This is a transcription of an interview I had with Steve Gilliland on Straight Talk Radio. The audio of the show can be hear here.
Tired of traditional talk? People pontificating about this or that? The left or the right? Sometimes the truth is just all lost in the noise. Having learned life lessons the hard way, Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency!
Now, here’s your host, Chuck Gallagher.
CHUCK: Hi, this is Chuck Gallagher and welcome to Straight Talk Radio! Now, every person who has ever attended one of my live presentations knows that I begin with the words:
Every choice has a consequence. Now, to me those are powerful words and they are true words. The problem that so many people assume is that, well, the word ‘consequences’ means something bad. Now, I have to be honest, it is true; bad choices can yield some pretty nasty consequences and I’m living proof of that, but I also know that positive choices can bring about some powerful and wonderful consequences. I’m also living proof of that as well.
Now, in this past week when I was doing a presentation in Florida for a legal association, one of the participants came up to me at the conclusion and said, “You know, you really make a difference,” and then with a bit of a puzzled look he asked, “I wonder if I’ll ever make a difference?” His question is one that I believe many of us ask from time to time and at different points in time in our life. And to help us answer that question is my guest, a man who knows a lot about making a difference, author of three books, numerous audio products and DVDs, an international speaker, listed in the Speaker Hall of Fame, and most importantly my friend – Steve Gilliland. Steve, welcome to Straight Talk!
STEVE: Thanks, Chuck!
CHUCK: Look, I am so excited to have you on the show. To me it is fun to be able to connect with someone at your level. I kind of consider you the modern-day version of Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy. You have powerful insight and absolutely wow your audiences, so tell me, what part of the world am I finding you in today?
STEVE: Well, I’m getting ready to do an even tonight for Advanced Auto Parts. It’s their top premium performers. They take them on a trip so, as you might guess, they treat them very well and I’ve had to struggle to be here, but I’m in Key West, Florida.
CHUCK: [laughs] Oh, I know that was a terrible struggle and a huge inconvenience to go to Key West, good golly (laughs). Now, I guess, to a lot of our listeners who find themselves in the northern part of the country, they’re probably wishing today that Key West was perhaps in their itinerary of travel plans, but, look, I want to start our conversation today about your book Making A Difference.
You and I connected some time in the past and had the opportunity to talk face to face, and you’re very kind, and gave me a copy of that book. And, Steve, I’ve got to tell you, I read the book cover to cover three times and I’ve got the book in front of me now and I’ve got all these pages that are folded, the edges turned down because of things that were in that book that I thought were profound.
You said in the book, “So how does a small town Pennsylvania boy go from being broke at age 39 to building a seven-figure business by age 50?” And, Steve, you’ve created a marvelous business, so let’s talk about where you came from and where you are and how you got there.
STEVE: All right. Well, where I come from, it’s interesting, and I think that’s the thing about the first chapter in the book. When I wrote the book, I thought, “I want to have these things start and start in a way that people will understand and maybe where they’re at in their own lives.” The first chapter is entitled “Turn the Page”, and one of the things I’ve always said is, “You may not always make right decisions, however, you have the ability to make a decision and then make it right.” That wasn’t always the case for me in terms of that wasn’t my mind-set, that wasn’t, if you will, my sweet spot in my life. I think sometimes if the catastrophic thing happens to us, we have to have that wake-up call.
I recently was presenting to a group that was the Young Farmers Leadership group and they were telling me about the apple tree or a fruit tree when it dies, they go out and take a hatchet and carve out a little piece of the bark. And I kind of looked at them puzzled, and they said, “Well, that lets it grow, that allows it to breathe and grow again,” and I likened that to myself and thought, “Wow! Years ago, I had that, if you will, piece of bark carved out of me, taken a chunk out of me.” But for me, my greatest enemy, Chuck, was myself. Every mistake I made, every miscalculation, every stumble, I replayed it in my mind again and again and again. And then every broken promise just added to the enemy I was fighting in my head. I think the biggest thing for me, when we say catastrophic event, I paralyzed my thinking in I was failing miserably. I was failing as a husband, as a father, a brother, a son. The woman I promised everything to I felt like I had provided nothing and then she was dissatisfied in our marriage.
