Author, professor, motivational speaker and NCAA record breaker, Dr. Emmet C. (Tom) Thompson II, has released his eagerly awaited new motivational book, Get a Kick Out of Life: Expect the Best of Your Body, Mind and Soul at Any Age, co-written with Christopher P. Neck, Ph.D., a respected pioneer in the field of self leadership (Mastering Self Leadership: Empowering Yourself for Personal Excellence) and Alice Sullivan (co-author ofThompson's autobiography, Kick Start).
Thompson's new book builds on his background and reputation as an NCAA football record holder, physical fitness expert and academic researcher in the fields of motivation and change. Thompson, who says his purpose in life is to encourage people of all ages to live healthy and fulfilled lives, to discover and reach their full potential, and to develop a deeper faith in the process, has expanded on his research to deliver Get a Kick out of Life.
Thompson holds several advanced degrees, including his doctorate and two master's degrees, in Kinesiology, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Leadership, and Teaching. He lectures to both lay and academic groups and is the author of several books and numerous co-authored articles in peer reviewed academic journals.
Q: Thank you Dr. Thompson for this opportunity. You had quite an amazing testimony. You started out as a student with poor grades and a dropout. Then something happened that made you go back to complete your studies and made you want to live a fulfilled life. What was that turning point?
A: The turning point came when I made Jesus not just my Savior, but also the Lord of my life. Up until then, I was the authority in my life. Once I submitted to the Lord's authority my life began to change. However, life actually became more difficult. Frankly, looking back I can see how difficulties in life help us develop a meaningful trust in the Lord. In other words, it may be easier to trust someone when things are going well. However, trust is put to the test when things aren't going well.
Q: Many of our readers may say, "I am too old for any change." But you yourself was the oldest football player in NCAA history and the oldest NCAA football player to score a point when he kicked the PAT (Point After Touchdown) in the second quarter of the game between Austin College and Trinity University. So, what do you have to say to those who feel like they are too old?
A: Honestly, I believe we are never to old to help others. In addition, we are never too old to change if we maintain teachability.
Q: Besides age, what are some of the other hindrances towards change that many of us face? And how do you overcome them?
A: I will answer this question with a question. How many people do you know that want to change their lives? Yet, those same people aren't willing to change how they think. Thus, the first step in overcoming change is to learn how to change how you think about the area of desired change.
Q: Let's talk about your new book. What prompted you to write a book on living a healthy and fulfilled life?
A: Get A Kick Out Of Life was written as a "How To" companion to my autobiography, Kick Start.
Q: What is a "fulfilled" life? How would you define a life that is fulfilled?
A: A fulfilled life would be the daily realization of one's long-term goals/purpose.
Q: In what ways does your book help us towards living a healthy and fulfilled life?
A: Divided into three sections¯Body, Mind, and Soul, Get a Kick out of Life includes tips on goal setting and intentionality, physical fitness and nutrition, finding your purpose, developing deeper relationships with family and friends, and offers suggestions for ditching the "bucket list" for something even better.
Q: The book is divided into three sections: body, mind and soul. What's the connection between the three? Is it important that all three components should be addressed?
A: The connection is inherent at birth: we are made up of the body, the mind, and a soul. In that light, for an individual to achieve a balanced life, all three dimensions should be equally addressed and equally nurtured. When someone focuses too much on one area, or not enough on one or two areas, life becomes unbalanced and can affect multiple areas including family dynamics, health, finances, relationships, work-life balance, and more. We may never achieve ultimate balance on earth in any area of life, but the goal is to first recognize that we are more than just our physical bodies, and then to make the necessary changes to ensure each area is healthy.
Q: There are so many inspirational books out there that speak about living the life. What sets your book apart? Why should our readers read it?
A: This book takes the subject of achieving an enhanced quality of life from "Why we should" to "How we can". For example, it's like baking a cake. All cakes have the same basic ingredients (e.g., flour, eggs, sugar, etc.). In addition, a recipe is followed. So, if you are going to create a cake...you may be interested in "How" to make one.