(Photo credit)

I used the above photo since it’s one of my favorite films when it comes to fierce resolve and never giving up – Southpaw. Now then, let’s get to the post:

Life Lessons Make You Unstoppable

As I look back on my personal struggles, good times, relationships and life lessons learned, something has become very clear to me: The hardest times trained me to be fierce within, even though they nearly killed me once or twice (literally). I say this about myself to show you that no matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’re facing, there are life-changing lessons that come from all of it. Here are some keys to remember during anything you’re struggling with:

  • You need to breathe and not make any permanent decisions (such as suicide) to temporary problems, even if they feel like you’ll never be able to make things right. You will, but it will take looking at things with a rested, calmer mind to see the many ways in which you will change your life for the better. I’m proof of this.
  • If no one around you is supportive, KEEP GOING. Learn to trust in yourself with the will of a lion (or whatever works for you). I literally began to have a devious love for the battle, imagining myself to be a warrior of sorts, living for the battle and eventual victory (the victory came in a way I could have never imagined, so thank God I didn’t succeed at killing myself in 2011).
  • Be open to new ways of working through to your goals and a better life – this one is HUGE. I remember tweeting that a human being who has fierce determination and never gives up is an unstoppable force for good, and it’s true. Sometimes we become stuck in one way of looking at our hopes and goals that we become blind to the many other ways to achieve them – I did that for over a decade with one dream I had.
  • There is always help available online! You might need to get creative and look at different social channels or articles and videos, but even if you don’t have someone close to you who can be a supportive resource, you can always look for positive encouragement from people online and off. I committed myself in early 2013 to get the help I needed. It scared the shit out of my wife and I to sign the form to be locked up in a mental health unit, and yet it was the best choice I/we could have made.

Reminder: Your Life is a Journey – Not a Rush To The End (Have Faith in The Life Lessons!)

I know that hard times can be devastating, exhausting and gut-wrenching to live through. I get it, and I’ve battled to find myself over the last 30 years of my life to get where I am today. Holy cow I couldn’t have predicted that all this would happen, and many days and nights I wondered if I’d be headed for a much worse fate (like jail or the graveyard where my Brother Ryan is). Thank God I kept going, as embarrassing and frustrating as it was as a man to keep messing up in my career and personal life.

From someone who has lived it, walked the walk and faced death after decades of inner battles, please know that to change your life, it all starts with your thoughts, your daily routines and the amount of work you put into self-growth and faith in your journey. It’s scary for all of us at times. This is your masterpiece – allow the things not going right to teach you how to improve, to make changes and to seek help if you need it (like I did). That takes real courage.

The darkness brought me the light that changed everything, signing my first book deal earlier this year as my amazing wife Aimee watched. She has been my angel, and I’ll never let her forget it.

I won’t give up. YOU don’t give up. Deal?