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Live Inspired Podcast with John O'Leary
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Live Inspired Podcast with John O'Leary

Author: John O'Leary

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Expected to die, today he’s inspiring others to truly live.

World-renowned inspirational speaker + national bestselling author John O’Leary wants to help you wake up from accidental living so you can do, be, achieve and impact more through your life. Every Monday, John shares a quick burst of inspiration to help start your week on fire. Every Thursday, John interviews an amazing guest on their story, successes, failures, lessons, and life to help you uncover tips to apply in yours.
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Join me every Monday for a quick burst of inspiration on our Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moments segment. Today I welcome back three-time cancer survivor, author, speaker, and self-proclaimed expert in trauma Michele Cushatt. Michele shares her latest book Relentless and simple tips to respond to our circumstances in a more positive manner.  This inspiring conversation will help start your week on fire!  Are we going to let our lives be bigger than our diagnosis, divorce, grief, or are we going to let it define us? Choose how you respond to your circumstances: You can let your circumstances: Define you, derail you, or develop you. Often we feel being “relentless” is something done to us; but what if we choose to be relentless in overcoming + moving forward? “When I decide to reach out of my own pain and connect with somebody else’s, then we both experience redemption. We both experience healing. That’s beauty.” "Healing happens in relationships. Healing doesn’t happen in isolation." "Pain and suffering is a great leveler. There is no one immune from losses and grief." Get Michele's new book Relentless here. Michele joined me for a full interview on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 132. She shared her story, how hope got her through struggles and how it will help you through yours, too. Listen here. *** Did you enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate & review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.
Ten years ago, Susannah Cahalan's life pivoted rapidly in a radically different direction. Recounted in her New York Times bestseller Brain on Fire, Susannah bravely shares her harrowing story of being diagnosed with a rare + newly discovered neurological disease. Fully recovered + thriving, Susannah calls in from the tour of her newest book, The Great Pretender. It dives deep into an investigation of Stanford psychologist David Rosenhan + his landmark 1970s study which led many to question the validity of psychiatric diagnoses. If you’re seeking a miraculous story of triumph, this episode is for you. Susannah will articulately show you how to overcome with gratitude, grace + tenacity. SHOW NOTES: In 2009, 24-year-old Susannah was working as a tabloid reporter for the New York Post when what seemed like depression rapidly morphed into psychosis, paranoia + hallucinations. Various diagnoses were presented during her month-long hospitalization including alcohol withdrawal, bipolar, schizoaffective disorder before a creative thinking Dr. Souhel Najjar was able to properly diagnose Susannah with anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis.  Road to Recovery: It took a year and a half of treatment for Susannah to fully recover. Looking back, she is able to pinpoint a belief of a bedbug infestation as the beginning of her tailspin. Before being diagnosed, Susannah vividly remembers “high emotional content” like the belief that Abraham Lincoln was following her around her father’s house. She credits her family taking her to a hospital versus a psychiatric hospital as the reason she was able to get the proper care + be alive today. Mirror Images: Susannah has met others who have diagnosed with her same illness, but were given different + unsuccessful treatments at their psychiatric hospitals.  The Half Clock: Clinician + researcher Dr. Najjar asked Susannah to draw a clock, which was the piece of evidence to the puzzle that didn’t make sense in diagnosing schizoaffective disorder. It led to a brain biopsy + spinal tap which confirmed the suspicion of anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Medical Marvel: Writing The Great Pretender helped Susannah recognize the full extent of her journey + how lucky she was to be the 217th patient properly diagnosed with her illness. In her latest book The Great Pretender, Susannah examines a 1970s experiment created by Dr. David Rosenhan, where eight volunteers posed with classic mental illness symptoms to challenge the validity of psychiatric diagnosis. Watch Susannah Cahalan's TEDx Talk here. Get a copy of Susannah Cahalan's New York Times bestseller Brain on Fire here. Get Susannah Cahalan's latest book The Great Pretender here. If you enjoyed hearing from a New York Times bestselling author, listen to our Bestselling Authors playlist, featuring my conversations with bestselling authors like Mitch Albom, Judith Viorst + Gary Sinise. SUSANNAH CAHALAN'S LIVE INSPIRED 7 1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. 2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I had a strong sense of tenacity. 3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? The journal I kept when I was sick. It has mine + my father’s recollections of that time. 4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? William Shakespeare and I'd ask, “Did you really write all of your masterpieces?” 5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Dr. Najjar: You have to look backwards to see the future. 6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Stop obsessing about how you look, how much you weigh, the unimportant things. 7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? She was curious, she was fair, and she was compassionate. *** Did you enjoy today's episode? Share it with your friends! Then subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.