So for me, by the time I was 39 years old, I had no money, had no hope, had no purpose. And then my sons, I have two sons, I’m now blessed to have two sons and what I call two bonus sons, two stepsons, but as I grew older, I just continued to doubt the beliefs that I had. Credit cards were maxed out, I was living contrary to everything I once believed was right. I was raised at the knee of a Hattie, a Christian principle of a mother. I think that’s interesting because if you compare being as Zig Ziglar, I know Zig’s background, and it was always one that he gave his mom a lot of credit for his upbringing.
When I was sitting in a two bedroom apartment on Christmas Eve of 1997, my kids were celebrating Christmas with their mom, I just didn’t want to turn, but the thing that I said, that a lot of people say, Chuck, I said, “Why me? Why me?” You know, I’m a good guy. And I was convincing myself that I was at a place in my life that I didn’t want to be and, quite frankly, I back then didn’t feel like I was completely responsible for it. And yet I was.
CHUCK: So, because I hear that so often, Steve, and of course you know my background, so I could say something very similar. Ninety-six was kind of that turning point for me as well. Maybe there was something about the nineties, I don’t know, but in any event, I hear that so often. People ask that ‘why me’ question as if somehow I’m a victim of everything that’s happening around me and yet, I don’t know about you but most of the time when I hear that, the first thing that pops in my mind today is, “Well, maybe we need to start looking in the mirror because the likelihood is it isn’t the external circumstances, it’s the internal mind thinking and the choices that we’ve made that have got us to that place.”
STEVE: “Exactly,” because one of the things that I just recently wrote was, “If you’re looking for that person to change your life, look in the mirror.” So I totally agree with what you’re saying. For me, though, I think the epiphany was having a friend of mine, a friend whom I would have never thought, would have suggested me going to counseling after divorce. He was the one that said, “Man, you’ve got to get yourself healed. You’ve got to make some decisions.”
And I think, Chuck, for me, I think the biggest thing that I heard that I remember to this very day that people aren’t told, and I think sometimes we’re told too many things we want to hear. This counselor looked at me and said, “When I begin to offer advice, it’s going to be the truth and it’s going to be delivered with tact, but I’m going to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.” And then he said, “If I’m going to help you, you’ve got to do the same. You’ve got to be truthful with me, you’ve got to be truthful with yourself.” He crossed his arms, with his back on his chair and then he said, “You mentioned on the phone a few things to me prior to coming.” But here’s the thing I want everybody listening to this to hear. He looked at me, I mean, after I poured my heart and soul out to him and that’s when I about fell out of the chair when he said, “You can spend the rest of your life blaming everyone else or you can take responsibility for your past and start anew,” which I’m singing to the choir when I’m talking to you about that, but it’s what he said, it’s what he said about my choices. And he said, “Nobody told you to get married when you’re 18, nobody told you to have children, nobody told you to open a credit card account, nobody told you to get a second credit card account, nobody told you to…” He went down through this list and then as Less Brown has always said, and at one point he almost literally said the same thing Less says and that is, “You’re where you’re at today. You made an appointment long ago to be here. You made the appointment. You got yourself in this circumstance.”
CHUCK: You see, Steve, I agree with you. Taking responsibility was probably the turning point in my life. And I like you give the opportunity to talk with a lot of people and most of the time if I’m sharing my story, people will come up and then start to share theirs and I’m still amazed at the number of people who find that accepting responsibility for where you… You said something in your book. You said, “Don’t squander time being angry about the circumstances you’re in. Be curious about how you got there.” And it seems to me that it too often people are more content with being victims rather than being victorious.
STEVE: Oh, I agree. I mean, one of the things that I wrote in the book is you’ve eluded to was a result of, I mean, I don’t know if you remember Monday Night Football, but it’s Don Meredith used to sing way back, and it’s going to [11:08] me, but when he used to be on Monday Night Football, he would sing “Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over”. And that’s one of the things that has helped me when people are wanting to know how do I make a difference. The first thing I do is start a page, but you’ve got to take inventory. You have to figure out where it is you’re at and you’ve got to figure out how you got there, but in terms of taking all that energy being angry, take that same energy and figure out how you got there.
