Here is a video with 3 steps you can take to begin an amazing life today!
Yes this is me. Why do I look so happy? I’m celebrating. Why am I celebrating you might ask. Well, today is my birthday. I have made it through another year of trails and challenges. I am reasonably healthy and have some great people in my life. Still that is nit the reason I am celebrating in this photo. As you may have guessed I am celebrating my cup of coffee I am holding. I had been craving that very coffee for a while and finally stopped on my home from work. That also happens to be my ‘on the way home from work’ face. It also happened to be a sunny day out as you can see in the picture. I am a big fan of the sun.
What does all of this have to do with living an amazing life? Here is something that I learned that I want to pass along to you today. It is something that has added a lot more joy to my life and only takes a little bit of effort. The best thing about the effort it takes is that can also be fun. Here is what I learned in the last year or so. If, for example, I had been craving that coffee a year ago I would have purchased one and said “Great! Now let’s enjoy it”. I would have drank it and moved on. After all it is just a cup of coffee I wanted. Same with the weather that day. I may not have even noticed it. A lot of us only notice things like our health when they are bad. I may have only given a passing notice to the weather or none at all and just went home. Here is what I learned. If you take time to savor and celebrate daily things take on a whole new meaning.
So how can we celebrate things in our life more? In the above example when I got the coffee I took time and sipped it noticing every little detail. I tasted it and thought about the experience of buying it. I enjoyed the aroma and the feel. As for the weather? I took time to feel the warmth on my skin and thought of days gone past in the sun. I noticed how beautiful everything looked lit by the sun. If this all sounds a little over the top to you, ask yourself why. We should take the time to enjoy all of the good things in our life. Savor every drop of joy out of life you can. How many times to we replay hurtful or sad events in our heads? It is time to take back our joy! As a birthday gift to me, please start focusing on all you have to celebrate in life and share your ideas in the comments below. Feel free to share this post with your friends and help them celebrate life as well.
We have all heard advice that just makes us stop and really think. Sometimes that advice can come from a good book, maybe a seminar we attended or a wise person we come across. My event happened to fall into the last category. My lady and I were attending the ‘national night out’ in West Allis where we live. It is a gathering of local business and services to bring the community together. Lots of fun.
We came across a man we knew who was there with his young children. His daughter was enjoying multiple ears of roasted corn listening to our conversation. When suddenly she said “didn’t you write smiles?” Referring to my book A Happy Life for Busy People I told her I did which seem to delight her. When we ended the conversation by informing the man we knew that we had to go to work the young lady asked me “why don’t you stay home and write books?” Now anyone who knows me would understand that is the goal. Of course as I was about to explain how I still had to pay the bills she followed with even another profound statement. “That’s how you will become famous like…” and mentioned another famous author.
As the night went on I began to think how right she was. It is only through writing I’m going to get where I need to be. Instead of waiting until I can afford to write full time, I need to write full time in order to afford to. It was a motivating and valuable lesson taught to me by a very young teacher.
So keep your ears open and work on your dreams. That is the message this young lady gave me and I’m passing along to you.
How many times have we done something we regret? If you are like me it ranges from weekly when things are going well, to several times a day when they are not. We all make mistakes and do things ways in which to not serve us. If we would know better, we would do better. When we hurt someone they may remind us of that and they may very well have a right. Still if we wouldn’t do the same thing today they are convicting an innocent person. It is the same when we hurt others. Most times they do not mean to hurt us. Reminding them, and ourselves about there transgressions against us only hurt both parties. Do your best to correct each situation and move on to creating joy. If someone constantly reminds you of what you are failing at for the only reason of hurting you then you should move on. There are those who love us and want to help us grow and let us know when we are not living up to our own potential, but these people will also let us know when we do a great job and they are proud of us as well. You need people like that to help you grow. Just remember to practice forgiveness both for yourself and others. You deserve to be happy and so does everyone else. Do not forget that.
This is a picture of my lady and I before a charity run we did recently. It is before we ran as if I shared the one after it may not be safe for me to come home. There are many things about doing a charity run/walk that lead to an amazing life. You take good care of your body, you help a good cause and you meet other souls doing the same thing.
In this post we are going to discuss another important aspect and gift we both received from this event. First let me inform you it was hot…very hot out. Second it involves a distance of over 3 miles. Leading up to this event both of us had our doubts. My lady especially had been through some personal challenges and was not able to train as much as she would have liked. She even mentioned that she was not 100% confident she would make it. That wasn’t her exact words as they tend to be a little more dramatic. I swear she is going to be the next author in our household.
So what was the gift? The gift was the challenge itself. As we both made our way through the course watching others go by, and the heat refusing to do the same another partner joined us on the course. That partner’s name was doubt. Voices in our heads told us how hot it was out, how people would understand if we bowed out. It is funny how when your body is preoccupied with pain and suffering your mind is free to come up with all kinds of things. Keeping the demons at bay when trying to suck in hot and humid air is a very unique challenge.
Crossing the finish line was a victory on many fronts. Testing yourself to limits both physically and mentally draws strength out you in ways nothing else can. The feeling you get when you finish knowing you shut those voices up, when you overcome physical challenges you own your body, you own your mind. Next time those voices come up you know you can tell them to sit down and shut up. You know you can accomplish more than you know so test yourself today!
Feel free to share your ideas for testing yourself in the comments below and feel free to share this post as well.
This picture sums up one of my firm beliefs. No matter what you believe spiritually, or even if you believe anything spiritually, you were put here for a reason. Even if you don’t agree with that much you cannot argue that your time here is limited. People ask me why I think happiness is so important. Why is it worth spending over a decade of my life studying? Why should everyone focus on it? If you go to my seminar I explain why in a lot more detail, but to give you the quick version what I tell people if you are not enjoying your life, you are wasting your life.
It is true in life there are challenges and there are obstacles that we have to tackle and solve. Why do we do that? Daily we face the world and do things because they make us feel good. Now I can hear a lot of you saying things like “going to work is for paying the bills, not to feel good”. In some ways this is true, but ultimately what does paying the bills get you? Less stress knowing that the lights will stay on? Happiness knowing you will be able to afford a good dinner and hopefully take yourself out every now and again. One of the main principles of this website as well as my books and seminars is this – happiness is not a destination, but a decision – read that line a few more times and let it sink in. It is the answer to how some people who seem to have everything can still be miserable, while people who seem to face every challenge show up daily with a smile on their face. They decide to. Sounds great, but it is easier said than done. How can we be someone who makes that decision?
Let us get a few things clear right away. Making this decision will not suddenly make life sunshine and rainbows. In fact it might just do the opposite in the short term. When you make a decision life usually decides to test you to see if you are serious. Ever decide to start eating healthier only to arrive at work and notice doughnuts sitting on the break room table? You need to be firm, know it will take some time and that you may experience setbacks. You also need a plan. I recommend fostering an attitude of gratitude. Look for the lesson and joy in every challenge. Water heater goes out and will cost money you don’t have to spend? Be grateful up until that day you have always had the option of hot water anytime you want. Know in the future, although it may be a financial drain, you will have it again. A large portion of the world has no hot water or even a place to live with running water. Happiness is largely a matter of perspective.
One last thing, by becoming a happy person and enjoying your life you are giving the world the greatest gift you can. How much better is your day when you encounter a happy giving soul in your daily journey? Be that gift for others and for the rest of the world. Even better, be that gift for yourself!
As you can see in the caption this is a picture of a bear who waved back to a camper after he waved to the bear on his way out of the campground. What can we get from this article? Bears can do cute things? Sure. Perhaps they can understand basic human communication? Maybe.
