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The Last Lecture › Quotes

The Last Lecture Quotes

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. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.
We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.
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.
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.
The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have.
No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.
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.
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.
Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.
Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.
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.
Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I've always believed that if you took one tenth the enrgy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things can work out.
A lot of people want a shortcut. I find the best shortcut is the long way, which is basically two words: work hard.
Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out.
When we're connected to others, we become better people.
Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.
The questions are always more important than the answers.
People are more important than things.
You can always change you plan, but only if you have one.
No job is beneath you. 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.
There's a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It's not something you can give; it's something they have to build. Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. 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.
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.
I know you're smart. But everyone here is smart. Smart isn't enough. The kind of people I want on my research team are those who will help everyone feel happy to be here.
All my adult life I've felt drawn to ask long-married couples how they were able to stay together. All of them said the same thing: "We worked hard at it.
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... 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.
Give yourself permission to dream. Fuel your kids' dreams too. Once in a while, that might even mean letting them stay up past their bedtimes.
One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose.
I’ve never understood pity and self-pity as an emotion. We have a finite amount of time. Whether short or long, it doesn’t matter. Life is to be lived.
Randy Pausch on time management: Here's what I know: Time must be explicitly managed, like money. You can always change your plan, but only if you have one. Ask yourself: Are you spending your time on the right things? Develop a good filing system. Rethink the telephone. Delegate. Take a time out. Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.
Want to have a short phone call with someone? Call them at 11:55 a.m., right before lunch. They'll talk fast. You may think you are interesting, but you are not more interesting than lunch.
If I work hard enough, there will be things I can do tomorrow that I can't do today.
We've placed a lot of emphasis in this country on the idea of people's rights. That's how it should be, but it makes no sense to talk about rights without also talking about responsibilities.
Never make a decision until you have to.
I was hugely impressed... 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. That's heroic to me. I wish every grad student had that attitude.
I've always admired people who are over-prepared.
Engineering isn't about perfect solutions; it's about doing the best you can with limited resources.
Not everything needs to be fixed.
Throughout my academic career, I'd given some pretty good talks. But being considered the best speaker in the computer science department is like being known as the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs.
Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I feel badly that I hurt you. 3) How do I make this better?.
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
enabling the dreams of others.
We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.
What is the most appropriate thing to say to a friend who was about to die. He answered:.
Just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean you have to run people over.
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?.
But I want her to grow up knowing that I was the first man ever to fall in love with her. I'd always thought the father/daughter thing was overstated. But I can tell you, sometimes, she looks at me and I just become a puddle.
Kids need to know their parents love them. Their parents don’t need to be alive for that to happen.
You've got to get the fundamentals down, because otherwise the fancy stuff is not going to work.
No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse. At the same time, it is often within your power to make them better.
Focus on other people, not on yourself.
There are more ways than one to measure profits and losses.
An injured lion wants to know if he can still roar.
It's a thrill to fulfill your own childhood dreams, but as you get older, you may find that enabling the dreams of others is even more fun.
People lie for lots of reasons, often because it seems like a way to get what they want with less effort.
He had high hopes for society, and though his hopes were too often dashed, he remained a raging optimist.
If nobody ever worried about what was in other people's heads, we’d all be 33 percent more effective in our lives and our jobs.
If you can find an opening, you can probably find a way to float through it.
You don't beat the grim reaper by living longer; you beat the grim reaper by living better.
If you can find your footing between two cultures, sometimes you can have the best of both worlds.
if you offer wisdom from a third party, it seems less arrogant and more acceptable.
Look for the best in everybody.
Most people who have told a lie think they got away with it … when in fact, they didn’t.
Your patience will be both appreciated and rewarded.
And even though I did not reach the NFL, I sometimes think I got more from persuing that dream, and not accomplishing it, then I did from many of the ones I did accomplish.
Halfhearted or insincere apologies are often worse than not apologizing at all because recipients find them insulting. If you've done something wrong in your dealings with another person, it's as if there's an infection in your relationship. A good apology is like an antibiotic; a bad apology is like rubbing salt I the wound.
educators best serve students by helping them be more self-reflective. The only way any of us can improve—as Coach Graham taught me—is if we develop a real ability to assess ourselves. If we can’t accurately do that, how can we tell if we’re getting better or worse?.
The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures.
There's a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It's not something you can give; it's something they have to build.
I don't believe in the no-win scenario.
I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short term. Earnest is long term.
I’d compare college tuition to paying for a personal trainer at an athletic club. We professors play the roles of trainers, giving people access to the equipment (books, labs, our expertise) and after that, it is our job to be demanding.
If she doesn't really love you, then it's over. And if she does love you, then love will win out.
If you want something bad enough, never give up (and take a boost when offered).
A coach yells at the kid he thinks can improve but the coach will not yell at the kid who he/she knows won't.