Those Who Have Died in Battle…

Or should I say, died fighting for our country. Our freedom. Our safety. Our ability to live in comfort.

Memorial Day is on the horizon. Out of curiosity, I googled it.

And I learned that the day used to be called Decoration day and it originated in the years following the civil war —–> the war where we fought each other.

I remembered reading about the amount of lives being lost in the civil war, so I googled that to remind me.

Approximately 620,000 soldiers lost their lives.

To put this into perspective. The combined total of all other American conflicts is around 644,000 (WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Revolutionary, War of 1812, Mexican War, Iraq-Afghanistan, Spanish American, and Gulf).

Approximately 1,264,000 American soldiers have died.


This led me to learn that the bloodiest battle of the civil war was at Gettysburg (roughly a 4 hour drive from my home) – 51,000 casualties.

Which led me to the remarkable Gettysburg Address. While reading “Team of Rivals” some years back about the rise of Lincoln into presidency and the civil war, I took note of this address. Lincoln was known to be a remarkable speaker. Beyond that, he is a great inspiration to me becuase of his deep humility, approach, character, honesty, and fairness.

The speech is below. It helps to note that the word “score” in Lincoln’s address was a word that meant 20 when talking about years. Thus, when he says “Four score and seven years ago” he is referring to the signing of the Declaration of Independence 87 years (4 score is 4 x 20 + 7) earlier by the Founding Fathers.

The first and last sentences definitely worth a read.

Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

-Abraham Lincoln | Thursday, November 19, 1863

I have many wonderful things to be thankful for in my life. This weekend being spent with family and friends is one of them.

Ultimately, that came at the great cost of far too many.

There is old greek proverb that I’m reminded of.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

People fought and died 155 years ago for the hot dogs we’ll eat this weekend. That’s a brutal thought.

I know that it’s much more than that. But I emphasize that image to help us all swallow the deep sense of gratitude that it deserves. The Appreciation that is required.

People continue to fight and die today. Or suffer with catastrophic injuries and PTSD.

These people. All of these people. Are my HERO’S.

With love.


Dip in the Fire

“I wear the scars of  a battle that I have never seen.”

Pain is an international – cross race – cross class – 1 of a kind – common denominator.

We all have it.

Emotional, Physical, Mental.

And to the quote above, we all experience different levels.

I’m not going to say that we can all come back from life’s greatest pains.

I haven’t seen the wars that others battle. I can empathize, but in reality, I could never relate.

……..with that said, I stumbled upon a concept that I thought was worth sharing.

The Selection: Special Operations Experiment is a series on the History channel that puts 30 men and women with no military background through an authentic experience, led by veterans of the Navy SEALs, Green Berets and Army Rangers.

It’s Rad.

Episode 1 is entitled “Dip in the Fire”.

In efforts of not ruining the great scene, I’ll just say that the process of sword making is explained.

The sword goes into the fire and the sword comes back out.

The sword goes back into the fire and the sword comes back out.

Again, and Again.

And in the process, the sword gets stronger.

This simple notion has created an entirely new perspective for me.

The hard day at work. The difficult conversation. The workout. The house work. The relationship issue.

It’s all a dip in the fire.

“Sometimes the only thing left to do is swing harder and faster than your being swung at.”

You don’t always choose to go in. But coming out stronger is inevitable.

My heart goes out to all of you in pain, and to those of you who have been truly broken by life’s greatest tragedies.

-Keep Fighting.



Rogue Warrior

I know I know I know. I’m on a Navy Seal RANT – I just can’t help it.

I mean, I like actors, athletes, writers, and business icons – but these Sea Air and Land guys really fire me up.

I’ll keep this short.

I picked up a book this week that I have had in mind for some time:

Rogue Warrior – The Explosive Autobiography of the Controversial, Death-Defying Founder of the U.S. Navy’s Top Secret Counterterrorist Unit Seal Team Six.

If you don’t recognize the name Seal Team Six. They are the most elite navy seal group out there. From what I have read, they can come in around $4 million per seal worth of training. They are the team that shot and killed Osama Bin Laden.

Now, I only finished the forward so I’ll hold back on recommending the book itself for now. You can check it out here and if you do buy it on this link, yes, I will make a few cents so I do thank you for that.

But the quote used in the beginning really fired me up – so I wanted to share here.

