Archive for August, 2008

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

I’ve been meaning to watch Randy’s last lecture for some time. Today I found an hour to spend (being on vacation) and really appreciated it. You will too – but if you don’t have an hour to spend, watch the “Reprisal on Oprah” which clocks in at about 11 minutes.

Full Speech: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (1:16:27)

Repirsal on Oprah (11:32)

Here are some choice quotes from the speech, in no particular order:

  • Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome.
  • Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals.
  • When you’re screwing up and nobody bothers to tell you anymore, they’ve stopped caring.
  • Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
  • Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things. They also separate us from the people who don’t really want to achieve their dreams.
  • Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you.
  • Don’t bail – the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap.
  • Get a feedback loop, and listen to it.
  • Don’t complain; just work harder.
  • Decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore
  • Get others to help you:
    Karma – tell the truth, be earnest, apologize when you screw up, focus on others – not yourself.
  • Apologizing has three parts: 1) I’m sorry 2) it was my fault 3) How can I make it right?
  • Be good at something: it makes you valuable.
  • Work hard… People ask him how he succeeded and earned tenure so early; he explained “call me at 10pm on Friday in my office and I’ll tell you.”
  • Find the best in everybody; no matter how long you have to wait for them to show it.
  • Be prepared: “luck” is where preparation meets opportunity.

Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech at Stanford

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Steve gave this speech in 2005, but I’ve never heard it until now. I came across it at Zen habits, which I read regularly.

Here are the highlights from his speech, found on YouTube:

  • You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t … [live] with the results of other people’s thinking”
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish.