Level the Pursuit

Overcoming Adversity with Terry Tucker

January 27, 2021 Level the Pursuit Season 2 Episode 5
Level the Pursuit
Overcoming Adversity with Terry Tucker
Chapters
Level the Pursuit
Overcoming Adversity with Terry Tucker
Jan 27, 2021 Season 2 Episode 5
Level the Pursuit

This is a fantastic interview with Terry Tucker, author of "Sustainable Excellence." Terry is an athlete, former law enforcement officer, survivor of corporate America, and for the last ten years, warrior against cancer. Rather than let this up and down battle break his spirit, he's used his struggles to help and inspire others. He has amazing perspective and insight, and you can learn more about him at www.motivationalcheck.com

Show Notes Transcript

This is a fantastic interview with Terry Tucker, author of "Sustainable Excellence." Terry is an athlete, former law enforcement officer, survivor of corporate America, and for the last ten years, warrior against cancer. Rather than let this up and down battle break his spirit, he's used his struggles to help and inspire others. He has amazing perspective and insight, and you can learn more about him at www.motivationalcheck.com

LTP:

In the race to success, we're not all starting from the same place. Level the Pursuit seeks to fill in the gaps and provide accessible bite sized leadership lessons for anyone looking to improve their skills and prepare for the next step, whatever that might be. Welcome back my friends. You know, it's up to us what we do with whatever life gives us sometimes we get opportunities and benefits and amazing talents. And sometimes we get one hurdle after another. But how we respond is completely up to us. Our guest today is Mr. Terry Tucker. And besides the fact that he played basketball at the Citadel, he was a cop, he crushed corporate America. He's also been fighting cancer for the last 10 years. And instead of letting that derail all of the wonderful things in his life, he turned that into an opportunity to inspire others. He is the author of "Sustainable excellence," which is available at Barnes and Noble and online at all of your ebook retailers. And he has a website called www.motivationalcheck.com. So today, we're going to talk to him about his experiences and learn a little bit more about the great things that he's doing. So, Terry, welcome, I am so grateful to have you here, you have a lot of amazing experiences. And I think that your perspectives are really going to add a lot to my listeners and give them some cool experiences to build on as they try to move forward on their journey and overcome the obstacles in their past. So as we start out, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and the things that make you who you are?

Terry Tucker:

Sure. Thanks for having me on, man. I really appreciate this. And I'm looking forward to the conversation. A little bit about me. So I was born and raised in Chicago, I'm the oldest of three boys. I'm six foot eight, and I played college basketball at the Citadel. I have a brother who's six foot seven, who was a pitcher for the University of Notre Dame. And then my middle brother is six foot six and he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the National Basketball Association back in 1983. And then my dad was six, five. So if you sat behind our family and church growing up, there wasn't a prayers chance you were going to see anything that was going on whatsoever. My mom was five, eight, but you know, she pretty much was the boss of all of us. It really didn't matter how tall we were how big we were mom ruled the roost. athletics, specifically basketball has been an important part of my life growing up and as I said, I attended the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, on a basketball scholarship despite having three knee surgeries in high school. When I graduated from college, I moved home to find a job. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I was all set to make my mark on the world with my newly obtained Business Administration degree. And I look back now and realize what a knucklehead I was. I didn't know anything about business back then. Fortunately, I was able to find that first job, I got a job in the in the corporate office to 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 mother care for my grandmother and my father, who were both dying of different forms of cancer. My wife and I've been married for 27 years, we have one child, the daughter, who's a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and is a lieutenant in the newly formed space force.

LTP:

It's so exciting.

Terry Tucker:

Yeah, it really is it and it's fun to understand your connection with the Air Force and that and, and so it's, it's this is I'm really looking forward to that. So in a nutshell, that's, that's pretty much me.

LTP:

Fantastic. So we share a few things I trained in South Carolina, and I'm also a basketball person I went to college to play I did not end up playing in college at that. It just wasn't a good fit. But that was my love. And I still play my, my bonus son is a pretty good basketball player. And that's one of the things that we share. It's one of the cool things is we play together. So I feel you're on the role of basketball in our lives. Because I love it.

