I am always on the lookout for secrets to building an amazing life, thus the name of this blog. So i study some of the greatest achievers of all time. Learn what they did. How did they accomplish their dreams. One such man was John wooden. Men’s basketball coach at ucla. Coach wooden won 10 ncaa championships, including an unheard of 6 on a row! How did he do it? In college you have a whole new team every 4 years. So how did he consistently get his players to win? The answer may surprise you. He never talked about winning to his players. At least not in terms of the score. This is what he told them, if you give your all on that court and still are outscored by a more talented team you won. If you do not give your all but still beat an inferior team, you did not win.
Coach wooden understood winning is an inside job. Ask yourself are you giving your best? Whether it is at your job, as a parent, or as a spouse or even a friend. If you give your best and things don’t work out you are still a winner. If you are not giving your best and things are still going ok you at not a winner. So how does this thinking affect your life? If John Wooden’s teams are any indication, focusing on effort instead of score will bring you more victories
Here is your Friday post and yes it will come with some weekend homework. Do you ever feel like something is missing in your life? Do you ever get frustrated life seems to be passing you by? Do you ever get the feeling it all amounts to nothing?
I used to feel that way quite often. Seems like you are working just to survive. I say used to because one of the secrets to the amazing life cures all of these feelings. What is that? Purpose! You need to find a bigger purpose in life than just working to pay the bills. Being a part of a purpose bigger than yourself gives you an opportunity to make a difference. To have a sense of meaning and fulfillment. Now I am not saying you need to quit your job and join the peace Corp, but think of what really gets your blood pumping. Is it painting? Environmental issues? Feeding the poor? Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book. Whatever that purpose is begin to pursue it. Not only will you find life becomes sweeter, but oftentimes you may find a whole new life waiting for you.
So this weekend your homework is two fold. First, find your purpose. Find what speaks to your heart, your passion, your bliss. Then, find a way, even part time, that you can pursue that. Your life will never be the same.
This is a quote from Oprah Winfrey, one of the wealthiest women in the world. In a day when we stop to give thanks she certainly has a lot to be thankful for. Before you start with feelings of jealousy or envy you may want to research her story. I’ll spare you the details but tell you she didn’t always have it all.
So what does this have to do with you and I? Are we saying here of you are grateful you will be as rich as Oprah? Yes and no. I cannot promise you the money, although that may very well come, but i can promise a feeling of wealth if you develop an attitude of gratitude. How do you do this?
Here is a very powerful exercise i share at my seminar. It will literally change your life in a major way in a short time. I know because i owe the turn around on my own life a great deal to this very practice. It is simple but extremely powerful.
Here it goes. Get a pen and paper and write five things you are grateful for and why. Ten sentences. Then read those ten sentences before you go to bed and first thing in the morning. Takes all of 3 minutes at the most. Not too hard so far right? Here is where the magic happens. Everyday write one more thing you are grateful for and why. Then continue to read your list before bed and first thing in the morning. This does two very interesting things. One, it keeps you focused on what is working on your life and two, it trains your brain to be on the lookout for things to be grateful for. Do this for three weeks. Even take the
weekends off if you like. I promise you after three weeks your life will never be the same! I invite you to share your results in the comments below
Tonight, or more accurately this morning I told my lovely lady “you should write a book entitled my life with a motivational speaker” some of you may chuckle at that thought, but as I write this it is 3 am and I woke up with a million thoughts for my books, blogs and seminars. I began to rattle them off to her so fast she lovingly just touched my hand and said go write them down. So here I sit typing with one arm because I recently dislocated my shoulder at 3 am in our living room. Why? As my little lady knows because I love the grind. You must want success more than you want sleep. You must want to study more than you want to play on Facebook. Give today your all and watch what tomorrow gives back to you!
A special shout out to my lady for understanding my need to work when inspiration strikes even if it is at 3 am
Last post we discussed what I had learned from the dishwasher at the homeless shelter I volunteered at. One of the things that impressed me the most was the care and respect he took for his “customers” as he referred to them. As he explained to me “this may be the only meal these folks eat all week, i am going to make damn sure it is a good one” i learned from him how to make sure the dishes were spotless, but I wondered what more I could do. The answer was surprisingly simple. I was going to do what I do best and what now has become my life’s mission. Help them see the beauty and positivity in themselves and the world around them. How? How can you help someone with no job, often no home see the beauty in their world? The answer is simple if you understand two principles 1) there is something beautiful about everyone. So I began to look. Was it ask article of clothing they had? A piece of jewelry? Even if it was their smile, or just the energy they brought. A genuine, sincere compliment is one of the greatest gifts you can give whether the person is rich or poor. 2) everyone deserves respect. I didn’t know, nor care what lead these people to the trying situation they were in. I did know one thing, we are all one event from it ourselves. So i made sure to address everyone as I do my postal customers and bar patrons. “sir” or “my good man” “my friend” a lot of them looked confused some even felt uncomfortable at first. Truth is when you are down on your luck not a lot of people respect you, so it is often hard to have Self-respect. Without self-respect it can be hard to turn things around. Reminding these wonderful people how truly important they were was my way of helping them have a damn good meal as my dishwasher friend put it. The power of respect can truly turn a life around. Remember all of our brothers and sisters deserve respect
Here is a great lessons i learned in the art of humility. A few posts ago I wrote about a time in my life when my job was cut to nothing, i was living in a bad part of town, my girl just left me and my life resembled a bad country song. After living in that mood for a while I needed to get out. My mother and I helped every month at a meal program for the homeless once a month and that always tended to help me put things in perspective and realize all i had to be grateful for. So even though it wasn’t the day I normally helped I decided to go down and see if I could. Normally I served food when I went down there(more about that next post) but this day all they need was help washing dishes. That was one of the first jobs I ever held so I thought “i got this” and stumbled into the kitchen. The gentleman running the dishwasher was named donny i believe. He was in his late 40’s and looked like he had lived a rough life. Here is where I want you to stop and think. What would your opinion of a Middle-aged man whose only job was washing dishes at a homeless shelter be? Not to smart? Maybe not to driven? Not educated? I can honestly say I didn’t have time to take stock and think of that, but I imagine if I did that may have been the thoughts.
