principles to live life.  
We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand”. The author had got few months  
in his hands that he wished to optimize being with kids and family and wants to teach his kids about some  
important aspects of once life. As he had no control over his death, he found the path to overcome his shortfall  
by means of the recorded lecture and through this book too. By doing so, he remains immortal not only for his  
family but also for all the viewer’s /listeners and readers. He was thankful to cancer and felt lucky enough to  
know his approaching death. This shows authors positive approach towards his life. One cannot deny that  
author was a true optimist as he practiced all that he preached. He resembles to be ideal tutor, facilitator, a true  
friend, philosopher and guide.  
The title comprehends with the write up as the author sums-up his life journey into this book inspiring  
many more to think positively towards the life. . The language used by author is simple and lucid too for  
readers to understand message easily. The lessons are properly compiled into wider sub topics helping the  
readers to follow link within the sub topics.The approach one has to develop while facing tough challenges in  
life. He meant to lecture students not for sake of giving just information or delivering lecture but to help them  
know importance of life, to create wisdom of knowledge towards perception of life.  
The Book has taught many positive aspects to me. The author talks about many good management and moral  
principles that we can relate to our day to day practice.Everyone can relate these principles in their life. There  
are many principles that common men or manager can follow of which few that I have learnt from this book are,  
Be Honest: The author gave six words advice, ‘tell the truth all the time’. Honesty is not only morally right  
but also efficient. The principle of honesty was deeply followed by author. I strongly feel that false  
statements can save you temporarily but not lifelong. As we know, ‘honesty is best the policy’, the  
managers have to inculcate this principle amongst them so that their employees also inculcate in them.  
Time management: The author represented him as organized and structured personality; it also depicts  
that he respects time. He had got very limited time to live still he scheduled his activities in such a way  
that he could spend maximum time with his children and wife. As ‘Time is money’ one has to spent it too  
carefully, especially in business as a phase of time lost may not came back again.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
Dream Big: The visionaries have always dreamt big and put full efforts in achieve their aims. Every activity  
starts with an objective and objective refers to setting of goals. If goals are too small it could be achieved  
easily but will not motivate for hard work. Big dreams are tough to be achieved but will teach managerial  
skills, traits, expertise and talents to pursue it. One has to dream big and also enable others to achieve  
their dream.  
Work hard: Randy Pausch was hard working faculty, dedicated to his job. He suggests us, ‘don’t complain  
just work harder’. The situation may be contingent and uncertain, which one cannot avoid or change but  
one can just put more efforts to get out of it. As a manager one has to put full efficiency and expertise  
irrespective of rewards because rewards and incentives are directly proportional to efficiency.  
Leadership Qualities:The author related him with the fiction character Kirk, and admired him, to start an  
enterprise like his at an early childhood age. Following a role model that is an entrepreneur, the author  
dreamt big and considered him to be one of those in future. A sound leader always develops a role  
model or an ideal that he would like to follow either by principles or ideologies. This are inherent ability  
cannot be gain from anyone. It is purely intrinsic quality.  
Don’t give up: The author didn’t give up to death even in such a discrete situation. Why should one lose  
hope? It’s not necessary that one would achieve desired result within first attempt but there is always  
hope for the next time. ‘Try and try till you succeed’. This principle will help in building qualities like  
positive attitude, more assertive ideology, dedication and efficiency to optimize result.  
Motivation: If one doesn’t give up, he develops himself with the quality of being patient. This would in  
turn help them to put a step ahead, induce to work more hard and achieve the said goals. With the  
example of first penguin award given to students who fails for the first time, showed the ability of author  
to induce them to work even more efficient. This is necessary for a manager, as employees might  
sometimes be inefficient leading lowering performance but that doesn’t mean they must be humiliated or  
insulted rather they must be motivated to strive the result.  
Don’t think any job is bad: ‘God also helps those who help themselves’ and hence one must not think  
that the job they are doing is inferior in any sense. Work has to be worshiped. No job is bad; one has to  
do it with dedication and respect as it supports you with your livelihood.  
Don’t criticize: This is a qualitative and spiritual character building ability. If we see everyone with goodness,  
the goodness lays with us i.e. we develop a positive attitude and optimist character. It’s not that people  
are bad but the situation in which they are bad. No mom gives birth to a terrorist; it’s the person who  
chooses wrong path.  
10) Show Gratitude: The two words ‘Thank you’ makes one feel better and lighter. Teaches to complement  
others; realizing importance of others deeds. This approach is necessary for a manager to appreciate  
efficient work of employees. It’s not that every time efficient work done needs to be rewarded with  
monetary incentive but by showing gratitude they can serve the purpose. It would also make one humble,  
polite and dignifying.  
The Author has motivated me to perform my job better as I am also a lecturer, and can directly relate his  
talks with the class of my students which is purely inspirational talk depicting real life experience to sensitize  
students towards their life. He also said there are many things beyond just profit and incentives; this has taught  
me moral ethics of being a tutor and to aim at serving the community at large. The book is generic and is  
subjected to be read by any age group for which I feel children or students may find it difficult to personalize  
the author’s real life principles or experiences that they need to relate to their life and living.  
Otherwise the book is sum of emotions that made me cry along the author, principles that brought about a  
frame of disciple, ideologies that life is beautiful and enjoy every part of it as time is finite, the role of our  
childhood dreams in our process of development, and effective communication of real life facts to sensitize the  
stakeholders that would in turn help better relationship development and understanding amongst me and my  
students, other stake holders. Lastly to conclude, ‘Many people might expect the book to be about dying. But  
it is all about living.’