Terry Tucker has been an NCAA Division I college basketball player, a Citadel cadet, a marketing executive, a hospital administrator, an undercover narcotics investigator, a SWAT Team Hostage Negotiator, a high school basketball coach, a business owner, a motivational speaker, an author, and most recently, a cancer warrior.
He is the author of, Sustainable Excellence, Ten Principles To Living Your Uncommon and Extraordinary Life. Terry and his wife have lived all over the United States and currently reside in Colorado with their daughter, and Wheaten Terrier, Maggie. In 2019, Terry started the website, Motivational Check to help others find and lead their uncommon and extraordinary lives.
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Stephen Box 0:01
Welcome to the unshakable habits Podcast. I am your host, Stephen Box. And I am joined today by Terry Tucker, Terry. Thanks for joining me, man.
Terry Tucker 0:12
Thanks, Stephen. I'm looking forward to talking to you today.
Stephen Box 0:15
Absolutely. Terry is the founder of motivational check. And he's also also the author of sustainable excellence. So we're gonna be hearing a lot about his story today. But before we jump into your story, Terry, I do want to remind the audience about the unshakable framework that we want to view the stories through. And the reason we have this framework is, I want people to be able to take your story. And I want them to be able to apply the lessons that you've learned to their own life, so they can create unshakable habits for themselves. So step one of the framework is you need to have a vision, that's different than a goal. A goal is something versus cific. A vision isn't quite as specific. But it literally outlines what you want life to look like in the future, it helps you see what future you is going to look like. In order to achieve that vision, you're going to have to develop some skills, or you're going to have to tap into some skills that you already have that you may not be using. And then finally, in order to develop those skills, you're going to need to take some regular action, if you actually want to develop those. So as you're listening to Terry story today, look for those moments where he had that vision, look for the skills he had to utilize or attain and look at the actions that he had to take with consistency in order to maintain or build those skills. So Terry, you have lived quite the exciting life. So tell me a little bit about about your past.
Terry Tucker 1:59
Yeah, one of these days, I'm going to figure out what I'm gonna do when I grow up. So I was born and raised in Chicago, I am the oldest of three boys. You cannot tell this from my voice, but I'm six foot eight inches tall, and play college basketball at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Despite having three knee surgeries in high school. I also have a brother who's six foot seven, there was a pitcher for Notre Dame. And then my middle brother was six foot six and was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and the National Basketball Association. So sports or athletics. Growing up was really kind of the focus the focal point of our family. After I graduated from the Citadel, I moved home to find a job. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I was kind of all set to make my mark on the world with my newly obtained Business Administration degree. Fortunately, I was able to find that first job in the corporate headquarters of Wendy's International, the hamburger chain, but unfortunately, I ended up living with my parents for the next three and a half years as I helped my mom care for my father and my grandmother who were both dying of different forms of cancer. In my professional career, as I mentioned, I was a marketing executive. I was a hospital administrator. I was a customer service manager. I was a police officer. And while I was the police officer, I worked undercover narcotics. And I was a SWAT team hostage negotiator. Then I was a school su school security consultant, a high school basketball coach, a motivational speaker. Last year, I became an author. And then for the last nine years or so I've been a cancer warrior. And then finally, for the last 27 years, my wife and I have been married. And we have one child, a daughter, who is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and is an officer in the newly created United States space force. So that's kind of me in a nutshell.
Stephen Box 3:58
Nice. That's the that's a lot of things going on right there. And one thing that I don't know how many people might have caught it, because actually, the first time you use the term for me, I actually missed what you meant by it. You said that you're a cancer warrior. And I've just kind of assumed that that meant that you had it, that you beat cancer. But you corrected me and said, No, I actually still have cancer. And really, that's what you wanted to come onto the show today to talk to people about it, because you've been dealing with this diagnosis for the last eight years. Yet, you have made a decision that you're going to wake up and you're going to have a positive attitude and a positive outlook on life, because you have the ability to make that choice. I think a lot of people might kind of be like wow, how do you how do you Do that, like how do you take news like that and make that decision?
