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A Life of Purpose
In this episode of the DJ Doran Show, we welcome award-winning international speaker and author; Jeff Marconette Jr. This was an amazing opportunity to hear his remarkable story of surviving against the odds and how he pursues a life of inspiration and gratitude.Jeff is the host of the “Make Every Second Count” Live show, hosted from his home in Ohio. Jeff is an international speaker, author, youth mentor, and all around delightful human. During our conversation we heard Jeff recount his incredible story, learned many life lessons, and accepted the challenge to “Make Every Second Count.”
Jeff’s wanted to extend an offer to all of our listeners. If you follow the link below and sign up for an account, you can download the first week of Jeff’s journal and get a glimpse of the valuable lessons you could learn from Jeff’s publications. Feel free to reach out to him for any speaking engagements, podcasts, or with any questions that you may have.
Black Belt Speakers: http://rubenwest.com/bbsacademy/
Ruben West: http://rubenwest.com/
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Hey everyone, this is DJ Doran and you’re listening to another episode of the DJ Doran show. My guest today is Jeff Martinez Jr. Jeff is a transformational speaker, author, coach, youth mentor and walking miracle. He is the host of the make every second count live show hosted weekly from the sleepy town of piqua. Ohio. So tune in enjoy the conversation and hopefully we all learn something.
You’re listening to the DJ Doran show on k w IR radio production, warning that DJ Doran jo contains adult language but your content cerebral debate and thought provoking conversation listener discretion is advised. And now Chicago’s perspicacious host of your same podcast obsession, DJ Doran.
Hey Jeff, how’s it going?
Oh, not too bad TGF.
Yeah, TGI FTG. I
first thanks for being on the show on a Friday. Now,
Robin, where are you located? Jeff? In Ohio?
Oh, not farm in Chicago.
Yeah, I can see the Cubs crab. So
yeah, I can even see. That’s Lake Michigan from my window.
So I’m sitting here and it’s like, beautiful out but it’s supposed to be like 93 degrees.
Wow, that’s hot.
Yeah, it’s very hot. So anyway, Jeff, I was reading some stuff about you. And so you have you’re the host of your own podcast. Is that what that is? Make every second count.
It’s just a show. It’s not really a podcast. It doesn’t have the all the correct things for podcasts. Hmm. But yeah, it’s a show. Oh,
you Nice. Well, first of all, let’s start off with. Tell me a little bit about yourself and give me a little bit of background. I’ve read some things, but let me hear it from you.
All right. Well, where would you like to start?
Well, it looks like from what I’ve read that like it’s 17 were you in a car accident? Is that what happened?
Yeah. Ah, here I can actually show you a picture of what car
Oh, wow. Did someone t bone your Yeah, I got t boned by a semi. Holy crap.
Yeah, he ran a red light didn’t realize that he was going through a red light because he never hit his brakes. He just kept going.
So that looks like it’s a pretty egregious accident. So I’m assuming that you were hurt pretty bad from what I’ve read. So tell about that.
Yes, I had a traumatic brain injury. That top bone in my spine was broken. So that is actually considered part of the skull and not part of the spine. But so I wore a halo for three months with that. And then I had a broken jaw to fractured ribs and punctured lung and a ruptured spleen. I had to bend through my stomach to help me because my jaw was wired shut. And I spent two and a half months and coma. Add the two men third with the side of my chest to help me reinflate my lung because it had collapsed. And I had to been through my neck collar tracheotomy. And that was to help me breathe and make sure that my throat didn’t swell up. And I was actually on letter for
a few days. So tell me what happened afterward. You know what? You know, I was reading your story of, of how you came back from that where they said that you wouldn’t be able to walk but now you’re walking and so, so walk me through that. So the accident happened. Tell me what you first remember after the accident?
