On Fire – “#7 – Are You Ready?”


Are You Ready?

We have journeyed together through “On Fire.”  This is the last chapter. Be sure to go to my website to submit your comments to be added into the drawing for a FREE COPY of “ON FIRE - The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life”  by John O’Leary.

When John is finally released from the hospital after 5 months, he recalls that it was his father whose words saved his life. 

“Before Jack Buck appeared.  Before the therapists stretched me.  Before Nurse Roy walked in.  Before the staff worked to save me.  Before Mom appeared and asked that extraordinary, inspired question.  Before anyone had a chance to do anything, the first person to visit me in the emergency room was Dad.  Dad hadn’t been told the extent of my injuries.  He hadn’t been warned about what he was about to step into….Nothing could have prepared him for it.  His baby boy was going to die.  Fear flooded him.  What could he say?  Why was this happening?  Then Dad saw past the wounds, pushed past the fear, beheld his son, and immediately stepped in with love.  He cut through his fear, the shock, and sadness, came directly to me leaned over, and smiled.  he told me he was proud of me. and told me that he loved me.  I LOVE YOU.  Three simple words that changed my world, and they can change yours.”

“Whether you choose to be seized by love or fear will affect everything that happens in your life.  Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.  Fall into fear, stay in fear, and it will decide everything.”

Fear shut the door on a possible relationship with the “one.”  Even though he had learned to write, drive a car, shoot baskets, throw a baseball, he had no idea if anyone would want him.  But it all changed with the “one.” When she wanted to love him like a sister, he slammed the door shut.  After a year or so he still had feelings for her. He discovered that he had had very selfish motives.  He let go of his fear of not being lovable, and opened the door of his heart to love her even if it wasn’t exactly as he had planned.

The 7th choice to ignite a radically inspired life:


Love is truly the key.  When John focused on simply loving her and enjoying the moment with no strings attached. No expectations. No hidden agenda.  It was more than enough.  She fell for him.  They married and now have 4 children and live in St. Louis, MO.

The number one thing holding us back from living a radically inspired life is fear.  Fear keeps you from being accountable.  Fear keeps you from embracing your story.  Fear keeps you from going “All in”.  Fear keeps you locked in victim mentality.  Fear keeps you from growing and stretching.  Fear keeps you focused on yourself.  Fear keeps you stuck right where you are.  BUT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY -  Choose LOVE!  It’s a choice and it’s up to us.

I have LOVED sharing this book with you.  I hope you have been inspired to LIVE A RADICALLY INSPIRED LIFE!

Don’t forget to enter the drawing for a FREE COPY OF “ON FIRE”  by entering your comments on my blog on my website.  I will draw a winner on Saturday morning, December 3, 9 AM.






“On Fire – #6 What More Can You Do?” + Drawing for Free Book!


“What More Can You Do?

One life can, and always does, change the world.

John remembers a life changing visit by one man as he lay in the hospital after the fire:

“I was just lying in my hospital bed.
I couldn’t move. (I’m strapped to the bed.)
I couldn’t talk.  (The ventilator prevents it.)
I couldn’t see.  (My eyes are swollen shut.)
I was in the dark, in pain and totally scared.
But also dreaming, hoping, and praying.
And listening.
It was in listening that I was blown away.
You see, I like sports….I love baseball.
The St. Louis Cardinals are my team…… Most of the time we listen to the radio to “watch” the ballgame. We listen to a guy named Jack Buck.  He’s the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals….
And he is the guy who walked into my hospital room.
He said,”Kid.  Wake up.”  I recognized his voice right away.
“Listen to me.  You are going to live.  You got that?  You are going to survive.  And when you get out of here, we are going to celebrate!  We’ll call it John O’Leary Day at the ballpark.”
When he left I was still tied down to the bed, eyes swollen shut, unable to move, unable to speak, unable to do anything…. But I was absolutely fired up!!

In his scariest, bleakest days, ONE man’s voice shone light into his darkness.  ONE visit gave him a promise to cling to.  ONE voice echoed hope.  And Jack only got the opportunity to have such an impact because ONE person told him John’s story.  Jack asked himself, “What more can I do?”  He saw possibilities not limitations.  He took action where others watched idly by and focused on making a difference for others.

(Jack later returns many times to encourage John to write thank you notes, John had no fingers, in return for signed baseballs.  He ends up with 60 signed baseballs.)

Jack chose to lead a radically inspired life.  He is an example of the 6th choice:  on-fire-6-com

“Believing in the power of ONE allows us to see where we could make a difference.  it allows us to see the opportunity of ‘What more can I do?’   It jars us from sleepiness, wakes us up to pay attention, and demands that we take action.  ……  Believing opens your heart to love, your eyes to possibility and your life to the truth that your life, that every life, matters profoundly.”

Yes!  You can also make a difference in someone’s life.

You are the ONE to believe,

to love, to see possibility and to take action!!



Don’t forget to comment in the comment section on my website HERE! to enter the drawing for a FREE copy of “On Fire!”














“On Fire – #5 Can You Say Yes?”

On Fire#5  Can You Say Yes?  

Comfort is popular, but courage changes lives

This chapter has one of the most powerful stories in it about John’s favorite nurse, Big Roy.  Big Roy was always tender and careful until the day that he gets John up to help him learn to walk.  It hurts and John is furious at him.  He cannot bend his legs.  He cannot put weight on his feet.  He has no muscles.  He does not believe he can walk again.

 Big Roy replies, ” Boy, you are going to walk again.  You might as well get used to it.  Come on.  I’ll walk with you.”  

And Big Roy does and says the same thing day after day after day until one day, John did believe that he might walk again.  This conversation changed his life. John is able to tell Big Roy this at a reunion dinner 24 years later. Big Roy was so blessed to know that he mattered.  He did his job.  He loved his work.  He loved his patients but never really understood that he mattered.  He changed John’s life!  He would never forget him!  

This chapter also includes a story of a visit from Glenn Cunningham, who held the world record for the fastest mile at one point and a silver medal winner of the 1936 Olympics.  

Glenn and John had something in common.  They were both burned as young boys.  Glenn and his older brother were starting a fire in a schoolhouse stove and accidentally used gas rather than kerosene.  That can ignited.  His brother died 9 days later.  Glenn was burned all over.  His legs were burned so badly that the doctors wanted to amputate, but his mom begged and promised he would change the bandages daily.  He learned to walk by learning to stand in the yard next to a fence, with many, many falls he proceeded to walking a few steps holding onto the fence to walking around the whole fence to jogging to running to striding, then races and the Olympics.  

Glen told John to picture himself doing whatever he desired to do and not to give up.  “Never give up.  Never quit.”
This conversation changed John’s life as well.

 So come on, let’s love our work and the people in it.  We matter as well!  Who’s life are we changing?


  • Don’t forget to make a comment about John’s story “On Fire” on my blog on my website.  2 more weeks for “On Fire” book review!  I will enter your name into the drawing for a FREE “On Fire” book!!

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