Terry Tucker 5:06
Yeah, that's, you know, that's sort of the million dollar question. And I guess it would help if I kind of sort of laid out the the progression of my cancer. I'll do it briefly 2012, I was diagnosed with this rare form of melanoma that appeared on the bottom of my left foot, I had actually a callus break open, right below my third toe. But at the time, I was a girls high school basketball coach. So I was on my feet a lot and didn't give it a lot of thought. So when that didn't heal, I went to a podiatrist, friend of mine, a foot doctor. And you know, he did that, let's put some pads in your shoes and that stuff. And when that didn't work, he took an X ray and said, You know, I think you've got a system here, and I can cut it out. And he did, and he cut it out. And he sent it off to pathology. Two weeks later, I get the call from him. And as I said, he'd been a friend of mine. And the more difficulty he was having, telling me what was going on, obviously, the more frightened I was becoming until it just kind of laid it out. And he said, Terry, I've been a practicing physician for 25 years, and I have never seen this form of cancer, you have this very rare form of melanoma that appears on the bottom of the feet or the palms of the hands, I would suggest you go to MD Anderson was probably one of the best cancer hospitals, it certainly in the United States, if not the world and be treated. And so I did. So I had a surgery to remove the tumor in the bottom of my foot and all my lymph nodes removed in my left groin. And then after that, once I healed I was put on a drug called interferon, which basically gave me severe flu like symptoms for two to three days every week after each injection of the drug. And I took that drug for almost five years. So imagine having the flu every week for five years. And then once the drug was stopped 2017, the disease came back 2018, my left foot was amputated. Disease came back again in 2019. Where and I had I had to have two surgeries to remove it from my shin. And then last year, an undiagnosed tumor in my ankle grew large enough that it broke my my shin bone, my tibia, and I had to have my left leg amputated right in the middle of the pandemic. It was actually last April. And it was also discovered that I had tumors in both of my lungs. So that's kind of been my progression through cancer, there's really never been a break. You know, it's just one thing after another that I've had to deal with, but but as you said, it's my choice to be positive and to keep moving forward.
Stephen Box 7:52
Yeah, one thing that strikes me, I was doing an interview with somebody else the other day. And they were saying how, when we look at our attitude, when we look at things that we decide upon, it's not just a matter of a surface level decision, right? It's not just surface level, I'm going to be happy. That's it. It has to be something you truly believe like your subconscious has to believe that you can be happy, your subconscious has to believe that you deserve to be happy, if you're going to truly be happy. And I think when we look at a lot of the things that you've been doing your life, you know, mean, playing college sports is a lot of pressure. You know, being a hostage negotiator, that's a lot of pressure. Being it undercover. I'm sure that's I've never been undercover, but I imagine that a lot of pressure to be under. And so you've had this all these experiences that have really prepared you for this, because you've learned how to choose your attitude over time, you really learned on a subconscious level, how to control those emotions and be and be comfortable with it. And I point that out, because I think people a lot of times they get caught up in this idea of it's a surface level happiness, right of Oh, if I just tell myself, I'm going to be happy, then I'm gonna be happy. And anybody who's been listening to you, for the last 10 minutes or so here knows just by the sound of your voice, you're not somebody who's just faking it. Like you really like in your soul, believe that you have this choice to be happy and you choose it and you do it because we can feel your enthusiasm, your energy, it just it comes through. You know, we're not we're not in the same state here even but I can just feel your energy coming through the screen.
Terry Tucker 9:57
Yeah, I mean, everybody's going To have pain in their life, and it doesn't have to be as, you know, severe as mine is as dealing with probably a terminal cancer. I mean, it could be, you know, you flunked a test at school today, or you broke up with your boyfriend or your girlfriend or you had a fender bender on the way to work, or whatever it is, we're all going to experience pain, so to speak in our lives. Yeah, suffering. On the other hand, that's optional. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional, you can choose to sit in that ugliness and that muck in that garbage. Or you can turn or you can choose to use that to make you a stronger and more determined individual. And I don't want your on your audience to sit here and think that you know that I've got an S on my chest, and I wear a cape, I don't, I have bad days, I have days where I cry, I have days, you know, where I'm just depleted mentally, physically and emotionally. I have all those days. I just choose not to stay there for very long. I choose to use all that garbage to make me stronger, to make me tougher to make me more determined, and to move forward. So So don't think that, you know, I've got the market cornered on any of this stuff. I don't I'm just like, every other human being out there. I there's nothing that makes me. I mean, I've certainly had some things in my life that have that have toughened me and things like that. But I don't want anybody to think that Oh, yeah, you can do this. There's no way I could do it. You absolutely can do this.
