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Are you already feeling run around by your September schedule? Colin Powell dishes out some old school straight talk in “Kids Need Structure.” What else would you expect from the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Having structure doesn’t need to be restrictive. First Lady Michelle Obama once explained, “I do well in order. My children do well in order. There’s no question about what they’re going to do after school because they know that’s homework time. They know dinner is at 6:30.”

Establishing a general rhythm and flow isn’t simply a high-minded principle or good habit; it has a real world result. Powell cites a sobering stat: Children who are behind in reading in the third grade are prime candidates to be in jail by the time they are 18.

Hopefully you spent this week working on Julia Cameron’s advice to “start with what makes you excited“. If you’re still not quite sure what that is, General Powell has two ideas to kick start the road to success: “Look for that which you do well and that which you love doing.” You’ll laugh along with him as he recalls the ups and downs of different college majors. (Geology? Really?) Their miserable failure led him to ROTC, a perfect match.

Whether you are organizing your kids’ schedule or setting the tone for your own life, you have your marching orders. Now it’s time to invent a customized Soul Boss framework which will help you create, be productive and have fun. As he likes to hear from his enthusiastic student audiences, “Yes, General!”

Enjoy!