20 Years From Now


Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Ferris Bueller

Dear Jack ~ Your sister kept us up all night.  What a travesty.  How on earth could she do such a thing?  She’s 8 months old…

In 20 years I will wish for anything to hear her (and your) footsteps inching down those stairs.  I will crave that you still wanted to sleep in our bed.  I’ll trade a major organ for the times you wanted to fingerpaint and spend time talking about nothing.  Where will the time have gone?  Life has a funny way of putting things in perspective.  Instant gratification abounds and the world tells us to live for today; I propose you live for the moment.

Savor the now.  Work can wait.  Errands can wait.  TV can wait.  Let me tell you what can’t; memories.  The ones in the making.  The ones yet to be cemented.  And the ones you dream.

It’s not the time we spend together, but the moments we ignite to create memories.




Fix Your Hair


Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

Dear Jack ~ it was a chilly afternoon that September afternoon in 1875, copper dust was in the air and a gathering of the minds was taking place. Donned in full construction clad, with iron chaff underneath their fingernails, the construction of Libertas, the Roman goddess, was complete. Constructed in France, a decade later on June 17, 1885, over 200,000 people lined the docks of lower Manhattan to watch the French steamer Iserè carry the Statue of Liberty to her to final resting place in New York harbor.

High atop her brazen figure stands her crown, for which she is named.  At 204 metric tons her skin is an inch thick and her peak approaches 305 feet.  Little did they know, the men who forged her faced a dilemma for the ages…  at the time, airplanes had yet to be a figment of anyone’s imagination so it would have been just as easy to let the details atop her head remain undefined of detail.  No one would ever see above her crown yet these men chartered a course.  They decided at that quorum that no detail would be spared and the intricacies of each and every strand of hair would be complete just as the rest of her was; immense and finite detail.

What’s my point?  You know my point.

Short cuts are easy.  Compromise is the norm.  Conceding takes zero effort.  You need to dig deep. Remember these men who spent a decade of their life building one of our nation’s greatest symbols.  Could they have settled?  Absolutely.  Would anyone have known?  Perhaps not immediately, but little did these forbearers know, that a century later the world would stare into her eyes and hundreds of thousands of visitors a year would look from atop, not below, via aircraft and helicopter.

Jack, you are a maverick in the making.  Your job is to blaze trails and create opportunity where none exists; in that order.  You come from a long line of renegades who have never waited for the sky to open up and the sea to part.  Because of that, your future looks to be a bright one.  One day the ball will be passed off to you.  Take it.  Run with it.  And never look back.


Miracle on the Hudson


Dear Jack ~ On Januar 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 piloted by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger made an unpowered emergency water landing in the Hudson River after multiple bird strikes caused both jet engines to fail.  In an undeniable and remarkable feat of flight, All 155 occupants, including captain and crew, were unarmed and emerged unscathed.

As passengers submerged in the chilly waters began to surface, many of them were interviewed.  One, in particular, caught my attention.  “I was alive before but now I’m really alive,” he exclaimed.

Are you really alive?  Keep the fire in your heart roaring by feeding it the right things.  Get your passion back.  Keep your enthusiasim burning.  Sometimes it takes an event, a life altering event, to give us perspective.  At any moment, in any situation, you can step back and breathe and notice.  Just witness, are you using your braing for creating and serving right now, or are you using it for reacting?

When you shift [up] from reacting to creating, you are now using more of your brain… higher levels of full capacity brain power… imagination, innovation and creativity are now yours to access.  Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Got Grit?


Dear Jack ~ Grit is the most accurate predictor of success in achieving life goals. Grit is about sweat, not swagger, character, not charisma. Grit is the result of a hard-fought struggle, a willingness to take risks, a passionate pursuit of one’s goals, and the perseverance to continue against all odds. Hone it. Own it. The End.

Strong Like Bull


Dear Jack ~ Today’s topic is going to be short and to the point.  Here are some ideas, tactics and strategies that the mentally strong use.  Embrace them, implement them, and life will never be the same:

  • They move on.  They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
  • They embrace change.  They welcome challenges and see them as opportunities.
  • They stay happy.  They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.
  • They are kind, fair and unafraid to speak up.
  • They are willing to take calculated risks.
  • They celebrate other people’s success.  They don’t resent that success.

There you have it.  Keep your intestinal fortitude strong, battle armor hardened and ax sharp.

Above the Snake Line


Dear Jack ~ There is, in nature, an invisible, yet very real and definite, line above which you will never find a snake. Early settlers in America referred to this line as “the snake line”. Often, when they were purchasing a property, they would ask the seller where the property was in relation to the snake line.