Stephen Box 11:32
Yep. Yeah. And I love that's one of the things when I talked to you before that I loved about your story is the fact that you're not trying to put yourself out there. It's like, Oh, look at me, I'm this like, amazing person that I'm dealing with this. And, you know, I'm still happy, you know, you're not taking this like, hey, if I can be happy, why can't you kind of attitude, you're taking more of a, hey, look, even with what I have going on, I'm able to be happy. And I know you can be happy to no matter what's going on in your life. And I just I love that message. Because so often we get into this comparison game with other people, right?
Terry Tucker 12:15
Yeah, we do. And, and that's, I mean, especially for young people, you know, you, you know, well, I want to be like him or I want you know, and I think that's kind of where that the whole bullying thing comes as. But you know, especially with kids in school, it's like, you know, oh, Johnny said, you know, my ears are big. Well, I got news for you. When I was 1313 years old, I was six foot five, I had a size 14 shoe, skinny foot, and my ears were the size of Dumbo, my head had not caught up with my ears. But whatever people said about my only hurt if I own that, if I took that inside and said, Yeah, I really care what I care less what those people think. I mean, at the end of your life, I can be judged by what anybody else says or thinks or does, you're going to be judged by what you say what you think and what you do in your life. So that the heck with everybody. And I'm not telling you to, you know, you should never get involved with people. But what I'm saying is, is that when people come at you with all this negative garbage, just let it hit you and bounce off, because the only way that works is if you own it and internalize it. If you just let it go, then you can move on forward, and they're going to be left in your dust. Yep.
Stephen Box 13:26
Yeah, it's one of those things where if you allow those things to soak in, and you believe things about them, that's, that's when you're going to limit yourself. You have to believe in yourself deep down. And here's the thing when people pick on you and I got picked on when I was little I was I was always super short. I had the opposite promise you I was I was super short kid. And so you know, people are like, Look, he's like four foot tall. Let's pick on him. I hit my growth spurt in the summer between ninth and 10th grade. And I still only got to five, seven. And that was like a five inch growth spurt over the summer. And I'm still waiting on my second growth spurt. I'm modeling close and everything right? Yeah, I'm 42 I'm running out of time, but I'm holding out hope here. So you know, it's funny because I could have listened to everything that people said about me. And there's some things that and looking back on my life. I did. You know, I played sports a lot when I was younger, but I never applied myself enough to possibly go play collegiate sports, or to one day make it to the NBA or the NFL. Why? Because I believed that a five foot seven kid couldn't possibly do those things. Because outside of us but well Who else? They were short was doing anything like that. But you look at the NFL now. There's tons of these little slot wide receivers are like 5758. I'm like, that could have been me, I could have been one of the early ones if I had only listened to myself instead of other people. And so I can relate to that message that you're sending there. Because the only thing that stopped me it wasn't what those people said, is what I did with it. Now, who knows, maybe I really wasn't good enough to make it. But that doesn't. That's not the point. The point is, I had never really would know, because I didn't take the chance.
Terry Tucker 15:32
Right. Right. And you know, and it's funny, because when you were saying that I was thinking back to sort of my, my childhood and, and yes, I played college basketball. And yes, I was a law enforcement, things like that. But for me, it really started even before that, and I think I mentioned this, I had three knee surgeries in high school. And my first two, were before arthroscopic surgery was available. So I have the large zipper scar kind of on the outside of my knee. And, and after my second surgery, my doctor, who was the team doctor for DePaul University, a great guy, he said, Terry, I think your basketball playing days are over, because he removed 25 pieces of my bone. Some of them is largest pieces of rice. And he was like, I don't think basketball, you know, you may not want normally again. But I was like, you know, wait a minute. Now, again, I was probably 15 years old. And the only success I had in life up to that point had been basketball. So I wasn't willing to give that up. But that's also the first time where I realize, and I have these four truths. And we'll probably get into them both. But the first one is, you need to control your mind or your mind will control you. And that's the first time that I remember my mind or my brain kind of saying, you know, hey, Terry, you know, you've had these surgeries, yay, probably a step slower. And college coaches probably aren't going to recruit you. But I had to change that narrative. I had to say, you know, no, I'm still playing at an elite level. And I still have coaches that are calling me and that are sending me you know, mail and things like that. So no, that's not true. I'm not going to listen to that garbage, I'm going to change that narrative to something positive, no, you still are playing an elite level, coaches are still recruiting you. So it's what you put in there, or it's what you allow to be put in there. And your brain does not like you know, we all know this, our brains are hard wired to avoid pain and discomfort and to seek pleasure. So to the brain, the status quo is good. You start messing with the status quo, that's when your brain starts putting in all this garbage about No, don't do that. No, don't do that. No, don't do that. And I've always tell young people specially if you've got a passion in your heart for something that you want to do, but it scares you. Go ahead and do it. Because at the end of your life, the things you're going to regret are not going to be the things that you did, they're going to be the things that you didn't do. And at the end of your life, it's too late to go back and do those things.
