My latest video. Only four minutes long, but my story of how I redefined my life and who I was too become
Month: August 2015
KELLY MEET KELLY
Time to showcase two more of my amazing friends. Here are two of my good friends. Not only are they both wonderful ladies, they both happened to be named Kelly. They are two people who have brought joy and a fresh perspective into my life. They have some significant differences, but share some great qualities as well.
Kelly B, who is on the left I have known many years. We went to school together. Only in the past few years, however, have I really had the honor of getting to know her well. We both were bartenders at the time and she was throwing a themed party where she worked. Our mutual friend invited me and we began to chat. Through both stopping to see her at her places of work and the wonders of Facebook I discovered she was a stylist. It just so happened at the time I was in need of a haircut and went to her. Over the next few haircuts we learned a lot about each other and she gave me some advice I had shared earlier in this blog. (see Kelly’s words of wisdom May 9th, 2013) Since then she has discovered the love of her life and is the process of celebrating that. Another thing we have in common.
Kelly S, who happens to be the Kelly on the right I have only known about a year. In a short period of time she has brought a lot of laughs into the lives of both myself and my lovely lady Margie. Kelly stopped in at the bar I work on Monday night where I bartend and Margie is the DJ. Not only has she made everyone of our other customers feel at home, she always has a joke and a way to make people laugh. Kelly and I also share books and she has introduced me to several new authors as well as given me feedback on my own book. A final great quality Kelly brings to the table is this, she is always celebrating and cheering on the love I share with the lady in my life. Something that makes us both smile.
Here what I learned from these two ladies. Kelly B has taught me no matter how long you know someone their true treasure and value can only be enjoyed when you take the time to get to know them. Plus, you may have a great friend in your life for years before discovering how wonderful they are. Kelly S has reminded me how important it is to laugh. Showed me ways to make people feel welcome and part of the group. Also gives me someone to celebrate my amazing relationship with.
I am truly blessed to know both of these ladies. If you have a chance to have a friend named Kelly I would suggest you take it.
DON’T JUST LEARN IT..DO IT
This is a simple thought but one that bears contemplating we can have and learn everything we want but what really matters is how we put it into action if you know how important forgiveness and compassion is but you do not forgive and are not compassionate if anyone truly you’re no better than someone who is ignorant so think of all you know I think of everything we’ve learned and think of ways we can better put it in action feel free to share your ideas with the rest of us here together we can change the world
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
LISTENING CAN BE YOUR SECRET WEAPON
Recently my amazing lady outdid herself by throwing me what you can see was one fun surprise birthday party. That by itself is sweet and impressive. In addition to writing this blog to express my sincere gratitude for her doing so, there is another reason. I am sure many of you have had parties thrown for you in your life and if not I sure hope you do. It is a great way to show those in your life that you care. Here is what I feel makes the lady in my life even more impressive. This party was thrown for me at my favorite place, the Wisconsin state fair. It actually happened while the fair was going on. She managed to speak to the owner of my favorite stand there which has a tropical theme with sand and a reggae band and rum. She even managed to get a hold of a lot of my close friends and family as you can see. She managed to go there and decorate without me knowing. This is hard to do because I am there every day. She did all of this without me knowing. Which, both of us working in the bar business is extremely hard to do.
Other than informing you what an amazing lady I have, what does any of this have to do with you? What is the lesson we can take away from all of this and apply to our lives? That is a great question. Here is what really impressed me about my lady and this party. She listened. She knew I loved the fair, which is not a great secret, but she also learned where my favorite place was at the fair. She listened to people I spoke about that I considered friends and made sure they received an invite. She put all of what she learned into action by reserving the both and decorating and even making very delicious cupcakes. All of these things made this a lifetime memory.
So here is my suggestion. If you want to have an amazing life, and if you want to blow your spouse, friends, boss or anyone else in your life away; listen. Not just before the event, but all of the time. That is what my wonderful woman did. She listens whenever I talk. Anyone who knows me can understand that is a lot of listening. By doing so she was able to discern a lot of information and used that to make me feel very special. So listen to everyone you come in contact with. You never know what you can learn and how you can use it to help them or make them feel good.
Once more, thank you Margie my love for an amazing party and a memory that will last a lifetime.
