Playing cards & brick walls

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

This phrase has remained etched in my mind since I first heard the ‘Last Lecture’ by Randy Pausch.

The ‘Last Lecture’ was part of a series where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk”, with a topic such as “what wisdom  or message would you try to leave after you, if you knew it was your last chance?”

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (1960 – 2008) gave this lecture at the university in September 2007.

When I feel I am facing a brick wall I watch the video and each time I discover and learn something new.  This guy was something special.

Only last night I discovered another video of a surprise return to Carnegie Mellon by Professor Randy Pausch to deliver another inspirational speech at the Commencement ceremony in May 2008.  It was not alone inspirational but so full of energy and fun.  If you have not seen them before I highly recommend that you watch them.  They are both quite long so you will need to allow about an hour for each

Elly & George, if you have not seen the second one, go for it on the big screen.

12 thoughts on “Playing cards & brick walls

  1. cathy

    I have seen the first one, and I agree with you, it is an amazing lecture and deeply inspirational. I will go back to your second link when I have time to watch it entirely, thanks for posting it.

  2. Ian

    The medieval mystic Meister Eckhart used to urge people to realize that the only life we have is this one and the only time we have is now.

    He once said, ‘There is no stopping place in this life’. Yet people continue to behave as if there is.

  3. kenju

    Pausch was a wonderful man; so wise. His was a terrible loss, but I am glad we have these videos to keep his lessons at hand.

  4. wisewebwoman

    I’ve seen them GM and they are powerful. Can’t see them now because of Dialup Dementia.
    But there are so few of us who live with any sense of urgency, have you noticed?
    the people who should be paying attention to the Pausches and Eikharts of the world never do.

  5. rummuser

    One hell of a motivating character. I saw and read the transcripts of his speeches as well as read his book. Apart from the way he played his cards, the way his family did is another story by itself.

  6. Grannymar Post author

    @Cathy – It will be well worth the time.

    @Ian – There is no rehearsal, we are all one way traffic.

    @Judy – My father often told us that ‘The Good die young’! In the case of this guy it was a true saying.

    @WWW – Some folk seem to think they will go on forever, they are in for a big disappointment!

    @Ramana – I have yet to read his book.

  7. Darlene

    It takes forever to download a 4 minute video since I had to reinstall Windows. I don’t know why and am so busy blogging I haven’t had time to spend a frustrating morning with a techie. Therefore, I won’t be able to watch these videos but will try to find the transcript on line.

    Thank you for posting an inspirational video and I know others will find it well worth the time to view.

  8. bikehikebabe

    I saw Randy Pausch’s first video. Surprised that there is another one.
    Like Michael Jackson with his “This Is It” tour that he was about to do.
    We didn’t know that “This Is It” would be his funeral.

  9. Grannymar Post author

    @Darlene – I am sure there are transcripts available and well worth a read.

    @Paddy – It is not the winning that counts…. but the playing and taking part.

    @BHB – The major difference was that Michael Jackson expected to be alive for his “This Is It” , while Randy P didn’t!


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