Stephen Box 18:06
Yep. You know, it's interesting, because you talked about the brain loves the status quo, right. And I want to maybe dive into that a little bit. Because this is something I think a lot of people don't know, your brain basically has one job is to keep you alive. Your brain does not care about optimal performance. Your brain does not care about six pack abs, your brain does not care about you wanting to take vacation, your vacation, or your brain only knows survival. And the easiest way for your brain to ensure survival is when things are predictable. Because then your brain knows how to deal with them. unpredictability is not your friend when it comes to survival. But the thing is, our brain takes any unpredictability as a sign of danger, whether it is or not, which is why those thoughts come up, which is why those fears start to come up. Because it's literally our brain trying to keep us alive. We have to override that irrational brain with our logical brain and say, No, this is okay. This is a good discomfort to have. I'm okay here. I'm not doing something that's going to go and get me killed. Only when you can consciously become aware that that's happening. Can you do anything about it?
Terry Tucker 19:44
You know, and I learned that so kind of hit me right in the face when I was a hostage negotiator because I always when people asked me what that was like I tried to describe it as it was. It was like being on a teeter totter or a seesaw, whatever you call it. at the park. And when we started negotiating with somebody, the way that worked is their, their emotional side was way up in the air, and their rational side was down on the ground. So what we needed to do is to at least get that teeter totter, or that seesaw to equilibrium. And we did that through open ended questions, letting them burn off a lot of that emotional energy. So that hopefully at some point in time, their rational brain would be up in the air. Now, when the rational brains in charge, you can start talking about putting the gun down, letting the hostage go, you coming out and things like that. But you couldn't do that when the emotional brain was in charge when the emotional brain center absolutely not you that you don't even bring up, hey, what can we do to get you out or things like that. So you just have to burn off a lot of that energy. And then when the rational brain is in charge, that's when productivity can happen. But the thing about, you know, what you were just saying is, yeah, we all like the status quo, or the brain likes to status quo. But the only way you're going to grow is to get out of that comfort zone, the only way you're going to move forward in your life to improve your skills to do anything like that. I mean, it'd be like, if you got up one morning and said, I think I'm going to go skydiving, your brain would be like, Oh, hang on a second. Wait a minute. You know what, Steven, you shouldn't do that the plane might crash your parachute may not? Oh, that's what you talked about. As that's not your rational brain. That's your irrational brain putting all this stuff in your in your head to keep you from going skydiving?
Stephen Box 21:35
Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting, when, you know, I mentioned earlier, you've kind of been through all these situations that have prepared you for what you're dealing with now, and why you're able mentally to be where you are. So you mentioned the hostage negotiation. and talk to us a little bit about some of the skills that you had to develop that you feel are have helped you now. And I just want to caveat this by saying, I'm not suggesting that everyone should go out and become a hostage negotiator to develop these skills. But there probably are other ways you can develop some of these same skills without putting people's lives in danger.
