Finding Meaning with John Graham

Have you ever felt like something was missing deep within you? Many people try to fill that void with money, fame, drugs, and alcohol. John began life as an adventurer. He took on climbing mountains that have never again been climbed, was active in wars, revolutions and many thrill-seeking adventures that brought him near death a dozen times.

In the midst of a war, he had a light bulb moment and realized that all the thrill and adventure had not brought him meaning in life. He shares his story and journey of how he found the life of serving and helping others that he lives today.

Some areas of discussion:

  • Life as an adventurer
  • Taking enormous risks in the battle in Vietnam
  • Solving difficult public problems
  • Life in the Foreign Service
  • Life as a Diplomat
  • The power of story to change people
  • Creating a curriculum for students to provide the best service-learning free on the planet.
  • Realizing the fullness of who you are
  • Overcoming PTSD
  • Life’s moral compass in asking big questions such as: what will build justice, end pain?
  • Men struggling to find their feminine side

-Loving your kids is meaningful

-Playing catch, being a coach to your kid’s team, taking your grandkids for a while

-Being compassionate to someone that hates your guts

  • Finding what you’re meant to do
  • Creating meaning in your life that lasts


Thriving Despite a Rare Lung Disease with Nicole Wipp

Today we are speaking with Nicole Wipp whom has been diagnosed with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, a rare lung disease. She has been thriving and helping others despite the difficulties she has faced. 

Her Worst Health Moment 

Nicole spent over 30 days in the hospital and was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. She was told she would have a lifespan of up to 8 years and she never allowed that belief to enter her mind. Many others living with this have not survived and Nicole had some survivor guilt to work through. She faced post-traumatic stress and was able to find a mindset of gratitude and thanksgiving.

It takes courage and requires the vulnerability to share a personal story with the emotional and physical challenges that one has been through. If you find these stories helpful please reach out and encourage our guests or thank them for their bravery.

Her lowest moment was when she was told that it was mostly in her head by her doctor. It was before she had to have surgery to remove fluid that kept filling up her lungs and it felt very scary and dark at that time. She had a chest pipe put in and a bronchoscopy and she felt so horrible and didn’t know what her life was going to look like. There was a lot of fear because she didn’t know what was wrong with her and she told her Mom and Husband that if her life was going to be like this she wouldn’t want to live.

The Turn Around Point

Nicole is a research subject at a Government research facility that really drives a lot of the medical research. The doctors told her on her second visit that they can’t even tell she is sick. This was good and bad as she never expected to be told that and at the same time it caused a bit of survivors guilt. Once she was able to mentally work herself out of that place, she found extra meaning to associate with everything she does.

A Closer Look

What about you changed the most from this experience?

Nicole has a greater deeper appreciation for what she has and less on what she doesn’t know. She is a very driven person and being competitive drove her most of her life, now she doesn’t worry about it anymore. She is much more at peace with who she is now.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Never stop taking care of yourself. An experience like this shows you that in order to take care of others you must take care of yourself.”

Share one of your personal habits that contributed to your healing.

She doesn’t allow anyone to dictate how she feels about pretty much anything. She was told the prognosis was a 5– 8-year lifespan and she would not believe it to be true.

Her Resource

She mentioned this podcast and other inspirational stories have helped. She told us that when you are going through a hard time, knowing that other people have gone through them even though they are hard, even though it doesn’t make her feel better, it helps to stay grounded and get through.

Grand Finale

What are you passionate about today?

Nicole is passionate about helping people find their strengths and work doing what they love. She told us that there are a couple of tools that will help you get started finding a way to live a life that makes you happy. Strengths Finder, put it into use right away, she sees people leave it on their computer for too long.

She tells us you can find out your strengths by asking your friends and those close to you what they see you are good at. How can you take away the things that suck the life out of you and do more of what you love? You can listen to the whole audio to hear her talk more on this topic.

Parting Guidance

Be the best person you can be. Be proud of the person you are. Usually, the things that are most valuable to us are the things we take for granted. Don’t take your self for granite.


Every Day Is A Second Chance Community

30 Day No Alcohol Challenge with James Swanwick

James Swanwick is the author of the 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge, helping people reduce or quit using alcohol. He will be sharing his own personal Second Chance Story with you after I give you a small glimpse of his professional life.