It’s kind of like now in my business and from a perspective of building my business, I’ve always said, “Could we’ve avoided this? And when we go forward, how would we do it differently so we don’t repeat the same mistake?” People always say this, “You attract who you are,” and I think sometimes what we’ve got to do is, in turning the page, what we’ve got to do to make a difference is make sure we’re focused on the right thing. Make sure we’re focused on, first of all, discovering who we are and then stay within the parameters of who we are. You’ve got to merge your ego with your soul, because so many times, Chuck, we let our egos, we let those things that the outward world sees, we let those override who we truly are. And I think that’s what makes it hard and the anger, the displacement, the insecurities we have, and as you said, everybody likes playing the victim, but unfortunately, it doesn’t help you get past where you’re at, and quite frankly, it doesn’t allow you to turn the page.
CHUCK: You’ve been listening to my guest Steve Gilliland here on Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher, and it’s time for a break so when we get back, we’re going to continue our discussion on his book Making A Difference talking about transformational talk radio to live by. Stay tuned and join us after the break.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio, Transformative Radio to live by and guest Steve Gilliland. Steve is the author of three books, numerous audio products, DVDs, an international speaker, listed in the Speaker Hall of Fame, and Steve and I have been talking about his book, Making A Difference. And one of the things we said before the break or, Steve, you said before the break is, “Sometimes you have to let things go.” I don’t know about your experience, but certainly when I found myself at bottom, the true friends, well, I’ll say I was connected with, they stayed in and the fair-whether friends, well, they left in a heartbeat, kind of like a scull to dog, sort to speak in itself. So it is important to surround yourself with the right people. Don’t you agree?
STEVE: Yeah, I totally agree. Right in scene with that, I firmly believe, Chuck, you can’t change yesterday, but you can definitely ruin today. One of the things that I learned and I wish every person listening to this could just grab and I hope I never have to go through what you went through or possibly what I went through, but when you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it. And when you think the world’s turned its back on you, I challenge people. Take another look, take another look and the thing that I’ve found over the years is that someone that doesn’t even know, you don’t even know someone, I mean, there’s somebody out there that you have never met, there’s somebody out there that you don’t even know, they exist and they admire you and you don’t even know it. So, it’s one of those things that if you can continue to believe that you were put on this Earth and there’s a purpose for what you’re doing, sometimes those mistakes you can turn those into something really advantageous for a lot of other people. And I think the thing that some people do, and I’ve said this, I just said this to a friend, just last week. I said, “You know, you are a super person, but you just need to get out of the way of yourself.”
CHUCK: Steve, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I remember a man in my life, I can’t tell you what the guy’s name was, I really don’t have any idea, I remember that what I call my dark night of my soul talking to this gentleman and he made this comment to me and it was really profound. He said, “Son, you’ve made a terrible mistake, but you are not a mistake.” And then that hit me. And then he followed with these words, he said, “The choices that you make today will create the future that you live in and the legacy you leave for your two children.” He said, “Make those choices wisely.”
I think that ties in so well to what you just said because you’re right, you can’t change the past. I contributed to the past, my choices help make the past, but just like my choices help make the past, it also means that my choices today can create the future, so then the question is: What kind of future do I want to live?” And I have to say, I like what you say on page 50 of your book, Making A Difference, you say, “Find your purpose, define it and make it the core of what drives you.” And I know that you’ve created an incredibly successful business. At that turning point in your life, how did you find your purpose?
STEVE: Interesting story. Here again, this evening at this event that I’ll be speaking at, that’s one of the things that I’ll be telling this group that purpose is what drives you, passion is what fuels you, your pride defines you. For me it was an interesting thing. I was flying in to San Antonio, I was kind of grumbly, a little bit of a bad mood because the event that I was speaking at was on the River Walk and anybody who’s been in San Antonio knows the River Walk is just gorgeous. Well, hotels were sold out, they couldn’t get me there, so they put me on the outskirts of the town and I actually, at least being completely, brutally honest, I wasn’t real happy. Being a positive person, I’m almost embarrassed and ashamed to say that I wasn’t taking it really well, but I ended up getting a courtyard Marriott which was definitely not the place I wanted to be. I wanted to be at the Marriott, full service or the high end river walk. As soon as I checked into this Marriott and I said to the young girl at the desk, “I’m out in the middle of nowhere, so what can I eat? Is there a place around here that I could walk to?” And she said, “The only thing is there’s an Applebee’s,” and I’m like argh, whatever. Finally, I’m walking through the parking lot and this church over going to Applebee’s, I look up at this sign and it says, “You can find your life’s work where God’s plan intersects with your passion.” And I thought, “Hmm. You know what? I’m going to get up in the morning and just go there.” I went up the next morning, got up, went to church, walked in. This place was huge and for your listeners who don’t know, I was about to sit down and in the front row of the church where the pastor was Max Machado.