Terry Tucker:

It's funny, because our daughter got my height, she's six foot two, she went to the to the Air Force Academy, they recruited her to play basketball, and then ended up having knee surgery or freshman year and kind of ended that dream, but still was able to get a great education. So it's a little bit of a trade off. But she she's still you know, she knocks it around a little bit. Unfortunately, I'm in a wheelchair, so I can't do as much anymore. But she still loves the game. And I do is just as you do.

LTP:

So you mentioned that and so let's let's talk a little bit about that. One of the things that this podcast comes from is an understanding that we're not all starting from the same place. And the obstacles placed in our path are not all the same. But at the end of the day, we don't we can only do our best with what we're given. You've had some pretty big curveballs thrown at you. How How have you approached it and I'd love to hear about that as much as you feel comfortable but how have you Use those curveballs to kind of build on that and and move forward.

Terry Tucker:

Sure. So I, as you said, really kind of the biggest challenge of my life began in 2012 when I was diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma that presented on the bottom of my left foot, by the time that cancer had been detected and metastasize, or spread to a lymph node in my groin, and because my cancer was so rare, it was recommended that I be treated at the world renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I want your audience to understand that. What I'm going to describe was what I experienced during my cancer journey, I realized, and you know this, there are 1000s and 1000s of people out there that are suffering terribly from their diseases, whether they be mental or physical, and I make no claims to have the market cornered on suffering. But one thing I've learned is that suffering is one of life's greatest teachers. So at MD Anderson, I had two surgeries to remove the tumor and all the lymph nodes in my groin, and I had a skin graft to close the wound on the bottom of my foot. And after I healed I was put on a weekly injection of a drug called interferon to help keep the disease from coming back. For me, interferon was a horrible, nasty, debilitating drug. And I took those weekly injections for four years and seven months before the medication became so toxic to my body that ended up in the intensive care unit with a fever of 108 degrees, which many times isn't compatible with being alive,

LTP:

right.

Terry Tucker:

While I was on interferon, it gave me severe flu like symptoms for two to three days after each injection. I lost 50 pounds. During my therapy, I used to joke with my wife that I felt I was so skinny that I could go hang gliding on a Dorito you know, it's kind of one of those things, but I was, you know, I have flu symptoms, I was nauseous, I was fatigued, I was chilled. Even my ability to taste food diminished, and my body continually ate and this misery went on for over 1660 days. One thing I've learned during all my payments suffering is that you have two choices, you can succumb to the debilitating discomfort and misery, or you can learn to embrace it, and use it to make you a stronger and better human being. I chose the latter. But I want your listeners to understand that there were days I felt so poorly, it was so much agony, I literally prayed to die, I just wanted out of this life, I realized that pain and discomfort can beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it. But I also came to appreciate that I could use my pain and suffering to make me a stronger and more determined individual. I have a posted note here on my desk that I see every time I'm sitting here. And it has three sentences on it. And I'd like to share those with you and your audience. The first one is you need to control your mind or it will control you. The second one is you need to embrace your pain and suffering and use it to make you a stronger and more determined individual. And the third one is as long as you don't quit, you can never be defeated. So those three things are, are really kind of my, I guess for lack of a better word truths. You know, they're they're the things that guide me. They're the things that motivate me, they're, they're things that I'm currently on a clinical trial of a drug that is just beaten me, just beat me up, to be honest with you. I mean, I shake, I throw up, I do everything and I had a nurse come in one day and said, you know, Terry, nobody would think anything less if you if you stopped doing this struck. I mean, it's it's killing you. And I looked at her and I said well, you don't know me very well, but I will. I will never stop taking this drug. They may take me off the clinical trial or I may die, but I'll never stop it. And you have to understand that these three truths are what pushed me forward so I just take that pain and I turn it inside and I use it as fuel or energy to to just make me stronger or tougher. But please understand I'm not Superman, I mean I I hurt I cry I you know I feel lousy. I just like everybody else. But it's what you do with it. You know, do you say oh woe is me or you just say you know what? Give me more I can take it I'm gonna use it as fuel and burn it and make me tougher.

