Tylenol abuse – finding meaning in the last 40 days! Don Smith, Jr. quips and touches a heart!

August 6, 2010

I had just turned around from the area in Best Buy where the big screen TV’s were – typically the back area near the restrooms, when I looked up and saw a familiar face.

Now have you ever innocently said something and had a response that practically knocked you off your feet?  I mean it wobbles you so that the next statement is hard to find?

As I looked up and saw my old acquaintance and friend, Don Smith I was surprised.  For some reason lately I seem to be running into folks who have a strong connection to my past.  Friends, roommates from college and others seem to be appearing in my life and in each case there is a message that I’m receiving.

I startled Don, I think, just as much as he startled me.  Of course, since he saw me last I’ve lost some hair and what I have is certainly more gray.

“Don, how are you doing?”  Before he could reply I said you have a nice tan going on.  His skin was deeply tanned and, for his age, somewhat aged – looking as if he’d been in the sun a bit too long.

“That’s no tan.” he replied and then his words stunned me!

“I have 40 days to live unless I get a liver transplant!”

I, who rarely am at a loss for words, was speechless.  Here I was thinking I was paying him a compliment on his tan only to find out that his skin looked as it did because he was dying.  Talking about being wobbled…I was wobbled and more.

I gathered from his next comments that he was growing accustomed to wobbling people like me who seem to be surfacing in his life – either to encourage and pray for him or tell him goodbye.  His eyes seemed to be moist as he shared with me his story from where he has been to where he was.  It seems that almost a decade ago this vibrant young man in his 30’s had his hips (both I think) replaced.  Why?  Honestly I don’t recall…but I do recall that this significant surgery was certainly unexpected for a man so young.

“Chuck…I destroyed my liver!  It’s gone and if I don’t get a new one I’ll be gone in 40 days.”

Don went on to share with me that after surgery he was given pain medication to help take the edge off the pain he experienced as he attempted to recover from hip surgery.  I can’t speak for Don…but I do understand that men (in general) are babys when it comes to pain (at least I am) and as Don continued his story he shared that for a long time he was dependent on prescription pain medication.

After some time, Don, at the insistence of his physicians, switched from the high powered prescription meds to Tylenol (extra strength I think he shared).  Don said rather mater of factly, I’d take 10 or more a day to avoid feeling the pain and “Chuck I did that for years.”

Then he looked at me with his carolina blue eyes and said, “I didn’t know what I was doing and destroyed my liver in my attempts to feel no pain.”

We must have talked for a good 20 minutes standing there in Best Buy as if nothing in the world mattered other than our mutual conversation.  He shared with me the humor that he was bringing to the end of the life he was facing knowing that he would either find new life with a new organ or find life beyond – outside of the body that was worn out.

We talked about his two children, both in college, and the financial position that all of this had put he and his family in.  My heart ached.  Behind the conversation today was a deep family connection that like many relationships was hidden from view.  Many years ago, Don’s father – Don Smith, Sr. helped me financially at a time when I needed it the most.  Now his son was facing the end of life and no amount of money could change that – yet I felt a deep longing and desire to help him now as he reached out to help me in the past.

As we concluded our time together, Don (in his typical fashion) said, well if timing means anything, best to need a liver when it’s vacation season and travel is abundant.  We both laughed and yet, at the same time, knew that someone would have to lose their life in order to save his.  Either way, the outcome is dramatic.

Then Don said something profound.  “The worst thing that could happen – Chuck – would be to find out that when my life in this body is over – to find out that I did nothing to help or bring meaning to others.  Perhaps my humor helps others or perhaps my life is a testimony of why one should not abuse Tylenol.  What I want to know is that this life has been lived for something.”

As we hugged I knew that both he and his family had lived lives that were a testimony to their beliefs.  They made a difference in other peoples lives.  They certainly did in mine and for that I am truly thankful.

Now…my prayers are that Don, Jr. and I will be talking in 80 days and perhaps his “tan” will disappear as he continues to bring meaning to others he touches!

God bless you Don!

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Sex Following Prostate Cancer – The Real Truth from a Prostate Cancer Survivor!