CHUCK: Oh, really?
STEVE: Being a fan of Max’s and read a lot of his books, I thought this was going to be great and he literally [18:23] from the pope it said, “Your life’s work can be found where God’s plan intersects with your passion.” And I really felt like for me there was something with inside of me, my passion was to help people, my passion was to impact people. I’d always wanted to write a book, I always felt like there was something that I could do and contribute in a way that really… And since we’re on the subject, I really felt like I could make a difference. There was something that I could do that quite frankly would leave a little bit of a different legacy for me. And the problem with it was I needed to get over my past, I needed to turn the page. I started to need to live exactly what we’re talking about today and I wasn’t able to do that before and I’ve finally decided, “Wait a minute. Today’s the day. This is the day.” And when I started to do a little bit of self [19:19], some self-improvement and went through the whole thing and I began to just generate and maintain a burning desire for a purpose that I felt would be something that would outlive me, outlast me and, if you will, create a legacy.
CHUCK: I think that’s so important. Finding something that, well, I’ll go back to your statement, finding that purpose in life, good golly, all too often I see people and I know you do who spend their life working for a living. Nothing wrong with working, don’t misunderstand. I know you work hard, I get that, but working, doing something that is passionless and then asking themselves that question that I got to ask last week, “Is there anything I’m going to do that makes a difference?” And you know, your passion may be your purpose, maybe. Let’s rephrase it, your purpose may be being excellent at being a janitor and interacting with people and impacting their lives somehow. It doesn’t mean it has to be something lofty, but it’s just finding it. I think that the one thing that I’m taking out of your book is it is really a great guide book to helping people kind of cut through the noise and get to that place of saying, “I can’t find what my purpose is and if I know what that purpose is, I can find the passion around doing it and, boy, that is a life changer.”
STEVE: Well, and we all can do it, you don’t have to be an author, you don’t have to be a motivational speaker. You don’t have to have had something catastrophic happen in your life. I think for those listening, one of the things that I want to encourage them is the encouraging point for me to share is that we don’t know the challenges that people face every day, but we do have the power, all of us, to bring somebody hope. And even if that’s just for a moment and as I’ve said, and I said this two years ago when I spoke to my peers at the National Speakers Association, and that is that we offer a wonderful dose of how to make somebody’s day, but we have to make sure that we fill our own cup first. We’ve got to make sure that we ourselves are happy and I just firmly believe it’s not that difficult. It’s a very simple idea that you can help people. It’s an idea. Now, you can’t change people, but you can influence them and you don’t need money to make a difference. That was something when you were introducing, I was hearing a segue into the whole program today, you don’t need money to make a difference. You just need to discover your true wealth, what it is that you do. And we focus on so many of the wrong things. I’m sitting here in my hotel right now. I’m looking at a bottle of water, a bottle of water that is $8. Eight dollars, Chuck![Chuck laughs]
STEVE: And all I’ve been thinking about is, “How many days, when I was growing up as a kid, that I grabbed a garden hose, turn it on and start to drink.” You know, you had to let the brown and rust get out through there, but it was those simple things, it was those free things, and yet, it was something that for me it was just practical and yet sometimes that’s all we need to do. Whether we’re a neighbor, a friend, somebody in church, somebody in our neighborhood.
A guy yesterday on a flight, Chuck, said something to me. He was a pilot sitting beside me on the flight here to Key West and he said, “It’s like we go through TSA and once we get on the other side, something in us becomes inhuman. We forget our morals, we forget how to be kind to people – we forget everything that we were taught. It’s like we become this other person.” And for me today making a difference is about making people understand that we all can. It doesn’t matter what you do or what your walk of life is.
CHUCK: Oh, I agree with that and you’ve said something a minute ago and most of it it’s said in your book but, look, let me segue into it by saying I recently wrote a book called Message From The Mountain. It honestly has nothing to do with what I typically speak on, but a talk in that book about what I refer to as ‘mind sleep’. And I think you said it better because you said, “We get so busy and so involved with the rush of living we not only miss opportunities, but often spend our most productive years in pursuit of things that really aren’t important.” I thought that was profound because if you want to find your passion, you find what’s important. Here’s to a guy with TSA, I think it’s kind of funny, it is true.
