Dear London Realer,
As I sit here in Kona Hawaii, visiting my 98 year old aunt, I think on why I am how I am - still coaching and mentoring. I reflect back on the tough love environment I was raised in. Hell, my Dad invented tough love in the 50s, some 20 years before it was even discussed as an aside reference in relation to child rearing!
Five years ago, at my Dad's memorial, there were many men and women that approached me to say how much he changed their lives, stories dating back 70 years. In his field he was an icon – a man of stern steel. A man’s man! He was the alpha male role model most of you never had and whom I took for granted! Many told me that they felt ashamed they hadn't done more when compared to my Dad's accomplishments, considering he started as a shoe shine boy at age 7 to help support his family. My Dad had grown up without a dad, because he’d died 3 months before my Dad was born in 1918.
To say the memorial was an extremely reflective event for me would be an understatement of biblical proportions, and being around my 98 year old aunt today takes me back there. Many say I am my Dad’s son and that I am a reflection of how he lived his life and raised me. He was extremely rough and tough and, as I would tell people when I volunteered for the military in 1966, (not a great time to go off to war! LOL!) “you think this is bad, hell, you should have been raised by my Dad!”. The various hard training I went through for a year, culminated by being anointed by the U.S Congress as an Officer and Gentleman, was easy compared to living at home under my Dad’s roof. As those that have attended the Castle Experience know, there are many stories I share about how I interacted with my Dad.
From The Eulogy I Gave For My Dad (2010)
"A story I often relate about my Dad, which illustrated who he was and how he lived his life, was how he met me when I landed in Le Havre, France, in mid-1951. I ran up to hug him and came away from him with blood on my little arms and hands. What I didn't know was he just had had surgery to remove a tumour from his back that morning. Yes, he had undergone surgery, yet he was there to meet me at the boat as it docked hundreds of miles away on the west coast of France that evening, because my Dad always did what he said he was going to do – no matter what. The story doesn't stop there. What I found out later was he would not allow the surgeons to put him under with a general anaesthetic. He only allowed the surgeons to use a local, because he had refused to be unconscious for fear of someone extracting top secret info while he was under (my Dad was head of the army’s Criminal Investigation Division [CID] during the Cold War in Europe). He underwent the entire surgery with mirrors watching the cutting by the surgeons – with a loaded 45 automatic in his hand - and you wonder why I am the way I am! WTF!"
Is Tough Love Enough?
Yeah, my dad was tough!
He was superhero tough. No props, extras or stunt men.
As I reflect about his memorial service, I think about what I often say and use in an exercise at the castle seminar: If people were writing your obituary now – what would they say? Could you have done more with your life? Could you have helped more people than you did? Did you take advantage of all your own resources? There is always time to make things better. This is one of the reasons why I continue to coach and mentor!
I saw grown men, 40, 50, 60, and 70 year olds shed tears trying to put into words what my Dad had meant to them, their families and lives. It was something I will never forget, even if I live to be 150. One of the finest things that happened to me in a long time was when my 91 and 93 year old aunts told me, "you're like your Father”.
I distinctly recall the eulogy being very tough but I got through it – after all, I am my Dad's son - but putting his ashes in the crypt was surreal. The finality was overwhelming. I put him in next to his favourite sister with a folded American flag which the honour guard had given the family. He had an honour guard for his distinguished service in two wars and a lifetime of public service in law enforcement and education.
I say all this because I have been privileged to have a great impact on countless numbers including a global 25 CEO, companies of all sizes and more entrepreneurs than I can count. I have been truly blessed. Many of my mentees and students have had great runs and some have failed, almost always falling forward in their quest for success to fulfil their dreams. Can you say the same? Have you given yourself an opportunity to achieve your dreams and goals? Have you done all you can to put your loved ones where they should be? It's not too late! It's never too late! It's only too late if you stop trying! Always remember old age regret is an awful thing to experience!
As a mentor, I have told others, “you only have one time to make a first impression and time is the only thing we can't replace – so use it well!” What does that mean? Take risks. For at the end of the day men and women are known for the risks they took – not the ones that passed them by. Be all you can be – not a mere fraction of what you can be.
All the missed hits I have had in business still amaze me – last year alone I had more than 20. These days though, I am known for the successes I have participated in during my nearly 50 years in the trenches, not the pop flies, strike outs and fumbles I have made. What most people (i.e you) worry about is that when it comes to your obituary, no one cares. You dwell your entire lives over what people might think, or God forbid, say about you. I can assure you, when they bury you – they only say nice things about you! LOL!
I read emails weekly from people struggling in life. I get emails from people who are using my methodologies successfully. I have had the same struggles and successes. I still struggle even today, but the quantum is different. I have been doing this for a very long time now – and some things don't change – only the players change. Economies go up. Economies go down. There is never a perfect time to make hard and difficult decisions, yet I continue to see people ponder on the correct timing, just fucking do it!
I still talk and have business dealings with people that attended my first QLA Seminar way back in May 1993. I have had close relationships with many that have enriched my life beyond the imagination. I have assisted countless individuals attain their dreams that they aspired to achieve, but initially thought were beyond their reach. Ask yourself, when you attend a burial service, as I did and still do, "What could I do to better enhance the people around me?” Hell, don’t wait 'til a funeral! Do it each and every day!
Most of you have an idea you keep to yourself; you continue to noodle it; you get excited; you tell someone; you then get nervous because the feedback or initial results weren't what you wanted; you then try for more feedback; you then get scared; you then drag your feet; and ultimately it dies a very quiet death. Sound familiar? Why?
As a result of my initial appearance on London Real Easter 2014, my life has changed and expanded greatly. I have and continue to reach many more around the world than I had in the previous 20 years but, seeing an opportunity, I seized the moment and continue to drive myself. I continue to swing at the plate, even at almost 70 years old! I ask you, can you say the same for yourself?
To your Quantum Leap in Life and Business!