He is an Australian – American entrepreneur, a speaker, The CEO of Swanwick Sleep and creator of blue light blocking glasses helping people sleep better.

He has interviewed celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has been interviewed on podcasts such as Art of Charm and Entrepreneur on Fire and places such as Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

Wow, His time is in high demand, James, thank you for taking the time out of your day to share your story, please take a minute to tell us a bit about yourself so everyone can get to know you.

His Second Chance Story

James decided to try giving up alcohol for 30 days and never started drinking it again. He tells us that he never felt he was an alcoholic but was what society would call a “social drinker”. In 2010 he was staying in a hotel room in Austin Texas and noticed he had put on about 25 lbs over a year just from casual social drinking and one day, he looked in a mirror and noticed he only looked like a 5/10.

The casual drinking was making him just a little bit irritable, slowing him down just a little bit, making him a little bit unhappy, and he had just a little bit less money.

The Turning Point

In the 30 days, he lost 13 lbs, noticed his sleep improved, the quality of his friendships began to improve and these small changes led to even more changes.

He began new habits of meditation, self-improvement, watched less tv and read more books. Breaking one habit kindled the spark that led to many new habits that in the end led him to help thousands of other people and create a business.

James created the 30-Day No Alcohol Challange 

Most Passionate About Today

The relationships in his life are what he is most passionate about today. He smiled and said, “Good Morning” to everyone he passed running along the beach of Santa Monica today and just the little smile, made him feel even better. He is focusing on improving relationships with everyone in his life, His family, Uber driver, The Starbucks Barista, everyone in his life.

Parting Piece of Guidance

He lives by two mottos, Just do it and Do it now!

His Resource


  • @jamesswanwick on facebook and Instagram

Winning The Battle of the Mind with Connie Strasheim

  • Winning The Battle of the Mind with Lyme Disease 

Connie suffered from Lyme disease for many years and once she began to recover, she suffered from being exposed to mold. Although she went through a very difficult and trying time, she won the battle of the mind and the negative spiral of thoughts that came. She overcame it by listening to God and journaling the encouraging words he sent her.  She shares her story as inspiration to others overcoming difficulty as well as to give you hope.

Connie Strasheim is a healthcare researcher and writer sharing natural and holistic methods of healing. She focuses on helping others with Cancer and Lyme disease and in some cases helps shorten their treatment.

The Turn Around Point

  • Although she suffered a great deal and would not have wished to go through the experience, she felt that good came out of it.

A Closer Look

What about you changed the most from this experience?

  • Suffering and going through chronic illness changed her. It caused her to seek God more and it took her on a journey of getting to know him better.
  • Her interests changed
  • The realization that life is short and that we are here to share the love of Jesus Christ with others.
  • She could recognize that the negative thoughts she had in times of chronic illness were not her and she could overcome them.

What wisdom would you share you gained?

  • God wants all of us to be in the world where pain doesn’t exist. By sharing the message with others, more people can get there.
  • That Jesus came so God would not see us as sinful creatures. Amen to Grace.

Her Resource

 The Bible

Connie recommends starting with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John so that you can understand how Jesus wants us to accept him as our Lord and Saviour, He called us to share his love and the message of salvation with others.

Bill Johnson, A Pastor at Bethel Church

What is  A Personal Habit That Got You Through?

  • She took time every morning to speak to God. He spoke words of encouragement and Connie journal them. They became a lifeline in times she was in a place with little hope.
  • Music

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Grand Finale

Connie’s parting guidance was simple and powerful.

  • Praise God,  be thankful and trust him.


After Cancer What’s Next? with Louise Ennis

“After the rollercoaster ride of Chemotherapy, you’re told that you are healed. What’s Next?”

Her Second Chance Story

 Louise had just completed 4 years of university and began her dream job as a Dental Hygienist when she was given a cancer diagnosis and only 4 years to live without life-changing surgery.

In this interview, she courageously shares her story for the first time. Thank you for spending your time with us today, if this story brings you hope or inspiration please connect with Louise through the links below or share her story so it may reach many others.

Louise Ennis is a Self Discovery Coach and Solution Focused Hypnotherapist based in Llandudno, a seaside town in North Wales in the UK.