You’ve been listening to my guest, Steve Gilliland, here on Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher. Stay tuned and join us after the break.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio, transformative radio to live by, and Steve has been joining us. We’ve been talking about the journeys of life so to speak. This is transformational talk radio, something that you can live by. And, Steve, when we were in the last segment, you were talking a bit about focus and I know your first book, I have to say, I love the cover with the sunglasses, called Enjoy The Ride, tell me a little bit about what motivated you to start with that book and where have you seen it take you on your ride.
STEVE: The book for me, the premise of the book was something that, here again, was very personal to me. I, seemingly like a lot of people, would get up in the morning and drive, if you will, drive to work, work in the morning, go to lunch, work in the afternoon, drive home, and there was always this like I was going to arrive some place. It was like Monday got me to Tuesday, Tuesday got me to Wednesday. It was always what was next, what was next, what was next. And then I read a poem by Robert Hastings called ‘The Station’. He started out the poem by saying, “We’re tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision that we see ourselves and the long trip it’s been on the continent.” He talks about traveling by train and out the window you see cars and highways and children waving at crossings, cattle grazing. You see all these things, but uppermost in our minds is the final destination.
And I met a gentleman in Seattle, Washington, an elderly man, 97 years old, that literally after hearing me speak said, “I wish I have heard you 31 years ago.” And when he said that, it kind of struck me. He said, “I lost my wife 31 years ago and I have three girls who live on the East coast 3,000 miles away from here,” but he said something so profound when he looked at me and said, “Do you know how many time I sat at dinner with my wife and three girls, and uppermost in my mind was what I had to get done after dinner?” And then he looked at me and said, “Life is short. Enjoy the ride.”
STEVE: And I started to think about that. It was like wow! You know, here I am, it’s always what’s next, it’s always on to the next thing and before I knew it, it’s like I’m planning Friday and I’m in Tuesday. I’m not saying don’t plan the future, but what I am suggesting is don’t live there. So for me, the premise of Enjoy The Ride when I wrote the book was really kind of subtitle, it’s not how you start this life or how you finish it. The truth in your life always has been and it always will be in the trip and the premise of the book was, “What do we do to be able to enjoy the ride? What is it that we can do?” And of course, as you suggested, making sure we don’t lose our focus was a big part of the book.
CHUCK: Well, Steve, as you talk about that and as I hear you explain that, I have to say in all honesty I find myself, and I guess I’m just like everybody else, I find myself so often, not always but so often, focused on what needs to take place at the end of the week or next week or the following week looking at the calendar thinking about all of the stuff that I’m going to enjoy doing that I’m like a lot of folks tending to get so caught up in that I forget to enjoy what’s happening today.
STEVE: Yeah, and you know, I think one question you need to ask yourself, that I need to ask myself, and that everybody needs to ask themselves, is if tomorrow never came, would you be satisfied with the way today ended?
CHUCK: Wow, that’s a profound question. A profound question. And with that, would you be satisfied the way today ended, you know, that really goes back to the very first part of our conversation where we were talking about the choices that we make and how those choices create the experience that we have.
You’re going to be doing a presentation a little bit later today. You’re kindly taking the time to join me today on the show and I have to say, from my end, it’s exciting and fun to be able to carry on this conversation so I’m looking the way today is going and I’m saying today is actually good, but I wonder for people who listen, do we really take that to heart? Do we take that to heart today would I be satisfied if there were no tomorrow with how today ended? And that’s a great question. Maybe one of those that if you’re listening and not driving you can might want to write that one down because that one kind of puts things in perspective.
STEVE: Well, it does and I think the thing that we all intend to do is, to go back to what you said when the segment started and right after the commercial break, you said we were talking about focus and I think we tend to lose focus. And when I talked about these distractions and when I talked about Facebook, I’m not against Facebook, I’m not against email, I’m not against Twitter, I’m not against all these things that are out there, but what I feel has happened is they’ve allowed us to lose our focus and what Facebook’s intentions were, that’s not what it’s been used for today.
