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Books That Meant Something… 1/4

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

For most of December, (before I get too close to the next book launch) I thought it would be fun to share books that have had profound impacts on me. Although, it’s fair to point out the title of this post feels a little deceiving because, to me, all books mean something. 😉

Nonetheless, these are books that I keep close by. The majority of which have spent a Christmas season or two as gifts to friends and family.

One of my most favorite passages:

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch


Don’t Obsess Over What People Think

“I’ve found that a substantial fraction of many people’s days is spent worrying about what others think of them. If nobody ever worried about what was in other’s people’s heads, we’d all be 33 percent more effective in our lives and on our jobs.

How did I come up with 33 percent? I’m a scientist. I like exact numbers, even if I can’t always prove them. So let’s just run with 33%.

I used to tell anyone who worked in my research group: “You don’t ever have to worry about what I’m thinking. Good or bad, I’ll let you know what’s in my head.”

That meant when I wasn’t happy about something, I spoke up, often directly and not always tactfully. But on the positive side, I was able to reassure people: “If I haven’t said anything, you have nothing to worry about.”

Students and colleagues came to appreciate that, and they didn’t waste a lot of time obsessing over “What is Randy thinking?” Because mostly, what I was thinking was this: I have people on my team who are 33 percent more effective than everyone else. That’s what was in my head.”


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