October 4, 2008

Before reading this post…if you have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer or are a Prostate Cancer survivor, I would appreciate your help.  I am writing a book, from a layman’s perspective, about Prostate Cancer and how to find solutions to improve our lives.  I am conducting interviews during the months of October 2008 through November 2008.  The interviews are confidential and your name will not be revealed.  If you are willing to discuss your experience…please contact me at chuck@chuckgallagher.com.  From there we can set up a time for a phone interview.  Likewise, this disease no only affects the man diagnosed but also his family, so I am interviewing spouses and/or significant others.  Thank you in advance for your help.  Now I hope this article is of some benefit to you.

First, if you are reading this you, like I, have had the unpleasant experience of being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.  Just like a diagnosis of breast cancer to a woman, prostate cancer to a man is devastating to hear and begins a long physical and emotional road to a life changing phase of life.

Allow me to make certain assumptions:

(1) You are alive and have survived.  If you have just been diagnosed then this article, while informative, will be a bit premature.  Yes, I know the issue of sex following successful treatment for prostate cancer is on your mind, but your priorities must first be – what is the best treatment that will cure this cancer and eliminate the issue of mortality from my mind.

(2) The therapy you chose allowed for the physical nerves to be spared and hence allow for the potential resumption of sexual function.  All the research for years has shown that removing or substantially damaging the nerves eliminates the ability to achieve an erection and hence resume a “normal” sex life.

(3) Lastly, you recognize that you have undergone a substantial change in your body and accept that sexual function may never be quite the same.  That does not mean that sexual function can’t be quite good, approaching normal, but more than likely by the time you’re diagnosed and have gone through treatment, you are middle aged.  Face it, middle aged men aren’t quite as viral as they were when, say they were seventeen.

In an earlier blog entry I wrote about my experience with sexual function following a highly successful prostate cancer surgery.  The article is referenced here.  For clarity and convenience, allow me to restate a portion of that article here:

Sexual Function: Candidly, that returned much slower than I expected.

  • Within three weeks of the catheter being removed I wanted to test sexual function. To my pleasant surprise with physical and visual stimulation I was able to achieve a marginal erection and orgasm. I was elated. However, I soon found out that my first experience was not sustainable on a regular basis.
  • Like most men, I was given prescriptions for Viagra and informed about other alternatives.
  • Within three to six months, I found that achieving an erection was difficult and that any mental distraction would prove to be an impairment.
  • Viagra would provide some help, but the side effects were bothersome – especially the flushed feeling I felt in my chest and nasal cavity. Even with Viagra or the other alternatives, I did not feel that the result was successful.
  • By the seventh month I was concerned about the lack of consistence in sexual function. That took it’s toll emotionally. While women may not completely understand, men will get it. We are sexual beings and, while we don’t define ourselves by sex, we certainly understand the important role sexual function has in our lives. Inability to perform can have direct effects in other areas of ones life.
  • I was told there would be no ejaculate. That was true and false. There was no ejaculate as men generally know it. However, I did leak a fair amount of urine. I think the urine leakage surprises and disturbed me more than it did my partner She understood that urine is harmless. I soon learned that I should empty my bladder before sex otherwise, there would generally be urine leak when orgasm was reached.
  • By the ninth month I woke to a nocturnal erection. I must admit I was surprised and elated. However, the natural erection was still missing.
  • There had been no significant change from the sixth month through the tenth month, so I was becoming a bit concerned. I sought help in an unusual way, I sought Hypnotherapy as a possible solution. Wow…now that was worth it.

Hypnotherapy: Perhaps for the skeptics I had just healed enough to experience a change, but when I sought help I had the same results. Not knowing what to expect, I was open to anything that would provide some normalcy. I had come to know that things would never be the same. For one thing, I wasn’t 17 years old any more. I had to know that with age sexual performance will change. Likewise, I knew that without a prostate (the old plumbing if you will) I would never have an ejaculation – although an orgasm is quite normal without ejaculation. In any event, I elected this alternative form of therapy. What did I have to lose?

I went through the process feeling quite relaxed. The female hypnotherapist wasn’t sure that it would be comfortable for a man. Frankly, in my mind, if I got the result I didn’t care who provided the service. The process lasted and hour to and hour and one-half.

Within three days it was time to test the program. To my great surprise, I had an erection with less effort than it took over the prior 10 months and the orgasm was powerful. Since that point, there has been a marked difference in sexual function. Why? I’m not sure I know. I feel that two things converged at the same point. One – I had taken time to heal physically and with practice one can achieve a return to normalcy. Two, I feel the hypnotherapy allowed me to by pass my conscious emotional fears and empower my subconscious to know that I was fine and fully functional (within the physical confines of surgery). Either way…the process worked.

Three Years Later

There is a reality for us all.  For now all I can speak for is myself. (I am conducting research into this area – see the tab “Prostate Cancer” if you are willing to help). There are three areas that I feel need to be exposed as men and those who love them deal with the very real and significant issue of sexual function after prostate cancer.  There is no order to the issues listed below – each are important in their own way.

Issue One:  Psychological ramifications of sexual function after prostate cancer surgery. Following my earlier articles and blogs I received a number of e-mails and calls from men and women who appreciated the candid discussion and insight.  As time has moved on I have come to understand that sexual function, especially following prostate cancer, is as much (if not more) about the mind than it is about the body.

Women/Partners – I am not yet sure that you know just how much a man’s identity is tied up in his sexual function.  Now, I can hear two responses as this is being read: (1) you think I didn’t know that? and (2) it can’t be that important.  At the risk of sounding preachy – ladies – No you don’t really know that and, yes it is more important you’ll ever conceive.

While a man is far more than his sexual ability, the lizard brain in us all sends messages that we cannot control – to a man it is to procreate.  So to eliminate that possibility means that the subconscious mind diminishes the worth and value of the being.  On the outside he may seem invincible, but on the inside he is crumbling, but rarely will he be emotionally connected enough to show it or willing to show it.  Showing that pain (emotional pain) is a form of weakness to most men and revealing that would only slide him further into a downward spiral.

What to do? The less pressure there is to sexually perform the easier it is to perform.  Now, by that statement, I do not mean reduce the frequency of sexual attempts.  First, create an environment that will allow for play, fun and all the joy that comes from being sexually with your partner.

Secondly, be willing to become more active in order to help the recovery process.  I have been told by several physicians that muscles grow if they are used.  Basically they were telling me to use my penis (sexually of course) and do so whether through masterbation or with a partner.  I will be blunt here.  I have found that masterbation produces a more consistent result.  For a while I wondered why, then it hit me – I can take all the time I want to with myself.  There is no pressure and I can image that where ever my thoughts may take me, the person I imagine myself with is patient, willing and engaged.

Let me be clear, I am married and my wife has encouraged me to continue this writing knowing that others may, very well, be feeling the same thing or experiencing the same issues.  That said, while sex with my wife is very pleasing, I find that while I can gain an erection, often the sexual experience does not result in an orgasm.  As we have spent time discussing this, it has become clear that my inability to achieve a satisfactory sexual result was psychologically connected to my wife’s attitude and engagement in the process.  It takes more effort to achieve what used to be easy.  Hence, in order for the experience to be satisfying to me – my wife has to, bluntly put, work harder.  Not only is that a substantial change for her, but it puts pressure on me and the more pressure the less performance.

Issue Two:  Bodily Function. As I mentioned in the first article, it took me time to recognize that my body was different.  While sex was more difficult following surgery, it became clear that there was a greater than likely chance that urine would be released sometime during the act of sex.  Hence, I have discovered three things: (1) the less you drink before attempting sex the less chance of leakage; (2) urination immediately before sexual intercourse (or whatever method of sex is selected) reduces the chance for any substantial leakage; and (3) since urine is sterile and effectively harmless, allow it to be used as a form of lubricant or play.  I can hear many scoffing at the third suggestion, but going back to Issue One – if a man is concerned about what might happen (urine leak) during sex, he will be constrained physically (because of that mental state) and hence have a much more significant problem with achieving an erection or achieving a sexually satisfying experience.

