Atop “The Hill” — 40 Lessons at 40.

I’ll never forget that final push of energy when Cadre Cleve said, “Hell yeah… TAKE THAT HILL!” as we finished off the San Diego Memorial Day GORUCK Tough 2022.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching regarding this dad blog… a lot of soul searching.

When I first started Daddy In The Raw, the idea was to give a glimpse into a specific type of lifestyle surrounding a dad, working at home in a startup / entrepreneurial phase.

The fact is, quite a bit of time has passed since then… and, this site… by both the content frequency and otherwise… seems to be much as other good things must come to… perhaps, its time to end (for now). Much as my professional blog morphed into a merge of one of the companies I founded, I feel that Daddy In The Raw will be transforming into my next “dad project” of sorts… but, for now… I’d like to put an appropriately symbolic punctuation on this blog with 40 lessons I’ve learned as I turn 40 this year.

40 Lessons At 40 — From Father to Son

These lessons are not all original to me, nor should they be. These are lessons, ingots of wisdom, gems of motivation, and the like that I thought back on… reflected upon… and, felt that these would be good to leave here — for my son — for you to read — for anyone seeking some insight to pursue for themselves… taking what is good and helpful to them, while simply appreciating the existence of the rest.

  1. Over “the Hill” starts when you decide to stop climbing. Don’t stop.
  2. Take every opportunity to improve your health.
  3. The sooner you get over yourself, the sooner you begin living the life you’ve always wanted.
  4. Learn to fix things, as many things as possible. To do this, you must be unafraid to break things, to fail… and, by doing so, you learn to ask for help.
  5. Learn to build a fire, cook on that fire, and make coffee from that fire.
  6. Learn to run, learn to ruck, and climb mountains.
  7. To love others, you must first learn to love yourself.
  8. Gain wisdom. Much happiness will be earned, and much unnecessary anguish will be removed from your life.1
  9. Follow the greatest commandment. Dive into its understanding and application, deeply — study all the contents surrounding it… from there, you will learn freedom.2
  10. Follow the second greatest commandment, in the same way.2
  11. Help others, when it is your turn — do no hesitate when that time comes.
  12. Do not wish life was easier, “wish you were better”3 at confronting the struggles before you. Then, train.
  13. “Be the teammate they deserve.”4 It’s not about you. Learn to serve others above and beyond how you would regard yourself.5
  14. Give 100%, all the time. This is especially important in marriage. If you give 100% and your spouse gives 100%; as we are all imperfect people, you each may only give out 90% — but, that means the relationship… the marriage unit… is operating at 180%.
  15. Learn to fight. Whether it is Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Kali, Sambo, Judo, Shuai Jiao… you don’t need to be a master. You just need to learn, become good when good is enough. What you will learn is respect for your fellow human… and, what you will gain is humility. What you will become, is dangerous — this is good. Only a dangerous sheepdog can protect the flock from predators.
  16. Learn to make peace.6
  17. Learn how to shoot — sling shot, bow, javelin, pistol, shotgun, rifle… whatever it is, you will learn to appreciate discipline in skill, and safety above all.
  18. Learn how to fish.
  19. Learn how to grow a crop.
  20. Be kind.
  21. Develop gentleness.
  22. Practice discipline, and self-control. You will learn patience.
  23. Respect everyone, especially when you don’t agree with them.
  24. Never tell lies, and never tell half-truths… withholding the truth, many times, becomes worse than a lie.
  25. Pray for your enemies; never wish harm upon others.
  26. Don’t get mad, get even.
  27. The loudest person in the room, is the weakest person in the room.7
  28. Lashing out means you have nothing — only your anger, and your loneliness.
  29. Drink and consume, carefully… and, at your own risk.
  30. Lift heavy things, pet dogs, and drink lots of water.
  31. Learn to take a punch, both figuratively and literally. You will develop thick skin.
  32. Learn to check a kick; learn also hand destructions — sometimes, removing the weapon of the enemy is more effective.
  33. Simple is not easy.
  34. Strengthen your character, before you strengthen your mind. Strengthen your mind, before you strengthen your body.8
  35. Learn to build with wood.
  36. Discover empathy. Use it to learn compassion. However, show evil no mercy.
  37. Protect those who are weaker.
  38. Never be afraid to ask for directions, or to ask for water.
  39. Buy a hot meal for someone in need. Thank them for their time.
  40. Tell the women in your life that you love them. Start with your wife, your mother, your sister… and, so on. Show it through service, and a listening ear.

The lessons above come in no particular order, nor importance. There will be time when one lesson will become more important than another; there will be times when perhaps none shall apply; there will also be times when all apply, all matters, and the stakes are serious.

These are mere 40 lessons that came top of mind as I was writing them down on a piece of paper in the last day of me being 39. Maybe they will be of help to my son. Maybe they will be of help to you. Maybe they will be of help to someone you choose to share them with.

Be well. Be strong. Be true.

References and Quotes:

  1. The book of Proverbs
  2. Matthew 22:36-40
  3. Cadre JC – 2022 Nov, GORUCK Marine Recon Raider Heavy
  4. Cadre Cleve – 2022 Nov, GORUCK Marine Recon Raider HEAVY
  5. Philippians 2:3
  6. Matthew 5:9 
  7. Frank Lucas, American Gangster
  8. Romans 12:2