10 Memories From 6 Years Old & 20 Pieces of Advice for My Son On His 6th Birthday


My BEST Dude, Just Shy of 2 Years Old :)
My BEST Dude, Just Shy of 2 Years Old 🙂

June 26th, 2014

Today my son turns 6 years old.

Time flies too fast. I track time with my own memories.

I remember being 6 years old like it was yesterday. Here I am, 38 years old and I worry about time quite often, which is why I live the way I do, take the chances and risks I do.

Time is the ONE thing you can NEVER get back. I'd like to share some memories from when I was 6 and some advice for my best friend, my son, Ethan.

I hope you enjoy and learn a few things 🙂

10 Memories From 6 Years Old

1) When I was 6 I was riding big wheels with my friends, racing down the hills on the sidewalks and crashing into garbage cans we set up along the sidewalks. I bet the neighbors hated us, ha ha.

2) I got my first BMX Bike at age 6. It was spray painted red and was used. My Dad brought it home on the way home from work one week night.

3) The other kids laughed at me because they all had the new bikes. My Dad told me it was a bike that was used in BMX races. Not sure if that was true or not. But he did it to make me feel better.

4) My brother and I shared our room with a bunk bed.

5) Every day my brother and I woke up to a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk. My parents had already left the house for work.

6) My Dad always left the house at 6 am and got home at either 6 or 7 pm on the dot.

7) I played Soccer at The Fords Soccer League. I remember kids made fun of my name all the time. I was too scared to stand up for myself so I let them pick on me.

8) My Dad took my brother and I to someone's home to see their dog. Her name was Tara and she was a doberman. She chased us around the entire house and I had no clue my Dad was getting this dog. We went home with her and she was my first Doberman.

9) My brother would run Tara every morning and afternoon. My Dad would walk her at night.

10) I met my best friends at age 6. To this day, we're still best friends. We don't need to talk to each other all the time and have ZERO expectations from one another. But, if any of us needed a favor for one another, the favor would be done, NO questions asked. We've been bros for life since I was 6.

10 Pieces of Advice for My Best Friend,

My Son, On Your 6th Birthday

My Babies. Even when they grow up and grow older, they will always be my babies :)
My Babies. Even when they grow up and grow older, they will always be my babies 🙂

1) Don't be mean to people. Never make fun of others or talk rudely / negatively behind their back. That is what fake, weak people do. They put down others to make themselves look better and often have a God complex.

Don't put others down, instead, lift them UP.

2) Do your best at everything. EVERYTHING. Even if you don't like it, do it with your BEST efforts.

3) Always love your sister. Protect her and take care of her. She will be your best friend for a lifetime.

4) Don't ever be afraid to ask me for help. I will ALWAYS be strong enough to carry you on my back. ALWAYS.

5) Never fear being different. If your gut instincts and your heart tells you something, don't deny it, LIVE it. Believe in yourself first & foremost and RUN with your dreams.

6) Think BIG. Unfortunately, schools and many other people will likely try to encourage you to be "normal", to stay in line, to color INSIDE the box. This doesn't give you the green light to have poor grades in school. Instead, think BIG and turn your dreams into reality. ANYTHING is possible. If you dream it and believe it, it CAN BE DONE.

7) Inspire others. You were put on this earth to change the world for the better. You will be remembered for how you changed the world and inspired others to live a greater life.

8) The Obstacle is the way (Thank you, Ryan Holiday). Don't avoid or fear the challenges, the hard work and the "obstacles". These are ALL tests and roads that lead to greatness. Nothing great was ever achieved with ease. Hard Work is something MANY avoid.

Don't make excuses, instead, be responsible and take action.

That being said, read these 2 books: NO Easy Day & Lone Survivor. They will remind you what REALLY hard work is about.

9) Give Back, Pay It Forward. Don't forget why I was always able to kiss you goodnight and enjoy all the amazing times we had at the beach, on vacations, mountain biking, going to the gym and more. There are brave men and women out there fighting to protect us so bad people can't hurt us.

Take care of the military and our veterans. Your Mommy and I were young when 9-11 happened. It changed the way I cherished our freedom and safety.

When I kiss you and your sister goodnight every night, I silently thank our Military at the same time.

Pay it Forward by helping others in need. Expect ZERO in return. Paying it forward is to give with your heart.


10) Learn to say sorry and to let go. This is very difficult and I was never good at this. It took me a long time to even get somewhat good at these 2 things.

You can't be free if you always hold a grudge.

