I am writing this book for you because I love you. As I struggled through my life, I learned a lot about how to live and what is important in living well. You might think that struggling through life is no way to live and that you would rather take the easy road. There were times I wished I had an opportunity to take the easy road also, but none presented itself. For this, I am grateful, because it is through these struggles that you learn who you are as a person and what you are capable of. Over the years, I have kept a mental list of things I wanted to teach you about life. Most of the advice in this book are the things I wish I had known growing up. Most things I learned because I made mistakes and did the opposite of what I wrote here.
Throughout your life, we talked about The Secret Society of Gentlemen. I told you that one of the hardest things you will ever do is to live with the Gentleman’s code, which requires drive, purpose, and the integrity of your values. Your career, money, or education do not make you a Gentleman. What makes you a Gentleman is how you treat other people, how you take care of yourself, how you handle your responsibilities, and how you overcome challenges.
I’ve shared some biographical stories in this book, partly to illustrate a point and partly because I thought you might be interested in learning more about me. Some stories might be sad, but remember, I’m glad for everything that happened because it made me the person I am. Also, some stories might be difficult to read because I talk about growing up in a physically and emotionally abusive home. All parents try their best for their children and want them to be successful. As I’ve learned firsthand, parenting is even more of a challenge when also coping with mental health issues of depression and anxiety. So, while I experienced physical abuse, emotional blackmail, and manipulation growing up, I know that my parents loved me and didn’t know a better way to parent. They wanted the same things for me as I want for you. They wanted me to:
1. Be a person of character and integrity who treats others with respect and humility.
2. Be a person of faith who believes in something greater than himself.
3. Be physically and mentally healthy.
4. Be well educated and understand the world.
5. Be a person with life skills who practices self-care.
6. Be a person who loves himself and is capable of accepting love from others.
7. Be a person who does not stop until he achieves his goal, and once achieved, sets a new goal so that he never stops growing