So I started to load the dishwasher in what seemed to be a sensible way and this man came over in a hurry to explain to me the “right way” to load it. When he explained by placing certain dishes certain ways the water jets cleaned better it really made sense. He also made sure all of us rinsed the dishes thoroughly so they would come out clean. Why? So his “customers” would have the best dining experience they could. He told me this might be the only meal these folks are and he was going to make damn sure it was a good one.
The take away in all of this? He was one of the most driven, caring and knowledgeable men in that room. Also, i learned every job has an art and a skill to it. Just because some jobs may seem to be on the lower end of the social scale let me assure you they are very important and there is an art to doing them great. More on what I took away from this experience in tomorrow’s post.
What does this phrase mean? It is one of the most powerful mantras you can ponder, which is your homework for the weekend.
What do I mean by all of this? Let my explain by way of a personal story. In 2001 i took a course on copywriting from American writers and artists Institute. It was a great course and helped me learn how to write persuasive copy. I took that course because my day job at the post office had become unbearable. Well, a change in location, the job was a bit easier and the copywriting? I never did a thing with it. Why? Two reasons. One, i became more comfortable in my day job and two, I was afraid to start something new and go through the period of looking foolish and being new. Nobody likes that right? Fast forward 14 years. The post office is now claiming i am making up the fact I have asthma and the shoulder I dislocated? Yeah I should be back to work the next day or I would be written up.
So naturally I started kicking myself saying “if only I would have stuck with copywriting and even done it in the side” then I would have been past the foolish stage and had more control over my situation. If only I would’ve planted that tree 20 years ago, or in this case 14. That is where a lot of people may stop. The may become resigned to their fate. If you read yesterday’s post i think you will know that’s not me. No, I’m taking charge of me. The second best time to plant a tree? NOW! So I contacted the school and am going through a refresher. I am more determined than last time and will succeed!
So how about you? Is there a tree you should’ve planted 20 years ago? Go out and start digging today! You might not get to see it grow as tall, but it will never start growing until you plant it!
Let me share with you a personal story. People often ask me “Neil how did you get so motivated” “Neil how do you look at life in such a positive way” well it wasn’t always that way and I learned a lot of hard lessons along the road. Here is a story about one of them.
If you follow my blog or YouTube videos you know there was a point in time when I faced some serious challenges. My job at the post office had went from 45-50 hours a week to 10 due to downsizing. The lady in my life had walked out because of the person I was at the time. So there i sat, no money, no person to share life with and nobody to blame but myself. So I sulked and bitched for several weeks. Something i no longer do. Then I looked in the mirror and realized something. I was to blame. Sure the post office was downsizing, but I should have been better prepared. Yes my lady left, but I was not a great man to be with at the time. It all boiled down to me not taking responsibility for my own life.
A lot of people will begin to point fingers as soon as things in their life begin to fall apart, but the truth is that only gives control to outside circumstances. The only one that owes you anything is you. So every morning look in the mirror and ask yourself are you giving your best? Are you giving 120%? If not, you owe you an explanation. You need to take responsibility for you.
The result of me doing that? In short, you’re reading it. I began to pursue outside self-employment, I began to work on myself. How did taking responsibility for my own life work out? I am set to leave the post office by the end of 2017, my relationship was too late to save, but I have improved myself to a point that I attracted a beautiful and amazing woman I can treat right and be the man she needs. All this because i took charge of me. So I urge you to take a look in the mirror and realize that you owe you!
Here is a secret from the Neil/Margie relationship file. Lots of people “fall in love” and that is great. It is a beautiful thing. The true beauty is revealed when you “rise in love”
What do I mean by this? Think of your current relationship. What does your partner bring to the table? I hear lots of responses to this that sound something like this “they are always there for me when I’m sad” “they always help me when I’m sick” thats great, but that is what they should do. If you are in a relationship that doesn’t have those basic courtesies then I suggest you take a hard look at your choices. If you want an amazing relationship, ask yourself what does your partner add to your life? How do they help you achieve your goals? How do they help you grow and develop as a person? How do they help you help others?
Now before you go running off to tell your partner that this post you read on this very insightful website told you they are not living up to the standard of a great relationship, ask yourself are you? What are you doing to make your partners life better? Are you doing anything beyond common courtesy? Could you be doing more? Perhaps you could even ask them? So do yourself a favor after you have fallen in love, find a way for you and your partner to rise in love