People make mistakes.

Some people make mistakes and know they are hurting you, sometimes people make mistakes and truly don't realize they are hurting you.

Let it go, move onward and upward. The right people will remain your friends, the wrong people will simply not be meant to be in your life.

Let it go. Onward AND Upward.

11) Train your mind AND body to be STRONG. Do things that challenge you physically and mentally, do the things you fear. Get comfortable being UNcomfortable.

12) Wrestle. Wrestling will teach you how to be disciplined, how to bounce back from set backs and losses, how to tolerate pain, how to thrive under pressure, how to compete.

Wrestlers are the Original Gladiators. Engage in hand to hand combat.

13) Laugh and Love often. Sometimes life gets stressful, busy and intense. That's OK. Thrive in those times but learn to let them go and have FUN. Spend time with the people you love.

14) Time is the MOST important thing. You can NEVER win back the time you lost. If opportunity presents itself, go for it so you don't live a life of regret.

15) Understand the 2 pains in life.


16) Read inspiring autobiographies and read every day.

At the least, read 2 pages every night. It will calm your mind before going to sleep.

17) Spend time in nature, away from the noise of the common world.

Take adventurous trips. Fishing, etc. These times away from the noise of the world will cleanse your soul and help you think clearly.

18) Don't steal from others. Earn it ALL.

If it's not the right thing, you will know deep down.

19) Be a LEADER, NOT a follower.

It will be hard, as are all things worth achieving. Sometimes you might even feel lonely by not following.

Followers are weak. They don't care to stand for what is right vs wrong, they only care to fit in. Be a Leader, it will pay off, I promise you.


You can do whatever you want to do. You and your sister are the GREATEST thing to ever happen to me.

You have GREATNESS inside of you. Don't ever take that lightly. Change this world and do what YOU love.


Best Buds 4 Life



10 Responses

  1. Awesome words!! Congrats on your sons 6th b-day!! My daughter is 6 & my wife is carrying our 2nd . I don’t think our kids will ever understand how much we love them. I often have to remind myself it’s not my job to make her love me as much as love her. It’s not possible it’s our job as parents to prepare them for life. It looks like you do an awesome job at that.

    1. Bruce BIG thanks, my man and congrats on your new arrival!!!!

  2. Wow, Z. You hit the nail on the head.

    I love the fact that you have that line of communication open with your son. As a military leader, it took me a long, LONG time before I realized that I could teach my boys (9, and 6 years old) to be just as amazing as my Soldiers. I just needed to talk to them like a father, friend, and mentor.

    You continue to inspire me, brother. Keep it up, and enjoy your sons special day!

  3. Great post, Z!
    Those words of wisdom will be a big help to your little buddy as her grows up.

  4. Awesome post Zach! I look forward to sharing similar advice with my little ones. I remember growing up sharing a room with bunk beds too. Haha. We use twice top bunk as the top turnbuckle and flew off that shit like Macho Man Randy Savage haha.

  5. Terrific post, Zach! Happy Birthday to your son. My two young men will be 19 and 22 this year (older one graduating from U at Christmas). I share a lot of love and thoughts with them too. This post summarized a lot of meaningful guidance to live a great life and I will be sharing with them.
    Enjoy your family day!

  6. Mike Guardiola says:

    Very inspiring. Bunk beds, bikes, and best friends. Man all this hits close to home. I really like how you took the advice to your younger self a step further.

    “If you talk to your children, you can help them to keep their lives together. If you talk to them skillfully, you can help them to build future dreams.” ~ Jim Rohn

    Right on Man!

    Mike G.

  7. Wonderful Words-your kids are lucky to have you as their Dad. My Navy Dad ran his household like his Destroyers:), but having all girls he was lbig on discipline and respect(no talking back to Mom),everybody helped with chores, got along with each other(sibling rivalry), but made a lot of time for play with us. This is different world your kids are going to grow up in. They’ll be more than prepared

  8. Awesome post that every giving parent can relate to. Good stuff.

    While I don’t have all these agendas in my yard I do have 2 more religious rules:

    a) no kicking in the house! (with 3 boys in tha house its a golden rule)
    b) no bad mouthing and telling tales to others! not even to us parents!
    a good friend will always hold your side and will never ever tell bad things about you.

  9. This is so inspiring. My wife is pregnant of 2 months and reading this made me think that these words represent the wishes for the future we want for our children. This is what drives me evey single day.

    Best wishes for you and your family.

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