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John O’Leary welcomes his Little Brother Travion House to the Live Inspired Podcast to share how to be the change agent in our world.

Seventeen years ago, my wife Beth + I were seeking to make a difference in the community and could think of no better organization to serve with than Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Soon after, we were connected with a little boy that would change our lives. In walked a 10-year-old boy, with a huge, goofy + joyful grin named Travion House.

By serving with BBBS, we thought we’d be making a difference in someone else’s life. Instead, it was our lives that were profoundly changed for the better as we were taught about resiliency, courage, love + life really looked like.

Today, as our communities across the United States are fighting for equality, Travion will shine a light on where we’re broken, where we’ve been redeemed… and how we as individuals can choose to make a difference today.

This is an urgent + important conversation that will inspire you to take action + be a change agent in our world.

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  • I found someone like me. I found people that were different.
  • Travion grew up the youngest of six with a single mom that’d work multiple jobs just to provide. Feeling alone, he struggled in school.
  • “I did not know how to handle my hurt. I did not know how to channel the hurt. What my actions did were say what my heart could muster up to say.”
  • Any change that happens must begin with you.
  • Gradually, Travion improved his grades and graduated high school early. He credits his success in knowing he was loved + it gave him something to live for.
  • “I had to break the foundation in order to lay the foundation in my own life.”
  • “Though racism is here, we don’t need to respond to it in the same way we did back then.”
  • You must respond well because your response will bring forth fruit. Choose wisely. 
  • In bad soil we must sow good seeds.
  • To somebody I wanted to hate, I showed love. There are two things you can control. The uncontrollable + the controllable. If you can control it, change it. If you can’t control it, find a way to get around it.
  • Hurt people hurt people. Healed people heal people. After watching the murder of George Floyd, Travion prayed for the police officer.
  • Start understanding. If we understand each other’s hurt, we can move forward in a better direction.
  • Great change happens one to one.
  • Get involved with your local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? The Bible + Overwhelming Odds by Susan and Denny O’Leary.

[If you’re financially unable to afford a copy of Overwhelming Odds, send an email to Podcast@JohnOLearyInspires.com]

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Looking past things.

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? Sometimes in saving one you can save all. I’d grab her by the hand and tell everyone to grab each other’s hand.

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? The First Lady in the church I grew up in.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Release it and let go.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Pace yourself.

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? A process worth going through.


My new book IN AWE is now available… and became an instant bestseller! Learn how to rediscover your childlike sense of wonder to unleash inspiration, meaning and joy. Visit ReadInAwe.com today! 


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4 replies on “Take Action Today. Be the Change. (ep. 260)”

I had chills listening to the podcast! I got the opportunity to meet and hear John speak at my company (Insperity)a couple of years ago. Travion is a true inspiration in a world torn by hate. You chose to be the change in the world and not live in your past and be that statistic. This gives me faith in a world that’s full of darkness. Thank you, Travion!!! Continue to spread kindness and share your story!

Thank you Ruth! I called Travion this am and shared your note with him…. HE and I were both touched by your kindness — thanks my friend — and tell my Insperity friends I love them —

Travion House’s interview is so inspiring along with the very special connection he has with you and your wife. I was impressed by how beautifully Travion expressed himself in the interview; the world needs more Travion’s!! John, you and your wife found a way to show Travion he was loved and that someone genuinely cared about him and he is our future …Amen to that! My first introduction to you John was at a healthcare conference in Nashville at OpryLand. I’ve been inspired since that first meeting; inspired by you and your many guest’s and the stories they share. I forward and share with family, friends and clients … Thank You for helping us All Live Inspired!

Thank you Katie! Appreciate you, your work, and your profound impact! Keep making a difference…. Keep being a Travion to others!