Challenge Your Thinking with Dr. Linda Tucker (general)

Brigadier General, Dr. Rhonda Cornum is tough and gentle.  I find the two are often a package deal.   In today's interview with  Brigadier General and Physician Rhonda Cornum, we will learn that resilience can be taught, learned and even mastered. However, here is the best part...whether you are a civilian or in the military or even feel like the walking wounded today’s episode is for you. After surviving a helicopter crash while on a rescue mission during the first Iraq war General Cornum was then taken prisoner. if that isn’t a petri dish to test one’s resilience, I don’t know what is.  Gen. Cornum is well acquainted with the double-edged sword of hardship, but as you will soon learn, she is also adamant about not being defined by those experiences... except in terms of lessons learned. When Dr. Cornum returned back to the States after being rescued, people were often confused when she would explain that instead of experiencing PTSD, she felt stronger because of her experience. As Dr. Michaela Haas notes in her book Bouncing Forward, in the early 1990s, the term “post traumatic growth” had not yet been discovered. Instead of blindly accepting what some consider constricting labels that trauma survivors are given, Dr. Cornum focused on re-claiming the agency over what she could control. Before she retired from the military, Dr. Cornum developed the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program, which not only helps boost resilience in troops, but can help all of us in everyday life. Rhonda’s story is a reminder that the human spirit is capable of surmounting unimaginable challenges, and that if anything, living through a near-death situation can make life that much more precious and cherished.   

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_General_Rhonda_Cornum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Travis Meadows is known by "Rolling Stone" magazine as "Nashville's most badass songwriter."  Whether or not you’re familiar with or even like country music, it is often about love, loss and and human resilience. “Riser,” a song co-written by Travis Meadows and performed by Dierks Bentley, is one of those songs that stays with you long after you listen to it, and you can’t help but wonder about the life behind those words. If you listen closely, you get the sense that Travis’s depth of insight has been forged because of struggle, and that taking the long way has given him something rare and irreplaceable. Dealing with cancer at fourteen, growing up with an absent father, and wrestling with addiction are only a few of the mile-markers on his life’s journey. Today you will hear how Travis discovered how to make peace with his past and how he learned that you can’t truly appreciate light without the darkness. Travis teaches us to aim for authenticity rather than accolades, and to accept what we cannot control. He has written songs for country artists such as Eric Church, Jake Owen, Leann Womack, and Wynonna Judd to name a few, making his unique artistry unmistakable. As Travis agrees and I believe...nothing meaningful ever comes easy. Travis has had to fight for his voice, and in the process of doing so, discovered the "Riser" inside of him.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Travis_Meadows.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Mark Schulman is here to teach us that we can all overcome stage fright if we follow what he calls the Three C’s. He has played drums with some of the most famed musicians of our time. From Tina Turner to Cher, to Stevie Nicks, Billy Idol to Beyonce, and three world tours with Pink you might get the sense that he’s just warming up.  Before he was voted one of the “Top 3 Pop-Rock Drummers” in the 2014 Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll, he learned what it would take to get there...putting in the long hours practicing his craft so he would be ready for opportunity when it came knocking; and, knocking it did. Mark has performed for an estimated one billion people over the course of his 27 year long career, so it might surprise you that he’s had his share of stage fright to overcome and understand from the inside-out. He has learned to harness his fear to be helpful rather than debilitating, and has written about his experience in his new book, Conquering Life’s Stage Fright. Mark’s story shows us how failure can be disguised as a pivotal moment for growth, if we’re willing to be open to the lesson.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Mark_Schulman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21am EDT

Aaron Walker was 27 years old when he reached a level of success people dream about.  What he wasn’t prepared for was the hollow feeling that came with it.  His message today is get your priorities straight...and, by all means pay it forward.  While he could have settled into an early retirement and what some people consider the “comfortable life he didn't. Intuitively, he  knew there was more out there for him. When you fear missing an opportunity more than failure, success is only a matter of time. Aaron began seeking out others who wanted similar things in life: growth, opportunity, and to “give back” in some way. He also found what he hadn’t had before...mentors who would help him develop his potential. Today, Aaron helps others discover how to build significance into their lives by investing in relationships, not just retirement plans. If you’ve ever doubted whether a successful life can also be a meaningful one, then you’ll want to keep listening; because moving forward in your career and building lasting relationships don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Aaron has a powerful message for anyone spending more energy holding onto regret rather than focusing on what you can control---your future.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Aaron_Walker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm EDT

Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis is the first-grade teacher from Sandy Hook who saved her entire first grade class in December 2012.  She will carry the memory of that traumatic day forever, but she has found a way to move forward with hope that we can all learn from. Her inspiring outlook reminds us that there will always be tragedy in the world; but she questions and teaches us that is not reason enough to keep the blinds shut forever.  This is not to say that for a period of time that is exactly what she did.  As the inherent teacher that Kaitlin is...she instructs us that we, too, have the ability to choose to let the light in. Kaitlin saved her class that day in 2012 with her quick thinking and level headedness and is here today to teach us what it means to choose hope from her new book, "Choosing Hope."

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Kaitlin_Roig-Debellis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49pm EDT

Gillian Zoe Segal faced many closed doors as she was collecting the interviews she needed for her most recent book, “Getting There.” Instead of giving up, she looked for a window to climb though--all while being persistent, yet polite.  Gillian’s example teaches us that when courage fails us, we can gain strength from those who inspire us by remembering that every success story involves a struggle of some kind. Gillian conducted interviews with some of the biggest names in business, music, and fashion with the specific purpose of demystifying the illusion that successful people have had everything handed to them on a silver platter. In fact, Gillian found that in most cases, the very opposite proved to be true. She consolidated these stories and pearls of wisdom into a book of mentors to pass on to others -- most notably, her own daughter. Although she never had a mentor herself, Gillian forged a path where there was no trail so that those who read her book would feel less alone on their own path towards their dreams.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Gillian_Zoe_Segal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EDT

Kimberley Chambers, is here to teach us that when we are willing to face our fear, we have the opportunity to discover just how capable we really are. She is a stellar example of how building a reservoir of strength can prepare us for the greatest of life's challenges and how facing our true edge of fear has the capacity to bring us closer to accomplishing more than we ever dreamed possible.  When the odds are stacked against us, it rarely feels like an opportunity and yet research has proven that it's in life's biggest challenges that we have the opportunity to develop adaptability and resilience.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Kimberley_Chambers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EDT

Dr. Michaela Haas has written an important book, "Bouncing Forward."  Most of us are familiar with PTSD, but post traumatic growth may be a new concept altogether. The idea of post traumatic growth suggests that we’ll grow after a trauma...all you have to do is experience one for that to be questionable at least while it’s occurring.  The fact is that research is proving that there is growth especially and even after trauma. And, trauma comes in many iterations.  We have probably all experienced trauma in one form or another: from losing a loved one to being in a car crash. Dr. Michaela Haas has not only researched post-traumatic growth...she has also experienced it first hand.  She has consolidated twelve stories of resilience, growth and wisdom in her recently released book, Bouncing Forward and she is here during this episode to share much of what she has learned.  Dr. Haas proposes a different way to look at crisis; that while there is undoubtedly immense pain, there is also potential breakthrough and a silver lining.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Michaela_Haas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

John Bradshaw is a best-selling author and esteemed therapist who tackles the complicated emotion of shame in his extensive work.  He has written numerous NY Times best sellers and recently wrote a book called Post Romantic Stress Disorder.  He has an impressive list of roles that include counselor, management consultant, theologian, philosopher, public speaker, and Senior Fellow with the Meadows Treatment Group. I believe that one of the reasons why John’s voice is so influential is because he practices what he preaches. He is vulnerable with his own struggles in life, and is generous with sharing his experiences and the valuable wisdom he’s gained over the many years he has been practicing and writing.  I hope you will join us for this episode.  He is a very special guest.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_John_Bradshaw.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11am EDT

Geni Whitehouse has gumption.  She was honest enough with herself to realize that she just was not passionate enough about a career she had spent many years working at and becoming successful at. If you have ever wondered what it takes to have the courage to leave a career that just "does not do it for you" then this is the episode for you.  Tune in to find out how Geni discovered a part of herself while honoring her late father’s life and grieving his death. Our losses, illnesses and most often our challenges can be great teachers if we are willing to listen.

Direct download: Challenge_Your_Thinking_Geni_Whitehouse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am EDT