LTP:

Absolutely. So that's another thing we share. So I had cancer when I was in my 30s. And I also got treatment at MD Anderson and MD Anderson does not support the podcast in any way but I also had a really great care there. I was very blessed to be taken care of. And one of the things that I found that what you just said really resonated with me is after my second and I used to fly from South Carolina to Texas, every three months for for follow ups. It was which is a lot. And one of the times I think it was my second follow up, for some reason, I was convinced it was back, I was convinced. And so for about two or three weeks before my appointment, I would come home from work. And I'm an I was a doctor, mind you, I'm in training. So I'm taking care of patients all day. And I would come home and I would sit on my couch and stare at the wall waiting, waiting for the appointment, understanding that I was going to get this diagnosis and recurrence, the the mortality associated with recurrence was much, much higher than my initial diagnosis. So I knew if it came back, and I was going to it was going to come back and I was going to die from it. I was convinced. And I went to my appointment, and I was fine. And I came back. And I realized I had lived, I had wasted three weeks being dead. I was like, What if I can decide to be alive, or I can decide to already be dead, I mean, my body's going to do it's going to do but what my mind decides to do. And so after that, I accept that there are things that we we can't control, and we may have to deal with. But I'm not going to waste a single day on something I can't control. And so what you said, I feel like, we kind of came to the same point in a little bit different way. But I really, really identify with that.

Terry Tucker:

Yeah, it you know, if you think about your mind, and you think about how you know, your your mind knows your fears, it knows your vulnerabilities, and, and your mind, your mind. I mean, we know that the mind or the brain avoids pain, and seeks pleasure. So to the brain, you know, the status quo is good, don't don't mess with it, just just stay there. So anytime you want to make a change, you know, those fears those vulnerabilities kick in, and all of a sudden, you're sitting there and you're like, Oh my god, you know, I, I cuz I'm in the same boat right now Tuesday, I have a CAT scan, I have learned through talking to people that so far I am the only person on this clinical trial that is having a positive result. And including one person that has died. And so I'm sitting here thinking, well, if you know, this cat scan, probably I'm going to end up in the same boat that they are that you know, it's not going to be successful. And, and and the tumors are going to grow and all that kind of stuff. And and you know, then you kind of take a step back and say, Well, so what what if they do? You know, it doesn't it's not the end of the world, the last CAT scan showed a 15% reduction in the tumors. So even if they grow, it's not the end of the world, other things can happen. There are other drugs out there that they can combine with this clinical trial and move forward. So I'm like, Yeah, okay, we're gonna have a CAT scan, big deal. But it's, I remember my dad who died of cancer very early on in his 50s. And he used to talk about waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I'm like, yeah, you spent your whole life waiting for something bad to happen. Three and a half years of waiting for yourself to die. I'd rather spend three and a half years living and you know, when when the shoe drops, I guess like I think I've told you before, you know, whether I live or whether I die is way above my paygrade. I spent a lot of time worrying about that or thinking about that.

LTP:

No, I completely agree. So before you started, and actually I think probably after a little bit after the beginning of this journey, you had a lot of really interesting jobs besides the the corporate stuff, you know, you did the police department, you've, you've been in a few different areas. So when you think about the experiences you've had now and you think about leaders you've worked with and situations you found yourself. How do you see these things, changing how you view leading people taking care of people taking initiative in your life, like where do you see these things coming together.

Terry Tucker:

I've been fortunate that so when I was in high school, I had three knee surgeries and this was a time before arthroscopic surgery was available. Actually, the first two were before arthroscopic surgery. The third one was x arthroscopic, so I have a large zipper scar on the outside of my of my knee. And it was also a time my first surgery it was a it was a cartilage very simple kind of thing, take cartilage out no big deal, but the wound got infected. And it was surmised and I don't know if this is true, that scar tissue didn't grow into that area because of the infection and the fever and all that kind of stuff. So when I'm playing basketball, which is a very tough sport on your knees, I was basically bone on bone you know it with without having any cushioning in there. So my second surgery was literally the removal of 25 pieces of my bone, some of the largest pieces of rice. And pretty much I was told your basketball playing days are over and you might not walk normally again. And I was in a cast from my hip to my ankle for an entire summer. You know, they don't do that stuff anymore. I mean,