Issue Three:  Practice…Practice…Practice. Now, as I write those words, it occurs to me that some may interpret this as applying pressure and increasing the sexual anxiety associated with prostate cancer.  I don’t mean “practice” in that sense.  Rather, it means either love yourself or love your partner (that will depend on who is reading this – you or your partner) enough to provide any and all outlets necessary to heal.  I would suggest that you consider spicing up your sex life so that the stimulation (whether visual, auditory or by feeling) is enhanced.  Having talked with others I know that sexual healing can take place, but it does come with a cost – and in most cases that cost is increased effort.

Question: If your dog broke his or her leg in an accident and the vet told you that he had to walk at least two mile each day and do other physical activities in order to heal – would you do what was necessary to help your dog heal?  If you answer no – “I’d put him to sleep,” please quit reading this article – it’s hopeless.  But, I think most would agree that we’d all say, “I love my pet and would do what ever.”  Strange example, but we need to do whatever is necessary to heal, both physically and emotionally.  No one said it would be easy – physical therapy is hard.

Simply put, sexual healing from prostate cancer is physical therapy that heals on both a physical and emotional plain.  If sex is still a struggle…hang on and keep trying.  It may never be what it was, but in most cases you can sexually recover from prostate cancer.  I did and so have countless others.


Sales Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – Discusses 5 Key Steps to Success for a New Manager

June 5, 2008

You dream of success!  Instead of being the one managed, you dream of being the manager.  Then one day, due to your focus and accomplishment (or maybe somebody unexpectedly quit) – either way, you’re tapped on the shoulder – you’re named the manager.  Great!  Then what?

Those last two words represent a profound question and are often the two words that can define failure or success. Sure, there are consultants, speakers, lots of books, bunches of articles, and many seminars on leadership and management. But do they really understand what you’re facing?

Do all of those glossy, $30 hardback books at Barnes and Noble have the answer.  Do they really know the obstacles you face and how difficult it is to make this transition?

Having conducted seminars and worked with corporate executives and managers for many years – big companies and small – I can speak from experience.  Each time you step up the food chain you’ll face the same challenges.

Here are 5 simple success tips that can help with this transition:

1.    Understand on the front end, you are not prepared.  More times than not, the opportunity comes before you are given all the training needed to truly succeed.  In fact, there’s a good chance that the reason you were chosen is the belief that you can figure it out and succeed.  Therefore, understand that you are in a new role – take it seriously.
2.    In the book, 13 Fatal Errors that Manager’s Make – one rule that must be followed is – Be a Boss, not a Buddy.  By setting boundaries you are establishing a framework for your success.  Your new role requires different responsibilities and with that comes a new way of being.  Hanging out with those you manage is a fatal error.  Success comes from respecting the role and acting accordingly.
3.    Associated with #2 – get out of the gossip loop, the coffee/social breaks, don’t hang out with the folks at the after work happy hours.  The reason that companies often bring in outside managers is that they have no relationships and have no habits to break.  Break social habits and pave the way for success.
4.    Listen.  Ask questions.  Be interested and know that those you manage often have the answers, it’s up to the successful manager to find them.  A good listener dramatically increases the likelihood of success.
5.    The last and perhaps the most important – and one that our Dallas Blue members should know – leverage your relationships.  The most successful people are those who know the value of building and maintaining relationships.  You may be brilliant, but most often it is not what you know but who you know that makes the difference between fair performance and success.

Want to succeed?  Great, then recognize that success is the consistent application of learned behavior designed to get a positive result on a predictable basis. Simply decide you want to succeed, set your course and take the steps necessary to create your success.  Remember – every choice has a consequence and the choices you make today are the very same choices that shape your future.

Sales Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…


MySpace Hoax Results in Indictment! Lori Drew Faces 20 Years In Prison

May 15, 2008

Two years after Megan Meier committed suicide Lori Drew, age 49, was indicted for her alleged role in Meier’s death.

In an earlier blog I wrote:

In 2006 a Missouri teenager hanged herself after being rejected by a 16 year old boy she met on MySpace. Well, at least that’s what she thought. The reality was the “16 year old boy” was really the mother of one of the girls former friends.

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The motive? It seems the mother was allegedly trying to exact revenge on Meier, who had allegedly dissed her daughter. This sick, twisted and childish choice took and emotional toll on a young person who was emotionally vulnerable and cost her – her life!

