If it wasn’t for the solid foundation that my family gave me, I don’t know that I would have gotten here or had the willpower to get it done. My family serves as my ultimate inspiration. Both my Momma’s and my daddy’s side have true southern grit. Regardless of where you are from, most times, your family is there to give good counsel. Here are a few life lessons I’ve learned from my southern roots straight out of my book, The Everyday Supermodel!
GO BIG OR GO HOME:
If I got a tattoo (which I won't), it would likely say this. Dream and dream BIG. Fire it up! When it comes to my family’s playbook, it’s the go-to play. My daddy came from nothing and overcame much adversity. After he came home from the army, he was involved in a car accident that had him left for dead and in a full body cast for six months. He survived and chose to thrive. He taught me to take risks and reach for the stars. I get my guts from my dad.
ALWAYS BE NICE (TO EVERYONE):
This is straight from my grandmother’s mouth. It didn’t matter who you were or what you did-she respected everyone. Be nice to assistants. Be nice to flight attendants. Be nice to your boss. Be nice, be nice, be nice. Don’t overlook anyone. One day that assistant will be the vice president of the company you aspire to work for. When you are nice, and people like you, they will go out of their way for you.
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT:
My momma challenged us to not just go with the flow or fly with the flock. There are a lot of rules in the South-but my mother encouraged me to be who I wanted to be. While other moms were encouraging their girls to stay inside the lines, my mom encouraged me to draw my own.
GOTTA PICK A LANE:
A great piece of advice from my uncle Leslie: You’ve gotta pick a lane. You cannot drive in the middle of two lanes, or weave in and out of them. Neither can you drive in four lanes at once. Pick one. Choose your direction and drive.
DO, HOPE, LOVE:
My brother, Todd, always says, “There are three things in life you need: something to do, something to hope for, and someone to love.” This is what keeps my head on straight. It’s pretty much the definition of sanity and I’d go far to say, happiness. As long as you can check those three things off your list, you are doing pretty good.
FIND YOUR CHURCH:
By that I mean, live for and believe in something bigger and greater than you. Maybe it’s your community, maybe it’s your family, maybe it’s your religion. Believe in something.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.