LTP:

no, we don't

Terry Tucker:

you know this. I remember going to the doctor, and it was the doctor who did the second surgery was the team doctor for DePaul University, great guy, Bob Hamilton. And he, he cut the cast off, examine the incision looked at my leg, which literally looked like I just come out of a concentration camp from atrophy because I've used it all summer, and handed me a piece of paper with drawings and words on it for my rehab at home, there was no go to physical therapy and all that kind of just like good luck. I hope you hope you work your rehab out. And again, they don't do that stuff today, as you know. So here I am faced with the only thing I'd ever been good at in my life up to this point in time, of course, I'm only 15 years old was basketball. And now you're telling me I can't do it? And I'm like, yeah, watch me. And that's really kind of the first time that I got that that feeling in my mind that you know what? You told me, I can't do it. I'm going to do it. You watch me do it. And I did. You know, I started working out and eventually, you know, I was able to walk and walking lead to jogging and jogging, lead to running, and I got back on the court. And I did get a scholarship to play division one college basketball to sit at all. But then you know, I go to the Citadel, or here I am with you know, and at the time I was there was an all male institution. Very difficult, very tough. One of the presidents who was there when I was there was a guy by the name of James Stockdale who was a medal of honor winner. Yes, he was just an incredible. I mean, the guy used to walk around like, you know, why is it there? air? I mean, that's the kind of stuff that he thought, you know, I mean, he was just so cerebral and so above, like me, I'm, you know, some 18, 19, 20 year old kid, I'm like, I there's air so I can breathe, there's air so you can blow up basketball. So of course, why do you you know why is there but he was. So I got to see his leadership style. And, and the the general man by the name of Grimsley, who was in the army was the president when I graduated, and then I, I moved to Wendy's. And I saw Dave Thomas, who started Wendy's. And I mean, the guy was adopted, he was not articulate. He was not a good looking man. But he, he took all this, this is what I want to do any formed at the time, you know, a fortune 50 company. And then from there, I moved to healthcare administration where I think the best leader I ever had the opportunity to work under was a woman by the name of Nancy schlichting, who was the the youngest CEO of our hospital, we were a large house, we were 1000 beds and 5000 employees. And she at 33 was, was the COO and eventually went on to run the Henry Ford health systems in Michigan. And has I've stayed in touch with her all these years, President Obama helped or asked her to work on the VA hospital, kind of reboot and things like that. She's She's done so many things. But she was the kind of woman that she was certainly persecuted because she was gay. And everybody knew it. And she didn't hide it. And she was she was persecuted, because there were the hospitals run by a bunch of white males. And, but she has, she was the kind of person that and I'm sure you've experienced this, and I know I'm running on here, but I think it's important. She was the kind of person that if you asked her a question, she wasn't going to beat around the bush, she went, she was going to give you a direct answer. And sometimes that direct answer was no, you know, I think we should do that. Well, we're not going to do that. But she would give you a reason. And, and her heart is huge. She actually, I went to her to ask her for some cover quotes when I wrote my book and, and how to read the book and stuff like that. And I the fact that I've just get to sort of hang around her coattails is tremendous for me, so so I've been very fortunate in my life, to see people to see leaders that were that were good that were that were successful, that cared about people. And I remember and I'll end with this. I remember when I was a young man, and I was probably 14 years old in eighth grade. And I was a big fan of john wooden who at the time was probably the greatest basketball coach. I mean, his UCLA Bruins won seven NCAA championships in a row. I mean, that's, you're lucky if you can win to at this point in that, but he had a definition of success that I've never found a better one and this is what it was. He said, success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing that you did the best to become the best that you're capable becoming.

LTP:

I love that. So I'm a huge Wooden fan. Wooden on Leadership is one of my favorite books. It's one of my recommendations to people for reading. And I really annoyed my airman would tell them how John Wooden would teach his young five star recruits how to put on their socks. And they'd get so frustrated why I can score 40 points a game I don't need to know how to put on my socks. But starting with putting on your socks properly and putting on your shoes properly goes to your three point stance properly. It goes to everything about what you do. You start from the foundations, you do it right from the beginning, and then you can you know, we have to crawl before we can walk before we can run. And so I love I love john wooden, I think he's a great exemplar of, of what I think leadership should be.

