Caitlin Clark’s Legendary Night: How to Harness Your Inner Champion

Hi Friend,
 

Monday night, sports fans everywhere witnessed Caitlin Clark’s remarkable performance on the basketball court – 41 points, 12 assists. Leading the Iowa Hawkeyes to another Final Four appearance. It was nothing short of legendary. But beyond her exceptional skill, what truly sets Caitlin and other high achievers apart?

 

It’s their relentless drive to self-motivate.

 

In the face of doubt, pressure, and skepticism, they don’t back down. Instead, they embrace what I like to call the “chip on your shoulder” mentality. They actively seek out reasons to feel underestimated and overlooked, using these perceptions as fuel to propel themselves to new heights of success.

 

Even when they’ve already reached the top of their game, they refuse to rest on their laurels. They’re constantly pushing themselves to be better, to achieve more.

 

But here’s the beauty of it – we can all adopt this mindset. We can all find our own “chip on the shoulder” – not to diminish our worth, but to ignite our motivation and drive.

 

So, I challenge you: What’s your chip? What’s that thing that pushes you to strive for greatness, even when the odds are stacked against you? Embrace it. Let it fuel your passion, your determination, and your relentless pursuit of excellence.

 

Together, let’s unlock our potential and reach new heights.

 

Here’s to embracing the “chip on your shoulder” mentality and achieving greatness.
 

Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

 

32 Life-Changing Lessons on my 32nd Birthday

Hi Friend,

I celebrate 32 years of life today. Time feels like it’s flying by. I swear it was just yesterday when I turned 21. I’ve learned countless lessons along the way, and I want to share 32 that have truly impacted me. I compiled them into categories for you. I hope at least one will resonate with you.

 

Personal Growth:

1. God’s greatest rewards go to those who play the long game.

2. Unlock your personal power by being fully present in the moment.

3. Embrace absolute responsibility; it’s the key to unshakable resilience.

4. Character, not muscle, reveals true strength.

5. Excuses are dead weight; shed them to soar.

6. Live each day like it’s your last because one day, it will be.

7. Reflection and restoration are investments, not indulgences.

8. If you don’t like where you are, move. You’re not a tree.

9. Failure after trying trumps the regret of never trying at all.

 

Relationships:

10. The richness of your relationships determines the richness of your life.

11. Asking for help isn’t shameful; it’s an act of courage.

12. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.

13. True greatness lies in making others feel great.

14. People will remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

15. Time spent with loved ones is never wasted.

 

Spirituality and Mindset:

16. Focus on what’s right, and you’ll never be blinded by what’s wrong.

17. In tough times, ask yourself, “What can I do today?”

18. When purpose seems elusive, ask, “Who’s counting on me?”

19. Speak your dreams out loud; manifesting is real.

20. God’s opinion of you is the ultimate truth.

21. Accept what you can’t control to master what you can.

22. Meekness is a quiet strength, not a weakness.

 

Communication and Influence:

23. Your life is as rich as the lives you enrich.

24. Your attention and appreciation are the most precious gifts you can give.

25. Words are powerful; they can shatter or shape worlds.

26. Apologize quickly, forgive swiftly, learn deeply, and forget completely.

27. Before pointing fingers, take a look in the mirror.

28. Reading daily is a habit of champions.

 

Health and Well-being:

29. Recharge nightly to conquer daily. Get some sleep!

30. Feelings are meant to be expressed, not suppressed.

31. No external fix can heal an internal wound.

32. Your body is your temple, not a trash can. Fuel it with nutrition and keep moving. 

 

I’d love to hear from you! What life lessons resonated with you? What have you learned in your journey so far? Let’s inspire each other to keep growing and learning.


Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

Motivation Marathon: 5000 Miles, 7 Speeches

With purpose and perseverance, you can achieve more than you know.​

Hey Friend!

I’m writing to share some highlights from an incredibly busy yet meaningful week. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people across the country. Though my travels have left little time for rest, the ability to share my message of hope and triumph over adversity provides fuel to my soul.
 
