Chapter 43 Summary

The Friday Night Solution

Pausch receives tenure a year earlier than most professors typically do, which is impressive to the other junior faculty members. When they ask him his secret, Pausch tells them it is simple. All they have to do is call him at his office at 10:00 on a Friday night and he will tell them his secret. (This was before he had a family, of course.)

Many people are looking for a shortcut to success. For Pausch the best shortcut is generally the longest way and comes down to two essential words: work hard. In his view, working longer hours than other people allows him to learn more about his craft. This, in turn, makes him more efficient, more able, and even happier. Pausch believes that hard work follows the same principle as compounded interest in a bank account; faster rewards will accrue.

This principle is as true in life as it is in a career. For all of his adult life, Pausch has felt compelled to ask couples who have been married for a long time how they managed to stay together. Each one of them tells him the same thing: they worked hard at their marriages.