Monthly Archives: July 2015

Who’s Packing Your Parachute?


Love isn’t love, until it’s expressed.

Dear Jack ~ I can’t write my life story without including you and you can’t write your life story without including me.  We have to stop and take time to thank others who are helping us win.

The dry cleaner helps you look good, the street sweeper ensures your have a pleasant drive to work, the chef at the restaurant enables your body to remain vital.  Lest we not overlook the delicate intricacies of life that keep us progressing and moving forward.

When life moves at the speed of sound it’s easy to overlook those who matter to us most.  Stop and take time to look them in the eye and thank them for their good works.  Extend a hand when in need and remember if you help others be successful true wealth and favor will always follow.

Information vs. Transformation


Dear Jack ~ This world will come at you a million miles and hour and overload you with countless tips, techniques and tactics for a better life.  But none of that will bear the fruit that transformative growth will and does.  This is the time tested method for a happy, healthy, abundant life.

Information is good and plentiful but it’s the use of that “stuff” that leads to transformation and skyrocketed personal development.  Live life in the fast lane and you’ll no doubt be overwhelmed by media, society, and our hustle and bustle culture but every now and again, take heed and ensure that you’re progressing along the growth spectrum and your betterment scale is tilted in the right direction.

Transformation occurs at the intersection of action and knowledge.  We must remember that being stagnant isn’t optimal and we must be consistently striving to progress and get better daily.  Information will only take us so far but it’s a spirit of transformation that takes us through open doors and living a life full of favor.

Failing Forward


Dear Jack ~ In life you will stumble, trip, fall down, get beat up (both literally and figuratively), take blows and hit brick walls but our goal is to slide across the finish line head first.  Dust yourself off, get up, and carry yourself forward.  Progress not perfection.  It’s this, that’s separates the men from the boys.

Life is one giant experiment and you hold the beaker in your hand.  It’s up to you which direction you take your life but I implore you to make it a productive and fun filled journey.  Life is too short to be boring and it’s not meant to be meandered through.  Learn from your failures.  Tuition is free to The School of Hard Knocks and is one of life’s most potent antidotes.

Carry yourself with enthusiasm and approach life with a light hearted mentality and any setbacks you are dealt are just trials and small tribulations the likes of which are easily surmountable.  Look to the sky and remember this too soon shall pass.

Begin Anywhere


Many people die with their music still in them.  Why is this so?  Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live.  Before they know it, time runs out.

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

Dear Jack ~ Too many people are stopped by not knowing how to begin and not knowing where to start.  Stop living life horizontally and move vertically.  Remove the where and how.  Raise your consciousness and you’ll begin to live life on purpose.

Begin anywhere.  John Cage is famous for saying this.  Two words; life changing and can take you from the back to the front.

Take the linear out (the where) and rise up in this moment and just begin.  Time to ascend.  It may not be perfect.  It may not be ideal but we must fail forward.  Within a split second you will have accomplished something.  A successful life is a compilation of small starts over time.  Before you know it you’ll have a handcrafted, battle-hardened masterpiece right in front of you.




Simplicity. The Ultimate Sophistication.


Dear Jack ~ Less is more.  Minimalism, simplicity and shedding “stuff” is all the rage right now.  Sad to say, but America is fat; in more ways than one.  We’ve gorged ourselves with things, filled empty gaps with technology, and there is an outlet mall in every city.  Heck, we don’t even talk to each other anymore.  Don’t fall into the trap.

Pick things in your life that add enduring value.  Often times, it’s the little things that yield us the highest return.  Maybe it’s a notebook, a favorite pen or a well-constructed leather wallet.  Whatever it is, make sure it can stand the test of time.  Quality will always outlast price.

Same is true of your day.  This world is now measured in nanoseconds and if you think you’re fast the world will tell you you’re slow.  Pay them no mind.  Ensure that each of your actions is calculated, methodical and with merit.  Approach each day with fervor and enthusiasm but never lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish no matter how simple it may be.

The 5am Club


While the other guy is sleeping, I’m working.