The earlier blog is presented in full here.

According to a CNN report –

Drew faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and accessing protected computers to obtain information to inflict emotional distress.

The indictment, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Drew and others of registering on MySpace as “Josh Evans” and using the account to lure Meier into an an online romance.

Authorities have previously said that Drew set up the account to find out what Meier, who lived in her neighborhood, was saying about her daughter.

Lori Drew of O’Fallon, Missouri, was named in a four-count indictment returned this morning by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress on the girl who,
because of juvenile privacy rules, is referred to in the indictment only as M.T.M.

After approximately four weeks of flirtatious communications between “Josh Evans” and M.T.M., Drew and her co-conspirators broke off the relationship. Within an hour, M.T.M. had hanged herself in her room. She died the next day. “This adult woman allegedly used the Internet to target a young teenage girl, with horrendous ramifications,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “After a thorough investigation, we have charged Ms. Drew with criminally accessing MySpace and violating rules established to protect young, vulnerable people. Any adult who uses the Internet or a social gathering website to bully or harass another person, particularly a young teenage girl, needs to realize that their actions can have serious consequences.”

MYSPACE RULES: It seems that to become a member of MySpace, individuals are required to submit registration information – including name and date of birth – and have to agree to certain TOS that regulate their use of the website. Among other things, the MySpace TOS require prospective members to provide truthful and accurate registration information; to refrain from using any information obtained from MySpace services to harass, abuse, or harm other people; to refrain from soliciting personal information from anyone under 18; to refrain from promoting information that they know is false or misleading; and to refrain from posting photographs of other people without their consent. The indictment alleges that Drew and her coconspirators violated all of those provisions.

The indictment, while not a conviction, alleges that the defendant – Drew – did commit a crime. Characterized as “cyber-bullying” the actions that have not been disputed show a pattern of abuse and a clear violation of the terms of MySpace.

Ron Meier, Megan’s father, watched television newscasts announcing the indictment and was overcome with emotion

“It’s a a good day,” he said. “It’s an awesome feeling.”

He said now he expects the Drews to feel some of the pain and suffering “that I’m going to feel for the rest of my life, not having Megan here.”

COMMENTS:

Ron Meier’s comments are understandable. However, every choice has a consequence and healing can’t truly take place until the negative emotions are dealt with. Revenge, hatred, anger – whatever is felt may be justifiable on one hand. Yet, emotions that have a negative base will not move one forward. They are not the foundation for positive results.

As a speaker to youth and parents alike about social networking – mostly MySpace and Facebook, etc. – I have the opportunity to help folks understand how to effectively us the tools without becoming a victim of them.

The Meier’s have suffered a terrible loss – a senseless loss – yet, across the board there were more people involved in what took place than just Megan or Drew. As parents, if we want to protect our children, we must understand the playing field of social networking and help to monitor what is taking place and bring understanding and order to MySpace and other forms of internet communication. It is too easy to take on a role that can have a terrible consequence.

Every choice has a consequence. Lori Drew and others will soon be finding out the consequences of their actions. No – there is nothing that can be done to bring Megan back. However, the choices that are made now can bring meaning and value to her death.

For now, teen ethics speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…

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The Power of Giving – Jada Carlson, Hannah Montana and The Rest of the Story!

March 20, 2008

The other day I received a wonderful e-mail from an unexpected source – Jada Carlsons mother – Faith.

As a reminder and for a little background, many months back there was a story about a young girl in Garland, Texas who (with the help of her month) created a fictious story to win Hannah Montana tickets. When uncovered it took the news media by storm. As a teen ethics speaker through the Choices Foundation, I wrote a blog about the lesson that this young girls mother taught and the consequences that followed.

Soon after the story broke another that was 180 degrees opposite captured the attention of the media. This story was filled with love, compassion, giving and helped to restore faith that our youth can have ethics and morals – knowing that doing the right thing is the best and will produce positive results.

Faith’s e-mail stated the following:

Mr. Gallagher,

I just wanted to send you a quick thank you for highlighting Jada Carlsons gift and the concept to so many that giving does not have to have expectations in the least. I am Jada Carlsons mom Faith and she is the little girl that at 5 years old “gets it”.

