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The Last Lecture, and You

[display_podcast] Do you think often about the work your doing, and the motivation behind it? I hope you do. Whenever I talk about the good fortune I have to be able to share what I know with you, I almost always include something about how what YOU know, and what YOU teach, and what YOU […]

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Do you think often about the work your doing, and the motivation behind it?

I hope you do.

Whenever I talk about the good fortune I have to be able to share what I know with you, I almost always include something about how what YOU know, and what YOU teach, and what YOU sell is a BLESSING to those who buy it.

At least, I hope it is.

Because you're relieving someone's pain, or giving someone a path to happiness, or helping some save money or make money. Or you're helping them get healthy.

Or maybe what you do is far more important than that.

All people have dreams, and if you do whatever you can to help YOUR PEOPLE fulfill those dreams, you'll begin to live your own as well.

Randy Pausch had some dreams.

Randy is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and he's dying of cancer.

CMU had a program called "The Last Lecture" and it invited CMU professors to give the lecture they would give as if it were there last. For Randy, it really was his last.

Fortunately, it was recorded by CMU.

Randy has lasted longer than his doctors had suspected, probably due to some aggressive chemo therapy. He's hanigng on, but definitely deteriorating.

But he persists.

In fact, one of the strongest recurring themes in the lecture is something that resonates strongly with me, and made me think of my readers.

I get a lot of letters from new and struggling internet marketers talking about the hard time they're having. They've got a good product, a real mission, but are having trouble getting their project off the ground.

I don't know if one of those letters came from you, but even if it didn't, Randy's message is probably very relevant to you, too.

Randy talks about the dreams he had as a child, and how the most important ones actually came true. So even if the real message of the talk is NOT about perserverence, he certainly makes the point.

You could actually argue that the brick walls that are placed directly in the path of your own aspirations — the ones that get right in your way and even set you back — are actually good for you.

Because they thin the herd.

At about 18 minutes into the presentation, Randy says "Brick walls are there for a REASON. They are not there to keep US out, they are there to give us a chance to show how bad WE WANT something. They're not there to stop those who want it enough. They're there to stop the OTHER people."

I don't know about you, but that's going up on my wall, in BIG LETTERS.

What are your brick walls? What did you have to overcome? What's in your way RIGHT NOW?

Well, I'd venture a guess that your walls are actually a blessing to you.

I've had walls, too. Lots of them.

How about this one:

I used to be shy. Very shy. My first autoresponder message was a struggle for me to write. "Would anyone care what *I* think?" But shyness made me excel when I played Hide and Seek in elementary school. (I was very content to remain hidden, and I put all my energy into doing that very well.)

And if I could put two words together in front of a crowd of people back when i was a teeneager, it was a very good day.

Shyness kept me back until I started to work hard to conquer it. To blast through it. To pretend I wasn't shy until I had forgotten that I was.

It took a lot to get over that. But I did it.

Lots of things have stood in my way since then, and many more still do. I'll share them with you one day.

But what about YOU?

Do you want your dreams bad enough? Do you want to BREAK THROUGH that wall thoroughly and completely?

What are your walls with your online business? Is it traffic? Is it technical? Is it knowledge? Is it Product Creation? Is it experience? Is it commitment? Is it Focus?

More importantly, what are your LIFE's WALLS? Do you forget to keep your promises? Do you think about yourself first? Are you too short, too fat, too old, or too young? Maybe you're too analytical? Too emotional? Too stubborn? Too easily distracted?

Did a person of authority tell you "NO"?

Are you just not happy?

Randy's happy, and he smiles a lot, which is unusual for a man who literally has just a few months more to live. But it's a habit for him, because he's always smiled.

All through his childhood. All through his adult life. And now, as he's dying.

Randy's message is much, much bigger than what I'm sharing with you here, but while watching his lecture I thought of you, and me, and all the people I know.

And our Brick Walls.

Because he reminds us that giving is more important than receiving, that anything worthwhile is difficult, and that anything is made much better if you keep smiling.

That said, I bet you cry about an hour and eleven minutes into the video.

And at the end.

I hope you watch it.