Well, I don’t remember anything from the morning of the accident through two and a half months later. My first recollection was in. I write, I was floating in a in a strange place with a bunch of people with white coats walking by me. It was very bright and I had no idea what was going on. And then I guided into this room, and I was like, Huh, this is strange. I guess I was crying and making all kinds of noise. And I guess my sister was pushing me in my wheelchair. And she actually did this all the time. She would come and take walks with me around the hospital. And I had no idea what was going on. And I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t move my head. I couldn’t stand up because I was in a wheelchair. I have a seatbelt on. And then I was all confused. I was crying and crying and crying.
Did you, Jeff, when you were first brought to the hospital, I’m assuming you were unconscious. Right? Because that’s a pretty tough accident. Did you have a near death experience? Did you? Do you have any recollection of having something like that? No.
I have no recollection of anything like that.
So you wake up in the hospital. Do you have a sense of how badly you’re hurt
at first? No. But then as I was able to establish some communication, not by talking because I couldn’t speak, I had a tracheotomy. And I just couldn’t talk because I didn’t know how yet. And I did one finger for Yes, two fingers for No. And I established some communication with my parents. And they told me that the doctor said that I might never walking in, that I might never dog being in that I might never get out of this bed. Again, and I did not want to accept that. I wanted to show them that they were wrong. Because nobody knows what’s possible for you. Nobody knows what’s possible for me. That is completely up to you or me in this case.
Well, obviously that is a amazing because from what I’ve seen, you’re not only walking, but now your next goal is to be running, right?
Yes. And I have actually I can run like 10 steps, maybe maybe five, I don’t know. But it’s extremely sketchy. And it’s
I don’t know if I would do it very often.
So this accident was 17 years ago,
actually 18 and a half years ago, it was January 7 2002. So
Jeff, let’s say you wake up from the hospital, you’re in a wheelchair, they tell you, you and your parents that you’re probably not going to walk again. What is going through your mind, right? So what I’m trying to do now is I’m trying to sort of put myself in your position and now I’m trying to think what emotions would I feel right so at first, I might feel anger, right? anger that that this happened. Did you feel that?
Honestly, no, I never felt anger that I know. Even even me as perfect as I am. I have even run red lights. I didn’t mean to. And I know that there’s people out there that just have things going on and they accidentally do it. And if I have done it, then I don’t mind it. Anybody else for doing the same thing? He just had the unfortunate thing that I was there the same time.
Okay, let’s move on. And let’s talk about, let’s talk about this. You traveled the world, transforming lives so others don’t, don’t have to hope for a second chance to to live life that they have always wanted. Tell me how you’re inspiring other people to live that life that they truly want.
Wow, I have a movement that I have started. And I plan on getting an initiative together soon, but I haven’t done that yet. And the movement is called make every second count movement. And that is a group on Facebook that you and all your listeners can actually join. And please follow my steps. And I tried to help other people Learn that they can be thankful for every moment that every moment it Alright, there’s 86,400 seconds in a day. And a lot of people think that, well, that’s a lot of seconds, I’m not going to be able to make them all count. And see that’s where I kind of disagree. Because if you wake up every morning, which I do, and they express your gratitude for being given the day and show the day that you intend to make it great, then that something you’re thankful for all day long. And once you are thankful for those things, your day will just get so much better. It I have a quote that says that it’s not the happy people that are great. But it is the Grateful people that are happy. Now, if you guys can comment out there or anything, put that in a comment, put that in your newsfeed. Do something just tell people that it’s not the happy people that are grateful. It is them grateful people that are happy.
I agree with that. I mean, I often say, whenever I find myself complaining, which I sometimes do,
but you’re a Cubs fan, how can you not?