I was honored to deliver a keynote speech on leadership and vision at a conference in Georgia. I then quickly flew to Iowa, where despite some travel hiccups, we raised over $140,000 at the Chris Norton Foundation’s annual fundraiser, setting a new record! Those funds will help change lives through our specialized camps and special equipment grants.
 
I’ve also had the chance to inspire groups large and small this week – from an enthusiastic team of leaders to the UAB Women’s Basketball team, where I spoke about harnessing the power of being present in the face of setbacks. Among my favorite memories was listening to leaders from all backgrounds talk about times they overcame challenges that enabled them to grow. Their stories are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
 
When the week wraps I’ll have traveled over 5,000 miles, taken nine flights and delivered seven talks across seven states in seven days! It’s not sustainable, but it’s been a gratifying week. The best part is always meeting people afterwards who say my story provided them hope. When someone tells me “I needed that,” all the time spent away from home feels worthwhile.
 
I want to thank all of you for your interest and support. Please remember that you have reservoirs of untapped strength within you. With purpose and perseverance, you can achieve more than you know. Let my journey inspire you to embrace your challenges as opportunities to grow and make a difference!

Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

Disability Opened Doors I Couldn’t Have Walked Through

Most people have compassion to share if you’re vulnerable enough to ask.​

Hey Friend!

I’m writing as I prepare my presentation for this Saturday’s annual Chris Norton Foundation dinner fundraiser. I realized that none of this would be happening had I miraculously regained my ability to walk after my injury. The Foundation wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have experienced the hardships facing so many with disabilities. Our empowering camps wouldn’t uplift individuals who feel isolated. Years later, I see how the biggest battle of my life bore fruit beyond measure – nothing I could have predicted or imagined in my heartache.  

That’s the challenge: we can only connect the dots backward, not forward. So what do you do amid the storm, when you can’t see the good or understand the meaning of your pain? There’s a gap between hardship and purpose. What you do in that gap determines everything. Like me, you face a choice: give in to fear and abandon dreams, or have faith to rebuild your life from the ground up, without a clue where it will lead. It takes abundant faith, courage and patience to persist with no guarantee, but I believe you have it inside.  

Here’s one thing that helped me move forward: simply asking for help. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Most people have compassion to share if you’re vulnerable enough to ask. Whether it’s a counselor, family, friend or someone else – ask for help when you need it, because we all do. Do this long enough and I believe one day you’ll see the good emerge. The good doesn’t have to be big for it to be great. Maybe you’ll be there for someone facing a similar battle, lightening their burden from your experience. Because when we lighten someone’s load, we create ripples that can change worlds.

Stay strong, be courageous, be patient, and ask for help when you need it. The helping hands you extend outward today can inspire hope in unexpected ways down the road.


Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

 
 
 
 
 
 

Uncovering Joy in the Ordinary

Accept where you are to uncover joy in the ordinary instead of pining for where you wish to be.

Hey Friend!

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh observed, “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” A few weeks into the pandemic, while on a family walk after a storm, I was reminded of this. 

I was preoccupied by cancelled plans when my daughter leapt into a giant puddle, splashing me and dirtying her shoes. As I opened my mouth to scold her, my 2-year-old erupted into laughter. In an instant, my mood shifted. Soon everyone was all stomping and playing in the puddle, immersed in simple joy.  

I realized I’d forgotten that joy can be found anywhere, anytime if we’re present enough to discover it. My kids didn’t need elaborate plans, just that puddle. Happiness comes from accepting where you are—right here, right now. This splash of perspective reminded me that mindful presence increases positive emotions.  

Though culture whispers we need more, striving blinds us to life’s enchantment. To savor the moment, connect with your senses—what do you hear, feel, smell or see? Get outside, turn off your phone, feel the wind and listen to birds.

