Personal Development

Seven Characteristics of a Man of Power


This is a short list of some of the characteristics that are shared by what I refer to as “Men of Power”, aka who we should all aspire to be in order to live the most badass, fulfilling lives possible. My upcoming release “Money, Muscle, and Sex: Becoming a Man of Power” will expound on these, and other, topics in greater detail, but for now, here’s a look at some of what separates the men of power from the men of mediocrity.



Call of Duty


 “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act, and in that action are the seeds of new knowledge”.

The above quote is one of my favorites, and one that has stuck with me for many years.

I was recently reminded of these words during a conversation with a friend about the differences between spending and investing ones time, and between producing and consuming, being a man of value.

This guy has been experiencing some down times in his life over the past two years. He’s a great guy with a great heart, but as of late, like has happened to so many of us, he’s been living a depressed existence, largely devoid of much enjoyment or pride in his actions.

He recently kicked a pretty serious drug habit that had rained down holy terror on his life for some time.

He’d missed out on a few great opportunities for employment due to his addiction, had ruined a great relationship with a wonderful girl, and had largely alienated himself, as so many addicts do, from most of his family.

Despite the fact that he’d racked up a massive victory in overcoming the life stealing compulsion that had taken the reigns in his life for so long, he found himself fixating on the destruction that his choices and actions had caused, and was trudging through his days with little hope or ambition that his future would ever be much more than his present. (more…)


Born Again Hard


After yesterday’s post Changing Your Identity I received an awesome email from Marco, a west coast client of mine who I worked with from late 2015 until his business travels resulted in a pause in his Coaching this past November. It was great to hear from him as always, and he reported that he had checked in on the site yesterday for the first time in a while (he’s in a pretty austere location at the moment) after receiving my email. He shared with me some thoughts on his experience over the past year that I thought were outstanding.

I reached out to Marco after his email and asked him for permission to post a portion of his message on here, as I believe that some of you may also enjoy sharing in Marco’s success. (more…)


Changing Your Identity


The idea for this post came to me while I was weighing my options as to how I could shake the Cartel assassins that were after me after a massive cocaine deal gone bad. They’d told me that they were “even going to kill the goldfish“, implying that no one around me was safe…

Actually that last part is only partially true, I was actually eating a hoagie from Mike and Emma’s and watching frilled neck lizards run on their hind legs on youtube (gets me every time), and I don’t even own a goldfish (obviously out of fear of the fate that they would succumb to if I were to botch a massive cocaine deal with the Cartel).

In any case the idea of changing your identity is something that I discuss frequently with my Coaching clients. Nine times out of ten we’re speaking figuratively, as will be discussed in this article. If you fall into the more literal camp though don’t worry, JP’s got a couple of Chinamen over on Arch street that can have you up and running with a passport, birth certificate, and library card while you wait for about a buck and a half. (more…)


Blacking Out


This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a guy I hadn’t seen since high school the other day, which echoed the sentiments expressed to me by quite a few of my clients in the beginning stages of our work together.

As a favor to a friend I was meeting with another guy about getting him a job with the county. Since I’m always on the go, and love dropping into new places, I chose a meet location close to his current residence, seeing as how he did not drive, a small, once booming dive bar that had changed hands years ago and seemingly had become something of a haven for those living a rather depressing existence. (more…)


More Than This…


A few nights ago I stepped into a bar in which I had never been. It was late, the place was open, I had just left a fundraiser dinner, and I was not quite ready to call it a night. Being a social person by nature I enjoy such excursions, particularly in new environments and around new people.

The scene was pretty wild. The crowd was young for the most part, the drinks were stout, and the music was loud.

