with Ryan Daniel Moran

Back in the 1800s, the “rags to riches” stories of Horatio Alger and others were very popular reading material. They were designed to encourage youngsters to dream big and work hard to gain success over time. Today’s guest not only could have written one of those stories, he’s lived it. Wesley Chapman was born to a teenage mother and was severely abused and neglected in a number of situations throughout his childhood, resulting in his first suicide attempt at the age of 4. On this episode, which is a keynote address given at Freedom Fast Lane LIVE 2015, Wesley tells his story and the discovery he made that changed everything for him.

Wesley’s story proves that YOU have no excuses.

During his introduction of this episode, Ryan Moran, host of Freedom Fast Lane, makes this observation: Wesley Chapman’s story proves that nobody has an excuse for being a failure. Wesley had every reason to quit, to believe that he’d never amount to anything, and to live out the destiny that had been handed to him. But he didn’t. Through the belief and love of one person, he was able to change his beliefs about himself and begin moving in a more positive direction. Over time, that positive motion translated into a larger vision that includes helping teens build a positive future for themselves, no matter what they’ve been through. You can hear Wesley’s story and the impact he’s making, on this episode.

A traumatic childhood that got him labeled as “hopeless.”

At 3 months old Wesley Chapman was diagnosed as a “failure to thrive” baby. That label began a long childhood of tests, prescription medication, and hospitalizations that resulted in everyone giving up on him. Even his mother abandoned him at the hospital when she took him in for one of his many appointments. As he grew older he came to the false conclusion that the solution to all his problems was money. That drove him into a self-made sales career that was highly successful but ended in his own version of hopelessness, in spite of the financial success he’d achieved. What was it that he discovered at that point? You can hear him tell the story himself, on this episode of Freedom Fast Lane.

“I had everything everybody wants, but it didn’t matter and I wasn’t happy.”

After rising from a dysfunctional and abusive childhood, building his own version of a successful sales career, and becoming a success by virtue of his own hard work, Wesley Chapman found himself on an exotic beach looking out at the waves. He thought about his life, where he’d come from, and where he was headed. It was in that moment Wesley realized that he still wasn’t happy or fulfilled. From that day on the beach, a series of events led him to his first opportunity to speak to middle school students at a California school and the outcome not only changed his life but the lives of hundreds of students as well. It’s an amazing story of lost direction, hopelessness, and the discovery of purpose. Take some time to listen to Wesley’s story on this episode.

The moment when he realized it was not about him, it was about them.

The first time Wesley Chapman spoke at a school event he was part of a team of inspirational speakers that made the rounds to different schools. He tried to be funny. He was as engaging as he knew to be. Still, he was bombing his presentation. He threw out an emergency prayer to God, asking for His help. Then everything changed and the school meeting turned into one of the most powerful moments of his life. You can hear what happened, how it happened, and how it led Wesley to become the youth advocate and speaker he is today, on this episode of Freedom Fast Lane.

Outline Of This Great Episode

  • [0:05] Ryan’s introduction of his guest, Wesley Chapman.
  • [8:39] Wesley’s story in his own words.
  • [14:40] His first suicide attempt at 4 years old.
  • [19:00] Adopted by a wonderful woman whose husband was abusive.
  • [23:17] The moment Wesley decided that money solves everything.
  • [27:32] The start of a sales career and service business as an adolescent.
  • [31:50] How Wesley discovered that money could not buy happiness.
  • [37:59] This is not about you, it’s about them.
  • [46:29] Getting excited about helping kids make the change they need to make.
  • [50:39] An exercise to discover the secret to success: Be You.
  • [58:01] Why every person has the potential to be great.
  • [1:02:33] How you can get in on the FFL LIVE event for 2016

Action Steps From This Episode

FOR GREATER SUCCESS: Get yourself connected to someone who truly believes in you. It may be a spouse or friend. It could be an accountability or mastermind group. But you can’t hit success on any level all on your own. You need others.

FOR GETTING STARTED: Figure out who YOU are. You won’t be successful by imitating someone else, you’ve got to be who YOU were made to be. It takes work. It takes time. But knowing yourself is where you begin in order to make the biggest impact.

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Direct download: 004_Wesely_Chapman_-_upadated.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Every single one of us finds ourselves in a place of longing now and then, a place where we wish we had something other than what we are currently experiencing. Our brains trick us into thinking something different would be better - something in the past that we miss, or something in the future we’ve not yet attained. Even though it’s very natural, very human to be in that place, it’s a dangerous place if we remain there.

Everything you take for granted, someone else envies.

What I’ve come to realize is that everything that I take for granted, somebody else envies. It’s true. All I have to do is look at how I envision the “successful” people I see on Facebook or LinkedIn. They’re happy, good-looking, fit, rich - all fabrications of my own mind that are only possible because I don’t know the whole story of their lives. The moment I realized that I realized something else: someone out there is looking at my social media profiles and thinking the same things about me.

Our brains only know how to compare.

The comparisons I automatically make every time I get on social media are nothing new. And I don’t think they are necessarily wrong. They’re just ignorant. They are the idealistic images my own mind makes up simply because that’s what it’s wired to do. My own thinking is setting a goal, creating something it thinks is “better” for me, something to strive for. And my goal-setting brain is not taking into account the things about those people I envy that I’m ignorant of because that’s not its job. Its job is to push me to a higher place.

We are made to focus on the problems, because we are made to overcome them.

So I’m pretty convinced that the discontent we fight is a function of how we are designed as humans. Our brains automatically fixate on the problems, the obstacles, the things we don’t have or haven’t done - because we are wired to be overcomers. Discontent is a symptom of something very good; that we’re capable of so much more than we’ve experienced up to this point. But staying in a  place of discontent will drag us down if we don’t do something that the most successful people I know do on a regular basis.

The rare combination of extreme success and great happiness.

The people I call my heroes are people who are both incredibly successful and extremely happy. In their lives, I see a delight in every day rather than a continual discontent because they haven’t arrived  yet. How do they do it? They practice gratitude. They know how to be thankful for where they are instead of letting discontent and comparison bog them down in their own emotional swamp. On this episode, I’m reviewing these things out loud to remind myself how much I have to be thankful for and what it takes to truly be happy. I hope my ponderings help you as we walk this journey of life together.

Outline Of This Great Episode


  • [0:06] Ryan’s introduction to this episode of Facebook posts.
  • [0:43] Why Ryan felt compelled to share his thoughts about happiness, sadness, and more.
  • [2:00] The battle against discontent and the wiring to focus on problems.
  • [7:58] Why we see the polished version of people and what’s really going on.
Direct download: happinessandappreciation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT