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For as long as I can remember, I've loved self-help books. There's a thrill that I get from knowing that I don't actually know all of the answers, and that there are many folks before me that have wagered some good guesses in terms of why we are all here, what things can make the journey a little more interesting and fulfilling, and how to maneuver through the sometimes-good and sometimes-bad terrain we've come to know as Life? My father handed me my first one (actually, there were three of them). They are tiny books measuring about 3.5 X 4 inches that have no more than 40 pages to them (each page contains one, maybe two sentences/quotes) and aren't wide enough to have room to have anything printed on the spine. They are by Dr. Robert Anthony, and they are simply titled Think (1983), Think Again (1986), and Think On (1988). These three books are what sparked a life-long quest in me for the answers and an insatiable thirst for self-help advice (as my bookshelves of books can attest).

While some things haven't changed (I still have those three books on my bookshelf after all of these years and many changes in my residence), many things have changed. I no longer work for the Great American Cookie Company or Popeye's Chicken, and my carefree days where my only job was to concentrate on my schooling are over. I have been trying my hand at creating my place and paths in the world with various adventures as an owner of a virtual concierge service, an owner of a caricature-style map company, a real estate agent, and now an author. I am also now an adult charged with the responsibility of raising a child the best that I can. (I'm finding that to be more challenging at times than it was starting a business).

In raising my ten-year old son (at the time of this writing), I became keenly aware of a few truths. First, raising a child in these days and times is VERY different than when my parents had the job raising me many years ago. I can't leave my front door unlocked for long, and he can't leave the house on a summer morning and not return until the streetlights begin to flicker.

Second, something universal seems to happen when a child enters their teen years they all think that their parents don't know the first thing about what it's like to be them (I said the same thing to my parents)! They all seem to get that glassy look in their eyes as they stare deep into the vast wasteland of the cheek or nose of an adult who tries to tell them something for their own good, as if they are thinking "You don't know what you are talking about.. you are from Mars."

And third, the things that my parents tried to tell me when I was growing up were... RIGHT for the most part (there's that child in me still refusing to admit that they did know what they were talking about). There really are universal truths in the world that transcend the ages and apply to everyone. The trick is WHEN you get exposed to them, and IF you are receptive to embracing them when you do get the exposure. I didn't have a book like this when I was growing up, but I sure wish that I had. I would have named it "If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now!" ,but that title wouldn't be embraced by teens, tweens or young adults, so that's why this book isn't called that. This book is meant to be a classic... a book that will transcend the ages, will still be applicable 40 years from now, and will hopefully (if I can pull it off as I am planning) leave this world a better place than I found it one person at a time.

This book is dedicated to my son Kaleb, who continues to teach me things DAILY.