So your challenge? Find your puddle! Accept where you are to uncover joy in the ordinary instead of pining for where you wish to be. Whether you’re on the journey of your dreams or facing setbacks, love your circumstances as they are. Happiness awaits your discovery.

Let me know what simple joys you uncover this Valentine’s Day!

Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

Staying Productive & Present With My 85 | 10 | 5 Rule

The key is consistency—small steps forward truly do compound over time into incredible progress. ​

Hey Friend!

Do goals ever feel so intimidating that you become overwhelmed and unfocused? I certainly struggle with that from time to time. The distance left to cover starts feeling impossibly far. 

When I catch myself worrying excessively about the past or future, anxiety creeps in and forward momentum stalls. To combat this common problem and stay productive, I devised a simple tool I call the 85 | 10 | 5 rule.

In a nutshell, it works like this: 

– 85% of mental energy goes toward the present 
– 10% visualizes & plans the future  
– 5% reflects on and learns from the past

By staying grounded with the majority of my attention on the task at hand, I ward off distractions and keep making progress. The 10% future visualization both inspires my vision while also helping me plan next steps. And brief past reflection supplies wisdom to inform better decisions now. 

This ratio intentionally balances being present with proactive goal achievement. It keeps my mindset optimal to handle overwhelm and continue advancing, one step at a time. 

I don’t strictly monitor 85/10/5 every single minute. It’s more a general guideline to make sure I don’t over-worry about the past or future when the real productivity happens now. Give it a try next time you start feeling anxious or stalled!

The key is consistency—small steps forward truly do compound over time into incredible progress. As long as I keep taking the next step, I know the summit will steadily grow closer.

Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

How to Embrace What You Can’t Change

When you surrender the need for your circumstances to be different, creative new avenues for thriving can emerge.​

Hey Friend!

 

After my injury, I hated everything my wheelchair represented initially. But only after allowing myself to fully feel and work the the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression– was I able to get to a place of acceptance, even embracing my “chair.” I now see it as my vehicle of freedom. This radically changed my heart, perspective and unlocked new possibilities for my life that I had ruled out.

 

I’ve realized we all have metaphorical “chairs” – parts of life we wish were different but can’t control. And while radical acceptance is the goal, getting there requires courageously facing disappointment and loss.  

 

We must give ourselves permission to feel the grief, to cry and process emotions in healthy ways – whether through talking to a trusted friend, therapist, or writing down what we’re feeling. The path requires entering scary spaces. Working through feelings of sadness and anger are needed to move towards acceptance.   

 

Choosing radical self-acceptance didn’t change my circumstance. But it provided peace, contentment, and opened up creative options I had ruled out. My disability still confines me physically, but my horizons expanded exponentially. 

 

I don’t know what your chair is or what feelings you need to process. But take small steps. Give those emotions space to move through you. See what happens when you surrender to reality as it is, not as you wish it was. Consider embracing your chair, using it as a vehicle for growth. 

 

There is freedom, joy and power in knowing you don’t need external conditions to be changed in order to live a beautiful, hope-filled life. By embracing your chair, you discover that it does not preclude possibility and purpose. Counterintuitively, your limitation can become a vehicle for growth. Not in spite of your chair, but often because of the change in perspective it brings. When you surrender the need for your circumstances to be different, creative new avenues for thriving can emerge.

 

Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

Leaning Into Discomfort

While my instinct is often to shrink back, I’ve learned that lowering my shoulder is the only way forward.​

Hey Friend!
 

Have you ever shrunk back when you knew you needed to drive forward? Basically anytime we shy away from discomfort, we halt our progress. To empower me to do hard things, I remind myself to mentally “lower my shoulder” into the challenge. 

 

Let me explain. In football, the key to a solid tackle is a lowered shoulder and 100% commitment. Coming in too high or too slow is a recipe for a missed tackle. 

 

As I’d sprint downfield toward a ball carrier, I knew a collision was coming. I had to lower my shoulder, accelerate through contact, and drive with everything I had. But despite how much bigger the other guy might be, when done correctly, was very satisfying. 