In terms of Enjoy The Ride, I had a women come up to me, Chuck, in Columbus, Ohio. I was signing a book for someone else. She was waiting, she had purchased a copy of Enjoy The Ride and I went to say something to her and she just handed me the book. She was crying and I said, “Are you okay?” She kind of shook her head no and I signed the book and she walked off and it kind of bothered me. I thought, “Man,” then I thought, “Don’t take it too personally here.” A month later, Chuck, we’ve received an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, my address is email@example.com, so firstname.lastname@example.org goes into our Customer Service email, which is answered by an employee named Brianna. So Brianna sends me an email and says, “We’ve got this. It may be something you want to consider following up on,” and it was this woman. Now, I didn’t know when I started to read the email. It said, “My name is Linda, I was in Columbus, Ohio. You may not remember me.” Well, immediately when she said, “I was the last person thatyou signed the book for,” well, she left her cell phone number and she said, “You may never even receive this email and you may not to call me, but I’d appreciated if you would,” so I call her up and a long story made short, she was very emotional. And here’s what she said, she said, “Until I heard you speak and until I read your book,” she said, “I never thought I missed one of my daughter’s soccer games and now I realize how many I wasn’t at.”
She then began to tell me a story of her daughter, who’s 11, and her best friend’s daughter, who’s 11. They’ve played soccer since they were 5 together. Six years, she said, they played defense, little girls running around and old-school goals, especially if you’re playing defense, and she said, “Two weeks before I ever heard you speak, before I ever knew there was a book called Enjoy The Ride, before I even knew there was a philosophy behind Enjoy The Ride in life,” she said, “I’m at a soccer game with my best friend, our girls are out in the field playing soccer and my best friend screamed ‘She scored!’ And when she screamed ‘She scored,’ I looked up from checking Facebook.” And she said, “When I looked up, I saw the ball in the goal and I saw my daughter staring at me with a smile.”
STEVE: And I literally said, “Please, tell me no.” And she finally said to me on the phone, she said, “I’m so torn to pieces because I haven’t even told my best friend that I didn’t see it. I haven’t told my daughter I didn’t see it.” It’s such a lesson for all of us on the things that we miss in life that because we are so distracted. In order to enjoy the ride, you know, how many have run over, metaphorically speaking, ever had a pot the hole and said, “You’ve got to be kidding?” Like you didn’t see it? Well, you didn’t see it because you were distracted!
STEVE: How many of you have ever been on a detour and you took a detour and then you turned it into a long journey because you were even paying attention to that. And I think sometimes, I’ve done it! I’ve missed the exit. I have missed an exit thinking, “How on Earth…?” Because you get distracted and in life it’s the same thing. And I think what happens, you’re talking in an interview and a guy has got a 34-year son and a 32-year old son that I remember when they were Little League, I would say things like that, “If I would just get him out of little league. If I can just survive Little League.” Chuck, I’d give anything right now to be going to a Little League game with my kids playing in it.
STEVE: I had a friend of mine say to me, “What would you give for one more Friday Night Football game?” I said I’d give everything I own. We were talking earlier on the show, we can’t get over and turn the page, but I tell people live more for today, live for the moment.
I don’t speak until this evening. This afternoon I’m planning to go down, I’m going to walk on the beach, I’m going to do a couple of things that will just kind of like, as I said, renew me, rejuvenate me, relax. And maybe the principle here, Chuck, is be more focused on being the doing. Sometimes you just have to do the being, not do the doing, and I know that may sound like, “Wait a minute, what did he just say?” It means that we’re so busy with the task. It’s kind of like a grocery store. This story success has a great culture. I asked the owner one time, I said, “How do you create such a great culture?” He said, “Because when people come in, we focus on people, not on the task. We all have jobs to do, we all have tasks, but we focus on the people.”
And then I think the last thing I would share with this out of Enjoy The Ride would be, decide what’s important and never take it for granted. Just know what’s important in your life. Do not take it for granted! Because life has a funny way of reminding us of what’s important. Sometimes we don’t realize that until we’ve lost it. And that is so simple and yet so real.
CHUCK: Steve, that is absolutely true. Life has a funny way for reminding us of what’s important. We’ve been talking with Steve Gilliland. Steve’s the author of Enjoy The Ride, Making A Difference. We’ve been talking about wisdoms from those two books. As we go on this journey with Straight Talk Radio, I’m Chuck Gallagher and as we end this segment, let me say to you, we’re going to come back and we’re going to wrap things up with Steve talking about his new book, which I’m fascinated by the title, I think it’s just [35:15] funny, called Hide Your Goat and I know that there’s a story behind that so stick with us, Straight Talk radio with Chuck Gallagher and join us after the break.[Commercial break]
CHUCK: This is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio, transformative radio to live by. I’m so excited today. Those of you that have been on the show for this segment so far, I’ve had as my guest international speaker and author, Speaker Hall of Fame member, Steve Gilliland.
