Last post we talked about encouraging others. We hopefully came to an understanding of how important that is. I think by doing so others are also more inclined to do the same for us. Still it is very important to make the conscious effort to include encouraging people in our inner circle. Sometimes the critics will often get the best of us. It could be a demanding boss with unreal expectations. It could be a condescending parent or spouse. It could be a jealous coworker. It could even be the worst critic we all have – the inner critic -. Let me give you two examples of how important having someone who believes in you can be.
First, I want to talk about Les Brown. For those of you who do not know Les Brown he is one of my favorite motivational speakers. He has spoke to over 100,000 people in Atlanta. He has spoke to several corporations and celebrities. What does any of this have to do with us and having people believe in us? A lot. Les Brown said the hardest thing he has had to do in his life is believe he could do what he is now doing. He was born in a poor part of Miami on a floor and given up for adoption at 6 weeks old. He was adopted by a single mother who could barely support herself much less her children. In school he was labeled mentally challenged and failed 2 grades. So how did he succeed? Two very important people came into his life. A high school teacher who told him something I love – “Never let someone’s opinion of you become your reality” – think about that for a moment. Also he had a friend named Mike Williams who kept encouraging him to become a speaker. Les kept arguing the reasons he could not. He had no college education. He had never worked for a major corporation, and so on. One day Mr. Williams hung up on his friend Les. When Les called him back to inquire if they had accidentally become disconnected, Mike Williams told him indeed he had hung up on him and explained as long as he argued for his limitations he might as well keep them. After that Les thought about it and tried his hand at speaking. Today he gets paid more for one speech than most of us get paid in a year thanks to a principle he describes this way, “Sometimes you have to believe in someone’s belief in you until you can believe in yourself”.
The second example is a little closer to home. I knew a man who worked 2 jobs both in the retail and bar business. He had a genuine desire to make people happy and did just that with the jobs he had. It was then suggested to this young man that if he could perhaps write down and share his ideas on either say a blog site or in a book he could touch a lot more lives. Although the idea of helping people beyond the scope of his immediate influence really appealed to him he told himself that a simple postal worker and bartender could never write a book that would influence people in a positive fashion or that any of the online content he could come up with would interest anyone around the corner much less around the globe. Still with the belief and pushing from a few close friends that man has a book published and available on amazon called A Happy Life for Busy People and his blog is followed in over 60 countries at last count. In addition that young man met a supportive and encouraging young lady who was creative in her own right and recognized this man’s talent and continued to push and encourage him to start his own YouTube Channel and begin teaching seminars and public speaking? What happened to those two? As you read this I am attending the best of Milwaukee awards to hopefully collect the award for best Milwaukee Author for which I am nominated. I am doing so with my lovely lady who next year will assuredly take home the award for best wedding cake designer.
There is no doubt in my mind neither Les Brown or myself would not have shared any of what we had inside of us if it were not for the wonderful souls who pushed and encouraged us along the way. So make sure you include several folks who believe in the best in you and will push and encourage you to bring it out.
This picture pretty much sums up what this post is about, but I am including a challenge for all of us. Don’t worry, it is a fun challenge. We closed last week with a post on including things that can make us happy. This challenge will add something that will do that automatically – find as many people as you can to genuinely encourage – . Please note I said genuinely. Sometimes even the greatest of us need encouragement. Thomas Edison was failed out of school, fired from every job he had before trying his hand at inventing things. Can you imagine how many critics he had? How many people told him he was ‘stupid’ or to give up? How important do you think those people who did believe in him were?
How do you find people to encourage? They are everywhere! It doesn’t have to be someone chasing a dream, it can be someone who is doing a really good job. Perhaps you know someone who is a really caring and special friend. Letting them know this would be encouraging. Maybe you even see a talent in people that they don’t see in themselves? There are quite a few people I know who have amazing stories inside them I encourage them to share. My girlfriend brings so much joy to people with her creative creations that I always encourage her to do more. Speaking of her, She also does an amazing job keeping up our house. I can’t count the homemakers who would love to hear an encouraging thank you for all of their hard work.
So this week be on the look out for someone you can encourage. Is it someone who is struggling and needs someone to believe in them? Maybe it is someone who consistently does a great job and would love to be recognized for their efforts? Either way the chance to balance out the critics and do something truly amazing for someone lies around each and every corner.
Here is a parting thought. You never know what the world might lose if certain people do not pursue their dreams. You could be the one to give them the faith and hope to do so. The power to change the world for someone lies in the hands of all of us.
This may seem like a no-brainer. That being said, ask yourself “How many things do I do everyday for the simple reason of making myself happy?”. There seems to be an endless list of things we need to do every day like walk the dog, go to work and clean the house. Still how many times do we take a second to do things that truly bring a little joy to our lives? A lot of people may find this to be selfish, but to all of my altruistic friends out there, remember you can serve others far better when you are coming from a good place.
Let us explore this idea of creating a list of things that make us happy. It can be things we do already, or things that we used to do. It can be things we have wanted to try, or things we forgot about. It can be simple things that only take a minute or complex things that may take a few days to enjoy. Let us take a look at a few examples to get us started.
