Ep. 223: Sourena and Chris – The Speaker Who Can’t Speak and The Writer Who Can’t Write

Many dream chasers start with a bang, but they falter in their purpose when obstacles and challenges come. We might let other people derail us, or our own limiting beliefs, or we give up on our dream simply because the going gets tough. If you’ve ever been tempted to quit–to give up on your dream–then you can’t miss today’s show. 

Sourena Vasseghi was born with cerebral palsy, and he now faces life with a severe speech impediment and is bound to a wheelchair. He has defied the odds to become ”The writer who cannot write and the speaker who cannot speak.” Sourena is an inspirational and motivational presenter, an award-winning author, and the owner and founder of The Sourena V. Group. Together with his stage partner, Chris Stevenson, Sourena speaks and produces content dealing with motivation, achieving goals, mindset, and working around challenges to reach amazing success. 

A mindset to succeed

Who gave you your mindset? Sourena quickly attributes his mindset to his parents. When he was growing up, they never acted like cerebral palsy was a big deal, and they refused to let Sourena act like a victim. His parents told him he could have a good life, and they treated him like he was no different than other kids. It was only when he reached the end of high school that he realized that he couldn’t be independent and mobile like other kids going off to college. Because he still had big plans and dreams, he didn’t let that stop him from figuring out how to make his life work. Sourena has never viewed himself as an overcomer because he can’t “overcome” his handicap; he is just a man who has figured out how to deal with his challenges with the right mindset–and that’s the key.

TWEET: Dealing with challenges with the right mindset is key. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

Motivation and purpose

What drives you? Sourena says that experiences are what drives him. He wants to experience everything he can in this life, and he plans not to let his handicap be what drives him. He enlisted the help of Chris, a fitness trainer, to be a translator and speaker when he gives keynote presentations. Chris says that Sourena has “a lockdown mindset,” refusing to let his handicap stop him. Sourena wants to show everyone how to deal with their challenges so they can accomplish anything. A big lesson he teaches people is that your mindset isn’t fixed, but it can change every day as we rewrite our narrative in new directions. 

TWEET: Every day, we can rewrite our narrative in new directions. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

How we think

What controls your thinking? Are your thoughts controlled by logic or emotions? As humans, we are wired for safety. We are wired not to take chances and not to get “eaten” out in the world; we are wired for pure survival. Sourena says that we don’t pay attention to our “emotional diet” like we do our physical diet. We tend to dwell on negative thoughts and fear. When we saturate our minds with bad news, we have to do other things to fortify our emotional diet in positive ways,

like taking walks outside, spending time with people we love, and reading books. Chris echoes Sourena’s words by saying that fear comes from the unknown, from something we can’t control, or from the feeling that we aren’t worthy. The key to overcoming fear is to reach out for support.

TWEET: Fortify your emotional diet in positive ways. @SourenaV #chasingdreams


  • [2:17] Sourena’s mindset
  • [4:32] How Sourena deals with challenges
  • [7:36] Sourena’s college journey to USC
  • [9:51] Sourena’s motivation and purpose
  • [13:16] Common themes that cause people to struggle
  • [19:07] Emotional thinking vs. logical thinking
  • [24:07] The most inspiring thing about Sourena–from Chris
  • [26:15] How Sourena addresses limiting beliefs
  • [33:37] Why Sourena and Chris are happy with their lives today
  • [35:27] Get to know Sourena and Chris better

Sourena’s Facebook

Sourena’s Twitter

Sourena’s Instagram

Sourena’s LinkedIn

Sourena’s Website

sourenav.com/inspire – For Sourena's eBook “5 Keys to an Amazing Mindset” 

Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices by Sourena Vasseghi

Connect with Chris Stevenson — chris@stevensonempowers.com

Watch The Episode on YouTube


There are challenges you’ll never overcome, but you have to develop the right mind to face them each day. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

I always love life, and I didn’t want my handicap to dictate my dreams. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

Reaching out for support is the biggest key in dealing with fear. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

Happiness and optimism are choices you make. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

We aren’t wired for success, but we are wired to stay safe. @SourenaV #chasingdreams

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