Join me every Monday for a quick burst of inspiration on our “Monday Moments” segments. Recently I had the honor of speaking at a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) event. Afterward, I had the opportunity to speak with incredible leaders and surprisingly, the most emotional conversations were not with the soldiers but with the spouses of those soldiers. As we celebrate Veteran's Day today, let's be mindful of the sacrifices being made for our freedom by the soldiers + their spouses courageously serve their households. *** Did you enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate & review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.  Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram+ get his Monday Motivation email.
There are many adversities we face in life. Some of outward-facing while many are scars we carry on the insides of our hearts. Today's guest can speak to both. Jonathan Lopez is an Army Infantry veteran + member of Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW). OEW is a veteran-founded non‐profit whose mission is to honor, empower, and motivate our nation’s wounded military and law enforcement veterans through physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation. Jonathan joins us for a raw, emotional and honest conversation about serving our country, learning how to accept unexpected circumstances + challenges in life and inspiring others to do the same. (Thank you to Live Inspired community member Martina for sharing her special relationship Jonathan, his connection her late son Thomas + the work OEW is doing in our communities. Share your guest recommendations with us at podcast@johnolearyinspires.com) SHOW NOTES: According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, more than 16 United States veterans die by suicide every day. At 17 years old, Jonathan joined the Army seeking brotherhood + community, something that was lacking in his life. During Special Forces Training, Jonathan realized the community he always sought was already in the barracks + quit. Days later, Jonathan was involved with a head-on motorcycle accident that resulted in 17 fractures in his left leg, broke every rib on his left side + the amputation of his left arm. Finding peace: "Not too long ago, I let go. It was one of the most liberating things."  Jonathan's focus + determination on rehabilitating his leg helped him cope with the loss of his arm. Unleashing a monster: While rehabilitating his leg, Jonathan became addicted to opioids, which eventually led to a suicide attempt. "Figuring out how to do things with one hand is not that complicated. Mental rehabilitation is hard." Redemption: During induction to Operation Enduring Warrior's Masked Athlete Team, Jonathan's mentor Jeff Farmer presented an opportunity for redemption.   "Face your obstacles, smile + get it over with." Jonathan attempted suicide not wanting his children to grow up with a "deadbeat father". Today, he's choosing to live because of his kids. Learn more about Operation Enduring Warrior here. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Other Live Inspired Podcast guests have shared about suicide prevention + awareness. Kevin Hines speaks of overcoming his "brain pain" + thriving in spite of mental illness on ep. 164.  Dese'Rae Stage speaks about sharing stories of other suicide attempt survivors on ep. 156.  Dennis Gillan discusses the loss of two brothers to suicide on ep. 46.  JONATHAN LOPEZ'S LIVE INSPIRED 7 1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Raising Men: Lessons Navy SEALs Learned from Their Training and Taught to Their Sons by Dina Santorelli and Eric Davis. 2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I was never afraid of the unknown. 3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Nothing. Part of my evolution in life has to become a minimalist, be purer and not be attached to anything. 4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? My grandmother. 5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? My grandmother taught me to plant a tree, write a book and have children. My friend Scott encourages me to leave my footprints to guide others. 6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Nothing. It would change where I am today. 7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Die first, then quit.  *** Did you enjoy today's episode? Share it with your friends! Then subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.  
Join me every Monday for a quick burst of inspiration on our Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moments segment. Today I am honored to welcome back international bestselling author Mitch Albom. Mitch shares the heartwarming + emotional story about a young girl who taught him the true meaning of family. This conversation will remind you the importance of family, regardless of how they're made. Chika was born into extreme poverty three days before the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. After being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Mitch and his wife Janine brought 5-year-old Chika to America in search of quality medical care. Finding Chika: Chika enjoyed playing hide-and-seek but it was an eloquent question that inspired the name of the book. "We didn't lose a child. We were given one." Proceeds from Finding Chika go to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage. Learn more here. Get Mitch's new book Finding Chika here. Mitch joined me for a full interview on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 81. He shared about his relationship with his beloved professor Morrie Schwartz and how that inspired him to write the bestselling memoir Tuesdays with Morrie. Listen here. *** Did you enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate & review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.