Here is what I got out of this picture and article. The bear in question is a Kodiak brown bear from Washington. I don’t know him personally, but they are reputed to be one of bears with the worst temperaments. In this picture however the bear looks quite friendly. In fact, he is acting quite friendly. By waving, or showing paw, he is showing bears can be rather friendly. Now I am not telling you to go up to a bear in the wild and start waving to see what happens. Some bears are not as friendly as this one. The same can be said for people. Still when we wave we become like this bear, friendly and approachable. So as you drive and even walk down the street share your smile or maybe even a wave. It will astound most, please some and confuse the rest. Either way you will be doing your part to make this world a far more enjoyable place. Feel free to even print out the picture of this bear to remind you to wave and be friendly and approachable.
Also feel free to share this post with everyone you know. The more people we get smiling and waving the friendlier the world will become for us all.
Sometimes life doesn’t go exactly according to plan. Sometimes life ‘throws you a curve ball’ as they say. The great secret to living an amazing life is to not let those detours throw you off course, and to enjoy them whenever you can. Take the picture above. Last Friday I told you about a beer garden that my lady and I went to. The park it was in was beautiful, the weather was perfect for her (a little chilly for me) and time together is rare and was appreciated. Still there were a few challenges. The food offered was limited at best. It was also very pricey. Image our dismay when after we paid they informed us they had no buns to match what they were selling so they put the brat and hot dog we ordered on a hamburger bun. They were also out of most of the condiments they offered. Keep in mind this was not at the end of the evening either.
Ok, so what does my terrible food service experience have to do with living an amazing life? It is what happened next. We all know far to many people who would have stood there complaining to the workers, who should have informed us before we paid about being out of so many things. Worse we all have witnessed people who would have let this ruin their evening and spent the rest of the day complaining about it ignoring the weather, the scenery and all the other amazing aspects I mentioned. How do I know? In the past I was all too often one of those people. Before beginning my quest for improving my own life I even let things ruin some of my time on vacation! For those of you who know how much I love the tropics this was a really stupid and costly mistake on my part that prevented me from living an amazing life. There are still times it is tricky to deal with all of the crazy things that pop up in life.
So how can we not let circumstances that are less than ideal steal our momentary joy? Take a new perspective. One, understand that everything is temporary. Even the worst minute of your life only has 60 seconds. Also know making through the tough times can give us a great feeling of accomplishment. We can also learn a lesson. In this case, we make want to bring some food with us next time to both save money and make sure we have something good to eat. Try seeing the humor in the situation. In this case, the way the combination looked was hilarious. Not to mention the worst situations usually make for the best stories after they are done. Speaking of Story (my lady’s last name) she did another valuable thing, she got creative. This happens to be one of her many skills normally but applied to this situation it turned a bad into a good. She cut the sausages in half and we made a sandwich out of them. Not only did they fit the bun better, but we each got to try what each other was eating. This is a solution that would not have come to us if we were focused on how unfair or awful the situation was. Anger and frustration not only steal your joy, but they steal your peace and creativity as well.
So next time things do not go according to plan try adjusting your plan. If that is not possible, try adjusting the way you are looking at what is going on. Being upset only hurts one person and that is you. Feel free to like, comment and share this post with friends.
To change your life for the better I am going to give you a secret. When life and is challenges seem overwhelming I am going to give you a secret. When your ups are few and your downs are plenty, there is a secret.
So by now you must be wondering what is this secret? I will share that with you in a second, but first let us all get on the same page here. Have you ever looked at one area of your life, or perhaps even your life as a whole and become overwhelmed with the amount of things you would like to change? Perhaps you would like to quit smoking, but you also want to lose weight, but you would like to begin working on that book you have always wanted to write, but you also would like to spend more time with your family. Whew! Even typing that was exhausting. Still that is how most of us feel. As the years go by the things we would like to change keep piling up. It can seem too large of a task to even begin. So how to do this and make it as fun and painless as possible? I have the answer.
