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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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  • Every Monday, John shares a quick burst of inspiration to help start your week on fire.
  • Every Thursday, John interviews an amazing guest on their story, successes, failures, lessons, and life to help you uncover tips to apply in yours.

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Jun 29, 2017

"If you're patient, you'll move past obstacles."

Today I am honored to share with you a man who has profoundly inspired me.

Koran Bolden is a speaker, author + voice in urban education and arts. He committed to breaking the cycle of growing up in a fatherless home. He overcame the grief of losing his brother to gun violence. His smile can be felt in every word he speaks... and he is about to give you an amazing analogy so you can pivot into your most inspired life. My friends, Koran Bolden:


  • I lost my brother to gun violence. After, it was hard to focus because I lost my father figure and I didn't know how to grieve.
  • "I can't change your past, but if you're open to change I can show you how to be successful in life," Koran's counselor, Martha Christmas
  • If you're patient enough with yourself, you can move past your obstacles.
  • Order Koran's book: Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors: 3 step analogy to pivot in life
    • Rock - Believe
    • Paper - Set goals on paper
    • Scissors - Cut away distractions in your life
    • I started off with paper. Through writing music I was able to express how I wanted my life to become and as I spoke those words, they began to manifest / my life changed over time.
  • Mentors: You're not planting a rose garden, you're planting an apple tree. It will have years of fruit. At the beginning there are no branches: Envision the fruit to come; don't cut down the tree.
  • "The journey" of life builds character, resilience and preparation that you'll need in the next block of life.
  • "I wish someone had the vision to tell me what I could be instead of telling me repeatedly what I was not."
  • Mentors: Remember to build a relationship before you give information.
  • Mentors: Ask questions even if you aren't interested in the answers. People tell kids what to do; but you make them feel like they have a voice/that it matters. If you don't, you will have a disconnected kid looking down at a phone.
  • Even if you quit, as long as you still have breath in your life you have an opportunity to go back and fix things.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Bible, it has transformed my life in every way. Think and Grow Rich, Napolean Hill.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do? Take care of my immediate family. Start my own school with an emphasis on life choices and financial literacy.

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? My high school diploma. Even if you quit, as long as you still have breath in your life, you still have an opportunity to go back and fix things. 

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? Barrack Obama.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Be patient. It's hard in the microwave generation but the tortoise and the hare is still true.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20? Dream big and walk along side people who dream big right along with you.

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? Resilient, radiant, relevant.



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I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Today is your day. Live Inspired.

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