“It’s not the critic who counts…The credit belongs to the man who actually is in the arena, who strives violently, who errs and comes up short again and again…who if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement, but who if he fails, fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt

It’s a great way to end this week.

The only opinion of you that counts is your own.

You are held truly accountable to only yourself and have to live by no one else’s standards.

Criticism is for weak people who observe from the sidelines. For people who are too scared to go for it. Who think that the world owes them a favor.

Rest assured, these ego minded observers are full of fear.

When you go for it. When you give it your all. For you. And For What you Want…..

You are a warrior.

And you are in battle. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. Those who lay it on the line, are the ones who bathe in fulfillment.

Win or lose. Succeed or Fail. The all in struggle is the glory of life.

Have a super weekend!





Navy Seals – Lighting A Fire

The harder you train in peace time, the less you bleed in war time.

I have a lot of mentors and look up to many great men and women.

In so many journey’s I find inspiration, wisdom, direction, and love.

But there are a very select few that get a pedestal above everyone else.

And they are, the Navy Seals.

I am fascinated with them for many reasons:

  1. They are insanely intelligent
  2. They endure what has become known as the toughest physical training known to man – yet, it’s actually the mental training that is even more difficult than the physical
  3. They are tactical, strategic, and extremely lethal
  4. They live and die by Standard Operating Procedures
  5. They are flat out BAD ASS MEN, in every way possible
  6. They execute with near flawless excellence – at performance levels that transcend normal human capabilities
  7. They tap into high performing flow states like Buddhist monks
  8. They hunt down bad people and arrange appointments with the devil
  9. They are machines that cost anywhere from $500k to $2M dollars worth of high vale training
  10. They expect 0 recognition

All military men and women are my hero’s. You provide a life for me and for so many that we couldn’t have otherwise. And I love you for that.

But call me silly, I just really idolize the Seals. I wish I could put posters of them on my walls. They come alive in the books that I can read, but they are still faceless and unknown hero’s in so many ways.

There is a saying that they like.

The harder you train in peace time, the less you bleed in war time.

This fires me up for life.

For every single obstacle coming down the pike.

It’s time to sweat.

Auctioning A Dead Horse

I heard this story a long time ago and thought it was hilarious so I am re-posting. I would give credit but I have zero idea where this ever came from.

A young man named Al bought a horse from a farmer for $250. The farmer agreed to deliver the horse the next day. The next day, the farmer drove up to Al’s house and said, “Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the horse died.”

Al replied, “Well, then just give me my money back.”

The farmer said, “Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.”

Al said, “Ok, then, just bring me the dead horse.”

The farmer asked, “What ya gonna do with him?”

Al said, “I’m going to raffle him off.”

The farmer said, “You can’t raffle off a dead horse!”

Al said, “Sure I can, Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.”

A month Later, the farmer met up with Al and asked, “What happened with that dead horse?”

Al said, “I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at five dollars a piece and made a profit of $2495.”

The farmer said, “Didn’t anyone complain?”

Al said, “Just the guy who won. So I gave him his five dollars back.”

Al grew up and now works for the government.

Lighting Your Fire – #4

Boom. I’m back baby. Had the vacation of my life and ready to “hit the ground running” – Now, there’s some corporate BS slang for ya’ll.

If you ever hear someone say, “let’s get you ready to hit the ground running” – you should


Ok, where were we?

Ah yes, the 5 massively transformational habits that have profoundly shaped my life for the better.

Who am I? Who cares. These will help you I can guarantee you that. If you really want to know the outcome of these 5, follow now for #5 sent straight to your inbox.

Lighting Your Fire #1: Create a morning ritual that makes you jump out of bed. You should wake up every morning with a smile and an ecstasy for life.

Lighting Your Fire #2: Change Your Inputs – Change Your Life. Similar to this topic is the power of BEAUTIFUL REFERENCES in your life.

Lighting Your Fire #3: The amazing power of Gratitude and hand written thank you notes. Itching to feel liberated? Urning to break the invisible chains of society that are seemingly strangling you to death? Send someone a hand written thank you note. And don’t hold back you (word that rhymes with Tussy) – Pour your heart out. Open up. Leave dried up tear marks on the paper. You will instantaneously feel…………Fekin wonderful.

Ok, so that brings us to #4. Something my long time followers (i.e. > 1 week) have heard me iterate before.


