This week I did an outstanding interview with Terry Tucker. (You can find more about him here).
His story is one of pain, overcoming, and inspiration. I’m including a bit of our conversation here. You can see video clips of our interview on YouTube or listen to the whole thing on the podcast.
I started off by asking the habits he has in place to deal with pain and setbacks.
His answer was FANTSASTIC!
We’re all going to experience pain in our lives, and it doesn’t have to be cancer pain, or even an illness, I mean it could be as simple as you flunk a test at school, you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or you don’t get the promotion at work that you think you deserve.
Pain is inevitable suffering is optional!
Suffering is what you do with that pain. Do you take it and use it to make it stronger, or do you wallow in it feel sorry for yourself and want people to feel sorry for you?
Listen, don’t get me wrong, I have bad days. There’s no “S” on my chest. I’m not wearing a cape or anything like that, so you know I have those bad days.
But when I do, I just realized that I need to continue to move forward and I know that sounds like, “Well you know you could do it, I could never do it.”
And I’ve had people say to me, “Terry I could never go through what you did.”
And I don’t like to be a smart aleck but sometimes I am.
And I’ll be like “Yeah, you’re right, you couldn’t because you’ve already decided in your brain that you can’t do this.”
Why would you start anything, why would you go into anything thinking, the negative?
Then I asked Terry:
When you do find yourself in negativity, is there any specific action you take, is there any specific action that is your kickoff to starting down a better path?
His answer changed how I see my life and contribution!
I think one of the things and I was very fortunate is that I started playing basketball at nine years old. Played all the way up till I graduated from college when I was 21.
And I played a team sport and I think one of the things that team sports taught me or that teaches us is that we need to be part of something that’s bigger than ourselves.
You learn on a team that if you don’t do your job, you not only let yourself down, but your let your teammates down, your coaches down, your fans down, etc.
And if you think about it, the biggest team game that we all play is this game of life and, as I mentioned I’m on a clinical trial drug now for the tumors in my lungs and it’s probably not going to save my life.
But it very well may save the life of somebody five years from now, or 10 years from now, that I don’t even know.
And to me that’s part of being part of something that’s bigger than yourself.
Another thing that I think helps me when I get into those dark places, and we all do this, when we get into those places we go inside and get into “Woe is me! Things are terrible!”
The best way to stop that is to get outside yourself, to find somebody else that you can help, find somebody else that you can serve because then the focus is off of you and on somebody else.
You have this attitude of, “Hey I’m helping this person. My life has meaning to somebody else!”
I think that’s what it’s all about.
It’s about the idea that our life should be about service, whether you believe in God, and it’s serving your God, but certainly serving your fellow man.
Whatever capacity, you can do that, so I think that’s something I was fortunate enough to learn, as I was going through team sports.
We’re all part of a team in some way, whether it’s our family or church or our business or whatever it is, so I guess I would use that theme of:
“Hey be part of something that’s bigger than yourself!”
Check out the videos here and the podcast here.