“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”—Randy Pausch
Randy Pausch delivered his “Last Lecture”, titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams“, at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007. This talk was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical “final talk”, i.e., “what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?”
On September 19, 2006, Pausch underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy to remove the malignant tumor from his pancreas. In August 2007, after doctors discovered that the cancer had recurred, Pausch was given a terminal diagnosis and was told to expect a remaining three to six months of good health.
Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.
In his seminal and very influential book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill shared the story of a man named R.U. Darby, who gave up on his dream of becoming rich by prospecting for gold, he quit 3 feet before a significant gold vein. The central theme of the story is that most of us stop, especially when we are very close to achieving our dreams.
Ross Perot was right when he said: “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”