– Will Smith

Dear Jack ~ It’s 4:48am and I can’t sleep.  Not because I’m restless, bored or hungry but because I have a burning passion that won’t allow my eyelids to close.  I’m a progress addict.  Right now is when the other guy is sleeping, the sun has considered rising, and greatness is made.  World class performers rise early.  They can’t help it.  They have an agenda that more than likely was made the night before.

If it has to happen, it has to happen first.  That’s what Laura Vanderkam wrote in her now infamous book, What Successful People Do Before Breakfast.  Here’s the gist:

What elite men and women do before 8am:

1.  They wake up early; Before the sun.

2.  They exercise; Sweat once a day and you’ll have vitality for life.  Remember, nothing tastes as good as fit and healthy feel.

3.  They work on a personal passion project; This is mine.

4.  They spend quality time with family; Ask questions, look them in the eye.

5.  They connect with their spouses; See above.

6.  They meditate to clear their minds; Get quite, sit in a special chair, silence is golden.

7.  They construct a gratitude journal; Proven to increase your levels of happiness.  Carry it with you everywhere.

There is your recipe for almost certain success.  Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be in the top 1% of the top 1%.  And if, by chance, you need further proof positive on waking early, don’t forget what ole’ Ben said about early to bed and early to rise…

Progress Not Perfection


Dear Jack ~ If there is one principle that has dramatically improved the quality of my life, it’s the process I describe as CANI.  Simply put, it’s the mindset of constant and never-ending improvement.  

Remember, even with all it’s skilled labor, Rome was not built in a day.  The world we live in and the lives we lead can often contribute to bouts of, what appear to be, insurmountable problems and challenges.  But this strategy has the ability to break down these barriers and allow us to actively contribute to a positive and productive lifestyle.  Lest we not forget, our goal is to live squarely in the asset column of life.

This tactic can be used for all areas of life; spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial.  You name it and this process can be overlaid creating drastic increase in fulfillment and forward progress.  The mechanics itself are pretty self explanatory but at it’s core, we are striving to make small incremental changes and advancement on a daily basis.  Without this approach, life will seem unconquerable at times.  The beauty of this tactic is in it’s simplicity and it’s achievability.  The result is a compound effect of epic proportion and the results will absolutely stun you.


Ready. Fire. Aim.


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

– Theodore Roosevelt


Dear Jack ~ Sometimes you just have to do the the thing.  You have to create and put it out into the world.  You have to try.  You have to do.  Their is not substitute for action.  Sometimes the simplest solution is to act.

While I am all for the power of proper planning and crafting a method of achievement, there is ultimately nothing more important than the power of do.  The hours spent in preparation are priceless but they will pale in comparison to the time on the field and in the arena.  Plan your work, but more importantly, work your plan.



Burn Your Kindle


“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”

– Walt Disney

Dear Jack ~ Without question reading has been the foundation of whatever success I’ve had in my life.  It’s been said the measure of a man can often be attributed to the size of his library.  The greats not only read but they study the intellect and works of those that have gone before him.  While I am all for the voracious consumption of fiction, there is also much to be said about the power of personal development books.

I’ve noted before, success leaves clues.  Success is not accidental.  Seek others that have attained what you are after and ask them what they read.  More often than not, you’ll uncover a common thread.  Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and W. Clemmet Stone are some of the names I’d wager a bet you’ll hear.  These are men that were not only successful in their own right but they studied the other greats of their time.  The entire foundation of Napolen Hill’s infmaous Think and Grow Rich was the study, commencted by Andrew Carnegie, of the 500 most successful men of his era.

The debate between electronic reading vs. hard copy is a futile one, but I will say, in my own experience, the tactile feel of a physical book is hard to match.  I’ve also made it a habit of highlighting relevant quotes and passages as I read and, needless to say, that’s much easier with physical pages.  The good news for you, son, is you will be passed on my library with many of the books I read (and continue to read).  Dust them off.  Enjoy them.  Care for them.  Consume them and allow them to be the springboard they were designed to be.