6 Ways to Stay Inspired in Your Guild by Dr Randy Pausch

6 Ways to Stay Inspired in Your Guild by Dr Randy Pausch

I watched the most touching presentation the other day on Presentation Zen. It was delivered by Dr. Randy Pausch. You see, the professor was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. His doctors informed him that he would only have a few months left before his condition would deteriorate. At Carnegie Mellon University, he gave a presentation that generated an impact worldwide on how he has approached his life.

Here’s the ABC promo on the special of the "Last Lecture".


The professor offers a lot of insight into how a person should live their life. But that doesn’t mean that his lessons can’t be translated into World of Warcraft. The actual presentation can be found at the bottom of the post.


We cannot change the cards we are dealt; only how we play the hand

Item drops in the game are completely random. There is nothing you or I or anyone can do to influence what item drops. If your weapon drops and you want it really badly but it ends up going to someone else, are you going to be thrilled for them or brood in a corner? I know that when Archimonde dropped his staff, the first thing that came to my mind was sweet! Why? Because I’d have less competition for it! When it dropped again, I was ecstatic. But then my feral tank just HAD to go and set the bar for 30 DKP effectively forcing me to spend almost double to ensure that I received it.

When you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they gave up

Whether or not you have just started your raiding career or consider yourself a veteran, criticism will come in many shapes and in many forms. I’m notorious for occasionally lapsing in attention during raids every so often (because there is generally a game going on) and I’ve heard about it several times. I can also deliver words of my own. But I don’t do it for the sake of putting them down. I do it because I want them to get better. Like Dr Pausch says, your critics are the ones who still love you and care.

Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls aren’t there to stop you. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough

Do you remember when WoW had attunements? They were usually there for a reason. Blizzard has slowly but surely lowered the barriers. Experienced raiders know that a free ride is not expected. Loot is earned not given. You can’t show up to a raid and go AFK. Raiders have to actively contribute. The same thing applies with DKP. If you really want an item badly enough, then start spending those points. All too often, I’ve seen items drop and have seen people complain when they were unable to get it. A quick look verified that they had more than enough DKP to bid.

Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you

This goes for any new players that I pick up for the guild. I have no say over who goes to the raid, but I do a majority of the filtering and the handling of potential recruits. I ran a pickup Kara group with a few of my friends many months ago and looked for a healer. A certain Resto Druid whispered me and asked to come. After the successful run, we parted ways but kept in contact. Fast forward a few months later, and he is now an active healing contributor in our raids. You never know when you’re going to find good people. Sometimes it will take days, other times it will take weeks.

Guys that was pretty good, but you can do better

These are words every raid leader should say after they kill a boss. There will always be room for improvement. Never set a bar because in doing so, your raid will only do that much and nothing more. That’s when they get complacent. It’s better off if the raid has no idea where the bar is so they can still keep pushing themselves to become better.

Don’t bail; the best gold is at the bottom of the crap

Truer words have never been spoken. This applies to anything from new players, new guilds, or new instances. There’s a lot of coal to filter through if you hope to find diamonds.

The Last Lecture

If you have time, I highly recommend watching the clip. It’s about 60 minutes long but I found it to be an inspiration for me.


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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I first saw this a few months ago; it’s worth making the time to watch. You’ll get more out of it than you will out of a re-run of CSI, I promise.

  2. Man, I saw this the other day; absolutely amazing, and inspirational.

    I hope people really sit down and take the time to watch this, and I’m glad you did a post about it, Matt.

  3. Aethena says:

    From WIRED Magazine (25 July 2008):

    ‘Last Lecture’ Professor, Randy Pausch, Dies

    “Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who became a national celebrity last year after a lecture he gave became a viral video sensation, died today of complications from pancreatic cancer, CMU reported. He was 47.”



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