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Quotes of the day: Randy Pausch

Published Thursday, October 22, 2015 @ 10:15 PM EDT
Oct 22 2015

Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science, human–computer interaction, and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006, and in August 2007 he was given a terminal diagnosis: "3 to 6 months of good health left". He gave an upbeat lecture titled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007, at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co- authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A good apology is like antibiotic, a bad apology is like rubbing salt in the wound.

Be good at something. It makes you valuable.

Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.

Everything you do is an opportunity cost. Learn to say 'no.'

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

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.'

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.

It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible.

Look, I'm going to find a way to be happy, and I'd really love to be happy with you, but if I can't be happy with you, then I'll find a way to be happy without you.

Respect authority while questioning it.

The best way to teach somebody something is to have them think they're learning something else.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!

The questions are always more important than the answers.

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.

When you've had something... that you hold so precious, it's the toughest thing in the world to hand it over. And the only advice I can give you is, find somebody better than you to hand it to.

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

You get people to help you by telling the truth; by being earnest. I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every day, because hip is short-term, earnest is long term.

You've got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn't going to work.


(October 23 is also the birthday of Johnny Carson and Michael Crichton.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Randy Pausch


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