Monthly Archives: May 2015

Do Your Business in the Sunlight


Dear Jack ~ What will you be when you grow up?  Yesterday you wanted to be a race car driver, today it was a ninja, and maybe tomorrow a surgeon.  Nevertheless, this lesson will serve you well in whatever field you choose as your trade.

Between the intersection of transparency and honesty lies authenticity.  This is where I urge you to live.  It’s a delicate dance between broadcasting your plans and appearing suspect to others (Lord knows I’ve failed at this over the years).  But never forget that YOU are the custodian of your future. Opportunity never knocks at the ideal time; but it’s your job to answer.

I implore you to write down your goals, dreams, and aspirations (more on this in subsequent writings).  Science now tells us that writing them down, not simply reciting them in your head, increases their likelihood by 70%.  That’s the difference between playing doctor and scrubbing up everyday.

And remember, authenticity trumps cool, every time.

No Whining On The Yacht


Dear Jack ~ today’s episode is brought to you by the “you have no right to whine because you have no idea how good you have it,” channel.

The medium worldwide household income is $9,733.  You may not know what that means yet but that tells me the rest of world wants what you have.  You no doubt will have days when things are tough, outcomes don’t seem fair and your problems seem insurmountable.  Let me assure you, the sun will rise tomorrow and you have royalty in your bloodline.

Your mother and I took the image above on a sunrise safari at at Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India in 2012.  It truly was a pivot point for me.  Spending time in a third world country is something everyone should do and, if possible, on a regular basis.  It has the unique ability of keeping one grounded both intellectuality and spirituality; at least it has for me.

What was so fascinating about India was how familial and pleasant the culture was.  These are people who have been destitute for centuries, many who have lived without power and/or running water, and up until a few years ago, had not seen a caucasian person.  We’re talking off the grid here.  Yet, despite all that, when they could easily feel under appreciated, undervalued, and neglected, they do not.  They are a happy people.  They smile from ear to ear and are just genuinely positive on life.

We learned a lot on that trip; more to come.  I call it the “Red Dot Principle” (Lord, please forgive me).  Eat well, be happy, enjoy life, love people.

Fight On Your Knees


Dear Jack ~ this is a two-part crash course on both mortal combat and spiritual nourishment.  First, you come from a long lineage of fighters.  Your great-great-grandfather was a prize-winning boxer (believe it or not his nickname was “Blotty” aka “Bloody”) and your dad (me) was known to go a few rounds himself (and was on the receiving end of his fair share of blows too).  Point being, and this may be met with some controversy, never start a fight but don’t walk away from one either.  There is tremendous valor and honor in ending a fight.  When you find yourself in over your head, act a little loony and 9 times out of 10 the situation will diffuse itself.  People don’t mess with the crazy guy.  It’s a fact and I’ve field tested and battle hardened it.

Secondly, and far more important, do your fighting from your knees.  Not literally, of course, but spiritually.  I learned this concept from Dayton Moore, GM of your hometown Kansas City Royals.  He is a man of tremendous faith and is worth studying if you find the time.  He enlightened me on the concept of placing your house slippers under your bed at night (yes, real men wear slippers) so each day you must begin, knelt, remembering why you’re here and that you are the custodian of your own destiny.  You may very well have not found your calling yet, remember there is no road map but success leaves clues, and it takes many people a lifetime to figure it out, but the time you spend on the ground each day will give you a line of sight most others don’t have.

Who says chivalry is dead?


* We’re making a slight course correction here on the blog.  From here on out, all posts will be short notes written to my 4-yr old son Jack.  I intend to instill lessons and morals in him that I wish I had been taught at a younger age.  Some, if not many, will be basic and therein lies the beauty.  I hope you enjoy the tweaked format and welcome your comments. *

Dear Jack ~ if you had met your great grandparents you would have seen chivalry in action.  Not that you won’t still see it today, but it’s a lot less prominent.  It’s hiding behind the cellphones and iPads.  In this modern era, so many folks are focused on themselves it’s tough to get out of your own head and think about others; remember the world revolves around them.  Always put them first.  They’re usually thinking about something in the past or something in the future… very rarely in the present.  My elders taught me check the weather report each night before bed.  I’m not so sure it was about knowing what to wear, but rather to be prepared and always be at the ready (you’ll learn the Boy Scout motto someday).  Carry an umbrella with you; you may never know when you’ll need it.  At the very least you’ll be in position to offer shelter for your neighbors and significant others (you may even strike up the elusive conversation).  My mother taught me at a young age to ALWAYS open the doors for others and I do my best to this day.  In fact, writing this note to you reminds me I can do better… and so can you.  Keep an eye on the sky.

A boss has the title. A leader has the people.


Get in the trenches and kick down some doors.

Think golf Club, not golf club


You have royalty in your bloodline.  Don’t ever forget that.  Kings and Queens act different.  In the early 80’s a young golfer from the States was invited by the King of Saudi of Arabia to visit his homeland.  This gentleman politely obliged and experienced sights and smells unlike any other.  Towards the end of his trip, the King thanked him for spending time in his home country and asked for his address to send a small token of his appreciation.  The golfer, a bit taken back, and knowing the wonderful hospitality that was already shown to him, undeservedly handed it over.  On the flight home, this golfer wondered what his Highness would possibly send him as a gift.  Perhaps a solid gold golf club or diamond encrusted putter.  He waited anxiously as the days passed, checking his mailbox frequently; sometimes even multiples times per day but to no avail.  About a month later a certified letter arrived with the return address His Royalty the King of Saudi Arabia.  What?  No package?  No box?  When he opened it, he found the deed to a 500 acre golf CLUB.

You come from Royalty.  Think expectantly.  Think favor.  Act like a King.

It’s Always Sunny Above the Clouds…


“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

– Mark Twain

This is a site dedicated to the art of constructive and deliberate living…  I’ve been asked for years to jot down my random thoughts, antics, and musings; this is that place.  This will be a journey we take together and will also chronicle my years to be later passed along to my children.  I’ve been the fortunate benefactor of some very unique situations in life, most of which will be described here, and this site will document the delicate dance between one’s life and work.

Why this title for an inaugural post?  On a recent business trip, a colleague sitting next to me looked out over the horizon at 36,000 ft. and noted, “it’s always sunny above the clouds.”  How true is that?  Above the clouds, life is clear; still.  The sun drowns out the darkness.  It alters mood and faith and reminds you anything is possible. Anything.

I have a bad habit of chatting it up with the people sitting around me on airplane for years; I’m that guy.  On another cross country jaunt a fellow passenger, who happened to be a pilot, reminded me, in it’s most basic form, that a plane is off course 99% of the time.  The only reason an aircraft can leave New York in the morning and land on a dime in Hawaii in the afternoon is because of multiple micro course corrections throughout the duration of the flight.  So is true of life.  Our journey is never a straight un-interrupted one but the key is beginning with the end in mind.  Planning is way underrated.  Goals; the same thing.  These are just some of the topics we’ll cover here.  I’m no expert in any of this but I am an expert in my own story and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you; what’s worked for me.  So buckle up… we’ve been cleared for takeoff.