In 1952, there was a plane traveling across the Atlantic. When they seemingly were directly in the center of the shark infested waters, the pilot realized that they were too heavy and the plane was going down……

FEKIN A – someone yelled.

They quickly scrambled and tossed out all of the luggage.

It helped. But it didn’t help enough.

Within minutes, they devised a model for identifying the most valuable lives on the plane. Women and kids stay along with the 4 guys big enough to throw everyone else off.

It was mayhem but off they went.

A shark feast ensued.

That never happened. Or if it did, probably under different circumstances. But you giggled and got the point.

We have so much baggage weighing us down it is almost insane when we stop and think about it.

If you take a minute to think about this, you will realize that I don’t need to spend too much time emphasizing how powerful it is. So I won’t.

What I will emphasize is the counter intuitive aspect of this thinking. We all believe that we need to start doing “something” to find happiness and fulfillment. Well, that takes work.

Want a shortcut?


Quit the toxic relationship.

Quit socializing with “acquaintances” – how are you ever going to deepen relationships if you don’t?

Quit eating Mother KUKING (stole that from niece when she was 3) fast food and other TOXIC GARBAGE.

Quit hanging out with bums – You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most so choose them wisely.

Quit the sugar intake. Quit the tv. Quit the phone. Quit all the BS and FIND LIBERATION. 

You got this.


I write awesome stuff (humbly) – join now.

My BS Filter

Everywhere you look today there is someone voicing a major opinion on a major issue in a massively annoying way. Hell, this blog may be one of them.

Free Speech?

Ya, reserved for those intelligent enough to explore issues, unravel opposing thoughts, and articulate something from deep inside…..Something genuine and real.

I get it. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.


If you are ranting and raving on your social platforms, there are only two possible truths.

1: People think that you are well informed, know what you are talking about, and appreciate your view point.


2: People think that you sound like an asshole. Becuase, you’re an asshole.

Luckily for those people sitting in #2, I’ve invented a quick way for people to test which one they are.

I call it my BS Filter.

It’s easy. Here goes:

Question 1: Do you voice a lot of opinions on social media. If yes, proceed to Question 2. If No, please stop here.

Question 2: Name 3 people outside of politics that are changing the world for good in a massive way.

If you can name 3, good for you. You may still be an a-hole, but at least you pay some attention to the world beyond the walls of popular media outlets.

However, if you cannot……


You are a certified Asshole.

Here’s why. You spend all of your time talking. You clearly have no interest in people who are actually doing things to change the world.

In all honesty. I was a ranter and raver for a long time. I finally switched my INPUTS and found meaningful people who are making massive contributions to this world for the good. I realized that there is power in action and that useless ranting was just BAGGAGE weighing me down.

This post is not intended to insult. I actually hope it provides some encouragement to people (like me) to explore inputs outside of popular media outlets that feed you garbage.

with love.



A Beautiful Reference

“Expand your references, and you’ll immediately expand your life.” – Tony Robbins

I had a phone call yesterday with a future renter of our beach condo. Him and his wife are snowbirds from Nova Scotia that come to Panama City Beach for an extended stay in the winter months (February – April).

During our conversation he made reference to how much him and his wife love coming to the beach and how their children made comment, on a recent visit, that they hope that they (the children) have this much fun when they are older.

“We’re showing them what they can look forward to” he said to me.

This comment immediately took me back to one of my first times visiting my aunt Helen and Uncle Joe at their lake home on Indian Lake, PA.

A single boat ride that changed my life.

I can’t remember things that I did over the past day, yet I remember insanely specific details of my experience out on their boat over 20 years ago.

I remember the fresh air. I remember the wind blowing in my face. I remember my head being on a swivel, taking in beauty like I have never seen before.

And more than anything, I remember wanting that life more than anything I have ever wanted.

I fell in love with something that I never knew existed until that day.

Yesterday, after that phone call, I had a similar experience. My family and I took a boat trip through St. Andrews Bay over to Shell Island. Upon arrival, we realized that we were the only ones there.

Looking out into that beautiful Ocean created another experience that will stay with me for years. It gave me a perspective of life and how wonderful it can be.

It reminded me that God is unbelievably amazing. And it reminded me that happiness comes in the people that I’m surrounded by. It made me question the time that I spend not doing the things that I love so much.

