If you recall from episode #1, the 1st Key is all about creativity, fantasies, hope, dreams, inspiration, passion. All pretty “woo woo” stuff.

The 2nd Key is where that “woo woo” hairy fairy stuff gets physical and real. This is where we begin to ‘land the plane’ so to speak.

The 2nd Key is all about taking stock of the present and taking care of business. It’s about being present in the here and now.

Listen to Episode Three of the Each Generation Stronger™ podcast and learn the following:

  • Why dreaming about the future (the 1st key) will put you in danger to the mugger in the parking lot wanting to beat you up and steal your car and money.
  • Why focusing too much on the future isn’t where your focus should be if you want your business to profitable, or if you want to have enough money for retirement.
  • Why families are the first to sabotage you from reaching your dreams


The 2nd Key is about being practical. In terms of business and finances, it’s all about having a budget. Making sure you spend less than you bring in. Making sure you eat healthy and work out.


Have you ever watched a suspenseful movie with someone who had already seen it and couldn’t keep his or her mouth shut, spoiling the experience for you by blurting out what was about to happen next? The zombie popping out from the dark hallway just isn’t as scary when you know it’s there and you expect to see it.

Awareness in your own life does something similar. When you know what’s going on, suddenly things aren’t so scary anymore. Why?


When you become completely aware of what’s happening around you, you shift your perspective because you’re now connecting with the big picture. The moment you look at a situation from a different, wider angle, your entire situation changes.

Awareness is key in business and in a family. As the successful businessman and coach Keith Cunningham says, you need to get really, really clear on what exactly is going on.

Keith Cunningham is the real “Rich Dad” behind the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” book and seminars that you may have heard about.

He stresses that…


In fact, when I attended one of Keith’s seminars called the “4-Day MBA,” he passed out bracelets that said “What Don’t I See?”

As my Ukrainian wife, Alexandra, bluntly points out, business and relationships are the same. It’s just that business is “more cruel.”

In other words, you could be in a bad marriage or have a bad relationship with one of your kids. Engaging with the other person may be emotionally draining for you. Things just don’t work. Yet you maintain the relationship because, after all, you’re family and families are supposed to stay together. If you had the same problem relationship in the business world, you would more quickly cut ties and move on.

It’s harder to see the big picture in the family context. Psychologically, we tend to get accustomed to a certain manner of behaving, and we just take it for granted.


One of the important lessons I’ve learned is the importance of being happy in the present, right here, right now. Being present. Not worrying about “out there” or “back when,” but concentrating on how to appreciate the world we live in, right now.

What do I mean by “being present?” If I’m driving my car, I minimize distractions and focus on operating the vehicle as if it were going to be the last thing I did in life. I feel the soft but taut leather of the steering wheel. I feel the bumps of the road. I notice the cars around me. The people. The passing trees and houses. I pay attention. My mind wants to take me out of the process and start an endless circle of worries, plans, daydreaming, listening to the news. But instead of getting wrapped up in that drama, I simply say to myself, “Thank you for sharing, but I’m just going to drive this car right now and enjoy the day.” Since practicing being present, I’ve been able to replace much of the stress in my life with peace of mind.


This is one of those fundamental things—nothing’s going to be right unless you figure out how to appreciate this world and appreciate how to live and be happy right now.

I spent my life surrounded by people who never found themselves, who avoided the truth or helped cover it up. I’m not sure my stepfather was happy; I’m certain my mother wasn’t.

And my biological father, who I barely knew?

It pains me every time I think about the self-imposed solitude he put himself through. Did he end up finding what he wanted? I’ll never know.


My mother spent her days engrossed in hiding from the past, denying who she was, and, by so doing, she was denying me finding out who I was. She was incapable of being present because her mind was filled with the past. She never learned how to appreciate this world or how to be happy right now.

Abraham Lincoln captured it perfectly when he said…

“Most folks are about as happy
as they make their minds up to be.”

I want to be happy. I’ve made up my mind to be happy. Have you?

We’re taught in advertising, in the media, in church and in school that we need to do X in order to be happy.

X might be buying a new car, purchasing a cologne or perfume to attract the person of our dreams, getting this university degree, buying those great clothes. Yet, if you and I were to acquire all those things, would “it” make you happy?

My guess is “No”. Then what? Do we keep buying things? No! Instead, happiness is a choice. You can simply skip step X and be happy in your present circumstances and surroundings.

That single decision, the decision to be happy right now, will change your life. It has changed mine.


When another person has wronged you, it’s treacherously easy to become consumed with feelings of anger, resentment and an unquenchable thirst for justice or revenge. I could easily have chosen that path. But I’ve seen what that kind of mentality does to people in my work as a probate lawyer and in my own life. The way I see it, you have two choices:

You can choose to be right, or
you can choose to be rich.

And by rich I’m not necessarily referring to your bank account (though the two are often connected). I’m talking about being rich in relationships and rich in joy and contentment with life.

If you have any specific questions, please share them below.
If you’d like to be a guest and share your experience, just contact me here.


What brings you to the present?
What makes you happy?
How would your life be different if you became more aware of your surroundings than you are right now?
What if starting today you stopped pointing fingers at others and instead decided that you are going to own every situation that happened or is not happening in your life?

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