Terry Tucker:

Oh, totally, totally. And I remember being my eighth grade but banquet basketball banquet was was in a place called the Worthington Inn. And it had been an old Pony Express stop many, many, many years ago, and it was, you know, wasn't a we were small Catholic school and stuff like that. But they had a little gift shop there and, and I saw his book, they call me coach, and I asked my mom and dad to, you know, could I buy it? And my mom and dad looked at me like, I was nuts. Because like you want to read, you know, it's like you play basketball. Yes, I want to read this book. And it had, you know, maybe other than the Bible, that book probably had the biggest impact on my life, just listening to how he grew up and his philosophy and, and Bill Walton was kind of my hero growing up, you know, play for him. And I used to lay the Sports Illustrated's out on the bed next to me, I had a twin bed, and I would put every day I would put my practice uniform, or my game uniform on those, those pictures of Walton, where I was expecting some kind of, you know, magic that was gonna be on my mind, I'm like, you know what, I'm gonna do this, and I'm going to have a great practice tomorrow, I'm gonna have a great game, that, you know, that was something positive for me. And I look back on that, that was really the first time that I was kind of using my mind to make my body be successful. So it just kind of interesting stories.

LTP:

That's fantastic, though, as a kid, you came up with, you know, positive visualization, you had some associations.

Terry Tucker:

That's exactly how I did it, I'm like, I don't know, I just, I'm gonna lay this out here and everything. I'm in my shoes, my gym bag, everything went on top of it. And in the morning, I pack it all up and off. We go to school on that. So yeah, it was pretty funny. And I remember my youngest brother came, came in one day, and he sat on one of the Sports Illustrated room across Don't touch that you, you know, you'll stop the Mojo or something like that. So it was it was kind of funny.

LTP:

That's fantastic. So you described between Admiral Stockdale, and you know, Dave, I, his name just escaped me from, Wendy's.

Terry Tucker:

Thomas.

LTP:

Yes, Thomas, thank you. But you talked about people that had really difficult times, you know, all of your mentors, all the people, you just had something in their life that either was visibly different about them was culturally or personally different, or they went through some pretty significant hurdles, like, you know, Hanoi. There's some pretty big things. Have you known any leaders that you knew that you thought were good that didn't have to overcome something? Or do you think that those things kind of are inherent into leadership is going through something like that?

Terry Tucker:

I think they're inherent, I mean, I think you have to, I mean, there are there are a million courses, you and I both know this or a million courses, a million books and all that kind of stuff, and you can read them and I do read them. I'm reading a great book now called legacy, which is about the the New Zealand national rugby team.

LTP:

Oh my gosh, so good.

Terry Tucker:

So it is it is and they are supposedly the greatest sports team of all times in any sport. And, and they you talk about, they talk about how they, they come up with, with commitment and humility, like, you know, we don't have all the answers. Were kind of figuring this out as we go and things like that. And so I read these things, and I get things out of them. But I really think in order to be successful, you've got to experience life. You can't take it out of a book, you've got to have something that Hitchin, the harder, you know, you're you're down and it's, it's you're tired. And I was talking about people who, you know, you can if you give your all and you and you lose on the scoreboard, you're not a loser. But if you don't give your all and you went on the scoreboard, you're still loser, you know, yeah. And that was kind of that was kind of coach Wooden's philosophy. I never I never worried about winning or the score. I just worried about us UCLA doing what we've been taught to do. And if we do that, and we're successful at it, it doesn't matter what the score is, we're going to be successful. And I think that same principle applies to life. You know, if you if you have your truths, if you know what you believe in your heart and your mind and you're willing to go out there and put it out there and you know, something like, No, I don't agree with you. Okay, that's fine. And I think you see this in society today. I may not agree with you. So I'm going to start screaming and yelling at you, we can't get anything done. We're never going to come together as a country, if we're screaming at each other, because I can't understand what you're saying. But if we can talk and dialogue, let me explain why I am the way I am. Please explain to me why you are the way you are. And I put a chapter in my book about the importance of listening, and not listening to respond, but listening to understand and how important that is, and how we don't do that. You know, I want to hurry up when you say, Okay, now I'm going to tell you what I think, no, let me understand where you're coming from, and why you're saying what you're saying. And if I can do that, then we can get a whole lot accomplished. But to answer your question, I think you've got to experience life, you've got to have some ups and downs in order to be a good leader.

LTP:

So you said something in there that I think it really hit me because I can think of times where I didn't, from the outside, when, you know, I did my best I did what I was supposed to do. And the outcome was not what I was hoping for. And more than once I've had something positive come out of that, or someone saw me and said, I really liked the way you handled this, or I know that you're free now because this project didn't work. I have availability, and where something great happened, because of how I was able to conduct myself in losing. And someone saw it. And have you have you seen stuff like that? Have you seen opportunities come out of having something maybe sound like a setback or feel like a setback when it happens?

