Life in 2018 is complicated. Headlines are ravaged by shootings, sexual harassment cases (which we will talk about later in this issue), politics, what’s good for us, what’s bad for us, and on and on. If you’re like most, your time and energy are being requested nearly every moment of every day – from work, family, technology, volunteer organizations, sports practice, music lessons, doctor’s orders, your own goals, we could go on forever! In fact, I know at least one person in this industry who decided 2018 is the year of NO.

Imagine, for a moment, giving yourself the freedom to say no sometimes to things you’re not passionate about, that don’t fit in your schedule, or simply aren’t something you want to do. Saying no to those things will in turn free you up to do the things you want to do … and to run down your path to success without so many detours.

During the International Restoration Convention and Industry Expo in Austin last month, I had the opportunity to hear many great speakers, but one especially stood out. Robert Earley is the president and CEO of JPS Health Network in Tarrant County, Texas. The RIA invited him to speak during the awards banquet and industry celebration one evening – and let me tell you, wow. He was funny and very well-spoken, but above all, his message was simple. He offered three basic rules for life:

  1. You have to own it.
  2. Seek joy.
  3. Don’t be a jerk.

How often do we hear philosophically-minded speakers do deep dives into ways to lead a better life? Then BAM, Robert Earley lays those on us and honestly, those are a great starting place. Own who you are and the life you choose to lead; seek joy in all things – negativity gets us nowhere; and don’t be a jerk (no explanation necessary).