Alex Nottingham JD MBA shares the story of Randy Pausch, a beloved professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given only a few months to live. Despite the enormous difficulty of his situation, he faced his prognosis with courage and optimism. This story was shared with millions under the name ‘The Last Lecture’ and encourages people to take the time to appreciate the gifts they have. This story can help us to reinforce the path we are on or make adjustments to realign ourselves with our purpose.
Randy Pausch’s Book: Last Lecture
About Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.
Transcription performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.
00:10 – 00:41
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Welcome to Dental Allstars. What if you only had a few months left to live? Who would you spend time with? What would you do? Would you look back and appreciate your life with gratitude? Or would you be bitter and upset with the world? Gosh, Alex, this is heavy. You may be saying to yourself, true, but every once in a while the story were one displays courage and optimism.
00:41 – 01:22
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Despite enormous difficulty comes your way and it allows us to pause and appreciate the gifts we have. We can reinforce the path we are on, or we can make adjustments to realign ourselves with our purpose. Over ten years ago, a story that faces this hard truth was shared with millions. It was called The Last Lecture. Randy Pausch, a beloved professor at Carnegie Mellon University, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 14 six years young, which just a few months to live.
01:22 – 01:52
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Instead of pitying himself, he gave what he titled the last lecture Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. I will provide in the shownotes a link to his entire lecture and his New York Times best selling book. I also put together a short three minute clip from his lecture. Enjoy this moment of inspiration. And until next time, go out there and be an all star
01:53 – 02:09
So I’m reprising a talk that I gave in September at Carnegie Mellon University. There’s an academic tradition called The Last Lecture. Hypothetically, if you knew you were going to die and you had one last lecture, what would you say to your students? Well, for me, there’s an elephant in the room and the elephant in the room is that for me?
02:09 – 02:32
It wasn’t hypothetical. I’ve been fighting pancreatic cancer. It has now come back after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. And the doctors tell me there’s nothing more to do. And I have months to live. I have three little kids. Let’s be clear. This stinks. But I can’t do anything about the fact that I’m going to die. I’m pursuing medical treatments, but I pretty much know how this movie is going to end.
02:32 – 02:51
And I can’t control the cards I’m dealt just how I play the hands. Now, if I’m not morose enough for you, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I don’t choose to be an object of pity. And in fact, although I’m going to die soon, I’m actually physically very strong. In fact, I’m probably physically stronger than most of the people in this audience.
02:55 – 03:23
Yeah. So today’s talk is not about death. It’s about life and how to live specifically about childhood dreams and about how you can try to achieve them. Probably the most wonderful thing my parents did was they let me paint my bedroom. I said one day, I want to paint stuff on the walls. And they said, okay. But the great thing is that they let me do it.
03:24 – 03:40
And they felt that letting me express my creativity was more important than the pristine nature of the walls. And I was really blessed to have parents who saw it that way. My parents taught me about the importance of people versus things. So when I got older and I bought my first car and I was so excited, I had this shiny new convertible.
03:41 – 04:02
This is my niece and nephew, Christopher and Laura. And every month I’d take them for a weekend. So my sister and her husband, we get a little break and we go off on adventures. And I just showed up with my new car, and my sister was explaining to Chris and Laura, that’s Uncle Randy’s new car. You can’t get it dirty to Radradra and they’re just cracking up laughing because over her shoulder, I’m casually opening a can of soda and just emptying it on the back seat.
04:04 – 04:27
And they come running over, says, What are you doing? I said, It’s a thing. It’s just a thing. And I’m really glad I did that because at the end of the weekend, as I was driving them home, little Chris had had the flu and he threw up all over the back seat of my car. And I don’t care how much value you get out of owning a nice, shiny, pristine thing, it’s not as good as I felt knowing that I made an eight year old boy not feel guilty just because he’d had the flu.
04:29 – 05:05
Next thing you better decide early on if you’re a tiger or any your tigers are energetic, they’re optimistic, they’re curious, they’re enthusiastic, and they have fun. And never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. I am dying soon and I am choosing to have fun today, tomorrow and every other day I have left.