I was not sure if you heard the back story but after givng the Miley Cyrus tickets to Gabby, Jada recieved 4 front row tickets to that concert, backstage passes and 3 hours on the tour bus eating lunch and sifting through all the tour bus treasures all gifts from the Miley Cyrus group that saw her deed on ShowBiz Tonight.

I, like yourself, understand life is not about getting ahead or how much money you make but about positive choices and more importantly making the choices to help others. Some people get it and some people do not but I hope your book coming out can help a few “Life has no purpose” individuals. I truely think we all have a calling and I like yourself have also published a book but by choice have not really publicly promoted it yet. If you have chance to peek at it the title is ” My Life My Story” on Dorrance Publishing”s website. 🙂 long story short I wanted to let you know that has you mentioned in your article the rewards were yet to come from Jada”s gift…What comes around came around and she was delighted to enjoy the concert from her front row seats.

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Recently as she has begun to read (she is only 5 and in kindergarten) we have made it a choice to visit a local nursing home and “adopt a grandma” to read to on Fridays. This recently has been the next big “adventure” and she has met a very friendly elderly resident “Margaret Kamping with a K” Jada now calls her Grandma Kamping…they have only met 2x so far.

With hopes your success continues and again thank you for the pleasant article about Jada, we printed it and placed it with the photos from the concert. God Bless and keep up the great work.. as Oprah Whinfrey said The Universe can dream a bigger dream then you ever could imagine when you are of service to one another!

Well Faith…I know that you didn’t send this to me to be published, but I think others need to know the rest of the story about Jada and her giving perspective. It is true – if you plant the right seeds you will have an abundant harvest. Jada is living proof that you reap what you sow. I hope you forgive me for letting the world know about your story as well and the book you’ve written. For Faith’s book information click here.

My best to you both and as you have time drop me a line and let me know how Jada is doing. Perhaps she might find it in her heart to be a part of the Choices Foundation – an organization dedicated to helping youth understand the power of choice in their lives.

For any readers – your comments are welcome!


Convicted Felon – Can You Ever Escape the Stigma?

February 26, 2008

To groups all around the country, I say the following words – Every choice has a consequence! At times the consequences we face are short lived and often forgotten. But, there are some choices we make in life that have permanent long-lasting implications. They will never be forgotten – we, likewise, cannot hide from their continued effects.

As a Sales Executive for a public company and ethics speaker, I am open about who I am, my past and the lessons I’ve learned. I speak about them often and have found that most people (not all) find hope and inspiration from the words they hear. But, just when I think that the message – you reap what you sow – is beginning to take hold, I get a reply that sends me backward, realizing that no matter how much good you do – someone, somewhere, is standing ready to throw stones.

Today I got a post to one (well…actually all) of the videos that I have posted on YouTube. You can view the video by clicking on the image to the right on your screen. The posting must have been from a disgruntled former employee who felt the need to blame his or her failure on someone other than themselves. Here’s the comment with the foul language removed:

This is incredible! What a crock of XXXX! This guy is a crook and I have reported him to Texas Dept of Insurance as he is getting commissions off agents when he can not be licensed himself. The investigation is going on at present. I worked for this jerk, and he is no more than an ex-con, working for a company that knows his history but continues to keep him on knowing that he embezzled from families and back in the same line of work, only in a different state. This makes me sick!!!!!!!

It is always interesting to me the approach we, as humans take, when we face failure. It continues to ring true, no matter what spin you put on it, every choice has a consequence. In the company where I serve as Sales Exec. I have grown more successful sales execs for the company during my 15 year tenure than any other. Yet, for someone who found this career opportunity not for them, I am a crook. It is truly all a matter of perspective.

To set the record straight – which is a matter of public record – I was convicted of embezzlement and tax evasion for crimes which occurred in the mid to late 1980’s. I was a CPA at the time and not in any way associated with the industry to which I serve as a Senior Sales Executive today. I am not proud of my past, but I cannot change it either.