Terry Tucker 22:20
Good point, thank you, thank you for qualifying that. You know, it was interesting, because as a police officer, you know, 99%, of what we did was with a person face to face. So if I was, you know, sent to a call to investigate you, and I noticed that you were maybe balling up your fists, or that you were kind of looking around and stuff like that, I could see that. And I could use that visual clue and say, Well, maybe he wants to fight me by balling up his fists, or maybe looking around as he's thinking about running. And I could do stuff to mitigate that I could set you down, I could handcuff you, I could put you in the back of my car, depending on what the run was and why I was there and what I was legally allowed to do. But when we were negotiating, that person wasn't with us. They were not physically in front of us, you know, and there was no, there was no zoom call or anything like that. I mean, you're basically on the telephone with a person. So you're having trying, you're you're able to, or you're trying to figure out what's going on based on what the person is saying. What they weren't saying, and how they were saying, and and I guess I should throw some stuff in it. Because, you know, whenever I talk about negotiating, everybody's seen the Samuel L. Jackson movie that negotiator, you know, and they're like, Is that the way it is? No, that is absolutely not the way it is. There's not one guy who's doing all this stuff. When I was negotiating with somebody when I was talking to him, I had another negotiator sitting right next to me, passing me notes, like, you know, here say this, or, you know, what, don't ask him about his mother, because he's mad at him, you know, something like that. And then there was even another group of people two or three other people that were out gleaning intelligence they might have been talking to to the person's mother, or their spouse or something like that, you know, what, why is this and what kind of gun does he have and gleaning all this information? So So this was a group effort? And and I guess the thing that one of the things I learned there is being part of something that's bigger than you, you know, that this was it me, you know, look at me, the hero going out and doing this. This was us after months of training, working with a psychologist running through different scenarios, you know, picking each other's brains we debrief after every call, you know what went right, what went wrong, what can we do better? How can so, you know, there's, and I think you can always do that in life, you know, what if you're, yeah, I went on a job interview, how did that go? What went right, what went wrong? You know, what can I do better? How can you learn how can you improve? So I mean, for us, it was kind of a an art or a new Lots of what's this person saying? And and is that really the way to go. And the biggest part of this was trust. We never lied to people. And people always would say, you know what, I'll come out, but I don't want to go to jail. And we would just say to them, well, I'm sorry. But when you come out, you are going to jail. And then you you just put that off the table and focus then on why we're here when you know, what is the issue here, and stuff like that, and try to downplay that. But we never lied to people. Because a year from now, two years from now, we may be back negotiating with the exact same person. And we never want them to say, hey, you lied to me, you know, so I want to talk to you that that was not something. So trust was an incredibly important part of all this. And so one of the one of those skills is trust, and not just trusting, you know, your teammates, but trusting yourself, you had to realize, you know, you couldn't panic, you couldn't, you know, freeze up and not talk to them, you had to do this. So you had to realize that one, you had great training, and two, you've been asked to do something. I mean, let's face it, if you're talking to me, you're probably having the worst day of your life. And maybe I'm here trying to mitigate a problem. That's 1020 3040 years in the making. And 90% of the time, we were successful at bringing the person out, or bringing the hostage out, without anybody getting hurt, and everything, everything being great, but 10% of the time, and it was mostly the hostage taker, they decided to end their life. And I don't mean this to sound callous, but I never lost any sleep over that. Because like I said, I knew I was there doing the very best I could with good people and good training and a knowledge of what was going on. But it wasn't realistic to say I Terry fix this problem in four hours that has been going on for 40 years. So I didn't make the decision and my life. You did. And so I just I gave you every opportunity to come out, I give you every opportunity to save you. And it was certainly a tragedy Don't get me wrong. I mean, there was a human being somebody somewhere, loved them cared about them. But it was their decision to kind of decide that now it's time to go. And I'm going to do that to myself.
Stephen Box 27:28
So in listening to that, I kind of came up with a checklist here of some of the skills that that I heard you saying and some of the things that I heard you saying, and I kind of run through these. And if any of this doesn't sound right to you, please feel free to jump in and correct me. So the first thing is, you need a support system. In order to get good at anything I know, especially as guys, we have a very bad habit of I can do it. I don't need anybody else, I can do this all by myself. And the reality is, very rarely can we ever do anything completely by ourselves. Sometimes you might be able to, but it doesn't happen very often. Another thing that you pointed out is, as part of that support system is recognizing that some body elves have other skills or other perspectives that you do not have. And it's not about you trying to develop every skill. Sometimes it's just about surrounding yourself with people who have the skills that you need. Now the thing is you talked about seeking out feedback. And what I refer to this, usually as with my clients is outcome based decision making. We're reviewing the outcome, it's not really about the outcome. But it's more about did we get the outcome we wanted? And then that's kind of going through that checklist, what went right went wrong, what can we do better? Even the things that went well? Could we have done them even better, and you're reviewing those things, and it's not just you in your own head, you're working with your entire team to get that feedback, because by everybody chipping in, you get a more honest assessment. Then, this way, man, I hope everybody wrote this down when you said it. Do not lie to yourself. Because you you talked about not lying to the person that you're negotiating with. But when you set it, what popped in my mind was all the people over the years that I've had come to me and say, Yeah, I wish I could do this. But I failed so many times. I've broken so many promises to myself. I've tried to do that and I keep falling off the bandwagon. They lie to themselves. And when you Make things too difficult, right? We don't keep it simple. And we make things too difficult. Like you said, it would be extremely difficult for you to break down 40 years worth of frustration and four hours. So you didn't try to you tried to defuse what was going on in front of you without getting super deep into the way you weren't trying to solve all this person's problem in four hours, you're trying to solve the immediate problem. And I think there's a great lesson in that, because when we keep things simple, we're more likely to stick with it or make things complicated, we're more likely to set herself up for failure. And then we end up lying to ourselves unintentionally, but nonetheless, me too blind to ourselves. And then later on, like being in a bad relationship, we constantly remind ourselves of that time we lie to ourselves, right? We're in a bad relationship with ourselves.
