Book Notes: The Last Lecture

Dream Big – Make a List and Execute!
 – Always phrase things in a positive way. Think like an optimist. Instead of saying the park closes at 8 pm say the park is open until 8 pm.
– Don’t get upset over the little things/material possessions
Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Even if someone has to practically throw you over – it can be helpful to others to tell them how you did it.
Time must be explicitly managed, like money
– You can always change your plan, but only if you have one
Ask yourself: Are you spending your time on the right things? You may have causes, goals, interests. Are they even worth pursuing?
– Develop a good filing system
– Help enable other peoples dreams
Don’t complain. Just work harder. We all have finite time and energy. Anytime we spend whining doesn’t help us accomplish our goals. And it won’t make us any happier.
Treat the disease, not the symptoms. Find out what is really wrong and work on that instead of the effects that rise up because of it.
Don’t obsess over what other people think. 
Teamwork Advice:
  1. Start by sitting together: formal intros and exchange contact info
  2. Find something you have in common.
  3. Try for optimal meeting conditions. Make sure no one is hungry, cold or tired. Meet over a meal if you can.
  4. Let everyone talk
  5. Check Egos at the door.
  6. Praise each other. Find something nice to say, even if it’s a stretch. The worst ideas have silver linings if you look hard enough.
  7. Phrase alternatives as questions. “What is we try B instead of A?
Look for the best in everybody. Everyone has a good side if you give them enough time to show it to you.
Watch what people do, not what they say. 
Dance with the one who brought you: This should be a mantra in the business world, academia and at home. It’s a reminder about loyalty and appreciation.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
– Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.
Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.
Handwrite people thank you notes
Loyalty is a two-way street.
– Work hard
– Show gratitude
– When you ask people to do something for you, send them a box of thin mints. “Thank you for agreeing to do this. The enclosed Thin Mints are your reward. But no fair eating them until you review the paper.” This will put a smile on people’s faces and will serve as a reminder to get the job done.
– All you have is what you bring with you. Always try to be as prepared as possible.
– A good apology consists of three parts:
  • What I did was wrong.
  • I feel badly I hurt you.
  • How do I make this better?
Tell the truth: Honesty is not only morally right, it is also efficient.
– Usually, all you have to do is ask to get what you want
Choose to be an optimist. Enjoy your one long journey in life. Have fun and bring joy into the lives of others.
Author of post: Madelyn Tavarez

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