We Cannot Change the Cards We are Dealt, Just How We Play the Hand

March 13, 2023

Years ago the late Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, had his “Last Lecture” posted to YouTube. It went viral and is filled with loads of great advice that I still think about today.

Why It Matters

Posted fifteen years ago, Pausch’s advice feels as relevant as ever. It is rare to encounter a video or piece of content that is this entertaining and impactful in 2023. In an era of TikTok and Instagram Reels, a part of me wonders if it would even have gone viral. How much are we missing out on when our attention spans have collapsed?

My Favorite Quotes

  • “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
  • “You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work.”
  • “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”
  • “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!”
  • “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.”

Time Management

Randy gave a less known lecture on Time Management. My three favorite pieces of advice:

  • You don’t find time for important things, you make it.
  • Doing things at the last minute is much more expensive than just before the last minute.
  • Turn money into time – especially important for people with kids.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.