People do ask me if I had it to do over again would I change anything? The answer: yes…I wouldn’t do what I did. Prison is no fun. It was, however, an unusual learning environment. I learned many things but three come to mind:

  1. Much of life is an illusion. That is shown in the comment above. It is an illusion to think that one persons failure at a job is somehow the result of my crimes over 20 years ago!
  2. Every choice has a consequence. My choices certainly did. Not only did I go to prison, but many relationships I had in my life failed due to my choices and the consequences that followed. It is sad but true and the pain follows to this day.
  3. Success comes in many ways. It is not always measured in material possessions, but more times than not measured in the impact that you have on another’s life.

So if there is a part of the above comment that is saddening, it is that the effort that I put into speaking in order to use my experience as an example to help others was somehow lost on this person. You can’t win them all…but perhaps, upon reflection, folks will come to understand that you might make a mistake, but you aren’t a mistake.

God bless. And if I could leave you with one thought it would be: Look past the illusion, make good choices and claim your success!

As always your comments are welcome!


Texas Motivation Speaker – Chuck Gallagher speaks on “Saving A Life! One Choice At A Time…”

November 22, 2007

Chuck Gallagher, Ethics Speaker

Being stuck in traffic really stinks at times and this morning was no exception. I had just heard the radio play the commercial that I had made for a local company and recall the up coming news tickler. Planning to turn my radio off or switch to satellite radio, I heard something that peaked my interest – so I left it on that station just a bit longer.

The announcer, returning from a commercial break, began to share a story that so touched me, I elected to include it in my presentations – as it spoke clearly and innocently to the focus of every presentation I make – that being – Every Choice Has A Consequence.

It seems that a young man – actually better put a school kid – in the sixth grade was being acknowledged as the citizen of the week by this station in Dallas, TX. Now, Dallas isn’t small…so for a school kid to be the citizen of the week, well I just had to hear the story.

Seems that one fine morning the kids had gathered at lunch, just visiting with each other, when one of his buddies got choked on an orange slice. Now, for any of us who have been choked…one thing you can’t do is ask for help – kinda hard when you can’t breathe. When the kids noticed what was happening most of them gathered around just looking in disbelief. You can imagine the scene – one kid choking to death – as others gathered and watched.

But not our citizen of the week. He, without giving it a thought, jumped into the middle of the group, placed his arms around his buddy and did the Heimlich maneuver dislodging the orange slice and rescuing the choking victim. He seemed to think nothing of it – but I’m sure the kid he saved has a much different feel for the whole experience.

Faced with mounding publicity, this young man seemed to take it in stride. Of course his mother was beaming with pride as her son was recognized for his heroic action. The reported asked, “Just how did you learn how to do the Heimlich?” Without hesitation the boy answered, “Why watching the movies – of course!” Taken back his mother leaned over and asked, “What movie, sweetie?” With an almost indignant tone, he replied, “Mom…Mrs. Doubtfire! Don’t you remember?”

The news anchor laughed and for once I enjoyed hearing something that created hope – good news on the radio.

Just today another story was reported out of Jacksonville, Florida. http://www.news4jax.com/news/14652643/detail.html

This story was similar in content and in the feel good human interest side of the news. It’s wonderful to talk about those choices in life that make a profound “life and death” difference. What makes them so interesting to me…is that neither of those two kids woke up, got dressed for school, and on the way out the door told their parents, “You know I think I’ll save someone today.”

When others stepped back and refused to take action, these two people stepped forward and made choices – unanticipated choices – that saved lives.

That happened to me back in 1990 – I mean someone then entered my life quite unexpectedly and made a profound statement that was life changing. He said, as I was experiencing my “Dark night of the Soul,” – “You made a mistake, but You are not that Mistake! The choices you make next will define who you really are and the legacy you will leave for your children.” As I considered suicide that night, he, in a few simple words, made the choice to stick with me and help me clear away the fog and see clearly who I could become for the first time in a long time.

Today, as a Texas Motivational Speaker, I speak to groups nationwide about choices and consequences. These two youthful examples show the power that one choice can have – saving a life. What choices have you made that have made a difference to you or other peoples lives?

For information on presentations on the Power of One visit my web site: http://www.chuckgallagher.com

Any comments?

Texas Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…