That’s a real pic. Well, a real pic of a pic. Pre photo-shop and in fact pre-digital photography.




That’s a real pic. Well, a real pic of a pic. Pre photo-shop and in fact pre-digital photography.

Just me flying over my nephew’s birthday party several decades ago. I was a relatively baby blackbelt, and I’m pretty sure (though not positive) I’d already been to Army basic training…..

Truth is, there’s a lot I don’t remember about back then. It’s equally true that I definitely had no idea that the thoughts and actions that I was taking, and would take, in that time and over the next few years literally wrote an important chapter in my life.


I’ve no doubt looking back that God had a plan for me and caused several things to happen for me that helped create the reality I live today.

I also have no doubt that each of the positive and negative choices and actions I took also helped land me where I am, as well as where I am not, today.


I’ve lived through my share of crisis in the decades since this photo was taken. Ah, to be as young and naive as I was again. But then, I wouldn’t have the value of the experiences or, more specifically, the wisdom that came from the good and bad decisions and actions I took along the way.

I was talking with my friend and cohort Shihan Adam Bohn this morning and we were discussing the amazing opportunity that so many young people have today, this very day, in the midst of this national pandemic, that most of them are squandering.

This fact makes me sad. My mission is empowering lives and it hurts me when I know that people are wasting an opportunity to be better. But then Adam said something poignant and wise that I will share with you now: “nobody is telling them what to do”.

Wow! If only I had somebody who knew what I know today to tell me what I should have been doing (in addition to jumpkicks at birthday parties) when I was that very young man in the picture above! Where could I be?

Those of us who have had the blessing of living long enough all have thoughts like these. But while we can never affect the past, we can always impact the future by what we do in the present so please apply and/or share with the youth that could hear it from you these recommendations to make however long we are still in this situation a time to grow better, stronger and faster and emerge from this pandemic better in a better trajectory in life:


I credit Shihan Adam heavily for the creation of this list which he helped me solidify in my thinking this morning. Both of us agree that we would have loved to have given this advice to the younger versions of ourselves and, while the advice is sound for any and every chapter of our lives, it is especially poignant now because of the gift of TIME that so many have been given:


Do something this and every day to:

  1. Improve your body
    1. eat right
    2. exercise
    3. drink a gallon of water
    4. start training martial art
    5. abstain from vice/addiction
  2. Improve your mind
    1. read 10 pages of a great non-fiction book
    2. listen to positive, inspirational and/or educational podcasts
    3. watch similar video
    4. take a course on anything educational or growth oriented. What have you been learning to learn/do if you only had the time?
    5. abstain from mental vice/addiction. Go for periods of time without your phone nor the news.
  3. Improve your financial situation
    1. all of the above plus,
    2. sow into your business or
    3. start one if you don’t have one.
    4. study up to equip yourself to be better at your profession or get a new one
    5. read, listen to, study or take a course on financial management, marketing, sales or whatever other areas can help you in this area.
    6. If you are blessed to still have an income in this time, start the habits of saving and giving and continue to support the small businesses that have always supported you.
  4. Improve your key relationships
    1. quality and quantity time with your
    2. spouse
    3. kids
    4. and whomever else you’re at home with.
    5. I think this one ties to an important principle- instead of pining over who or what you don’t have, sow more gratitude, time and effort into the people and things that you do.
  5. Improve your spiritual life
    1. pray more
    2. meditate
    3. read the Bible
    4. listen to encouraging messages from great teachers
    5. relax and learn to embrace and enjoy the silence and even the solitude. Herein another principal I wish I would have learned sooner- business does not necessarily equal productivity; and stillness does not necessarily indicate the lack.


I hope this message is helpful. It’s certainly not exhaustive but a start. I’d love to hear from you about some of the positive things you are doing in and with this chapter in the story of your own life.


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