When professor Randy Pausch was giving the final last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, he referred 'elephant' as the 10 tumors in his liver; to me and people like me who are inspired by his speeches, he is definitely an elephant on the planet.
I read the book within 2 days; actually, 3.5-4 hours spread over 2 days. It was a delightful reading experience-there weren't complicated or fancy words that impede me to move on; nor there were enough clichés to make me bored(although the author insisted he talked clichés over and over again).
I was struck by Randy's optimism. Knowing that he had 3-6 months to live, like a solider with high morale, he fought for every possibility to be alive, both physically and mentally. He had a romantic getaway with his wife, he took his children to do something they longed for, he visited family members and friends with a having-fun theme without talking about cancer, he presented last lecture series on stage inspiring millions of people.
A big chunk of this book is on childhood dreams. Randy always had passion about his dreams, he committed to work hard, never gave up on finding them, even when he was in denial. I have given up most of my childhood dreams, and to comfort myself, I honored myself with the sign of getting mature to be realistic and sophisticated to know how to compromise. I gave them up naturally, without a second thought. I didn't try to reach out for the stars. To be self-reflective(as mentioned by Randy), I question myself for not pushing my limits. Why dare not to dream anymore? Why being afraid while confronting those obstacles? I don't wanna be cowered. No more.
Another point worth mentioning is do not stop in front of brick walls. When Randy was trying to get a job at Disney on his sabbatical leave, he was not offered the job at the first place; when Randy was applying for graduate study at Carnegie Mellon, he was not accepted initially; when Randy fell in love with Jai and proposed to her, she didn't want to make a bold move to marry that man and live in another city happily after....Those "Berlin Walls" were broken down, falling into pieces, either with Randy's persistence, or help of others who appreciate this kind of determination.
There are tons of small advices mentioned(near the end of this book), simple yet persuasive.
RIP, "St. Randy of Pittsburgh". Your spirit shall not be forgotten.