Throughout his life, Montel Williams has reached out to help countless people with his daytime talk show and motivational speeches. But Rachael wants to know, "What's the best and worst advice you've ever gotten?"
"The worst advice I ever received was from a family member," Montel remembers. "I was in the military, and I started speaking around the country in high schools -- in about 1,800 high schools to about 3 million kids across the country. I said to a relative, 'I'm going to start this talk show and I think it's going to work.' He said, 'Boy, are you stupid? You're going to resign from the military and give away your 20-year pension, just to go do something silly in Hollywood? Nope. I wouldn't do it. That's the dumbest thing you could do.' I didn't take his advice!"
"Thank God!" says Rachael. Montel points out that while he still has the utmost respect for the military and for his 22 years of service, he's proud to be in his 16th year of Montel and preparing to tape his 3,200th show!
In 1999, Montel was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and has since given the illness a face by raising awareness and promoting education about the disease. Montel says that despite the appearance that he's healthy and strong, it's still something he deals with every day. "For me to walk down your aisle," Montel admits, "every step is a pained step -- every one. Every day. But what's my choice? Lay on my butt at home, or get my butt up. You get your butt up every day and you try and do something."
In order to help spread his message of "getting up off your butt," Montel collaborated with six life coaches to produce the Living Well series of motivational DVDs to help people work on several areas of their lives, from health and finances to family and relationships. Montel says, "Everybody makes these New Year's resolutions but don't know how to get to the end. This will help you get there."
And as for the best advice Montel ever received? "The best advice I ever got was someone telling me that I will be the only person who owns a definition of who I am. Period. Someone can say, a person with MS should be in a wheelchair. I don't have to be in a wheelchair. That's what I don't have to be if I work at it as hard as I can and continue. [But] If I'm in a wheelchair, I'm going to be the baddest dude in a wheelchair you've ever seen in your life. It's just that simple."
Rachael and Montel head to the kitchen to make Orange Cashew Chicken, but first, Montel's got a special drink for her -- a green smoothie. "I started doing this about a year and a half ago," Montel explains. "I use greens to mitigate some of the effects of my illness." Though Rachael thinks it looks like seaweed, she's pleasantly surprised: "It tastes like bananas!"
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