My son died from whooping cough.
It was the low point in my life.
My personal life spun into deep grief.
My wife’s brother had just died a couple years earlier in his sleep.
My wife and I crawled in a hole away from the world.
We have three other kids, and our family doubled to six when we brought in three more who needed a home (a 7-year-old girl and 1-year-old twins).
We were going to adopt them until the state gave them back to their bio mom.
A blessing and a nightmare simultaneously.
My wife and I decided to take our three kids on a road trip from New York.
On the way to the airport my wife lost her memory (stroke?).
Her memory came back. The doctors said there was no long-term damage. I was scared. She got on the plane anyway.
We became digital entrepreneurs roaming from New York City to San Diego to Mexico to Canada.
We never knew where we’d stay at night.
It was bliss. We did this for six months before moving to Hawaii for a promised opportunity.
The promise was a lie.
We are grateful for that lie. We own our own lives and live regardless of frauds.
We now have books, videos, and companies all about living an intentional life without regret.
Real businesses with real revenue and real contribution.
Life is short. Just because that phrase is cliché doesn’t make it less true.
We don’t care about stuff. We own almost nothing. We are minimalists.
But we do own our lives.
We own our time.
We own our contribution to humanity on a deep level.
If you’ve had a tragedy, ask yourself, “How can I assign meaning and turn this tragedy into a triumph?”
My son was hit by a car in Hawaii a couple months ago. Another scare. He should be dead. He’s not. He was in a surf contest this last weekend.
We move forward and don’t blame God. We blame nothing. We praise God and own life.
As Sheryl Sandberg said, “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”
Is your life hard? Good. You were built to do hard things.
Here is a short video/documentary we made ourselves (before Lincoln’s accident with the car) about how to live a life of courage and intent despite feelings of despair from hard times.