While everyone else prepared to ring in the new year, Gary Duff was packing up a suitcase. A competitive relationship between him and his mother finally reached its limit and Duff decided it was time for him to head out the door.“I’m going to have to build something. I’m going to have to start something,” said Duff. With the help of Rob Zuclich, the chief financial officer of Plycon Transportation Group, Duff started XQ Productions and The Gary Duff Show, which airs in parts of New York and California. With celebrity bookings for interviews on his show and Hofstra’s Morning Wake-Up Call, it seemed as though Duff’s life had finally turned for the better. This new wave of positivity interested publisher Amy Newmark of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, whom Duff had interviewed for a show. She was looking for writers for a new addition to the series. Duff then began drafting his chapter for the book called ‘The Strength.’ But lower abdominal pains kicked in while he was covering the Republican primaries, and Duff found himself in the hospital for three surgeries to get rid of cancerous growths. “I think this health scare really made me a lot more passionate about life, and made me see it as really delicate,” he said. Despite this surge of struggles and negativities, Duff quickly bounced back to his very busy lifestyle. After hosting Hofstra’s Morning Wake-Up Call, he juggles his day with classes and reaching out to new clients. The list of high-profile celebrities Duff has interviewed, which include actresses, professional athletes and politicians, continues to expand. “I knew that I could do whatever I was called to do,” he writes in ‘The Strength.’ One of those callings includes being a talk show host of the same caliber as Oprah Winfrey. Duff’s story of success, which begins with the moment he dragged his suitcase out the door, is one of 100 featured in “Chicken Soup: The Power of Positive.” Within his chapter, he draws on the motivation he received from mentors, like Zuclich, newscaster Connie Chung, and WRHU’s Director of Operations John Mullen. While his story is unique, Duff notes the common theme of the other stories told in the book. “The core message here is that no matter who you are and what you’ve been through, you can go through the worst of the worst and you can always turn it around and have this moment of reinvention,” he said. For those that want to channel more positivity in their lives, Duff recommends self-reflection. “The key to being at peace and living positively is really knowing yourself and understanding who you are,” Duff said, “because if you don’t know you, and you don’t know how to get rid of the negativity, how can you help somebody else?” Duff is now on a media tour for “The Power of Positive” that encompasses the metropolitan area.