The Last Lecture 

NOTES FROM

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch

 
January 11, 2017
Introduction

But engineering isn’t about perfect solutions; it’s about doing the best you can with limited resources

January 11, 2017
Chapter 1 – An Injured Lion Still Wants to Roar
 

What makes me unique?” That was the question I felt compelled to address. Maybe

 
January 11, 2017
Chapter 1 – An Injured Lion Still Wants to Roar

audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

January 11, 2017
Chapter 1 – An Injured Lion Still Wants to Roar

An injured lion wants to know if he can still roar

January 11, 2017
Chapter 1 – An Injured Lion Still Wants to Roar

Whatever my accomplishments, all of the things I loved were rooted in the dreams and goals I had as a child…and in the ways I had managed to fulfill almost all of them. My uniqueness, I realized, came in the specifics of all the dreams—from incredibly meaningful to decidedly quirky—that defined my forty-six years of life. Sitting there, I knew that despite the cancer, I truly believed I was a lucky man because I had lived out these dreams. And I had lived out my dreams, in great measure, because of things I was taught by all sorts of extraordinary people along the way. If I was able to tell my story with the passion I felt, my lecture might help others find a path to fulfilling their own dreams.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 1 – An Injured Lion Still Wants to Roar

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.’ ”

January 11, 2017
Chapter 2 – My Life in a Laptop

When the waitress brought our meals, I congratulated her on her pregnancy. “You must be overjoyed,” I said. “Not exactly,” she responded. “It was an accident.” As she walked away, I couldn’t help but be struck by her frankness. Her casual remark was a reminder about the accidental elements that play into both our arrival into life… and our departure into death

January 11, 2017
Chapter 3 – The Elephant in the Room

the logo on my short-sleeved polo shirt was an emblem of honor because it’s the one worn by Walt Disney Imagineers—the artists, writers and engineers who create theme-park fantasies

January 11, 2017
Chapter 3 – The Elephant in the Room

I was paying tribute to that life experience, and to Walt Disney himself, who famously had said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

January 11, 2017
Chapter 3 – The Elephant in the Room

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

January 11, 2017
Chapter 4 – The Parent Lottery

If you have a question,” my folks would say, “then find the answer.”

January 11, 2017
Chapter 4 – The Parent Lottery

stories should be told for a reason

January 11, 2017
Chapter 4 – The Parent Lottery

When I was studying for my PhD, I took something called “the theory qualifier,” which I can now definitively say was the second worst thing in my life after chemotherapy. When I complained to my mother about how hard and awful the test was, she leaned over, patted me on the arm and said, “We know just how you feel, honey. And remember, when your father was your age, he was fighting the Germans.”

 
January 11, 2017
Chapter 5 – The Elevator in the Ranch House

Anybody out there who is a parent, if your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let them do it. It’ll be OK. Don’t worry about resale value on the house.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 6 – Getting to Zero G

IT’S IMPORTANT to have specific dreams.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 6 – Getting to Zero G

As an aside, there’s a lesson here: Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 6 – Getting to Zero G

It just proves that if you can find an opening, you can probably find a way to float through it.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 7 – I Never Made It to the NFL

You’ve got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work

January 11, 2017
Chapter 7 – I Never Made It to the NFL

Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 9 – A Skill Set Called Leadership

Shatner, was the ultimate example of a man who knew what he didn’t know, was perfectly willing to admit it, and didn’t want to leave until he understood

 
January 11, 2017
Chapter 9 – A Skill Set Called Leadership

I don’t believe in the nowin scenario.”

January 11, 2017
Chapter 11 – The Happiest Place on Earth

The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something

 
January 11, 2017
Chapter 16 – Romancing the Brick Wall

Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

but you are not more interesting than lunch. Delegate

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .
 

Time must be explicitly managed, like money.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

You can always change your plan, but only if you have one

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

Ask yourself: Are you spending your time on the right things?

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

Develop a good filing system

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

Rethink the telephone

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

In fact, it’s better to stand when you’re on the phone

January 11, 2017
Chapter 23 – I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me . . .

Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 24 – A Recovering Jerk
 

I always saw the value in that, sure. But in my mind, a better number one goal was this: I wanted to help students learn how to judge themselves.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 28 – Dream Big

When you use money to fight poverty, it can be of great value, but too often, you’re working at the margins. When you’re putting people on the moon, you’re inspiring all of us to achieve the maximum of human potential, which is how our greatest problems will eventually be solved.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 32 – Don’t Complain, Just Work Harder

TOO MANY people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 32 – Don’t Complain, Just Work Harder

My favorite non-complainer of all time may be Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League Baseball. He endured racism that many young people today couldn’t even fathom. He knew he had to play better than the white guys, and he knew he had to work harder. So that’s what he did. He vowed not to complain, even if fans spit on him.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 34 – 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 people’s heads, we’d all be 33 percent more effective in our lives and on our jobs.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 35 – Start By Sitting Together

Phrase alternatives as questions: Instead of “I think we should do A, not B,” try “What if we did A, instead of B?” That allows people to offer comments rather than defend one choice.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 37 – Watch What They Do, Not What They Say

My colleague told me: “It took a long time, but I’ve finally figured it out. When it comes to men who are romantically interested in you, it’s really simple. Just ignore everything they say and only pay attention to what they do.”