As is typical in such settings, there were a handful of marginally attractive girls dancing awkwardly and a horde of eager, young men in backwards hats, ill-fitting untucked dress shirts, and sneakers that cost more than their checking account balance hovering about, all looking to earn the privilege of buying one of these irrationally confident princesses a vodka and red bull in hopes of sloppily making out later, and/or potentially taking a trip to planned parenthood in the days to come for a script to clear up the case of chlamydia that they rightfully earned. (more…)


Rest in Peace


Death is perhaps the only absolute certainty in the life of any man. It comes for us all, can strike without warning, and from it there is no return.

It’s said that knowledge of our own mortality is what separates us from animals. Some choose to use this knowledge of their ever depreciating time on this earth to motivate their push towards an excellent showing in life, while others painfully squander their precious breaths languishing in a situation that is less than what they are ultimately capable of producing for themselves.

One simple exercise that I use with Coaching clients that I have observed to be immensely powerful in solidifying one’s decision to change is the composition of a eulogy for their former self. (more…)


Acta Non Verba


“Actions, not words”.

This simple mantra has helped me tremendously in overcoming my times of hardship, and arguably even more so in those times of abundance when it’s all too easy to get comfortable.

It takes next to no effort to speak of doing something, whether outwardly, vocalizing it to yourself or others, or inwardly via your internal dialogue. (more…)


Becoming a Man of Power


It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to post anything on here.

Like you, I have a family and numerous other endeavors and commitments that require the allocation of my attention and energy disproportionately to some of my projects and passions. These past few months have been one of those times.

Much has happened during my “absence” (I really have missed you). I’ve blazed several new trails professionally, created some fantastic new relationships, and furthered my education and understanding of my various crafts through continuous study and application. I have positioned myself to experience perhaps the most pivotal year of my life in 2017, and I have to tell you, it’s a damn good feeling. (more…)


The Richest Place on Earth


This past week I had the honor and the privilege of participating in the “Wreaths Across America” program with the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). I drove with others to several cemeteries across Southeastern Pennsylvania and placed wreaths on the graves of fallen Veterans. It truly was a wonderful experience, and one that I will be taking on, on a larger scale, for many years to come.

All of that time walking through rows of graves, for hours on end, searching out the specific plots, some more well cared for than others, really got me thinking about something that I heard long ago, and that I echoed earlier this year in my “What is Freedom?” video. (more…)


Stay Alert… “STAY ALIVE!!!”


The title of this post comes from one of the many mantras that was first drilled into my mind, and shouted at the top of my lungs every nine seconds or so while attending the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning GA back in the year 2000 (you can see my dapper, awkward teen face in the above photo).

The teachings from those ever so gentle and understanding Infantry Drill Sergeants would go on to serve me well in the years to come, both at war, and since my departure from the service. (more…)


Yesterday’s You


If you had to go head to head with a clone of yourself from yesterday, who would come out on top?

I mean this not just in the physical sense, as in which “You” would dick kick, throat punch, and pink belly the other, but in an overall mental and physical preparedness/awesomeness sort of way.

I want you to pause for a second, stop philosophizing about whether a mutual handy with your clone would make you, him, both, or neither of you gay (if you weren’t thinking that, you are now… you’re welcome), and really give my question some thought. (more…)


The Johnny Pain Show Episode: 001


This is the first episode of my new podcast “The Johnny Pain Show”.

If you’ve been following things here since the beginning, you will enjoy the return to our podcasting roots involving a collection of buffoons spouting off about a variety of topics.

The show will be on available on iTunes shortly, as well as Soundcloud, and other outlets, but for now, you can download or listen to this episode right here on JPL.

We will be recording weekly for now, but are already discussing the option of making this show a five days per week debacle. I’ll certainly keep you all updated as we go. (more…)


The Uncomfortable Truth About Comfort


Comfort is a word that has a nice positive ring to it.

The word invokes a warm, fuzzy feeling that we all universally can recognize as something to be desired.

