Struggling the last 7 years of my life and persevering, has taught me about what it means to be a survivor. Not just any old survivor, but one who lives on to tell his story. My survivor story might not be as awesome as, say Aaron Ralston, but I have a story and I have never given up.

Photo Courtesy of: dewkissed on Deviant Art

I think we all stories of survival do we not? Think of life. Life is filled with challenges, obstacles, and tragedies. We all face them. When you persevere and make it through, that makes you a survivor.

God did not create us to be anything other than a survivor. He wants us to fight, and go on to tell our stories. It is through our stories that we inspire others to fight and survive.

About a month ago I was asked to speak at Gerontology Network for their annual retreat. The theme was survival, so they asked if I would talk about that. At first I thought, how am I a survivor? Then, it hit me. Just like everyone else, I have a story and a fight I can talk about.

It might not be an Aaron Ralston survival story, but I have faced and overcome some major issues of; depression, bankruptcy, loss of friends and family, meningitis, lots of broken bones, broken relationships, and suicidal thoughts. I would say this makes me a survivor, and I am only 27 years old.

When you think of a survivor what do you typically think of?

  1. Cancer patients
  2. Family and friends
  3. Lance Armstrong
  4. Some hero you see on TV
  5. Movies

What about you? Do you see yourself as a survivor?

After reading and studying survival stories the last few weeks, I put together 10 things that you have to be, and have in your life if you want to be a survivor.

  1. Be Strong and fight: Never give up. Keep fighting and you will make it. Lance Armstrong says, “Live Strong”.
  2. Be Courageous: You have to be able to face danger or pain and not be deterred. You can’t back out. You must stay the course.
  3. Will: You have to find that will deep inside you that causes you to keep going.
  4. Have Stamina: You need the ability to sustain prolonged pain and suffering so that you may survive and live on.
  5. Have Guts: You have to be a little crazy, especially in the world today if you want to survive.
  6. Be Present: Sometimes being present causes you to better understand what is going on around you. It can also help you determine a way out.
  7. Be Positive: Positive people make things happen in life.
  8. Have Faith: For me this is probably the most important. If it weren’t for my faith, I would not be here today.
  9. Have great Friends and great people: You are who you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with people who make you stronger, with people who believe in you.
  10. Family: Make sure you are taking the time to appreciate your family. Without them you would be nothing. With them you can be something. If you do not have family, make family with friends, co-workers, or possibly even someone else’s family.

I am a survivor and so are you. I can tell you this, now is not the time to give up. You must keep going. You must be a survivor.



  1. Are you a survivor?
  2. What do you need to do to be a better survivor?
  3. Would other people say that you are a survivor?