#1780 Your Life Only Gets Better…

When You Dominate These Few Things…

In our last +1, we chatted about Tim Kennedy and his fantastic book, Scars and Stripes.

We talked about the origin story of that title as we MADE THE CONNECTION between your biggest challenges and your biggest leadership growth moments.


Although this is DEFINITELY *not* a self-help book, it IS definitely a read-it-and-you-can’t-help-but-get-better book.

I’m pretty sure that the ONLY time Tim gives EXPLICIT how-to advice is on the second page of the introduction. The rest is a demonstration of those truths and the story of the life experiences that helped him forge that wisdom.

Here’s what he tells us two pages into the book…

“Your life only gets better when you do a few things:

  1. Take accountability for it. It’s your fault.
  2. Failure is going to happen. When it does, see number 1. If you want to fail less, see numbers 3-7.
  3. An ounce of prevention prevents a pound of cure. The best time to start preparing is right now.
  4. You cannot mass-produce elite people. They need to be forged from hard experiences. If you want to be one of them, you need to seek these challenges consistently.
  5. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For some people that means therapy. For some people that means yoga and a cup of tea or fishing with the family. For me that means embracing a constant struggle. Rejecting comfort makes me . . . well . . . comfortable.
  6. Surround yourself with good people striving to also improve themselves.
  7. Build goals and pursue them to the end of the earth.

No matter where you are in your life, putting yourself on this path will change everything.”

A few paragraphs later, Tim tells us why he wrote the book which includes the fact that he wants “people who are reading this thing, who feel like total losers with no way out, to see a path forward and get the f*ck after it. I want them to start LIVING.”

As I read the book and all the incredibly hard times Tim faced early on in (and throughout) his life, I thought of David Goggins and Adam Brown.

I repeat: Tim was kicked out of the fire department AND the police department. Then he got TWO women pregnant in the span of FOUR days. During that time in his life, he swam out in the ocean and nearly killed himself.

Then, after 9/11, he enlisted in the Army, pulled it together and created a life of astonishing purpose and meaning (that, of course, continued to be filled with extraordinary challenges).

As you may know…

David Goggins failed to excel in the military as a young man and was a 300+ pound exterminator when he was inspired to join the Navy and become a SEAL. Recruiters literally laughed at him.

He figured out how to get enlisted and conquered countless obstacles to activate his Heroic potential/fulfill his mission to be one of the toughest, most inspiring human beings in the world.

(Check out our Notes on Can’t Hurt Me and Never Finished for more.)

Adam Brown was addicted to crack cocaine, arrested for over a dozen felonies and completely lost. He was lucky enough to be supported by his tough-love parents and pastor and found HIS purpose in the US Navy as well.

His story of redemption is beyond inspiring.

(Check out our Notes on Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown for more.)


What do ALL of those guys have in common—beyond hitting their idiosyncratic version of absolute rock bottom?

They followed Rule #1 and took accountability for their lives—recognizing their failures were THEIR fault.

Stephen Covey would nod and agree.

Habit #1 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is EXACTLY that.

We must “Be Proactive.” We must take responsibility for our lives.

Jocko Willink would definitely nod and agree.

He wrote an entire book on the subject called Extreme Ownership.

Back to you...


If so, carry on.

If not, get on that.

Today’s the Day.


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