LEAVE THE GOOD FOR THE GREAT
Here is a sign that appeared for my last day bartending. A lot of people asked the reason I left bartending at The Hideout. That was a very good question. I loved most of my customers. The owner and I had a great working relationship. It was a lot of fun. I made decent money. So why leave? Sounds like a great gig. Well, I asked myself “Neil, where do you want to be in 5 years?” the answer was not behind a bar. My desire is to be touching people and changing and making a positive difference in their lives on a grand scale. Bartending has been great for me. I have met a lot of wonderful people and received some amazing advice.
One day I realized in order to fulfill my life’s goals of being a full-time author and motivational speaker I would need to dedicate more time to my craft. I also wanted to grow my following for this site. I would need more time to create content as well as promote. I looked at my life. I work 30+ hours a week at the post office which I wanted to keep for benefits. I DJ 8+ hours a week, which is great time I get to enjoy the love of my life as we run the show together. I also bartend 16+ hours a week. Although I love bartending my nights had become filled with a lot of stress as well. Sure the money was great, but there was the drama of people not getting along, friends always asking for or even expecting things for free which got old really quick. Not to mention although we worked in the same place, time away from the love of my life. Some days the only things we seemed to say to each other were “good morning” and “goodnight”. therefore I made the decision to focus on my future. Sure my present did take a hit. I gave up a lot of my income and something I was really good at. I still hear “we miss you behind the bar” which does make me feel good. Now, I may not be able to afford the nice things I was buying. I must keep a closer eye on my finances, but my life is filled with passion and excitement for the future. My website is not only up to date, but growing in following. Still feel free to share this site with all of your friends though.
What is the point of this post? Simply this, bartending was something I was good at, it was fun and I made good money doing it. What it was not was my passion and my future. As of right now my next book is still being written and money is not rolling in. What is rolling in is a feeling of getting closer to my goals and making money doing what I love. In fact, I have set a goal of retiring from the post office in two years or less. I know the more I write, the better I will become. I try to learn everyday about marketing myself and growing my brand. It is exciting, but scary at the same time. Most importantly, it is my dream. I was a good bartender, but I aim to be a great author and bring joy and positivity to people across the globe. Feel free to help by sharing this website as well as my book A Happy Life for Busy People with anyone you think could benefit from a little more joy in their lives.
Here is the takeaway. Do not be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. If you have a dream, chase it. Better yet catch it! Do what you love. Take risks, have fun and keep your face to the sunshine!
PICK YOUR SPOT…OR SPOTS
As i have mentioned throughout the last couple days, i have spent a great deal of time at our state fair. This picture was taken at a bird show. Notice the wing on the right side of the picture. What is the point of all this? The State Fair is a place I go because it makes me happy. I suggest you start to find a place that just makes you feel good. I suggest making it somewhere you can get to in less than a day. I personally like a few different places for a few different reasons. As mentioned I go to the fair for a boost of positivity. Even when the fair itself is not going on you can find me roaming the grounds reflecting and soaking up the vibes of the place. I also suggest having a place you can be alone. Personally there is a small clearing in a park not far from my house that I go to. When I am there especially when the bugs are not to bad, I can meditate or just be alone with my thoughts. There is a specific coffee shop I go to write as well.
Why have all of these different spots? What is the purpose? Before I answer that let me state you do need to be flexible. I write at home and other locations as well. You can often find me meditating while I am stuck in line somewhere or having to wait. It is putting that time to good use. Still I use the above places for most of the reasons I described. Here is the benefit. When you are in the same surroundings doing the same activities it can make it easier for your brain to get into the state it needs. As I write this I am in the usual coffee shop. My brain just goes into creative writing mood. I know another author who uses the same pen for notes on an entire book. Somehow his mind connects with the pen.
Try it out today. What places make you happy? Is it window shopping at the mall? A hiking trail outside your house? Whatever place that is make it your own. There are no steadfast rules either. If you feel more comfortable meditating in a room filled with people than do that. I have a friend who is cheered up walking through the cemetery by his house. If it feels right for you and doesn’t break any laws, then by all means do that. Find your sacred space today. Feel free to share your ideas as well.