First of all understand you never eat your whole dinner in one bite. What does that mean? When you eat dinner you take a bite of this, then a bite of that. Before you know it you have finished your entire meal. Life is much like this. We must take one step at a time. You could no more climb a mountain in one leap that transform your life over night. So what is the secret? How can we do this and how can it not seem like such a struggle?
The answer is almost revealed in the picture above. I think they actually have it backwards. If we are forever trying to ‘cut this out of our life’ or ‘stop doing that’ life can seem not only like a struggle, but like we are always sacrificing and giving up things in our lives. That does not sound fun at all. I propose the opposite. Make small changes to your life a little at a time. Interested in being healthier? Instead of saying I have to give up candy and soda try adding a salad or some healthier snacks. Try adding water in addition to the soda you are drinking. Eventually when you start seeing progress and momentum you will be more motivated to add even more. Want to have a more positive outlook? Instead of focusing all of your energy on stopping complaining, try focusing on adding compliments and gratitude. This will not only seem like less of a struggle, it will be a lot more fun. The great thing about this approach is the negative things in your life will begin to fade away naturally. One of the best ways to get rid of something negative in your life is by adding something positive. Try this in every area of your life and feel free to let us all know how it works for you.
People always chuckle when I tell them one of my favorite philosophers is Mr Rogers. They think I am being funny or part of me just has not grown up yet. While both of those statements are generally true about me, saying Mr. Rogers is still one of my greatest influences is serious. The conflict between people in the United States has really spiraled out of control lately. Truly the media has done it’s part to fuel the flames and make it even worse.
What does a former childhood’s television show host have to do with any of this? How can any of what he has to say be relative to racial divide? How can it help to heal the hate and mistrust between law enforcement and well-meaning people? More to the point what role can we play in all of this? What actions can we take? I will answer all of these questions and the answers just may surprise you.
In my house I have a daily calendar that includes quotes from one Fred Rogers. On the first of July I would like to share what I read with you.
“As different as we are from one another, as unique as each one of us is, we are much more the same than we are different. That may be the most essential message of all, as we help our children grow toward being caring, compassionate, and charitable adults.”
When I read that I had to pause. It was as if he was responding to what was happening today. His message that we are more the same than we are different is one of the most overlooked aspects of all of this. Acting violent toward anyone because they are different is ignoring all the ways they are the same to us. Each group has people that are alike, and people that are different. Race tends to be one of the easier ways to choose to dislike someone because it is available on the outside. It requires no effort or time to get to know them, which may often change your ability to dislike them. In my nationality there are people I like and people I do not really care for. Simply saying this person is good or bad because of what race they belong to is foolish. It makes no more sense then disliking someone based on their profession. Recently in my city a young man shot a police officer for no other reason than he was a police officer. He did not know the mans beliefs or what his opinion might be of him. That is nothing short of stupid and ignorant. Equally, officers that assume someone’s guilt according to race are ignorant and stupid as well. There are people in both groups that do fit this description sadly. What gets lost in all the hype is they are by far the minority. Most citizens, myself included, appreciate the job law enforcement does and the risks they take to do it. Most officers take that job as a way to serve and not a way to judge. They take those risks because they truly care about people and making this world safe.
So what can we do when we hear about all of this violence through the media? Do we protest against either side? Do we shake our heads and exclaim how awful the world is getting? The intelligent action is to follow the words of Mr. Rogers and help our children, and fellow adults, grow toward being caring, compassionate and charitable adults. Become part of the solution and not part of the problem. Let us find a way to allow officers to do their jobs without the fear of being attacked. At the same time let us find a solution that no person should fear persecution based solely on their race. Let us hold those who bring this division to our people to the strictest of penalties on both sides of the issue. More importantly let us put our energy behind those attempting to bring us back together using the power of love and focusing on how we are more alike than we are different. It is only by working together we can build a world of peace that is fair and just to all.