On Sept. 18, 2007, only a month after doctors told him that he had three-to-six months to live following a recurrence of pancreatic cancer, he presented a lecture called "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" to a packed auditorium at Carnegie Mellon.
The moving and often humorous talk recounted his efforts to achieve such childhood dreams as becoming a professional football player, experiencing zero gravity and developing Disney World attractions. In the process, he shared his insights on finding the good in other people, working hard to overcome obstacles and living generously.
What can we learn?
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
"Have something to bring to the table, because that will make you more welcome."
"I probably got more from that dream and not accomplishing it than I got from any of the ones that I did accomplish."
"You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work."
"Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted."
"The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough."
"You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore."
"Loyalty is a two way street."
"You can’t get there alone. People have to help you and I do believe in karma. I believe in paybacks. You get people to help you by telling the truth. Being earnest."
"Be good at something, it makes you valuable."
Here is a shorter version from the Oprah show...