And then finally, it kind of wrapped up on this idea that you know, what, sometimes things didn't work out. And although it was tragic, you were okay with that. Because for you, it wasn't really about the outcome. It was about doing the job the right way, it was about going through the steps. And like you said, if you went through the steps the right way, 90% of the time, you were able to get everybody out, everybody was alive. And as long as even with that, in that 10%, I imagine your primary outcome objective was to at least get the hostages out. And if the, you know, I'm sure, the only time you might have lost a lot of sleep is if you actually lost a half inch, then it takes on a little bit different, you know, situation than if it's just the hostage taker who takes their life. But 90% of the time, there it was, I'm not really worried about the outcome per se. I'm worried about doing the process, because the moment you become focused on the outcome, that's when things can go really wrong. You know, you used this example, that in the beginning of your story there about the seesaw, and saying, This person is emotionally hiring, now, you cannot go into that situation, and start talking to that person about, hey, put the gun down, come out, all that kind of stuff. They're not ready for that. And I kind of see that as someone who gets focused on the outcome. That's what they would do. They would go out there and immediately, okay, let's get this gun away from him. Let's get him out here. Let's get to silver with right. But you understood there's a process, we have to go through this process if we actually want to get where we want to get, and then get the outcomes not guaranteed. But let's just hope we can get there.
Terry Tucker 32:44
Well, it's funny you say that, you know, when when I first got with the team, you know, my first scenario was, you know, there was a hostage and a hostage taker in a room on negotiating through a door. So I can't say that. And the hostage is just helping me hit, you know, screaming and all that stuff. And I am totally focused on us. It's okay, we'll get you out, you know, and they're like, no, forget about the hostage. Concentrate on the hostage taker, let them scream, holler, do whatever that but focus on why you're why you're there. And, yes, why you're there is to try to get the hostage out. But you do that by focusing on the reason that the hostage is there in the first place. So you know, and when you said that I just had a laugh, it's like, yeah, first time totally missed the boat on that one, you know, so, but I had to learn, you know, I had no experience in that. And that's part of doing the job and the training we had.
Stephen Box 33:39
And you just hit on it. We talked, we're talking a little bit before we started the interview today about sometimes the objective is just to dust up, right. And you just kind of hit on that, that the reality is when you start something new, you probably will suck. And then the goal is to suck a little bit less each day, and then eventually get to the point that you don't suck anymore. And those are good days.
Terry Tucker 34:05
Yeah, I mean, think about it. And like you said, you know, do this in small ways, small steps, baby steps, I'm, uh, I mean, think about whatever you're trying to get better at. If you got 1% better, every single day, at the end of a month, you'd be 30% better than when you started. I mean, I I'd be happy to be 30% better at something after 30 days, you know, so break that down. I mean, you and I know this and we're old enough to when you see a problem and you've got this huge surmountable problem in front of you, you can't possibly solve that. But if you break that problem down into small chunks, then you're it's much easier to solve the big problem if you break it down into much smaller problems.
