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Legendary Entertainer John Tesh Unleashes His Purpose (ep. 244)

John Tesh

Legendary multi-faceted entertainer John Tesh joins John O’Leary on the Live Inspired Podcast to share his relentless journey in unleashing his purpose.

My friends, the coronavirus pandemic is affecting each of in some way. I urge you, Live Inspired community, to keep you + your loved ones happy + healthy. I want today’s episode to be that reprieve, instill some sense of normalcy and provide positivity + hope in this uncertain time.

John Tesh has spent more than 45 years as a multi-faceted internationally recognized journalist, composer, broadcaster and concert pianist. Yet it’s his incredible story of courage, resiliency, relentlessness, faith, achieving and humility that I gravitate towards.

Join me as John shares inspirational stories + insightful wisdom on overcoming life’s biggest challenges, including a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Today’s conversation will inspire you to move forward despite any setback you may receive in life + buy into the truth that the best of your journey remains in front of you.

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio or listen here:


  • “I didn’t get a trophy for just participating… I tried harder because I respected my dad.”
  • John’s reflects on band teacher Dr. Thomas Wagner and the importance of working the process.
  • “Anytime I had success in my life, I was working a process and staying in a lane.”
  • Stubborn rigor: John found himself average or below average at most things. Although he didn’t have the skills, he’d always find a way in.
  • John wanted to attend a performing arts college but his father enrolled him in North Carolina State for textile engineering. Bit by the radio + television bug, John tried to drop classes but broke the honor code and was kicked out of college.
  • For 6 months, John lived in a tent at Umstead Park in Raleigh until he got a job sweeping floors at WKIX. 36 months later, John was anchoring news in New York City.
  • ‘Show up and don’t take no for an answer.’
  • Be found ready. While developing film at WTBD, John would memorize + recite news scripts, one day earning an on-air anchor spot.
  • “I always felt failure was chasing me. I was developing the skills so if they had to lay me off, they’d be laying off four people.”
  • Visualization has been important in many aspects of John’s life including his iconic concert at Red Rocks.
  • “Pick a lane and don’t let anyone take you out of that lane.”
  • Beyond visualization, credits Romans 4:17 in speaking your future into existence.
  • John tells how he fell in love with his wife of 28 years, Connie Sellecca, and her disciple and honor.
  • May 3, 2015: John was diagnosed with a rare form of prostate cancer and credits divine healing to his recovery.
  • Each morning, John visuals his day, practices gratefulness and speaks to his pain about God.
  • When writing Relentless, John would write a chapter and have Connie read it back while editing.
  • Get a copy of John Tesh’s book Relentless here.

If you enjoyed hearing how John courageously overcame his battle with cancer, tune into our Cancer + Illness playlist. Hear inspiring, uplifting journeys of survivors, how others aren’t letting a diagnosis define them and how you too can live a more fulfilled life. Listen to the Cancer + Illness playlist.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? A Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout, Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? I made great boats!

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 9-foot grand piano.

4. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Get out of the bathroom and give someone else a chance from Dr. Wagner.

5. 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? Apostle Paul.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Get a board of directors.

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?  Healed and whole. Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:23)

To help combat fear, isolation and other uncertainty around coronavirus, I created a 21-day challenge to inspire our community to focus on what they can control and to remain ferociously optimistic that their best remains ahead. Sign up for the IN AWE 21-Day Challenge here.


Pre-order your copy of IN AWE today to receive access to fun, interactive bonus features emailed to you in the lead-up to the book’s release! Visit ReadInAwe.com. 


Did you enjoy today’s episode? Subscribe, rate + review on Apple Podcasts!

Live Inspired with John daily on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterest, Instagram+ get his Monday Motivation email.

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