It’s true once they won the World Series. I know I’m ambivalent. I was i’d love the Cubs when they were the the lovable losers, right? But once they won the World Series, they got all Hollywood and so now it’s not as it’s not as exciting. But you know, what I was saying is sometimes I’ll say, I’ll complain about this, or I’ll complain about that. And then I, I call it taking stock, right? So I’ll take stock of my life and I’ll say I live in a beautiful Full apartment, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, I have everything that I need, I’m healthy, I’m, you know, happy I have a good relationship, everything is, is good. And then all of a sudden, the thing that I’m complaining about becomes trivial. And when I’m reading your quote, that it’s not that happy people that are grateful, I think this is how I look at that is when you have everything you want or need, sometimes you forget to be grateful. And so once I become grateful, all of a sudden, it changes my, my perception, and I’m happy for what I have. Some people have more, some people have less, but I’m happy for what I have. I have, I’m happy for the things in my life that I have good health, a roof over my head, food in the refrigerator, you know, the basics. And so that’s kind of how I look at it. And so I agree with that. You know, I read that you that you speak internationally, but specifically in Guyana. How did that Opportunity come to be how did that come to pass?
I went to Guyana with the speaking to nations group. And then there are a bunch of awesome people speaking to nations was actually founded by Ambassador Dr. Chi Grevers and Dr. Reuben West and Ambassador rivers is one of my confidant mentors that I I treasure every moment with him because he’s an amazing guy. And then Dr. West is definitely like the biggest mentor in my life. He is he’s my speaking coach. And I just look up to the man and he took myself and 11 other speakers to Guyana. And we spoke at like 14 different schools and things and 14 days or in four days, and we met with the Vice President of gown.
Nice. And what were the topics that you spoke about?
Well, we just spoke on living your best life. Like, my whole thing is make every second count. But make every second count is a part of the live your best life. And in order to live your best life, I think you have to make every second count.
And how would you counsel someone who may not be making every second count? How do you counsel them to say, Okay, this is how you make every second count of your life and what would that result be if they’re successful?
Well, that that has funding behind I actually just wrote a book, a workbook or journal that is going to be released here in like four to six weeks. And then it’s called, make every second count a 1500 hour journal. And in that book, it goes through things like gratitude and developing a winning attitude, developing a positive attitude and things like that because it is all your mindset. If your mindset is right about like about the things in the world, then your whole world is going to change your whole world is going to get better. But I actually have a program called foundational youth, which I run here in my hometown, and in that program, where I have students Love them after 19 years of age. And we we go through things like gratitude, I teach them why it is so important to see the things that they’re grateful for to see the things that they have, and not the things that they want. And we also develop affirmations for them. And I teach them some breathing techniques that have helped me get over everything that I’ve dealt with. And it’s just amazing to see the kids who I love when you teach them something new or speak to them in a positive way and tell them something that they might not have heard from anyone else. When you tell them
this. Do you also tell them how their lives would change by practicing this technique.
Well, I tell them that they they will see life differently in doing these things, that different things, they will find different things when they look for different things. Wayne Dyer has a quote that says if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. And that’s that’s very true. Because you see, he also has a an exercise that he goes through about a guy that in this house and he’s flipping the keys up and down, and the boom, a loud noise in the lecture goes out, and he dropped his keys. So he’s fumbling around there on the floor looking for his keys and there’s no lights on and can’t find them anywhere. So he looked outside, and he says, Wow, the street lights are still on, huh? I have an idea. I’ll go outside and look for my keys. So it goes outside and looks for keys. And his neighbor comes out says, What are you doing Wayne? When says, Oh, I dropped my keys. So today we’re getting down to help them find them. And they’re both fumbling around looking for his keys. And his neighbor says, so where did you actually drop your key? and Wayne says, I dropped them in the house. And the neighbor looks at him like he’s stupid. He says, You mean to tell me that we’ve been out here looking for your keys for 10 minutes, and you drop them in the house and Wednesday? Yes, you see, I didn’t think I will ever find them in the house because the lights out I saw light out here. And I decided to come out and look for him out here. And how often is it that people look for happiness outside? They don’t realize that it’s inside. That what they truly need lives in here.
And they’re looking in the wrong place.
