1. God first.
When I put God first in everything, it doesn’t matter what happens. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be. I struggle, of course. I’m an incredibly stubborn human who is slow to learn at times, but a relationship with God isn’t a “one and done” achievement. It’s a daily, hourly, by-the-minute walk that I keep coming back to.
This year has been a heck of a year in general, but my stepmom and my dad died within three months of each other in another state during COVID-19 lockdowns. They were quite a pair of go-getters. I miss them both incredibly. Going through their things and photos has made me realize how precious each day is and that we need to appreciate the little moments, not just the big ones. As my son, Cory, gets ready to graduate high school, I’m treasuring the time with him.
3. It ain’t over till it’s over.
Someone always beats the odds. I’m not saying willpower helped me beat bone cancer (osteosarcoma) six times, but being motivated to stay alive surely has to help! There is no reason I should be alive. The odds are nonexistent once you hit the third recurrence. Knowing the odds and believing them are two different things. Don’t hang your hat on statistics.
4. Success or failure is always in the details.
I’m obsessed with data. If something can be analyzed, I’m all over it. Knowing how things work, why they work, and how they can be tweaked to work better is fun to me. Replaying what happened later can be a growth tool that either reaffirms what you need to do again or what not to do.
5. Know yourself.
How you learn, what motivates you, what you’re apt to struggle with is most of the battle. You are uniquely “you” for a purpose. If you’re not happy with something in yourself, the good news is you can change at any time. All you have to do is try. You can get good at just about anything if you want it bad enough.
6. Reset expectations.
When life throws us curveballs, it’s easy to get frustrated and lose heart. Since adapting to losing my leg, I learned to figure out different ways of doing things. It’s not always pretty, but determination can make up for a lot. Every day, we start with a limited supply of energy. Expecting myself to be able to do what I used to do with two legs will just drag me down. “I used to be able to …” will kill your soul after a while. Forget about it. You’ve got a new life to get on with.
7. Check your motives.
Quit caring what people think or what you look like. That takes a lot of pressure off. If I’m doing something for the right reason, I’m not concerned with explaining it or defending it. It’s just the right course of action for me. There is no vacillating or second-guessing. If you feel confident about a decision, you’re usually on the right track.
8. Know when to cut your losses.
In business and in life, we face decisions every day. Not everything is good for us or meant to happen. When I find myself encountering obstacle after obstacle, I have to ask myself – what for? At what cost? Change is scary and messy but rewards of living a more peaceful life can’t be beat.
9. Get real.
People relate to real people who struggle – way more than people who look like they have it all together. Be genuine and hear what people are really saying.
In life and in business, being prepared changes everything. I’ve found when I have more energy, I’m likely to do something extra just to get it out of the way for when I need it next time. It’s the “stitch in time saves nine” motto. It’s funny how something so simple can pump up your psyche so much.
417 Cocktails LLC moved; 7 Brew Coffee added its first shop in Lebanon; and Branson outlet store for Baltimore, Maryland-based sports apparel retailer Under Armour relocated.