January 11, 2017
Chapter 38 – If at First You Don’t Succeed…

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. That comes from Seneca, the Roman philosopher who was born in 5 B.C. It’ll be worth repeating for another two thousand years, at least.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 38 – If at First You Don’t Succeed…

I love a lot of pop culture clichés, too. I don’t mind when my children watch Superman, not because he’s strong and can fly, but because he fights for “truth, justice and the American way.” I love that line.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 38 – If at First You Don’t Succeed…
 

I love the movie Rocky. I even love the theme music. And what I liked most about the original Rocky movie was that Rocky didn’t care if he won the fight that ends the film. He just didn’t want to get knocked out. That was his goal. During the most painful times of my treatment, Rocky was an inspiration because he reminded me: It’s not how hard you hit. It’s how hard you get hit …and keep moving forward.

 
January 11, 2017
Chapter 39 – Be the First Penguin
 

The other students came to understand: “First Penguin” winners were losers who were definitely going somewhere. The title of the award came from the notion that when penguins are about to jump into water that might contain predators, well, somebody’s got to be the first penguin. I originally called it “The Best Failure Award,” but failure has so many negative connotations that students couldn’t get past the word itself.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 39 – Be the First Penguin
 

EXPERIENCE IS what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 39 – Be the First Penguin

Start-up companies often prefer to hire a chief executive with a failed start-up in his or her background. The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures. The person who knows only success can be more oblivious to all the pitfalls.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 39 – Be the First Penguin

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 41 – The Lost Art of Thank-You Notes
 

think that thank-you notes are best done the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 41 – The Lost Art of Thank-You Notes

I’ve told her this story, and now she tells it to others. Despite all that is now going on in my life and with my medical care, I still try to handwrite notes when it’s important to do so. It’s just the nice thing to do. And you never know what magic might happen after it arrives in someone’s mailbox.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 43 – The Friday Night Solution

lot of people want a shortcut. I find the best shortcut is the long way, which is basically two words: work hard.

 
January 11, 2017
Chapter 43 – The Friday Night Solution

As I see it, if you work more hours than somebody else, during those hours you learn more about your craft. That can make you more efficient, more able, even happier. Hard work is like compounded interest in the bank. The rewards build faster.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 46 – All You Have Is What You Bring With You

I’ve often told my students: “When you go into the wilderness, the only thing you can count on is what you take with you.” And essentially, the wilderness is anywhere but your home or office. So take money. Bring your repair kit. Imagine the wolves. Pack a lightbulb. Be prepared.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 47 – A Bad Apology Is Worse Than No Apology

I’d start by describing the two classic bad apologies: 1) “I’m sorry you feel hurt by what I’ve done.” (This is an attempt at an emotional salve, but it’s obvious you don’t want to put any medicine in the wound.) 2) “I apologize for what I did, but you also need to apologize to me for what you’ve done.” (That’s not giving an apology. That’s asking for one.) Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I feel badly that I hurt you.

January 11, 2017
Chapter 47 – A Bad Apology Is Worse Than No Apology

3) How do I make this better?

January 12, 2017
Chapter 48 – Tell the Truth

IF I could only give three words of advice, they would be “tell the truth.” If I got three more words, I’d add: “All the time.” My parents taught me that “you’re only as good as your word,” and there’s no better way to say it.

 
January 12, 2017
Chapter 51 – No Job Is Beneath You

My advice has always been: “You ought to be thrilled you got a job in the mailroom. And when you get there, here’s what you do: Be really great at sorting mail.”

January 12, 2017
Chapter 51 – No Job Is Beneath You

No job should be beneath us. And if you can’t (or won’t) sort mail, where is the proof that you can do anything?

January 12, 2017
Chapter 54 – Be a Communitarian

Rights have to come from somewhere, and they come from the community. In return, all of us have a responsibility to the community. Some people call this the “communitarian” movement, but I call it common sense.

January 12, 2017
Chapter 55 – All You Have to Do Is Ask

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask, and it can lead to all your dreams coming true.

January 12, 2017
Chapter 55 – All You Have to Do Is Ask

Ask those questions. Just ask them. More often than you’d suspect, the answer you’ll get is, “Sure

 
January 12, 2017
Chapter 61 – The Dreams Will Come to You

paused. The room was quiet. “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.”

All Excerpts From

 

Pausch, Randy. “The Last Lecture.” Hyperion. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

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About thewisedeveloper

Hi all, I am a Junior/Senior Computer Science student at Worcester State University, Worcester, Massachusetts.
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