Stephen Box 34:52
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, just to kind of put it in a different context for people to make it maybe even easier to understand for them. Let's just say that you, you come to me and you go, Hey, I want to lose 50 pounds. Okay, well, why do you want to lose 50 pounds? What? What is the person who's going to weigh 50 pounds less look like? What kind of things are they doing in their life? Because when peep, when people start thinking about that, and they start thinking about connectivities are going to do when they start to think about how the weights holding them back, it now becomes easier to start not just seeing yourself as someone who wants to lose 50 pounds. But as someone who wants to eat healthier, or someone who wants to exercise someone who wants to do all those things, it's not until you understand that, that you didn't even know what skills to start to develop. Because now Okay, you know what I need to learn to cook, right? I need to learn how to exercise. Okay, well, now, I know what skill I need to develop, how do I go about doing that? Okay, maybe I can sign up for a cooking class or whatever, right? And so when you take it and put it in little tiny chunks, it becomes easier to understand what the next step is, when you're just like, I need to lose 50 pounds. That's, that's a big ask. Like, that takes some serious commitment, because that's not something you do in a weekend. Unless you have like, have a light bulb or something like that. I mean, I guess if you pay enough money, you can do that in a weekend. But it's not really what we free here. Right. So Terry, I appreciate you coming on sharing the story today, man, if you don't mind, tell us a little bit about motivational check and as well as your book.
Terry Tucker 36:38
Yeah, motivational check is a website that I started back in 19. I put up a New Thought for the Day, every day I put up the Monday morning motivational message. I put videos up stories up things like that, but I realized people are busy. So there it's just short kind of short stories, short videos, getting get a little hit of inspiration or motivation, and then get on with your day. Sustainable excellence is a book that I wrote, came out last year, literally I wrote it I had my foot in or my leg amputated in April of last year. And I started chemotherapy for the tumors in my lungs in June. And in that three month period, I literally sat down at the computer, I had these these 10 principles that a young man, young college student connected with me on LinkedIn and kind of want to know, what I felt were the the things he should learn to not only be successful in his job or in business, but in life, and I didn't want to give him the you know, work hard, get up early, you know, help others. Not that those are important. Those are incredibly important. But I but I wanted to give him something that I think you mentioned this earlier, something that would resonate in his soul, something that would really have meaning to him. And so I took some time I wrote some notes. And eventually I had these these 10 principles, and I sent them to him. And then I kind of step back and I was like, well, I've got a life story that fits underneath this principle. I know somebody whose life emulates this principle. And so literally during that three month time that I was healing before I started chemo, I sat down at the computer and sort of started building these stories underneath the principles and eventually had sustainable excellence, the 10 principles to leading your uncommon and extraordinary life. And it's, you know, it's been a lot of fun for me, I went a book came out, I was like, you know, I gotta sell books, I gotta sell books, I gotta sell books. And I had a best selling author over in the UK, who I'd connected with. Kind of said to me, no, you're missing the point. Your job is to help people not to sell books. If you help people, your books will sell themselves. And I was really kind of glad he he said that to me because I didn't write the book to make money or to be famous or anything like that. I wrote the book to help people. And, you know, I had an 87 year old man one time, connect with me. He said, I bought your book, I read it. He said if I would have had those principles when I was young, he said my life would have been a whole lot better. So that made me kind of feel good, maybe feel like some unsolicited gentleman somewhere, read my book, and it had an impact on his life. So that's kind of sustainable excellence. It's available on Amazon. It's available on Barnes and noble.com. And it's available on Apple iBooks basically anywhere online, you can get a book you can get sustainable excellence.
Stephen Box 39:26
Yeah, and I was actually taking a look at it on Amazon. You know, Amazon gives you a nice little sneak peek inside thing and it has the the table contents on there and I was just kind of reading through what the ethical principles were and the one that I think immediately popped out to me that really caught my attention was you are already the person that you want to become.
Terry Tucker 39:53
Yeah, I think they read you know, different ones. They're not in any order or not, you know, 10 is not more important than one or anything like that. And I mean That's the one that resonates for you, the one that resonates for me, which is the one where, you know, most people think with their fears and their insecurities instead of using their mind. And I think it resonates for me for me, because I've done that, you know, I, there's things I've wanted to do, but it scared me. Right? You know, I wasn't sure of myself. So I didn't do it. And that's why I kind of go back to what I said earlier. You know, if there's something in your heart, if there's a passion that you have, and it's burning in your soul, and it scares you, go ahead and do it. You know, and and there's another one in there about failing, you know, the importance of failing and failing often, especially when you're young, because that's the only way you grow. And you know, people always say, Well, you know, well, you win, or you lose, it's like, well, yeah, maybe. But I think you win, or you learn. And as long as you learn, even if you lose, I don't think you lose, you know, if you can take something that you learn, you know, you start a business and it fails, and you learn something, well, can you start another business based on what you learn? And if you can, then you didn't really learn you actually kind of won. So there's, it's just all kind of how you look at it, and how you let your brain process that information.