RENEW YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE
While at the fair I happened to catch a stand-up comedian’s act. To be honest he wasn’t very funny, but one thing he said got me thinking. After spending far to long on a joke that came at the expense of his wife he quipped “Have you ever noticed that your marriage license is the only one that doesn’t expire? Like every four years the court doesn’t ask you if you still want to be married to this woman?”. If she had heard his jokes I can only imagine her verdict would be. At first I just thought it was as goofy as the rest of his humor. People get married because it is a sign that they intend to stay by each other’s side for the rest of their lives. Still the more I thought about it, the more good I saw in such an idea. I think a lot of relationships tend to get ‘comfortable’ once the marriage certificate is signed. I’m not sure if the thinking is “This person agreed to be stuck with me so I don’t have to try anymore” or is it more of the thought that the prize has been one, the peak of the mountain has been reached. Fill in whatever analogy you care to use. I am all for marriage. I love to see love celebrated and I am a fan of committing to one person to honor and respect for the rest of your life. Still, would 50% of marriages end in divorce if you knew you had to keep trying? Would things be so comfortable if you knew in four, six or however many years you were going to be asked if you still wanted to remain married? How would you act different if you knew your partner were to be asked the same thing? Would you work harder to keep your partner happy and loving if you knew they were going to be asked if they still wanted to stay with you or walk away? I am sure we have all known couples who stay together simply because of the cost and legal issues with divorce. Even this keeps them from trying to improve their situation because they feel comfortable their partner will not leave them. This is also why I am a fan of renewing vows. Telling your partner that you would marry them all over again can be even more romantic than the first time. So ask yourself, or if your brave enough ask your partner, “Would you renew our marriage license?”. Even if you are not married, do you think if your partner knew all they would have to go through and the current state of your relationship would they choose to get together with you in the first place? If not, you should probably consider what had you fall in love in the first place and how to get back there. Even if you think they would, ask yourself what can you do to keep things loving and passionate? You might want to start by renewing your vows, or telling them you would want to get together with them all over again if given the chance. Do yourself and your partner a favor and renew your marriage license today.
I PROPOSE A TOAST
While writing my book “A Happy Life for Busy People” i was always on the lookout for little things we could incorporate into our lives with minimal effort that would return a great amount of joy. It is even better if these things can be fun and easy to do. I guess that habit has never left me. Which, unlike other habits I have, may be a blessing. It was while walking by this picture the idea came to me. You see the gentleman in the picture I am standing in front of is proposing a toast of some sort. It is exactly that which I would like to discuss with you today.
Toasts are common place at weddings, graduations and fancy dinner parties. What is a toast? One person who is either designated or the host/hostess of the party raises their glass of usually an alcoholic beverage and says what all in the room are ‘drinking to’. This is usually someone’s good health, good fortune or in terms of a wedding, to the couple who are being joined. What happens next is everyone thinks that thought be it good wishes, gratitude or joy, they all bump glasses and drink. Everyone is usually in good spirits and has taken if but a moment to ponder something worth drinking to.
Here is my thought, why wait for a special occasion? Why does it have to be champagne? What do you think your spouse would do if over your morning cup of coffee you bump your mug into theirs and say here is to our love? Perhaps they may fall over? Look at you and wonder what is exactly in that coffee cup of yours? Either way they will more than likely feel good you are taking a moment to celebrate your love together. Don’t stop at your spouse. How about at work? How do you think things would improve if you raised your coffee/water/rum whatever you can get away with and said “here is to my great coworker!” Again you may be initially greeted with suspicion and random drug testing, but I think a little more joy may be the end result. What if you are on lunch alone? Why let that stop you? Raise your glass and toast to having a great day or whatever you feel at the moment. People may wonder if you are having a conversation with your imaginary friend. Let them wonder while you focus on what you are looking forward to or being grateful for.
These small acts will do more than make others feel good. They will also serve to change your focus. You will be constantly thinking and looking for things to toast to next. Recently I was listening to a audiobook by Michael Beckwith in which he suggests you should ask yourself “What can I celebrate today?”. After all that is what toasts are, mini celebrations. Let’s face it in every day there is something to celebrate. Maybe just making it through the day? Here’s to a life of toasts and reasons to have them. I’ll raise my glass and drink to that.