Greetings from Florence, Friend!
Overlooking Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo, I’m reminded that beauty often comes from brokenness.
This city has been through hell and back during its long history. Plagues, wars, floods, fires – you name it. Repeated destruction, followed by rebirth and renewal.
Like a phoenix, Florence rose from the ashes again and again. Now, the result of those cycles is breathtaking. The elegant Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, the gorgeous sunsets. Beauty forged through hardship.
This resonates with my own story. My spinal cord injury felt like a personal apocalypse at first. My dreams for the future, shattered in an instant.
With time and perspective, though, I learned to find new hope, new dreams. Emerging from that “fire” changed, but not destroyed.
We all experience twists of fate that break us. The question is what we build from the wreckage. How will your fire refine you?
Florence taught me that our most powerful, beautiful selves can rise when we alchemize hard experiences into wisdom. Don’t let adversity break you. Let it open your heart and broaden your vision.
Healing takes time, just like Florence wasn’t rebuilt in a day. Give yourself grace, and step forward bravely into your new normal, whatever that may be. The beauty will come.
At golden hour in Florence, all visible flaws fade away. Light shines on its monuments, its people, its enduring spirit. What if you saw yourself and others in that same light?
So that’s your call to action: how can you turn your current struggle into art? Is there a way for your story to uplift others who feel alone in their pain? You have the paintbrush – begin crafting your masterpiece. 🎨🖌️🖼️
Ciao for now,
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I hope this message finds you well. It’s been way too long since you’ve heard from me, and I owe you an apology for my radio silence.
The truth is, life has taken me on quite the rollercoaster ride lately. I’ve been jet-setting around, working on this brand new speech I’m super stoked about – it’s called “A No Excuse Life,” and I was able to deliver it last week with rave reviews 🙏.
And that’s not all! I’ve been diligently crafting a kick-butt video course that I believe will blow your socks off. Seriously, I’ve poured my heart and soul into it, and I’m itching to share it with you.
But wait, there’s more! I’ve been creating something special – a mastermind community where we can all join forces to crush our goals. The synergy there is gonna be off the charts! Be sure to email me if this interests you.
Oh, and did I mention the fundraiser I’m cooking up called Tailgate Toss? It’s happening on November 4th, and I’d be excited if you could join in and support our family wheelchair camp.
Now, amidst all this hustle and bustle, being a dad and a husband remains my top priority. Balancing family life with these projects has been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I want you to know that I’ve missed our interactions dearly, and I’m gearing up to shower you with inspiration galore. Life taught me a valuable lesson during this time – sometimes, we’ve gotta hit pause, catch our breath, and come back stronger than ever. 🚀
So, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry for the silence, and I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me. Our journey is far from over, and I can’t wait to catch up with each one of you soon.
Now, here’s the action part: I’d love to hear from you. What topics or ideas are burning in your mind right now? Reply to this email and let’s start a conversation. Your input is incredibly valuable to me.
I celebrated 31 years of life this past Monday. Time feels like it’s going faster and faster. I swear it was not very long ago when I turned 21. I have learned many things along the way. In fact I will share 31 lessons that have impacted me.
- This moment is what’s real and important, tomorrow is an idea.
- Personal responsibility is the key to being resilient.
- True strength is displayed through your character, not your muscles.
- The quality of your relationships is a reflection of the quality of your life.
- There’s no shame in asking for help.
- If you only focus on what’s wrong you will never see what’s right.
- With every difficult situation ask yourself “What can I do?”
- When you are lacking purpose, ask yourself “Who is counting on me?”
- Get rid of all excuses, they only hold you back.
- Trying and failing feels a lot better in the end than not trying at all.
- The greatest gift you can give is your attention and appreciation.
- Live as if your days are numbered because they are.
- Always speak your goals and dreams out loud, manifesting works.
- You are the average of the 5 closest people you spend time with.
- Big people help others feel bigger.
- Make time for reflection and restoration.
- Words have the power to change worlds.
- Truest thing about you is what God says about you.
- Give selflessly what you hope to receive.
- How you make people feel is how people will remember you.
- External remedies and accomplishments will never solve internal problems.
- Accept what’s out of your control in order to give more energy to what’s in your control.
- Be quick to apologize & forgive then learn from it & forget.
- Time is never wasted when spent with those you love.
- Manage your emotions & impulses so they don’t manage you.
- If you don’t like where you are, then do something about it.
- Instead of criticizing and blaming others, look in the mirror.
- Meekness is not weakness.
- Read everyday.
- You can’t influence someone who doesn’t feel heard & understood.
- Your life is as rich as the lives you enrich.
For a limited time I have a store open! So get your shirts and jackets while you can!
I’ve heard this odd and sad illustration about a frog 🐸 . If you drop a frog in boiling water it will jump out immediately. If you put it in cool water and slowly heat it up to boiling the frog will STAY and boil to death. Poor frog. Sadly, in a lot of ways we can be the frog that never jumps. We start feeling the heat from life but it regresses slowly enough to not make a change. It’s so gradual you miss it until your life is in flames.
There are many stories of dramatic events leading to dramatic changes. A big moment that forces a person awake to start living with purpose. I’ve experienced this firsthand with my spinal cord injury. It spurred me to make major changes and enlightened me to the strength of the human will and how to live a significant life. For others it’s a cancer diagnosis, car accident, sports injury, being fired, the loss of a loved one, and much more. But… What if you never have some life altering event that shakes you awake?
There’s a less recognizable adversity that can be even more destructive. It’s a silent adversity that’s creeps in. The kind that slowly infects you without realizing it. Until finally one day you realize how deep of a mess you are in. You scratch your head wondering, “How did I get here?” Or “This wasn’t how my life was supposed to go.” It’s death by a million papercuts.
This adversity looks like a marriage that slowly drifts apart to the brink of a divorce, weight gain, financial debt, staying too long in a job you don’t like, mental illness, and unmet dreams & goals from waiting for the “right time”. What happens is we gradually make minor compromises, slightly dropping our standards and expectations, and then numbing our hurt and disappointment with gratitude or past accomplishments. Telling ourselves that “When ___ happens THEN ___.”
Today and for the rest of 2023, I want you to stop waiting and start working towards a tangible solution. Waiting without working a plan is simply wishful thinking. It’s blind faith. If you want a breakthrough then it’s on you to break through. It’s time to stop the bleeding. Draw a line in the sand and tell yourself enough is enough! Change starts NOW, not tomorrow, or after the weekend. Make a plan then work the plan. Lean on others for support. Know you didn’t get into this situation overnight and you certainly aren’t getting out of it overnight. What I constantly remind myself is that 👉 your future will take care of itself when you take care of today.
Get to work,