The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture


Randy Pausch

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Last Lecture makes teaching easy.

The Last Lecture: Chapter 43 Summary & Analysis

When Randy gets tenure a year early and one of his colleagues asks him how he managed it, Randy says, “It’s pretty simple. Call me any Friday night in my office at ten o’clock and I’ll tell you.” Randy believes that a lot of people want a shortcut, but the best shortcut is the long way, which is two words: “Work hard.” In Randy’s view, hard work is like compounded interest in the bank: the rewards build faster the longer you do it. This is true for work, as well as marriage. If you ask most long-married couples how they did it, they’ll respond, “We worked hard at it.”
Randy didn’t feel entitled to becoming a tenured professor—he simply worked very hard toward that goal and earned the position. Marriage, Randy argues, is just like any other part of life: you must work hard at it in order for the relationship to be successful, rather than feeling entitled to a perfect marriage.
Attitude and Positive Behavior Theme Icon
Entitlement vs. Earning Theme Icon