Terry Tucker:

I have and I went when I was coaching one of the things I did I coached girls high school basketball, when I was in Houston and, and I was I was kind of like wooden I was a stickler for the small things, the little things, and I used to make the players. You know, after the game was over, I used to make our players clean up our bench. So you know, if there's cups laying around, put them in a garbage can, you know, if there's tape laying around, put it in the garbage can and things like that we're not going to leave this bench a mess. So that the you know, the boys varsity played after us. So they have to come on the bench and they have to clean up. So we were did and I remember, it was just I felt that was important. I wanted them to realize that, you know, yeah, this has got to get cleaned out. Why are you going to leave it for a manager? What what makes the manager less important than you as a player. And I remember I had a referee come up to me, and he's like, to coach men. I've never seen that before. I've never seen a coach make his players police the bench. And and he said, You know, that's that's pretty impressive that that made a mark on him that that had a positive aspect on him. Now, did it have a positive? You know, I mean, the kids complained? They do they have to do this, you know, that's a manager shop. Where does it say that? It's not the manager's job. And and I made it very clear early on when I started coaching that, you know, there's there's kind of a in some teams and there was the team that I took over this sort of, well, the younger players, they carry the upperclassmen, you know, bags and stuff like that. I want to play on that team. That didn't happen. It didn't happen at all, you know, you're carrying your own bag, you're carrying your own water sorted, so to speak. And just because they're younger, doesn't mean they're, they're subservient to you. So I think you know, from that respect, yeah, you've really got a, you're not always gonna win. And, and, and winnings not important. And what you said, it's kind of like, well, I forget the quote, but it's basically something like, I may not have won, I may have lost, but I also learned, I've learned something, learn something about me, my team, you know, how we interact, whatever it was. So I didn't really lose even if the scoreboard we didn't win, I either learn something, or, you know, we we took something or we did win, or we took something positive with it. So there wasn't a negative. I mean, there were certainly some days where I knew you didn't give me your best work. So there was there was problems with that. And we dealt with that. And but I was also a coach that told him right off the bat, I'm never going to punish you. I'm never going to make you run for mistakes, except for one thing. If I hear anybody say, I can't, or we can't, you're running. But you know, you make a mistake. No problem. We'll stop. We'll correct it. We'll try to improve on I'm not going to make your run because you made a mistake. I don't want you to be Oh, if I do this, I make a mistake. Coach is gonna make us wrong. I don't want you to have that kind of attitude. As a player I want you to Okay, I'm gonna go try this. Oh, I miss I made a mistake. Okay, let's correct it. What did you do wrong? Let's correct that. Let's move on. But you tell me you can't do something or we can do something as a team. Yeah, you're gonna run cuz that to me, that was the cardinal sin. What do you mean you can't, maybe you can't right now, but if you work at it, you can eventually

LTP:

I like that. I'm a big believer in that I don't really believe in in limitations or my my personal mantra is every day is an opportunity for victory. Sometimes we just have to redefine what victory looks like to make sure we win.

Terry Tucker:

You're right. You're absolutely right. And and and you know this, I mean, you have some life experience. And you've, you know, you've been on the winning end and the losing end. And you've you've it sounds like learned from both of those.

LTP:

Yeah, I think so. You know, when we talk about in the operating room, we say, good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. That that's how you have to learn sometimes.

Terry Tucker:

Yeah. I mean, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day was a navy seal. And he was talking about former Navy SEAL, he was talking about working with his church on security, and how people, you know, that they get, they get going so fast, that they end up making mistakes, he said, you know, we were just practicing, but they could go in so fast, they wouldn't slow down. They didn't, I'm shooting each other and things like I mean, obviously, in a controlled scenario, and you know, it's I remember, as a police officer, it was always smooth is fast, you know, don't try to do more than you can right now smooth is fast, slow down, figure out what's going on, and then move on. And I think that was a good lesson that I learned fairly early on as a police officer.

LTP:

I agree completely. And we say the same thing. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. But you can tell. And that's one thing when you're looking at someone if they're doing something and they look like they're going fast, they're going too fast. Yeah, because it looks easy when you're doing it right.

Terry Tucker:

Right. It's smooth. You're right. You're right. Exactly. Yeah.

LTP:

So do you feel like you the things that you've dealt with over the last about 10 years have been life altering in every way? Do you feel like they magnified your personality and your philosophy or do you feel like it changed? Going through the things that you did?