Yes, they’re, they look in the wrong place. And by teaching these students that they need to look for gratitude, they need to look for what they’re grateful for. They need to be thankful for what they have and not always look for something more by teaching them breathing techniques to help them live in the moment and teaching them to do affirmations, saying I am great. I am willing to learn I am worthy. Then, if you speak to them better, and they speak to themselves better, then they’re going to speak to the world better, and they’re going to speak to themselves better.
That makes perfect sense. I mean, that’s where you start. You know, you start with yourself if you don’t like and respect yourself and I say this often if you don’t like and respect yourself, how can you expect others to? Yes, so you’ve got to you got to speak to yourself in a positive fashion and, and that’ll go out into the world. Jeff, I’m assuming, you know, I’ve never been in I’ve been in a major car accident, but I never miraculously I wasn’t injured or drunk driver t boned me and I got thrown through the windshield and rolled over three times. Wow. And uh, all I got was glass in my head and my my legs and no broken bones and some minor lacerations. But an accident like yours, I’m sure required a ton of physical therapy. What was that? Like, well,
I I’ve actually been in physical therapy now for 18 and a half years, I’ve been in physical therapy, even before I came out of the coma, they were in my room making me sit up moving my muscles, so my muscles didn’t atrophy, right and atrophy is tightening up of muscles. And it there. It has been hard. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s easy. But it Eric Thomas has a quote. He says, if it was easy, everyone would do it. And that is so true. Because I know that there are people that quit their pee after a short period of time and never raised started. You know, when I was first in my wheelchair, I had people say to me that, wow, jack, you’re actually out of bed, you’re able to sit in a wheelchair. You shouldn’t be happy by this that people live every day in a wheelchair and the happy. I said, and they told me that I can quit therapy. I said, I don’t think so. So when I got to walking with the walker again, they were surprised. They couldn’t believe me. They were cheering me on. But they told me that I could stop therapy. If people of every day I’m working with the Walker, they’re happy. I said, I don’t think so. So I got to a cane. And they were jumping up and down. So exciting. And what do you know, but again, they don’t mean that, you know, this is probably the best you can expect. You can Stop this therapy thing and time now. And I said, I don’t know. I don’t I don’t think so. So I can’t walk in with nothing. I honestly have trouble believing that sometimes. And, again, guess why? They were like, this is great man. Don’t Don’t even try to do any more therapy because this is definitely the best you can expect that people live every day walking on assistance in their happy, or in most cases, they’re not happy, but you can quit the Sampey thing now. And I said, No. You see, there’s more that I want to accomplish. There’s there’s more out there for me because I want to run I said I told you earlier that I can run a few steps now. And that is pretty darn amazing. But I’m not going to stop there.
Did you ever have any doubts about what you could accomplish through your physical therapy? And if you did, how did you overcome them?
You know, I probably had doubts. I’m not even saying that, that I always believed wholeheartedly, that I was going to get up there and walk that I was going to get out there and run. But you see, I wanted to prove myself right, or willing to try. And that’s what a lot of people are trying to do. They aren’t trying to prove themselves right or willing to dry because they’re scared of trying. They’re scared of not being right, but unless you take that chance In being right, then failure is a privilege reserved for those who try.
Good quote. I love that. So when you were going through this when you talk to other people that may, and do you talk to other people that are in similar situations like yourself?
Yes, I talked to a group at the hospital that I was at, that’s a court appointed group is a nationally recognized group. And I am very proud of being a part of this, because in 15 years, I have not missed one chance to speak to those students that they are all convicted of things like speeding wrecks, driving under the influence, even underage drinking and things like that. And I Just tell them about my experience through rehab. And my experience through these 18 and a half years since my wreck, that my life changed overnight. And if they keep going down the same path that they’re on now, they’re like, my might change overnight, or their life might end overnight.
What I was asking really is have you spoken to people that are suffering the consequences that you suffered as a result of your accident? Like, do you meet with people that have been in car accidents or had catastrophic injuries and maybe they have lost hope? Or maybe they are feeling depressed? Do you talk to people and are you able to inspire them to try harder?