How do we react when an unwanted diagnosis appears? Or when adversity arises with a child, a loved one or for ourselves? How do we move forward with compassion, courage, love, respect, possibility, and certainty that the best remains in front of us? Dr. April Jones holds many professional credentials. Yet it’s her personal journey that makes her an authority on transforming pain into purpose. Before her son's 2nd birthday, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer... and April + her husband were faced with an agonizing, life-changing decision. April's heartfelt journey + uplifting story is sure to help those seeking to turn struggle into strength! SHOW NOTES At 16 years old, April met future husband Billy. He offered encouragement when she wasn’t sure if she believed in herself + they had similar goals and sense of adventure to grow as a person outside of their small town Embracing change: Billy and her married at 19 + unexpectedly became pregnant 3 months later. “We can always learn from our feelings, even if we don’t like them. We control how we react to situations.” Tyler’s cancer: Her oldest son was almost 2 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. February 2, 2004: April makes the life-changing decision to amputate Tyler’s leg, and cancer, to achieve full remission. “Sometimes it takes losing everything we thought was important to us to find that we have everything we actually need. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we will force ourselves to finally look up.” Some of their greatest supporters were a couple named Todd + Dawn. After losing their son to cancer, they supported other families dealing with life-threatening childhood illnesses and became an inspiration to many families. Little reminders were helpful + impactful: Support through First Baptist Church in South Haven was a reminder that they weren’t alone in Tyler’s fight. The support from the community celebrating Tyler’s life during his Make-a-Wish grant was life-changing. Advice for others in a similar situation: Have hope. Allow yourself the freedom to feel what you feel + know that’s okay. “Life is fleeting. Just like the good moments are fleeting, so are the bad.” “At some point, what your current situation is, is going to be the story that inspires someone else or helps you relate to someone else so that they can listen to what you have to say.” Tyler was 2018 Paralympic High School All American for Track and Field. “How someone treats you says nothing at all about you and everything about them.” “Whether you are proud of where you came from, ashamed of it or pretend it does not matter, you either let where you came from propel you forward or hold you back. But the good thing is this: you get to choose.” Get a copy of Dr. April Jone's book No Mess, No Message here. Are you or someone you know dealing expected diagnosis or illness? We’ve compiled to Live Inspired Podcast guests that are living inspired after cancer or other illness has affected their lives. Listen to the Cancer + Illness playlist here. APRIL JONES' LIVE INSPIRED 7 1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Shack by William Paul Young. [William Paul Young was a guest on the Live Inspired Podcast! Listen to my conversation with him on ep. 19.] 2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Imagine without analyzing. 3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My first little diamond necklace on this delicate chain with a handwritten note from my grandmother that says “a little something special for someone special.” 4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? If Jesus is not an option, Oprah. 5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? My friend Julia said, “what’s the worse that could happen? What are you worried that could be the worst outcome of this decision on each side? How would you deal with that situation if it happened?” 6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Regardless of what happens, you’re going to be okay. 7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? She sparkled. *** Did you enjoy today's episode? Share it with your friends! Then subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.    
Join me every Monday for a quick burst of inspiration on our “Monday Moments” segments. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill Today I share the story of someone choosing to be happy and striving to make every experience a gift for his clients. As you head into this week, I encourage you to embrace your responsibilities + to make the best of your day, your work and your life. *** Did you enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate & review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.  Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.  
How do you handle situations that feel like massive setbacks? How do you react when you’re told, “it can’t be done,” "you’re not good enough," or "you’re destined to be a failure?" William Hung has received that harsh feedback many times. The most memorable was when he was laughed off the stage by American Idol judges for his rendition of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs”. Those that  laughed, judged + critiqued missed what was actually happening: the power of an individual believing in his dreams.  Today's conversation is truly heart-warming. William shares about taking chances, the courage to fail forward, and rising above cynics to become a champion by choice and smiling every step of the way. SHOW NOTES: William’s mother was very supportive + encouraged him to do his best in a school.  During high school, William excelled in math and science but struggled academically while studying civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. William won a talent show at UC Berkeley singing Ricky Martin’s "She Bangs", giving him the confidence to audition for American Idol days later. Recalling the 2004 American Idol audition, William knew he wouldn’t advance to the next round because of Randy Jackson’s immediate reaction. “I already gave my best. I have no regrets at all.”: William’s response after Simon Cowell’s comment, “You can’t sing. You can’t dance. What do you want me to say?” The primary motivations for continuing with his singing career was not money but defending who he is and counteract others making things up about him. William remembers watching other auditions from his season and seeing contestants getting so angry they’d throw water bottles. He understood that the judges were just playing their roles + doing their job and it was no reason to get upset. During a UC Berkeley volleyball game, a record company presented William a $25,000 check to record a record album. It went on to hit #1 on the independent charts. “It doesn’t matter if you have the most talent. It matters if you can bring happiness with your entertainment.” “You are already unique. You are already special. Keep believing in that truth. Do not give up and you will succeed.” “I’m infamous, and some people think, a joke. That doesn’t make me feel good because I