Terry Tucker:

I think it magnified it. You know, there's a I kind of like to tell the story. So I've always been a big fan of westerns growing up, my mom and dad used to let me to watch Gunsmoke and you know, Big Valley, and for my favorite was wild wild west and my parents would let me stay up when I was a little kid and watch that. And in 1993, the movie tombstone came out and It starred Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp, and Val Kilmer as John "Doc" Holiday. Now, Wyatt Earp and Doc were two living breathing human beings that walked on the face of the earth. They were not made up characters for the movie. But at the very end of this movie, the Doc Holliday who they call them Doc, because he was a dentist, but for the most part, he was a gunslinger and a card shark. And the fact that he developed a very close friendship with Wyatt Earp, who pretty much been a law man his entire life. What was pretty interesting but but at the very end of the movie doc is dying at a sanitarium of tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and Doc Holliday did die in that sanitarium, and he's buried in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado cemetery. And so Wyatt, at this point, his life is destitute, he has no money has no job, he has no prospects for a job. So every day comes to visit Doc, and the two men play cards to pass the time. And in this scene there, they're talking about what they want out of life. And, and Doc says I was in love with my cousin when I was younger, but she joined a convent over the affair and she was she was all that I ever wanted. And he looks at Wyatt. And he says, what about you what what do you want, and Wyatt kind of nonchalantly says, I just want to lead a normal life. And Doc looks at him and says, "There's no normal, there's just life. And get on with living yours." You know what I like to not have cancer, oh, my God, you have no idea what I would give not not to have gone through this journey or not put my family through this journey. But these are the cards that I've been dealt. So I'm going to have to play them and and obviously, I'm going to play them based on my personality, my background, you know, what I believe in my heart and things like that. And, and I do, and I, I it's like I told you before, I will never quit this clinical trial, they may take me off of it, or I may die on it. But I'll never quit. I've never quit anything in my life. I don't know how to quit, I just I'm one of those idiots that keeps hitting his head against the you know, the wall finger and well, eventually I'll break through here. You know, and, and I, I don't know if that's necessarily smart. But it's just the way that I'm wired. And I want people to realize that there's nothing out there that you're going to face. And I realize fear is a great thing. Fear is a great motivator. I remember as a police officer, you know, my partner and I may be going to a simple like noise run, you know, neighbors con somebody turned down their television set and either my partner and I'd be like, you know, I've got a bad feeling about this run. And and we would be like we got to respect that. We've got to respect that feeling and not be tied to noise run. It's not No big deal. We have to respect that then we're gonna be extra safe where you know where we park where how we go into the building and things like that. So you know that, that that intuition that, you know, conscience, whatever you want to call it, that's there for a reason. And I think more people have been saved by fear, you know, people used to ask me as a copy, you know, are you afraid? Are you ever afraid? I'm like any cabinet tells you they're not afraid is either lying to you or they're stupid. You know, fear can save your life fear can heighten your senses. And, and, and I'd be lying to you, if I told you that I wasn't afraid when I had my foot amputated, or I had my leg amputated and stuff like that. And I had my leg amputated in the middle of a global pandemic might you know, my wife dropped me off here, go in the hospital, have your leg cut off. You know, the the therapists were there. You need to be here for a week, my surgeon was like, you're gonna be here for 48 hours. Have them teach you everything you can in 48 hours. And and then I was out. And you know, I look at that was I scared to death? But that's what you do with things that scare you pony up. And you know what I'm gonna do the best I can and leave the rest in God's hands.

LTP:

Absolutely, I can't even imagine. I mean, I got some medical care during the pandemic as well. And we've dealt with, you know, we have family members going through stuff. And as a hospital employee, although I'm not in a clinical job right now. It's crazy how different it is. So I can only imagine how challenging that would be to go through something as emotionally traumatic and have to get through that. And your points on fear are well taken. There's a great book called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. And it talks about, I love it. It's it because it's really interesting in like trusting yourself and recognizing it's not necessarily sometimes it is a hunch. But sometimes it's just your subconscious picking up on all these cues that you could never put your finger on. And trusting yourself. And I love that I love that. That mindset.