Yeah, I am able to inspire them to try harder. It’s it’s always been a thing of mine and like I said before, Reuben West is my speaking coach. And he, we actually work on ways to inspire people and ways that I can speak life into people. And even people that are suffering from depression, I’m able to talk to them and make them see their life differently and make them happier. And it’s very important to me to help the world say that they can be happy, because I know the world is going through a crap time right now. And I don’t want to see him go through that.
So you were quoting your friend Kathy, who said you can either become bitter or you can become better and what I was asking was, if someone experiences a life changing catastrophic injury or an accident and they become bitter, right? How do you speak to them to try and help them navigate through coming out of that bitterness to have a better life and a better perspective?
Well, things are going to just happen. You have to make things happen. And without effort, nothing is going to come from it. And you have to put in the effort to get out of that bitterness. You have to put in the effort to recover from that catastrophic injury, or even to move on from that catastrophic injury. And if you just do well in that constant eye, you’re going to become bitter. So don’t don’t think about it all the time. Think about how you can get better.
I like that. I have a question that is it more of a curiosity after the accident did the truck driver ever tried to reach out to you or did you and he or she ever Connect?
know that that is a great question. And they need truck driver is actually a French speaking Canadian. So, but no, he has never tried to reach out, was unsure that his company and his lawyers told him not to. But he received a $40 failure to yield to get what he sent from Canada. So he didn’t even enter the country again to pay that ticket. And he they had to wait to send them that ticket because they weren’t sure I was going to make it. And if I didn’t, they would have to charge him with like, behavior or manslaughter.
Well, I was just curious because when that Person hit me who was drunk when I was sitting in the ambulance. The state trooper said to me, hey, the person and it was a woman, a woman drunk driver from Idaho, she had a 79 1979 Cadillac sedan DeVille. So it was a tank, and I still have the hood ornament. I kept it all these years. And that was over 20 years ago, the policeman came over to me and he said, Hey, I don’t know if this matters much. But she wanted me to tell you how sorry, she was. And I, it was hard. You know, at first I was at first my first thought was like, you know, fuck you, you know, you nearly killed me. I was on my way to an event and you nearly killed me because you were drunk driving. But then actually just listening to you. I’m thinking to myself, you know, it would have been, it would have saved me a lot of hard feelings for years that I had afterward, if I just sort of was able to classify it as an accident. Just people make bad choices. I was more bitter the fact that she chose to drink and then drive her car.
Yeah, but It’s it’s not something I’ve ever done. But I know a lot of people that have done that, and that they don’t they’re trying to go out and kill anybody. They are trying to kill themselves. They’re just trying to get home.
Yeah, that’s a good point. Jeff, you had a co author on your book I read, right? What was it like to write a motivational book like the one you wrote with a co author? And were there challenges in writing your story with someone else who didn’t live this the same story?
Actually, it wasn’t hard because my my co author, she didn’t actually write much in the book. She just kind of reworked the things that I said and the things that I do every day. Put them into into paragraphs and into journal entries and into thought provoking interests that will help people write and think differently about their life.
So my last question is, I read that you were really big into journaling, right? So what specifically about journaling appeals to your brand of motivational thinking?
When you contemplate things, you see the things that you were thinking for, you see the things that you have, and you don’t, you aren’t looking for things that you don’t have. And you’re looking more inside yourself instead of looking at other things, for your happiness, for your thankfulness for your happiness, and it’s just so important. That people realize that they can ever write writing down things is so important. One of my friends, Cory Briggs actually says that the hand is the digital recorder for the mind. And I think he actually stole that quote from Dr. RUBIN last, but we won’t say that.