They knew the land on the mountain was rockier, harder to clear, and not as fertile as the land in the valley. But, they also knew the land in valley was infested with rattlesnakes, adders, and copperheads. Many settlers chose to raise their families on the higher ground, above this line, rather than risk snake bites for themselves or their families.

In a similar way, we must also rise up.  Just as these early settlers knew the altitude at which risk was measured, so too do we need to evaluate our potential risk/reward and shift vertical on the playing field and enter a land of certainty and fortune.

There is no doubt that we’ll miss it from time to time but let’s make it a habit of pitching base camp above the snake line.  That simple act alone can limit our failures and maximize our opportunity and that is something we should take any day of the week.

Take a Deep Breath



If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.

– Amit Ray

Dear Jack ~ Spirit is a low flame inside us just waiting for the pump to bring the oxygen in. Outside circumstances do not activate the pump. We do. We can pump it any time we want.

That’s why taking a deep breath always improves any circumstance we are in. It dilutes fear. It focuses the mind. It relaxes the body. It expands thinking, so it feeds the spirit. The word “inspire” literally means to breathe in.

Breathing is so universal and continues that it can be easy to forget about ~ until we can’t do it anymore.  Then it becomes symbolic of life itself.

Oxygen is sustenance for the soul; it restores our body and sharpens our mind. It is the lifeblood of all existence and, without it, we are mere shells.  Harness the power, breath deeply and deliberately and you will soar.





Volcano Management


It’s not the will to win with that matters.  Everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.

– Paul “Bear” Bryant

Dear Jack ~ Volcano management is tricky business.  Forecasters attempt for decades to predict when and if certain seismic shifts are at bay and the impact that may have on populations et al.  All of this is accomplished with a subtle undertone of uncertainty and a strong helping of preparation.  Lack thereof can change the planet for generations to come.

I don’t believe in luck.  I believe in preparation. 

The only constant in life is change and its cousin, uncertainty.  There is no doubt about that.  We must be consistently take intellectual inventory of what might, can, and may happen as life can deal us hands of mixed color.  It’s adaptability that warrants winners.

Your moneyball arrives at the intersection of preparation, will and determination.  Outwork and out prepare your competition and you will win; you don’t, you won’t.

Every battle is won before it’s ever fought.


Exit Safe Zone; Enter Faith Zone


Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

– Rosa Luxemburg

Dear Jack ~ I knew that I knew that I knew it was time to make a leap.  Sometimes in life we wait for the sea to part before getting off the boat and that is a guaranteed formula for a life mediocrity, normalcy, and safety.  Let your faith be bigger than your fears.

You’ve had good enough be good enough for long enough.

Nothing wrong with planning and plotting but sometimes you have to get a foot in the water and make a horizontal shift from the safe zone into the faith zone.  Faith and hope are powerhouse phenomena and ones that we must harness and use routinely with great enthusiasm.

We have to be comfortable being uncomfortable; that is where genius happens.  And always remember that faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible.


A Global Village

Wonderful Bayside Norwegian Village HD Desktop Background

One cannot always tell what it is that keeps us shut in, confines us, seems to bury us, but still one feels certain barriers, certain gates, certain walls. Is all this imagination, fantasy? I do not think so. And then one asks: My God! Is it for long, is it for ever, is it for eternity? Do you know what frees one from this captivity? It is very deep serious affection. Being friends, being brothers, love, that is what opens the prison by supreme power, by some magic force.

– Vincent van Gogh, letter to his brother, July 1880

Dear Jack ~ I’m writing this note from the Norwegian coast where we have just witnessed some of the most beautiful countryside on this ever-flattening planet.  We set sail from Denmark, made a pit stop in Norway, and are now on our way up to Iceland by way of the Faroe Islands.  Aside from the majestic scenery has been the amazing people we have met along the way.  We have visited fishing villages that give new meaning to “off the grid”, whereby electricity, running water and refrigeration has yet to reach civilization.

What these individuals lack in modern day amenities, they more than make up for in their prioritization of family, ancestral culture and just good ole’ fashioned positive spirit.  While many lay claim to the intellectual patent of God, Faith, Family, Work, it’s quite a sight to see that at work across the globe.  Many family-centric cultures house multiple generations under one roof outside of America and that further contributes to a strong sense of familial heritage and the passage of time honored traditions from generation to generation.

As a friend once said, the world truly is a global village now and our neighborhood spans the globe.  We share a common bond with our brethren from across the pond and must remember the universal commonality that the longest journey any of use will take is the from our head to our heart.

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