am a genuine person. I don’t let it get to me because I am who I am.” “It’s not what they say. It’s what you choose to hear.” “Looking back on my American Idol experience, I realize Randy was smiling. Paula was smiling. Even Simon was smiling. I realize when people saw me, I freed them to smile.” Today, William is a professional motivational speaker + hopes his audiences choose to be happy in their lives “I don’t feel the need to justify my value.” Watch William Hung’s American Idol audition here. Listen to William Hung’s TEDx Talk here. William Hung’s latest book Champion by Choice inspires others to choose to be happy by rising above the haters. Get a copy here. If you enjoyed hearing William Hung's story, you'll love my conversation with Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie shares her positivity, her life's work at spreading kindness, and how she's standing up to bullies. Listen on ep. 71. WILLIAM HUNG'S LIVE INSPIRED 7 What is the best book you’ve ever read? Tapping into Wealth by Margaret Lynch. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I still have that kid in me. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My wallet. I’m very practical! You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Ricky Martin. My first question would be, “What kind of impact do you want your music to make on others?” What is the best advice you’ve ever received? The only way you can fail is if you give up. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Find a true talent instead of randomly putting yourself out there on American Idol. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? Live your best life and have no regrets.  *** Did you enjoy today's episode? Share it with your friends! Then subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.  
Join me every Monday for a quick burst of inspiration on our “Monday Moments” segments. “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews Life innately involves failures and missteps along the way. Today, I want to share 4 steps to help you successfully fail forward. Know what you want. Risk becoming more. Embrace the gifts of failure. Resiliently bounce back and step forward. This week, enjoy the bumps, lessons, + clarity knowing along the way that the best is yet to come. *** Did you enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate & review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.  Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram+ get his Monday Motivation email.
Have you ever thought about how much your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions influence your days, health and ability to heal? From years spent studying cutting edge science, ancient medicine, and spiritual practices, Kelly Noonan Gores has discovered that we have far more control over our well-being, health + life than we tend to believe. Her documentary Heal, streaming on Netflix, was so popular, it was recently turned into a book. Today, Kelly joins us to share how to choose love over fear + gives concrete tips on how to make strides in your personal wellness journey. SHOW NOTES: The teachings of Bruce Lipton, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, among others inspired Kelly to create the documentary and book Heal. While dealing with depression in college, Kelly was given Marianne Willamson's book A Return to Love which guided her in finding a grounding force.  Fear + love: Kelly sees fear every day but has spiritual practices to avoid being taken over by fear. "You do not have to be a victim to your genes." Epigenetics: Our DNA is a blueprint and our lifestyle choices are the triggers that turn on or off our genes.  Chemical, emotional + physical stress has an incredible impact on our health. Kelly reduces stress in her life by practicing meditation, earthing/grounding, and gratitude.  Placebo Effect: when we have a belief or expectation that something is going to help us 50-75% is has a positive effect. Grammy-winning singer John Legend performed All of Me at her wedding.  Watch Kelly Noonan Gores' documentary Heal on Netflix. Get Kelly Noonan Gores' book Heal: Discover Your Unlimited Potential and Awaken the Powerful Healer Within here. If you enjoyed hearing about how your environment can have an effect on your health, you'll love my conversation with Dr. Kelli Harding. Kelli shares her groundbreaking research + the importance of treating others with kindness on ep. 180. KELLY NOONAN GORES' LIVE INSPIRED 7 1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. 2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I was sassy + witty. I still have a quick wit but I've toned down the sass. 3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Old photo albums from the 1970s + 1980s. 4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Jesus and I'd ask him, "please tell me everything. Can you tell me everything?" 5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Remembering that the universe, or God, has your back. 6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Anything is possible and follow your heart. In every oak tree, there is an acorn. 7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? She took the leap, she was terrified on the way down, but she had a lot of fun along the way. *** Did you enjoy today's episode? Share it with your friends! Then subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts. Live Inspired with John daily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.
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Comments (6)

Dan

Read his book, On Fire. It is excellent!

Jul 12th
Reply

ashanMe2

😍

Feb 25th
Reply

Glory Dey

Very profound inspirational episode. Personally, I too lost a dear adopted family member to suicide many years back. She was like a sister to us. I still feel her loss. It takes a lot of faith and spiritual wisdom to understand why these things happen. Society needs to deal with these issues in a compassionate manner. Thanks for sharing this episode. God bless!

Feb 25th
Reply

Alexandra Horstman

Great words! Hard to listen to, but a simple yet amazing science proven tool available for everyone. Thanks John and Mel!

Feb 6th
Reply

Mike Beta

Great podcast!!!

Jan 16th
Reply

Robin Cortright

when you know your why you can endure anything

Dec 20th
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