Guide to A Better Life

Written by Gouw Tjie Liong, Ir., M.Eng, ChFC, PhD. Posted in Life


He was a Carnegie Melon professor and was in his forties.  He  died of pancreatic cancer in 2008, but wrote a book ‘The last lecture” , one of the bestsellers in 2007.  What a legacy to leave  behind…  In a letter to his wife Jai and  his children, Dylan, Logan , and Chloe, he wrote this beautiful  “guide to a better life” for them  to follow. May you be blessed by his insight.



  1. Don’t  compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all  about.
  2. Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead  invest your energy in the positive present moment
  3. Don’t over do; keep  your limits
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does
  5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip
  6. Dream more while you are awake
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the  past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste  time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it  won’t spoil the present
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like  algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  13. Smile and  laugh more
  14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to  disagree.


15. Call your  family often
16. Each day give something good to others
17. Forgive  everyone for everything
18. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6
19. Try to make at least three people smile each day
20. What other people think of you is none of your business
21. Your job  will not take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay  in touch

quoted on April 20, 2011


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Gouw Tjie Liong, Ir., M.Eng, ChFC, PhD

Mr. Gouw is a certified Professional Geotechnical Engineer. He has been working in the field of Geotechnical Engineering since 1984. His expertise covering geotechnical investigation, soil intrumentation, deep foundation and excavation for high rise buildings, pile load testing (Static and PDA), pile integrity testing (PIT), sonic logging test, vibration monitoring, slope stability, ground anchors, pumping test, dewatering, micropiles, tunnelling and ground improvement works, e.g. dynamic compaction, vertical drain, vibro-compaction, geosynthetic and grouting. The jobs cover more than 180 projects in Indonesia, Singapore and Srilanka. He has a great passion in the teaching and disseminating of geotechnical engineering knowledge. He serves as lecturer since late 1984. Currently, he serves as a senior lecturer at Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia. He also conduct regular geotechnical training for engineers. He also chaired the Indonesian Chapter of International Geosynthetics Society since 2006. He has published 80 papers and 22 technical notes.

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