And more than anything else, it gave me a reference to build upon. Expansion comes from knowing (what you want & what is out there), wanting (building an appreciation so deep that it begins to drive your focus and your actions), and acting (taking steps in the right direction to make a vision come to reality).

A year and a half ago I had an idea of getting a property at the beach. 1 year later we were owners and in the process of renovation. 5 months later, we’re enjoying 10 days like I’ve never enjoyed 10 days before.

It started from a boat ride 20+ years ago along with a number of other highly influential experiences provided by mother, father and other close family members (Aunt Rene and Uncle Jim’s cottage at the river).

Remarkable milestones that led me to know what is out there.

This specific blog is so important to me because of how much it pains me to think of those that are not fortunate enough to have wonderful references to build upon or of those who do, but take them for granted.

My hope is this. You’ll search for something better. Better experiences, better relationships, better hobbies, better activities, better health, furthering your education, expanding your horizons, and building better references. A great starting place can be found in literature. A world of opportunity at your finger tips with amazing mentors and teachers.

The destination is unknown, yet the journey is beautiful.

with love.

Please share if you feel like others could benefit.

The Tony Robins quote is from his amazing book “Awaken the Giant Within“. I read this just a couple of years ago and it had an amazingly profound impact on my life. You can check it out via this link.

Assuming my Amazon count is now finally configured correctly, I will get a small kickback if you buy it. That helps support this labor of love.





Actually, what is with this word?

Like, we all use it constantly. Yet, in almost every form of our use, it’s


  • “Actually, that’s a good idea”
  • “Actually, I like that”
  • “Actually, that sounds awesome”

Actually…….here is what people really hear:

  • “Actually, that’s a good idea” -> I’m surprised by your idea
  • “Actually, I like that” -> I really didn’t think that I would like it but I do
  • “Actually, that sounds awesome” -> I assumed you were going to say something really stupid

This crutch word is becoming so popular, most people don’t even get insulted by it anymore.

That is, unless you’re a man, and make the drastic mistake of saying

“Actually, you look really good in that” -> I’m surprised that you actually look good babe

Regardless, it’s “ACTUALLY” really funny when you catch someone using this word in a negative context when they don’t even realize it.

So next time you get an “Actually”, try not to laugh when you think about how mean of a statement it “Actually” was.

If you liked this, follow now.

Insights from Afar

I wrestled with an idea on the beach yesterday. I was engulfed in a sense of happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time.

That special song on the radio. My woman by my side. My feet in the beautiful white sand. And the laughter of my daughter echoing in the breeze.

My monkey mind immediately went to battle with itself. I began wrestling with the idea of going back to normal. Normal, what the hell is that anyway?

I asked myself this.

How can I make more of this?

If I work hard enough, can I create more of these experiences. Can I include more of my friends and families?

And then it struck me. A ray of sun striking through the cloud and hitting me in the face.

A warm sensation that brought with it a strong notion.


I’m asking all of the wrong questions.

Asking how I can get one or two more experiences like this a year is like asking a coach if I can play in at least one game a year.

You don’t ask questions like that. If you want to play, then you get your ass up and you take control.

And in life, there is no coach. It’s an eat what you kill world. If you want it. Kill it. And then bask in it’s beautiful bloody glory.

The question is not, how do I afford more time off, the question is, how do I move mountains?

How do I create value like I’ve never dreamed of before. I’ve been having all of the wrong conversations with all of the wrong people.

I need a community of go getters. People that look beyond a notion of mediocracy and figure out how to have anything they want in life. Beautiful and deep relationships. The pleasure of working on whatever I want, whenever I want. The sun on my face. Laughter in the breeze. My family by my side.

The answer is to build big things. Own my own future. Create my own possibilities and leave them limited to NOTHING.

It’s a profound reality.

The Power we possess.

Most of it an untapped supply of limitless fuel.

Your decisions, your habits, your relationships, your vitality, your Now, your Future.

Your choices.

Those who tell you that you can’t, that you won’t, that you shouldn’t…….are anchors from hell.

They are the ones that probably hope that you won’t.

I no longer am hoping that something great will work out in my future. I realize I have the power to make that happen.

The pleasure of living comes with building your life, giving back to others, and enjoying everything that this beautiful world has to give.

with love.

-Chad Shipley