Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

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.

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