Her Worst Moment

She was tired and having stomach pain quite a lot and her Mom told her to go and get it checked out.

She was put on medical treatment for IBS and then it was found out on the follow-up, she had polyps in her stomach that were cancerous.

Her Dad told her not to worry, that everything was fine and going to be ok. She was Daddy’s little girl and believed him, and he was right, everything was really ok.

It was stage 3 Cancer and her large bowel was removed. It took 5 years after, for the surgeon to tell her that the concern for it spreading to her liver was over. This was a real celebration point!!

Having Chemotherapy and Surgery was the worst point. She was not going to allow it to defeat her and she worked up until the last couple of treatments. Louise learned that it was all about having a positive mindset to get through.

You can listen to the entire interview on the Podcast: Here 

The Turnaround Point

As a stubborn child when she was young, she turned it into survivor mode. This helped her to get through. Tragically, her Mom suddenly passed away and she had to work through a lot of grief.

She began to run, starting one night while waiting for the bus. She signed up for the London Marathon and stuck to the training plan and completed it, raising money for charity along the way.

She speaks about the powerful healing running had to help her get through all the emotion from losing her Mom.  

A Closer Look

What about you changed the most from this experience?

Louise found a love of yoga, running and living a life that is fulfilling. She began helping others that have physically healed from Cancer yet need support for the, What Now? Question.

What wisdom would you share you gained?

Helping others is very healing. It has made a huge difference in her life and she feels happy and blessed to share in being able to help them.

Hear the whole story by listening to the audio interview below!


Devastating Tornado to Resilient Communities with Dr. C.J. Huff

C.J. Huff

Our guest today is a Husband, Father, Inspirational Speaker and Professional Consultant living in Joplin USA.  For 7 years he was Superintendent of Joplin Schools. He led his district of 1,100 employees and 7,700 students through the recovery effort of one of the most devastating tornadoes in U.S. history.

Dr. Huffs’ Second Chance Story

  •  EF5  Tornado hit Joplin, Missouri on May 22 2011
  • This wasn’t something that one could prepare for emotionally, mentally or physically. They had 10 buildings that were damaged and 6 were destroyed with missing children, families and workers.
  • People asked how to take the next steps forward and it felt like an insurmountable task.

Bonus Question

What was it in you that made you stay and care so deeply about everyone else when you could have left to be with your kids and family?

C.J. did miss his family however he knew they were all safe. When he was laying on a cot at night in the middle school he said a little prayer for the people caught in the storm and for clarity. He asked, ” What was the role of the School District, what was it we could bring to this?” He got back a clear answer, “We take care of kids on a day-to-day basis.” He then focused on how he could do this after the storm.

The Turn Around Point

Covered in the Bonus Question above.

Disaster Recovery First Steps Forward You can listen to the rest of the interview on the podcast: Here

A Closer Look

What about you changed the most from this experience?

  • In spite of all the negativity we see out there on the daily news, there are a lot of good people out there. He looks at humanity differently after witnessing the people who came out to help that didn’t know anyone at all.
  • He was humbled by the children of all ages that came out to help collect money and help out with the cleanup efforts without the influence of their parents. This helped him to have great faith with the future generation.

What wisdom would you share you gained?

C.J. Huff didn’t feel called to give wisdom however he shared what he learned.

  • It all comes down to relationships, relationships with God, his family and the community.
  • The kids that showed amazing resiliency had a good family support structure and a strong sense of faith. If they had at least one of these they had better odds of overcoming significant challenges.

One Personal Habit That Contributed To Working Through This

  • He worked! He tells us it is not always a good habit because he has good old farm work habits and can work and become too engrossed in the work.
  • His best habit is listening to his wife! He made sure to take a step back from time to time and spend time with his family. She was good at helping him to do this.

His Resources

What is one thing you are passionate about today?

Bright Futures USA is a s a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing communities together to focus on the success of children.

Parting Piece of Guidance

Love your families and hug them every day. Know that every day could be that day…. We have to be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually for things that are thrown our way.  When adversity happens, take a step back, get clarity first and then figure out step by step how to move forward.


Thank you to Courtney Blair at Zippy Content for the introduction and  Little Bird Marketing  for the fabulous bio.