He would say that. Jeff, your story is so inspirational. I’m inspired by the fact that you came back from the brink of death with these catastrophic injuries and limitations and you powered through and you didn’t let other people limit what you believed your potential could be. Right? That is a story that people want to hear because regardless of whether it’s a catastrophic injury, or it’s Something else that’s making you feel overwhelmed or unable to move forward. Your perseverance and your commitment to reaching your goal. That’s what propelled you forward. That’s what kept you going. And you drew that from yourself. And I guess I want to say ask you, your final thought is, what? inner strength what inner thing about you? Did you rely on the most for strength to continue going even when things were very difficult?
That’s a great question. And thank you for asking that. Because I have had other people asked me that question. And I have done a lot of thinking, to come up with that answer. And, honestly, I think when I was younger, I played sports. I played basketball. I played football. I played soccer. I played baseball. I played indoor hockey. I didn’t know what kinds of things. If it was a game, I was probably playing it. And I think my competitiveness and my willingness to always test the waters, my abilities that I knew I had, even if other people didn’t see them, even if other people doubted them, that I knew I was capable of doing so much more. I believed that people in general are capable of more than they know that there’s so much that life has to offer that we are just barely scraping this surface up. And I it’s this is important for me to show people that if I can Do it, they can do it. That is not something out of the realm of possibilities that impossible online means I am possible. And impossible means nothing. So remember, I am possible.
That’s right. And when I was first started to talk to you, I was curious about the semantics of everything that happened. But as we went through the conversation, I found myself really riveted to your journey, like, Where did you get the strength to confront what happened to you digest what the next steps were, and then find the strength to reach a goal that in your mind you clearly set for yourself? And then you have all of these people telling you to settle for less and it was and it was okay to settle for less. So you had to have that additional strength to say, Yes, I could settle here, but no, I will not. settle here.
Yeah, people actually will give you permission to quit all the time. They’ll give you permission that you can give up on yourself. Because they tried it. It didn’t work for them. So it’s definitely not going to work for you. But the thing is, you are you. I am me. He is him. She is her. And possibilities are different for each and every person. People can give you permission to quit. Yeah, they’re going to, I promise you, but you do not have to accept that permission.
You know, I agree with that. I just posted a quote earlier today that I like it’s by Steve Mira Boley. And it’s sort of the same thing where, where people want to project their fear onto you their fear of failure. There fear of Trump even trying let alone failure. And I always think of, I can’t remember the quote. So I’m just going to paraphrase it says, you know, your fear of failure is one thing. But if you don’t even try, then failure is guaranteed, right? If you’re not even trying, you got to try. And so when you said that earlier, I really picked up on that. And so Jeff, I just want to tell you, I really enjoyed chatting with you. I’ve really enjoyed learning about your ordeal and how you overcame it. You’re an inspiration and I wish you nothing but the best in your and continued success in your speaking engagements, and anything that we can do to help you please reach out to us and we are happy to do that.
All right, may I give a gift to the listeners?
Alright, so if you guys actually go to my website, which is www dot Jeff, J, E, F, F, Mark, net ma RC o n e, TT E, Jr, J r.com. and sign up for an account there, you can go to the make every second count bog. And you can actually download the first week in my journal. And it’s not released yet. So this is a special offer that you guys can get for free just by signing up.
Absolutely. And we encourage everyone who’s listening to go to Jeff’s website, take advantage of what he’s offering you and learn from his experience. I’m sure as much as he inspired me today during during the show, he will inspire you. And Jeff, like I said, it was a pleasure to have you on the show, and I will follow your journey going forward with Ernest.
All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate being here today. It’s been an honor to share with you and your backstage people. And
your fans. Thank you, Jeff, you have a wonderful day and a terrific weekend. Okay.
All right. You have to do me a favor though. I will. You have to make every second count. Why? Because you never know when the seconds are going to run out on your one life.
That’s right, Jeff. And I will that’s a promise. Take care. Have a wonderful day. Bye bye.
You can find all the episodes of the DJ Doran show on my website, DJ Doran calm or on iHeartRadio Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Deezer, castbox and podomatic or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes as well. They are available. And be sure to follow the DJ Doran show on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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