Steve is, I would say, a mentor to me, and someone that I absolutely admire and respect. He’s the author of three books, Enjoy The Ride, Making A Difference, which we’ve talked about in our prior segment, and his newest book which is just as humored in the title, I think it’s great, called Hide Your Goat. So, Steve, welcome back. Okay, let’s start off with Hide You Goat? Where did you come up with that?
STEVE: Well, over the years it’s been something of a phrase. We’ve not used ‘hide your goat’, but everybody has always in my family and my inner circle, we’ve always said, “Why do you let people get your goat?” It came about with me back in the day when I was working in Corporate America. I had a secretary and when I came back from a meeting one time and she could tell I was a little bit disturbed about something. When I finally told her what had upset me at the meeting, and I was referencing somebody, here’s what I said, “I get so tired of going to that meeting and every time I’m in the meeting, all Ken does,” and I gave the [makes kissing sound] like the kisses and he just sits there and whatever the CEO says, just yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir, and I’m so tired of him kissing up. And she finally looked at me, “Why do you let him get your goat?” And I said, “Because…” and she said, “No, I want to know why does he get your goat? And why is that something that’s even important to you? Why does that even become a factor in your life?”
And years later I would watch myself in situations, air force, hotel, travel, neighborhood, and before I knew it, I watched people and then I started to realize, “Man, there’s something to this.” You know, people let things get their goat and I started thinking, “Why is that?” and that’s when I started to do some research on our behaviors, I started a research on some of the things that we are a part of and that we contribute to that it kind of starts with our own character, our own behavior, our own paths. It contributes the way we react to other people.
CHUCK: Yeah, I mean, actually, that makes so much sense. That’s funny because I’ve heard people say, “He got your goat,” and never thought about it much, but I guess it so figures that we have in our life, those internal things that someone else can flip up and trigger or as you say, “They really got my goat.” And then the question is, “Was that intentional on their part? How did they find what our goat was to begin with?” So, hide your goat! Know yourself, but tell me what the resource [38:44]you.
STEVE: One of the things that I started was, and I wanted to have some fun when I wrote the book, and I started to have a premise of everything would end in goat. Discover your goat, urge your goat, train your goat, teach your goat, exercise your goat, but it’s that discover part that really a lot of the research, to answer your question, was going back to a series of questions about who you were and in the beginning of the book I ask eight questions. And then I don’t just ask the questions, I make sure that you understand. For example, are you a warrior? And if you’re a warrior, if you don’t know whether you are or you’re not, I give you some examples of what that means. For example, I say there are very few things in the mind which eat up as much energy as worry. It’s one of the most difficult things not to worry about anything, and yet, when we worry about what’s wrong, our relationships, our past, and literally that frozen path is exactly what it is, it’s frozen and no amount of worrying is going to make it better than it has been.
And I ask questions like are you a giver? Are you humble? Are you fault finder? Are you a gossiper? Are you an attention seeker? Are you controlling? One of the things I found, Chuck, that was so interesting is as I wrote the book and did the research, which was a discovery to myself. I started to realize that, when I ask myself, “Why do people try to control other people,” for some of us hiding our goat isn’t possible because we don’t think we’re controlling. We don’t think we’re what these questions are. We don’t think we’re jealous. We don’t think we’re a gossiper. We don’t even think we’re fault finders. And yet, when you discover who you are and you begin to realize that, and that’s why I wrote the book the way I did, you may say you’re not this person, but here it is! Here’s the slang way of saying it – either you is or you isn’t.
STEVE: It’s that simple.
CHUCK: Well, you know, you say it’s that simple, and at one level it is. And at another level probably the hardest thing that I’ve had to do is… Well, let’s put it this way. Look in the mirror and accept the truth of me, because, I don’t know, maybe I’m like other people or other people aren’t like me, I’m not sure, but I look in the mirror and there are things I don’t like and that I want to focus on, but I also have to accept there’s a shadow side of who Chuck Gallagher is and there are certain things that I don’t really want to admit about myself. Steve, you probably found the same thing. If I’m not willing to admit that controlling side or the jealous side or whatever happens to be, I’m only fooling myself because if I’m not willing to admit it and bring it to consciousness and do something about it, it will just continue to control me or control my actions and in most cases not in a positive way.
