The Best Times

On the way in this morning (I rode my Harley to work), the Bryan Adams song Summer of ’69 came on the radio…

man, that’s a feel-good song, huh?

Anyway, there’s that line where he says, “those were the best days of my life”, and it got me thinking-and also made me remember something my youngest son said yesterday, that “you had it better in your time dad”…

It’s true that we all have great memories from youth that we may even remember fondly as “the best times” of our loves.

It may even also be true that, in many ways, things were better back when I was my 17-year old’s age.


But here’s the thing, I’m not OK with any of that and I don’t think you should be either.

I loved my young competition days in the martial arts, have fond memories I’ll always be grateful for during my time as a US Army paratrooper, have amazing memories of college at the University of Tampa and some of my greatest memories ever happened during my times in Europe, stationed there in Kitzingen Germany with the 3ID, but chock full of great times, like all my times riding with the Harley Davidson Club of Catalunya (Spain)…

But here’s the thing: all those memories were decades ago.

It would have been a waste of the last 20-30 years if they were my best times.

Luckily, there have been other exciting chapters from there to here, including different adventures in the martial arts, marrying my wonderful wife, becoming a grandfather, and making amazing memories with my kids and grandkids, more wonderful rides, writing a book, reading many, learning and growing and sowing daily…

I could never call any one moment the best and, quite frankly, for as much as it’s up to me, the best are yet to come!


Similar revelation of course follows when we call any period in time better than the rest.

One, I think it’s more cyclical than linear. I believe history repeats itself.

Part of that’s because we don’t learn as well as we should from history and the other because of the inevitability of it when we go through phases of life too easy.

It seems that often, deprived of the struggle that makes the great become so, we sometimes slip as a society (and as individuals if we’re not careful) into complacency.

And that malady never leads to anything better…


The most important message I have to share about any of this is that we are in control, so long as we choose to be.

The most important muscle to ensure that today and tomorrow are the best days is in between our ears.

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to what happens.

Our perception of the situation is more important than the situation and what we think, believe and then do about it is what makes it happy or sad, good or bad, or even great.


I choose to make the rest of my days the best of my days.

And I choose to begin today.

All the great leaders in my tribe do. You?

Join us! 


Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts



p.s. that picture at the top of this blog is me holding the pad for my grandson, Triton, this morning so he could demonstrate a front kick. He was my assistant while we taught a fun intro class to his fellow school aged students at The Sugar & Spice Learning center he goes to for after school. This was a great time that will also become a great memory. It was the first of many meaningful missions I have today.


I can come do the same for you at your day care, learning center, school, troop or other group too.

It’s a free community event I do, where I get to serve and make some more good memories while showing people what we do. Perhaps you’ll be my assistant next and make some great times too! Email me if you’re interested in having me come to your learning center, school or other group! 


p.s.s. my EA, Ruthe, proofed this email for me befoee i sent it and reminded me that the brain is not technically (or at least by scientific definition) a muscle. I am going to address that point in my blog for tomorrow. 😉




About Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo: Grandmaster Del Castillo is the founding Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts and has been empowering lives in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties since October of 2000. He is a 7th degree Blackbelt, MBA, author, mentor and success coach, a US Army Veteran and a proud father and grandfather. He is married to Ms. Barbara Del Castillo who helps him run the school. Grand Master Del Castillo began his training in the early 80’s and has high level blackbelts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Premier Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts as well as experience in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Jiujitsu. He has high level instructor certifications from BBSI, IKMF, and KMG and has been featured in numerous Martial Arts publications and also Success magazine. He was a competitive sport karate and American Kickboxing instructor until he enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he won an Army Green to Gold scholarship and proceeded to ROTC and the University of Tampa. He was commisioned in 1992 and went on to serve in Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division and then in several other posts in the US until he left military service to pursue his dream of creating KMMA in 2000.

The Krav MagaMartial Arts Headquarters is in Lutz, FL at 1900 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., 33549. Krav Maga Martial Arts serves Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and surrounding areas.

See for more information and to order my book, Developing Your Superpower, Meditations on Mastery, Volume 1.

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