We all like “comfort foods”, the “Comfort Inn” sounds like a nice place to stay, the last tape measure I bought advertised a “comfort grip” (as if I’m returning home at night with my hand locked in a claw from overuse of one of the classic, much less “ergonomic” models after a long, long day of measuring the shit out of some things), hell, even the elastic waisted Mom jeans that I’m wearing right now with my Pro Keds feature a “comfort waist”.

Call me old fashioned, or crabby, or a copophile, but I think that comfort is downright evil.

Allow me to explain… (more…)


What are You Worth to the World?


So what’s so special about you?

What can you do?

What skills, talents, or abilities do you have that make you more valuable than the next guy?

While these questions may come off as abrasive, it is critically important that you possess the answers to each, and I’m going to let you in on the simple reason why:

Your worth to the world is entirely predicated on what you can do for other people. (more…)


“The Look”


What is “the look”?

The look is what I consider to be the default physique that I’ve found to be most desirable by the males whom I have coached and worked with over the years, as well as the most desirable physique for a male according to extensive polling we’ve conducted with those of the fairer sex.

The look is also what one can expect to develop while training hard in the Greyskull methods. (more…)


Your Personal Gold Mine


Wouldn’t it be great to own the deed to a gold mine that was recently discovered, and not yet mined for gold?

Would that not be a pretty amazing discovery, with almost limitless upside potential in your quality of life?

What if I told you that you DO own such a gold mine, and that you more than likely have not begun to harvest from it the riches that lay buried within its boundaries? (more…)


Ducks in a Row


Waiting to embark on a new journey that will benefit you and enhance your personal success until you’re “ready” and have all of your proverbial “ducks in a row” is one of the most crippling, and counterproductive things that you can do.

Recently I had a session with a new client who told me that he hated his job (all too common), and that he really wanted to start a personal training business. (more…)




Do you want to make more money than you’re currently making?

Would You like to increase your monthly income by 10%? 25%? 50%?

How about 300%?

Would that help things? (more…)


Lean Body, Fat Pockets


There are certainly worse ways to go through life, are there not?

What man would not want those words to describe his conditions?

Given the choice, would you rather be carrying 15-30lb more body fat than you probably should, with far less muscle than the person you envision when asked what your ideal body would be (more…)


Setting the Ships Ablaze


I’m frequently asked what prompted me to get tattooed to the level that I am (as if it was a decision that I made on one given day). Recently, while visiting some friends in a neighborhood bar after leaving my office, I was asked that very question by a rather inebriated young girl. (more…)


Are You a Self Made Man?


Everyone has used or at least heard the term “self made” at one point or another in describing someone who has accomplished something remarkable in their life. The term is used nearly exclusively in speaking on those who succeed, to the point that the term itself carries with it a strong linguistic association with success.

During a recent lunch outing with a good friend and client of mine, I chose to conduct an experiment on this very idea, in an impromptu manner, because it was relevant to the work that we were doing. (more…)


What You Don’t Want Requires No Effort


James Allen, in his classic book “As a Man Thinketh”, makes the observation that weeds will grow in your garden, in your lawn, or through cracks in the sidewalk in spite of your lack of effort to provide them with water, sunlight, or proper soil. Conversely, if you should want to grow roses, orchids, tulips, or any other sort of plant, you will need to put some serious effort into the process if you are to develop your crop.

This idea is profoundly metaphorical of our lives, and is one of the most impactful lessons that a person can learn. (more…)


Progress, Not Perfection


Last night I did a rare thing for me these days… I watched a movie.

Between working with my Personal and Business Growth Consulting clients, writing, training, spending time with my kids, and just being an all-around handsome man, I don’t get much time these days to kick back and watch a movie just for enjoyment.

The film in question was “The Equalizer”, starring the black JP, Denzel Washington.

Ultimately, I thought it got off to a solid start, but it lost me towards the end (I have the attention span of a two-year old kid when I’m not actively working on something that pertains to my businesses).

One part, or one line more specifically, that stuck out to me however echoed something that I say to my clients on a regular basis. (more…)