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Expected to die, today he’s inspiring others to truly live.

World-renowned inspirational speaker + national bestselling author John O’Leary wants to help you wake up from accidental living so you can do, be, achieve and impact more through your life.

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Feb 1, 2018

"You are always only just beginning."

Marc and Angel Chernoff didn't set out to create one of the most read blog sites online; it came to them over time. After losing a mutual friend with no warning and Angel's brother to suicide soon after, they began a blog to hold each other accountable. They had no idea the blog would resonate with others; it was simply a form of therapy, a coping mechanism, and a way to heal. 

Fate it would seem had different plans. Soon, they began getting hundreds of visitors, then thousands, and in time what started as a side project began getting millions of visitors a month.

Marc and Angel's blog Hack Life tackles the everyday issues we all face at one time or another in our lives. They cover what to do when everything goes wrong, how to be grateful for the things you have, tips for a strong relationship, and how to get toxic elements out of your life.   

Today, Marc & Angel Chernoff join us to talk about the struggles of losing loved ones, relationship goals, and how to be more grateful and present in life. This amazing couple has some very positive messages and advice to share with us. Have a listen.


  • Their blog Hack Life started as a public accountability journal in 2008. What started as a side project, would soon be picked up by other outlets and have over a million viewers a month.
  • Losing their friend Josh had a profound impact on both of them. They describe him as genuine, honest, and an old soul. Josh passed away on a business trip for a job that Angel helped him get. This haunted her, and she suffered from severe guilt.
  • Two months later, Angel lost her brother to suicide. Marc and Angel kept asking why, only to conclude the "why" is not reality. The reality is they both passed away. Therefore, the question to ask became, "how do you get back up?"
  • "That's such a simple thing. Often, we think the answers to a happier or simpler life are found in something new you are going to learn. When it really is just dialing back a little bit. Something as simple as sitting down with the family every day and just staying in touch with what is going on in each other’s heads and each other's lives is priceless.”
  • "What if you could look past the thought. Without that thought in your head right now. Without that tunnel vision. That very narrow focus on this tragedy. What else surrounds it? What else is in the periphery here? And is it possible that I can work within the periphery to do something that is amazing, or at least something that helps me take a small step forward in the right direction? The answer 99.9% of the time is yes." 
  • "Everyone is going to be blindsided at one point in life." 
  • Marc and Angel run a course called "Getting Back to Happy."
  • "Every day you are becoming a better version of yourself."
  • "The best lessons we learn are the lessons we learn over and over again."


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? MARC: The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, M.D. I love the first line, "Life is not easy." ANGEL: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do with it? ANGEL: We have what we need. How could we have more of an impact then we do now, how do we give back? Maybe some non-profit work for children. MARC: Reinvest it in our mission. Suddenly it wouldn't be about the money at all. Hiring people who will help us help others.  

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? MARC: We spent a lot of time over the last decade simplifying our lives. It sounds cliche but data. ANGEL: We don't have any materials which wouldn't be replaceable. MARC: We don't have a connection to physical possessions. 

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? ANGEL: Marc and my son. MARC: It would be so fascinating to sit down with my grandparents. They used to share such great stories with me as a kid. Just give me one more shot at hearing those stories. 

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? MARC: Don't take this personally. People do things because of them, not because of you. ANGEL: You're not done yet. 

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20?  ANGEL: Don't take yourself so seriously. Don't try to control the uncontrollable. MARC: I love that...I'd like to rift right off of that and say you don't have to have it all figured out. Sadly, we send our kids off to school at 18 thinking they need to have it all figured out. Like you can't reinvent yourself? It's OK to explore. 

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? MARC: He made the best of it. I'd actually love for it to be "we" including Angel, we made the best of it. ANGEL: She took the experiences that shaped her and loved it. 


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