And when you're done, I hope you share with me and my other readers the most important message that you received from this talk, both for you as a person and for you in your business.

To Your Success…and your Dreams,

–Mark Widawer

p.s. How will Randy's last lecture affect you, and how you go about your work? What impact does his talk have on you? Please comment and share your thoughts.

6 replies on “The Last Lecture, and You”

Oh no you don’t … I’m not watching that video again. I must admt, I don’t watch Oprah often enough – it’s some of the most positive stuff on television – but I happened to be watching it with my wife the first time this came on.

I’ve got two kids — so, when he got to the end and said “I didn’t do this lecture for you (the audience) or my class … I did it for them” (or whatever he said exactly) — I was a freakin’ MESS.

In fact, Mark, just typing this out right now brings tears to my eyes. Now that I’ve got kids, I’m a lot more emotional about stuff like that.

Anyway – I don’t remember why – but about a month ago – I started googling ‘last lecture’ to find out if the dude was still alive, ya know?

He *is*. He’s outlived the ‘6 months to live’ from the Oprah show very healthily for an extra 2 months now I think. My mom just asked me yesterday, “do you think it’s because he’s got a positive attitude”.

I said “sure”, but also – “he’s been given some very good medicine as well”. You can read about it on his blog. I found it pretty easily in Google a few days ago.

Anyway – yes, this is very moving.

And more so – yes, it motivates me to live every day to it’s fullest.

And yes, it motivates me to develop more of what I call “relatively passive income” so that I can enjoy the things I love the most (which with a 3 yr old and a 19 mo old – it ain’t always them heh heh.)

Anyway, NO WAY, I ain’t watchin’ that video right now.

Thanks anyway,

Harris

I think this resonates more with me than most people.

I don’t have cancer, but my health is slowly degenerating over time. This video made a lot of sense to me.

I’ve changed my life and my business to ensure that I create time for the important things instead of living for business.

I’m making the necessary moves to ensure that my family will have money if something ever happens to me.

Thank you for posting this Mark, I appreciate it greatly.

Ross

“That said, I bet you cry about an hour and eleven minutes into the video.

And at the end.”

OK, Mark, where do I send your winnings?

Thanks for sharing that video. I needed to see it.

I just passed one of the “milestone birthdays” and I started wondering what my mark on the world was going to be. Would my being here make any difference? Would there be any reason for the world to remember I was ever here?

My wife and I never had kids, so there’s no legacy there. This is it, the end of the line.

Randy’s talk reminded me that not all legacies are genetic.

I’m moving beyond “making money”, although doing so will make the rest so much easier. Now I want to create something that will have people sharing my own Last Lecture, whenever it is…

WOw… I had never heard nor seen this.

As a way too busy mommie, this really hit home.

For people in the IM world I hope it says the following to them…

Quit procrastinating, start being proactive, so that you can create that life you want and be able to spend all the time you can with the things that matter.

My biggest motivation is my 5 year old. He gets what I do, but is constantly trying to “strategize” with me a plan where I can work less and spend more time with him.

That’s hard to admit…

So, what am I doing about it?

Laying a good foundation in my business that will keep the bills paid, so I can spend A LOT more time with my kids, and just do side projects for all the “extras” we want…

That’s what it’s all about… Doing things to make you and those around you happy.

Liz Tomey

This was good, a real eye opener and ya it brought up feelings/emotions that I wasn’t aware existed in myself.

It’s hardest to anlyze yourself without feedback from others and to make your dreams become a reality. I find it a lot easier to help someone else and to make their life easier than for myself.

Focusing on “how can I achieve this or how am I going to do that”. I’ll say this I believe that this “Last Lecture” has helped to change the way I saw things happening. Stop putting off things and do them now.

Now is the time to live life to the fullest you desire and turn your dreams into reality. Happiness is atainable and not overrated.

Thanks for the enlightenment,

Steve Chenneour

I just posted about this on my blog…. I found his lecture extremely inspirational, even though I cried (much sooner than the end, I’m a wimp). Having lost my mother at an early age– Cancer– I am much more sad for his kids and what I know they will go through.

For me a message that resonated deeply was The importance of People… that we need people to help us succeed, we don’t do it alone.

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