The last lecture by Randy Pausch

The last lecture by Randy Pausch

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

We cannot change where we were born and what kind of opportunities we had while growing up. However, we could strive to make the best of what we have right now.

Have something to bring to the table, that will make you more welcomed.

In any sort of negotiations, don’t expect to get everything & give nothing. Always bring something even if the adversary least expects it.

Fundamentals are really important. Otherwise, all the fancy stuff isn’t gonna work.

Stop getting overwhelmed because of the shiny new developments in your field. Focus on learning the first principles well. Those rarely ever change in a fortnight.

When you’re screwing up and nobody is saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up on you.

Very relevant in professional as well as personal life. Take criticism in a positive way and strive to improve yourself.

Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.

Are you really free? Could you really take off to a distant land if you wanted to at this very moment? When you give up the fear of losing what you have - your job, your reputation, relationships - trusting yourself fully that you’ll be able to improvise and build your life around once again, that’s when you’ll really be free.

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted

Be bold. Try that thing you’re afraid of failing at. Even if you don’t get the exact thing, you’ll get experience and maybe something more.

“Head fake” - whatever we learn, we learn indirectly

Preaching never works. We don’t learn by just reading/hearing that we need to do something. That’s why most self-help books are a waste of time. Movies/Books/Games work because the lessons are like easter-eggs, hidden within a beautiful story.

The brick walls are there for a reason. They are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. It’s there to stop the people who want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the “other people”.

Instead of giving up when you hit a brick-wall, figure out ways to jump beyond it. Ask for help if you need it. Don’t turn your back and give up.

It’s easy to be smart when you’re parroting smart people.

Just repeating what you’ve read or heard other smart folks say is of no use. You might seem smart in our tiny bubble. This doesn’t promote original thinking. You rarely ever ponder upon things. You take things at face value and repeat it in every gathering. What good is that? Think. Think. Think.

Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. When you’re pissed off at somebody and you are angry at them, you just haven’t given them enough time. Give them a little more time and they’ll almost always impress you.

Don’t judge people too soon. Everyone..every single person has a positive side. Don’t judge people in a couple of interactions. Give everyone a fair chance to show their good side. I know this because I’ve been guilty of the same.

There are ways to say I don’t know but there’s a good way and a bad way.

Try to frame your apprehensions in a positive way. Instead of rejecting proposals by reacting negatively, keep an open mind. Be curious about what’s asked of you.

Never lose the childlike wonder. It’s what drives us.

If you wear the adult pants, it doesn’t mean you have to become serious and all eh! The world is a playground. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, to admit when you don’t know. The only one you’re gonna be fooling is yourself if you join the pretentious party.

Loyalty is a two-way street.

If you believe that you deserve someone’s loyalty, you gotta show it with your actions first.

Apologize when you screw up.

Be it at work or at home, it doesn’t help to hide when you’ve made a mistake. We’re humans. We make mistakes. Own it up and fix it.

Do the right thing. When you do the right thing, good stuff has a way of happening.

Do you believe in karma? Even if there’s no chance of you benefitting from something, do the right thing always. Integrity is deeply satisfying.

Don’t complain. Just work harder.

Don’t whine if you didn’t get that promotion or that college you wanted to go to. Work harder. If nothing else, you improve yourself.

Be good at something. It makes you valuable.

Having a skill you’re good at will open doors. We all want to be valued, don’t we?

Find the best in everybody.

Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking that they’re gonna be bad. You have something to learn from everybody.

Be prepared. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

As Jobs said, you cannot connect the dots looking forward. So, go burn midnight’s oil on your side-projects. You’re preparing for that moment when the opportunity will arrive.