STEVE: Well, that’s just it. When you said and when I said it is as simple as that, what I’m saying is the questions are simple, the answers are kind of the hard thing. Maybe it’s like I should say, you’ve got to have a clear image of who you are. And that’s essential in a relationship. Your self-confidence, your growth, and here’s something that I’m going to say slow so people that are listening can understand what I believe. I believe justice is impossible to reach your destination when you don’t know where you are. It’s also impossible to become who you want to be when you’re not clear on who you are.
So many people say, “I’d like to be this. I need to be more like this. I need to be more patient,” but what you’re saying you want to be, you need to be, you’ve got to figure out. It’s good to want to be that, just figure out exactly who you want to be. For example, I have a tendency to finish off people’s sentences. I have a tendency to hurry somebody along in a conversation. “Finish your sentence.” And it’s one of those situations where until I finally say, “Yeah, that’s who I am,” until I can sit there and have the patience, “Don’t finish other people’s sentences. Don’t insist on being the perfect host, wait on everybody. Don’t have the last word.” It was so many things I went through myself and thought, “Wow!” and it was such an eye opener because, Chuck, who I am, it’s like, “Let’s look at these goats.” When I say hide your goat, all these goats are just kind of out there roaming around. You’re never going to get him in the stable and shut the door and hide your goat if you can’t figure out exactly who you are because there’s things that happen every day that people who mirror your behavior, who are exactly like you are, think about you controlling people, how does that work out for you?
STEVE: It doesn’t! And what happens is they annoy you and the irony of that is – it’s you! And if you could just understand this is who you are, this is who they are. It’s like the book The Love Languages, you learn to speak other people’s language, but you better figure out what yours is first.
CHUCK: Steve, you’re so right with that and I feel like we could continue this conversation for another hour, but you are yet to the beach and the reality is, Steve, you share incredible wisdom on this show, Straight Talk Radio. Steve Gilliland is the author of Enjoy The Ride, Hide Your Goat, which we’ve just been talking about, and Making A Difference. Steve, before we wrap things up here in this last minute, tell our audience where they can buy your books and what special offers you have.
STEVE: Well, naturally, they can go to amazon.com and a lot of people choose to do that, which is completely fine, but I tell people, “If you’ll go to my website, stevegilliland.com, and I think you’re going to find it pretty easy. You’re going to go there, there’s going to be a landing page, you’re going to see [45:00] to click on it, you’re going to get into my online store. If you go to my name, and the last name is G-i-l-l-i-l-a-n-d, if you go to stevegilliland.com, hit on the ‘Books’ link and when you go there, no.1, all of the orders are taken from the web and I purposely sign several cases of books every couple weeks so that the online orders, all the books are going to be signed personally.
And the other thing is, we always throw in, I’ve written over the course of 16 years, I’ve written 9 books and no matter what you order, we usually throw in extra book in there. It’s kind of one of those ‘we give you more than you expected’, and that’s something Amazon’s not going to do.
The other thing that you’ll enjoy is when you get to the website, if you decide to go to the online store, Chuck, you also get a flare from me on stage, there’s some clips you can look at. Also, on the website you can pick up some of the old [46:00]articleI refer to. You can find some good information and good reading information as well.
We try to kind of be there for everyone in every way. Again, Amazon is a great company. I’m certainly happy that I’m a part of Amazon, but I think you’re going to get a whole lot more and a little bit extra if you go to stevegilliland.com.
CHUCK: Steve, I want to tell you how much I am thrilled that you were willing to join me and I want to say to those people listening, if your organization is planning a powerful meeting and seeks a truly inspirational presenter, when they earn standing ovations time after time, visit Steve Gilliland’s website. I’m sure he’d welcome the opportunity to talk with you.
I’ll say as we conclude join me next week for another exciting program, but for now, this is Chuck Gallagher with Straight Talk Radio, transformative talk radio that you can live by.
You’ve been listening to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher. Tune in each week for transformationtalkradio.com, each Monday at 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern, as Chuck Gallagher, international speaker and author, cuts through the noise to share truth through transparency. Nationally-known guests talk about what’s important to you – your life, your concerns, and your success. Visit gallagher.pcgdev.com for more information and turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.