Stephen Box 41:11
Yeah, I once had a coach who told me that he would never take business advice from someone who's only had one successful company. And when I asked him, Why not, he said, because anybody can get lucky once. If you can do more than once, that shows me that you truly do understand the process. And more than likely, that person might have had two successes, they probably had 30 failures, right? So it's not really about, oh, I only want to follow people who have only has success. It's about following people who have had repeated success. And oftentimes, the only way we ever get to a point where we can have repeated success is through multiple failure. Yeah, I mean, like you guys really learn.
Terry Tucker 41:59
Yeah, I mean, you go back to the old Edison example, you know, I didn't fail, you know, I just learned 99 or 9000 different ways not to make a light bulb. Well, then then on that 10,001, I learned how to make the light bulb so Fianna Fail, no way you would have made the light bulb.
Stephen Box 42:16
Yep. So, you know, it's just a really great lesson. So I hope people will go and check out the book. I'm gonna actually go pick it up. I see. I don't know if he'll still be some hesitant to say this, but it is actually on sale right now on the Kindle version on Amazon. So if you gotta love my publisher, yes, so at least at least go check it out. See if it's still on sale when this episode actually airs. If so, you can get on a discount, but if not, it's still worth it. spend the money. It's fine. Thanks, your tear. I do appreciate you. You coming on today. Do you have any parting words or thoughts that you want to leave us with anything we didn't get to talk about today?
Terry Tucker 42:55
Well, let me leave you with one story. I've always been a big fan of westerns growing up. My mom and dad used to let me stay up and watch wild wild west and Gunsmoke and all that kind of stuff. But in 1993 the movie tombstone came out and it was huge movie. Val Kilmer played a man by the name of john Doc Holliday and Kurt Russell played a man by the name of Wyatt are now Doc Holliday and wider for two living breathing human beings that actually walked on the face of the earth. They're not made up characters for the movie. And doc was called doc because he was a dentist by trade, but he was pretty much a card shark and a gunslinger and why it was a law man his entire life. So these two men who couldn't have come from more divergent backgrounds formed this really great friendship. And at the end of the movie, there's a scene where doc is dying at a sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and the real car today died at that sanitarium, it's about three hours from my house and he's buried in the Glenwood Springs cemetery. And, and why at this point in his life, is destitute, he has no money has no job, he has no prospects per job. So every day comes to play cards with doc to pass the time. And the two men are talking about what they want out of life. And doc says that when he was young, he was in love with his cousin, but she joined a convent over the affair, but she's all that he ever wanted. And he looks at why and he says, what about you what, what do you want, and why it looks at him and says, I just want to lead a normal life. And doc looks back at him and says there's no normal, there's just life and get on with living years. You know, we're all kind of waiting for that one thing. You know what if I if this happens, then I'll go do this. Or if that happens, I'll go do that. You know, I'll have a normal life. If this. There's no normal. Don't wait for that thing to him. Get out there and live your life. Make your mistakes, do dumb and crazy things, learn from them and continue to move forward because at the end of your life, if you spend all that time waiting, you're just going to be sitting there holding a bunch of air because cuz your life's never gonna happen. Get out there and make that life happen.
Stephen Box 45:05
Love it man love it. As long as you don't do something the end you up on the other side of a hostage negotiation and you're not the negotiator, then you haven't messed up too bad. Good point. You can bet you still got time to bounce back. Absolutely. would hear if anybody wants to get in touch with you, how would they do that?
Terry Tucker 45:29
So my email is motivational email@example.com. But if you go to motivational check, com, my website, you can leave me a message there. You can access my social media sites, you can access the book and all that kind of stuff. So motivational check. com is probably the easiest way to get in touch with me.
Stephen Box 45:47
All right. Well, on that note, thank you again for coming on to the show today. I hope you all come back and join us next week for another episode of The unshakable habits podcast. And in the meantime, I just want to remind you that as Terry said, there is no normal. There's only life, go out there and live it and be unshakable.