 

This meant willingly embracing discomfort to reach the goal.

 

In life, we too must lower our shoulders and lean into our obstacles. Every worthwhile endeavor involves friction, maybe even a collision, but that’s life. While my instinct is often to shrink back when I’m worried, tired, or unmotivated, I’ve learned that pushing ahead is the only way forward.

 

After my injury, recovery demanded lowering my shoulder day after day into grueling rehab. Today, it can be having an uncomfortable conversation, writing when uninspired, or just resisting phone distractions. 

 

Just like on the football field, avoiding discomfort and half-hearted efforts lead to little progress. Lasting gains require tirelessly grinding forward even when it’s difficult, just as making a tackle requires total commitment without regard for comfort. 

 

To achieve big goals and dreams, you must be willing to lower your shoulder and embrace discomfort. Expect challenging days that test your will. But with relentless drive, you will break through.


Where in your life do you need to lower your shoulder into?

 

Your friend,

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

NOT the most wonderful time of the year?

Hi Friend,

It’s NOT the most wonderful time of the year🎄. According to a recent study, 88% of Americans believe the holidays are the most stressful time of the year. It’s fueled by overspending, hanging out with people perhaps you don’t want to hang out with 😆, giving the perfect gift, and planning family events. This year let’s strive for peace, which is peace in your heart and not the absence of problems. Here are my 3 Holiday Survival Tips:

 

1. Lower expectations. Things will never go according to plan and that’s not only reality, but it’s okay. We see these unrealistic holiday moments on TV which just fuels our desire to make things perfect and control everything. However, kids will be crying, messes will be made, and someone will get sick or grumpy. Free yourself by letting go and lowering expectations. 

 

2. Plan less. We stress ourselves out trying to jam pack our calendar with activities and manufacture these magical experiences. Take that pressure off yourself. There is nothing wrong with a lazy pajama day sipping hot cocoa and playing board games. The real magic isn’t about how many activities you cross off your list but being completely present with those you love.  

 

3. Set healthy boundaries. Inevitably with family gatherings disagreements, controversial topics and past hurts will be brought up. You can’t control other people but you decide whether you are going to involve yourself. When a really sensitive issue comes up, express how the topic makes you feel and that if it continues to be discussed, you are going to leave – whether that’s into another room or taking a drive. This is a healthy way to take care of yourself and create more peace.

 

I promise if you do these three things you’ll bring more joy into what should be the most wonderful time of the year. 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, 

 

Chris

Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊

Power of Trying When You Think You Can’t

We only understand our capabilities when we dare to try.

Hey Friend!
 

Do you ever feel like you are holding yourself back? Too often we place self-imposed limitations on ourselves. We underestimate what we are truly capable of before even trying. 
 
I remember back in college when I dropped my water bottle on the floor. I asked my sister Alex to pick it up for me. In true sisterly fashion, she refused and said, “No, you need to try getting it yourself first.” I was ticked! I was convinced I couldn’t do it, although I hadn’t even tried before… Reluctantly, I began my attempt and eventually figured out how to retrieve the bottle. I completely surprised myself! That small moment made me think – what else in my life am I holding myself back from? It gave me more confidence to try new things I had previously closed myself off to.
 
I realized that we only understand our capabilities when we dare to try. 
 
Often, our self-imposed limitations are not physical, but mental. We allow our doubts, fears, and insecurities to convince us that we can’t accomplish something before we even try. We look at a goal and only see reasons why we might fail, rather than having the courage to give it our best shot.
 
What my sister gave me that day was the gift of believing in me more than I believed in myself. Her faith in my abilities encouraged me to push past the boundaries I had set for myself. Thanks to her, I dared to try and found strength I didn’t know was there. 
 
By surrounding ourselves with supportive individuals, letting go of self-imposed limits and having courage in our abilities, we may discover our potential is far greater than we imagined.
 

Your friend,
 

Chris


Click here to share with a friend if you found this valuable 😊