Light always shines in the Darkness

I have participated in Coach Patty’s end-of-year 5000-yard swim for the past two years. The first two were tough, and I needed to take a couple of extra breaks to finish, so I was determined to complete this year’s experience with the standard breaks, keeping up with my six-lane mates. FYI, I did finish with the standard breaks, keeping up with all the “Michael Phelpses” in the other lanes! All the training for the Navy SEAL swims and Honor Foundation swims paid off!

Last Friday was the last training day of 2023. Coach Patty was kind enough to announce to those who showed up at five am about the launch of my new book, The Limitless Life. I was humbled and honored that she remembered.

I arrived at yesterday’s 5000-yard swim early to help prepare the lanes. After we got the lanes ready, one of the participants who was there on Friday asked me about my new book. When we were finishing up our talk, she asked if there was one thing I left out of the book, now looking back, I would have added.

I told her that I’d have to get back to her on that question. As we began the three-hour, 5000-yard swim, I started to think about that question. FYI, that swim is just short of the distance the Navy SEALS and Patriots swim from New Jersey to New York City, and you have a lot of time to think when you are stroking it out.

After I did my 100-yard warm-up, we began the 5000-yard swim. I started to think about that question. If there were one thing, looking back, I’d like to add to The Limitless Life. And it came to me about the 700-yard mark.

If you have read my book From Turmoil to Triumph or heard me on an interview, I share the moment the title and inspiration for my book Moments Matter came to light.

It was when I was asked to help a couple of my elderly neighbors who needed help with their TV. I went down to their house and fixed their TV. They asked me to stay for milk and cookies, and of course, I did stay! As they were preparing the treats, I was looking through their books on their coffee table and they were about World War Two. When I asked them about it they told me they were in the books as they survived a concentration camp.

When I got home, I knew what and why my book needed to be written, and the title of Moments Matter was born. What most people don’t know is what happened a few years later.

My daughter’s friend and mentor, Miss Joanne, was dying of cancer. She was a close friend of our family and one heck of a cook. ( if you look on page 64 of From Turmoil to Triumph, you will see a picture of Miss Joanne with my daughter).

A couple of weeks before Miss Joanne passed, I went down to her house to say good bye and thank her for everything she did for our family. It was just her and me. She lit up a menthol cigarette ( as she told me she had nothing to lose at this point), and we started to talk.

I shared the story about the two neighbors whose TV I helped with. She lived next door to them. She shared some additional insights about them. She was a young girl at the time of the Holocaust so she had a special relationship with them. She asked me if I noticed the candle that was always lit in their parlor.

I told her I saw a candle but didn’t think anything about it. She told me that they always had a candle burning in their home. I asked her why, and she told me that they told her having a candle lit was something they had taken away from the concentration camp.

She told me what they told her it was because “light always shines in the darkness.” During those dark times, the people who survived the horror of the concentration camp were the ones who kept a positive mindset, and if they could hang in long enough, something good would happen.

Miss Joanne passed a few weeks later, and I have never shared that final talk. But as I was swimming, I thought, as we enter a new year, which I predict will be full of angst with everything going on in the world, maybe my final moments with Miss Joanne can shed some light.

The lesson I took away from those final moments with Miss Joanne was something she had shared with my daughter and then me, and it is what I wished I would have added to my new book as it has helped me on my journey to leave the wisdom my mentors have given to me.

The power comes when experience meets wisdom.

When you experience something, you have to take action to be a part of an experience.

Wisdom comes when you use your body of knowledge and intelligence to make good judgments.

As you enter 2024 and make your goals, remember, as I learned from Tony Robbins over 30 years ago, never leave making a goal without taking immediate action towards it.

It may be as minor as lighting a candle to remember that as you are working to achieve your goals, it may be tough but in the darkness of your situation, there is always light if you keep a positive mindset.

For my 5 am swim friend who asked me that question yesterday, this is the story and message I wished I had shared in my new book The Limitless Life.

A pathway to having a limitless life like my two concentration camp neighbors and Miss Joanne had is to remember that all the experiences and moments in your life matter. The more moments and experiences you have and mentors and coaches share will help you begin making good judgments which will improve your wisdom.

One of the ways you create opportunity out of uncertainty is to take action to have good and bad experiences, which will help you build up your resilience muscles. The more of these experiences you have will give you the experience and knowledge to start making good judgments.

The more good judgments you make the wiser you will be and then you will have the power of when experience meets wisdom, creating and finding opportunity out of any uncertainty in your life and ultimately

Creating your own Flight Plan for your future!

I want to thank my wingman, Suzanne Lesko; as if she had not made that call while I was standing at Liberty Airport in Newark, NJ, the learnings and wisdom I have gleaned from the past three years of swimming would have never happened, just like when the travel agent put me on US Airways Flight 1549.

MOMENTS DO MATTER! Turn your TURMOIL INTO TRIUMPH and begin living THE LIMITLESS LIFE! Find a mentor who will help you take your moments and experiences and compress the time it takes to have happiness and fulfillment from decades into days.

Have a blessed 2024, and remember to take immediate action for all the goals you set and experience creating opportunity out of uncertainty!