Terry Tucker believes everyone is born to lead an uncommon and extraordinary life and that has nothing to do with where you work, how much money you make or where you live. We are not all born with the same gifts and talents, but we all have the ability to become the best person we are capable of becoming. But how do you achieve this remarkable life in an age where everyone seems to just get by? In this book, Terry answers the three basic questions that will lead you to your best life, “What is excellence, how do you achieve it, and most importantly, how do you sustain it?”
The ten principles outlined in this book will provide you with the bedrock necessary to form the foundation of unshakable beliefs and dedicated behaviors that will guide you to your uncommon and extraordinary life.
These principles will reinforce your attitude, no matter how much pain you must endure or how many obstacles you must overcome to achieve and maintain excellence.
Do you have what it takes to apply these principles to lead your uncommon and extraordinary life?
Targeted Age Group:: 16-35
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The book was born out of a conversation I had with a former player about finding and living her purpose and a connection with a college basketball player at The Citadel who reached out to me on LinkedIn. This young man asked me what I thought were the most important things he should learn to be successful in life and his career. I thought about my response for a while because I didn’t want to give him the standard: Work hard, Help others, Show up early, etc. Eventually I came up with ten principles that I had experienced or learned over my life. I was able to use my life experiences or the examples of others I knew, and applying them to the ten principles I developed.
When fabled Green Bay Packers football coach, Vince Lombardi, took
over the fledgling team, he said this to his players: “Gentleman, we
will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the
while we can never attain it. But along the way, we will catch
But what is excellence, and how do we know when we have achieved
it? Numerous synonyms describe the ethereal word excellence:
outstanding, brilliant, high quality, indispensable, or extremely good.
We look at profitable companies with unique cultures, or successful
artists who relentlessly slave at their craft, or difference-makers who
attempt to positively change the world, as being excellent in their field.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle defined excellence as “a mean
between two extremes of excess and defect in regard to a feeling or
action as the practically wise person would determine it.” According to
Aristotle, a “mean” cannot be calculated and is relative to the
individual and circumstances. To Aristotle, excellence was defined by
the person and the conditions under which it was viewed. So,
excellence, like beauty, tends to be in the eye of the beholder.
People love lists. When David Letterman was the host of the popular
television show Late Night he always had a “Top Ten List” segment in
the show. I’ve heard many reasons why lists are so popular. Things
like: “Because we are constantly bombarded with information, we
become overstimulated, and lists provide us with continuity.” Or: “A
list of topics provides our brains with decisiveness and definitiveness.”
Or my favorite: “Lists provide us with a form of communication that
allows us to know exactly what we are getting.”
Every Monday morning, on my website, Motivational Check, I publish
the Monday Morning Motivational Message. This message is one of
the most popular segments on the site. While many of these messages
are short stories that teach a lesson, I get the highest positive feedback
when I post a list of something. The topic of the lists doesn’t usually
matter; what matters to the readers is that they have an inventory that
purports to improve their lives.
In early 2020, I had a recent college graduate connect with me on
LinkedIn. The thing that drew my attention to this young man was a
question he asked me. He wanted to know what I thought were the
“most important lessons” he needed to succeed.
As I considered how I wanted to respond to him, I thought back to my
college days at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and some of
the most important lessons I learned about leadership, excellence, and
I was fortunate to accept a basketball scholarship to attend The Citadel,
The Military College of South Carolina, in 1978. I had received no
formal training in leadership up until this point in my life. My parents
had modeled what good behavior should look like and set an example
of how I should treat others. Still, I didn’t fully understand what
leadership or excellence meant until I attended The Citadel.
As I quickly grabbed a piece of paper and began jotting down lessons I
have learned over my sixty years in my roles as husband, father, police
officer, hostage negotiator, basketball coach, business owner, and most
recently, cancer warrior, the words, “the most important lessons” this
young man wanted to know, stuck in my mind. I didn’t want the list to
be the generic, “work hard,” “be polite,” “help others,” etc. I didn’t
want to give him a catalog of rules, or canons, or directives. I wanted
my responses to be deeper, more profound, and worthy of putting in
the time to make them part of who he was and who he wanted to
become. I wanted to develop principles that would help this young man
become unstoppable at his craft, but I wanted the list to ensure that he
could sustain excellence, once it was achieved.
I sought to provide him with a list of principles rooted in bedrock to
form the foundation of unshakable beliefs and dedicated behaviors
despite the prodigious and tumultuous circumstances that he might
encounter during his life.
I remember one of the stories that I often tell when I am interviewed on
a podcast, or speak to groups. The story is about the scene in the movie
Rocky, where Rocky guzzles the five raw eggs.
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