Terry Tucker:

Yeah, I mean, I think you have to have it law enforcement, you know. And I and the the individual published my book is starting a podcast, and we were talking the other day and, and he's like, I'm kind of nervous. He said, You know, I, what are you nervous about? You said, interviewing people. I said, you you were a cop for 25 years. You people every day, and those people wanted to kill you. You know, now you're interviewing people who don't want to kill you want to share their thoughts and their feelings with you? I don't know why you're nervous. I mean, but he was and he is and that I mean, he'll obviously get over it now. But, you know, he's like, I'm just really nervous about this. And like, well, it's all it's all kind of what how the, the perspective that you put on it. You know, think about you spent your whole life interviewing people, this should be a piece of cake for you.

LTP:

Absolutely. And and my podcast last week was about imposter syndrome, you might want to listen to that. So, final question. You kind of alluded to it a little bit. But if you had someone in front of you, your daughter, your daughter, you know knows what you think but one of her friends who's looking at their life out in front of them and trying to figure out what to do and it seems insurmountable--the obstacles ahead of them. What would you tell somebody?

Unknown:

So I'm gonna, let me kind of put it in this perspective. My purpose at this point in my life with whatever time I have left, has been to help people find their purpose or their why or their passion in life. And I recall a quote from Mark Twain who said that the two most important days of our lives are the day we're born. And the day we figure out why. And when I speak to groups, a lot of times, I'll ask them, Do you have any idea why you were put on this earth? And sometimes we'll even take it a step further and say, you know, do you know why you were born at this time? Why weren't you born 5000 years ago, or, or 50,000 years in the future, there's a reason that you were born. And that reason involves finding and living your purpose. I personally believe that we're all destined to live uncommon and extraordinary lives. And that has nothing to do with what kind of job we have, how much money we make, what kind of car we drive, where we live, etc. We are not all born with the same gifts and talents. But we all have the ability to become the best person that we're capable becoming. The problem is, is that most people take an unintentional approach to living and by living a casual life, their dreams, their goals, their ambitions, they become a casualty of that unplanned living. I mean, during the eight years, or I guess, almost nine years now that I've been battling cancer, I've had plenty of time to think about my own death. And after I die, I can't imagine standing in the presence of our Creator, whoever, whatever you believe that entity to be, and being unable to account for the gifts and the talents that I was born with, and that I didn't use to make the world a better place. You know, during my life and being a police officer and serving the number of people I've met while I've had cancer. You know, I've seen many people die. And it's been my experience that the people who die what you and I would probably call peaceful deaths are those people who utilize their time on this earth to find and live their purpose. On the other hand, the people who go kicking and screaming from this world, you know, who want another day or another month or whatever, those people never did anything with their lives, they never saw the urgency of living their uncommon and extraordinary purpose. They never took a chance on their dreams. They never took the time to figure out who they were, why they were here, and what they were supposed to do with their lives. It's been said that the wealthiest places on earth are cemeteries, because they're areas rich and businesses never started. Books, never written relationships never pursued, and dreams never realized. There's a Native American Blackfoot saying that I that I absolutely love and, and it goes like this. It says, when you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way so that when you die, the world cries, and you rejoice. The only way to find your purpose is to search it out to try things that make you uncomfortable to fight against the status quo, to experience things that scare you. Finding your why or your purpose or your passion is important, because it's the reason you were born. And the only way to discover that reason is to be open to it and search for it with your heart.

LTP:

That's amazing. I'm glad asked the question, because y u had a great answer for it

Unknown:

You're welcome.

LTP:

So that's our discussion with Terry Tucker. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I know that I really did. I learned a ton he and he was a pleasure to speak with. If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Tucker and his book, which is Sustainable Excellence. It's available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and anyplace you buy books, or check out his website at www.mot vationalcheck.com. You can lear more about him. If you have questions for him, please let e know because I'd love to have him back. And if there's anyt ing that we could do bett r, please share that with us a www.levelthepursuit.co . This week, no big challenge. Just spend a little bit of tim being grateful for all the go d things in your life. It i very easy to get bogged dow on the badness. But we all do ave blessings. We all do have so ething that we can be grateful f r. So take a little time this eek to be grateful because ev ry good day is a blessing. hanks again for joining le el the pursuit. Well, we can't c oose where we start, we can cho se our dreams and how we pursue hem. Remember, success is a team sport and there's ro m for all of us to achieve ou goals. So be a good leader. Be a good follower. And Do Someth ng Great