I turned 40 today. Here's what I know.

For one, I'm blessed. Blessed to have two wonderful young daughters, a beautifully-perfect & supportive wife, and plenty of family and friends that I like to think care deeply about me (even if we don't regularly stay in touch).

Another thing's for sure, I often wonder how my loved ones are doing. It's easy to ask the question, but seldom do we hear the truth. It's not that they're defensive, just that many of us are conditioned to not be a burden in other people's lives. Quite simply, we don't want to worry anyone.

And while I see my close kins experiencing countless joys, I know that many experience pain, some on a daily basis. Whether it be physical, mental, or emotional - we all suffer. When we're young we somehow know it's in the forecast, yet because we're not ready to accept it, we pause those feelings that would otherwise be brought to the surface. And when we hit 40, or at least in my case, we wish we could turn back the clock to repair all of the damage that was done while ignoring the whirlwind going on inside and out.

So here we are, or here I am, rather. Forty years old, as stubborn as a man in his eighties, and with the eyes of a newborn. Life ahead looks good, but is it because I'm a dreamer, or because I actually have things going for me? I believe it's both. But if I don't take the decision to act right now, I might blink only to see my old self display a sigh of regret, saying "I had everything I needed to be happy".

We know who we are, we know what we've been through, and we know what we're capable of. Our problem is that we attempt to measure the degree to which our character can lend itself, how much we've learned thus far (and how far it can take us), and the indescribable force that unconditional love carries.

My children, my wife, my family, my extended family, my friends, the communities I strive to serve... These are what drive me at 40; they're my measure of success. I would like a sound body, mind, and spirit, but I first and foremost want peace for the kindhearted individuals that make up my world. I can't change anyone or their past experiences nor do I want to. What I want is the ability to make an impactful difference as we move forward - not yesterday, not tomorrow, today. This is all we'll ever need.