A while back I wrote a post about mixing different flavors of soda at fast food restaurants. As a child it was something I was always told I should not do. To this day I can’t really understand the problem with it. Guess what? About 75% of the time I get a soda at a place I have the option to, I mix the flavors. I still chuckle a bit to myself each and every time I do it as well. So even if something seems rather silly, put it on your list!
Another thing I have noticed is how special things we do that bring us joy can slip in the familiar. Let me explain. A few years ago I had moved into the place I am now living. In the move I took a while to set up my fancy coffee maker. Coffee being one of my guilty pleasures. As an author I think it should be allowed as a tax deduction, but I digress. When I finally set it up I recall the lady in my life bringing me a fresh hot brewed cup of coffee first thing in the morning. If memory serves I think the clouds parted and angels started singing, but don’t quote me on that. Funny thing is, fast forward 2 years later and it is something I do as I am getting dressed and ready for work. I grab my cup and run out the door barely even realizing I made it until I take that first sip. With a moment of focus I can once again appreciate this morning ritual. Even the act of writing it down can serve to remind me how much joy I receive through a simple cup of coffee.
So take some time this Monday and create your own list of things that make you happy. Smiling at strangers? Saying good morning to your favorite coworker? Eating a fresh salad for lunch? Maybe a simple cup of coffee or mixing soda at a fast food restaurant? Write them all down and carry your list with you throughout this week. See if you can sneak in several of the items everyday.
Please feel free to share any of the items on your list and how you put them into your day in the comments below. Share this idea with a friend and both try it. That will only make it far more fun. As always, feel free to share this blog post as well.
Here is something that can greatly improve your relationship. It’s a singles ad. Before you assume i have completely lost my mind (a fact that remains questioned by many) please allow me to explain.
A lady approached me earlier this week and began to regale me with all the issues she was having with her husband. She went on to list a host of things the gentleman happened to be doing wrong in her eyes. After several minutes of this not so glowing review of her gentleman suitor she asked me a very direct question “what do you think I should do?”. I was tempted to ask her if there were any transgressions she left out. Perhaps he had colored outside the lines when he was young? It had me realizing how easy it is to stack things.
What is stacking things? When we get emotional we tend to limit our focus. When someone hurts us, especially someone close to us we tend to recall other hurtful things they may have done and begin to stack them on to of one another, which only proves to increase our discontent.
So i told this lady a simple answer, “write a singles ad”. She informed me although she was upset with him she didn’t want to cheat it leave him. What i told her next really confused her and may do the same for you, but stay with me and I believe you will see the value in this.
I told her not to write the ad for herself, but for him. “I don’t want him to cheat either!”. She made very clear. Aside from the fact that her assertion of him early left room for doubt, i assured her that was not what this was about. “Humor me” i urged her. “What would an ad for your husband read? What qualities make him an excellent catch?”. She went on to say he was compassionate, funny had a great smile. After about 2 minutes she began to get tears in eyes. She began to realize the man she had spent time berating might be one amazing catch.
So that is what I’m urging all of us to do. Write a singles ad for your significant other. I wouldn’t suggest waiting for a disagreement, do it while the fabulous things they do are fresh in your mind. Taking time to write all of this down will serve to remind us what a great person we have chosen. You might want to keep it around in case there are moments that cause us to forget.
What if you don’t have that special person? Write an ad for the exact person you would like to meet. It will then help you get clear on what you are looking for and help engage your subconscious mind to assist you.
Feel free to share some of the things in your ad in the comments below.
I recall the phrase ‘sharing is caring’ from a children’s program I used to watch when i was young. It is a very good motto that still holds true.
The problem with many adults is that we feel we have nothing to share. Often I hear people say “I would love to help more but i don’t have the time/money/resources”. There is one thing each and every one of us has that can make a huge difference – our story -.
As an author I am often asked for advice and told by people “I have always wanted to write a book”. My advice? Just do it! Again, it is at this point most people assume they have nothing to offer. Let me assure you that no matter what your story is, it will help more people than you know.
Here are a few examples. I have a friend is a Jewish woman who won her battle with weight loss and has a passion for health and fitness and took care of her sick mother.
There is my friend Kelly, who is a widow and belongs to a community of people who have been through the same. She is always quick to share a smile and encouraging word with everyone she meets. How many people do you think these two people could help by sharing their story?
Now you may thinking to yourself “I don’t have such a compelling story”. That’s where i have to disagree. Maybe you have done everything wrong in life. Maybe you find yourself a slave to some addiction. Your story could serve as a warning and save the lives of countless others.
Once a woman told me “All i have been is a mom for the last 10 years”. I was kind of taken aback. Being a good parent required lots of knowledge and learning along the way.
Sometimes just sharing our story with people who are going through the same thing provides a feeling of comfort. I know when i am going through something challenging it feels so much better to know someone else has been through it or is going through it.
So please, wherever you are share your story. Even if it doesn’t come out in book form (although publishing an ebook today is easier than ever). You never know who you will inspire, comfort or help heal. Everyone of us is important and everyone of us has a story that needs to be shared
It was a Saturday evening around 6pm and i was enjoying a nap after a long day working at the post office. Suddenly my lady wakes me up and said “i think i heard a car accident”. I closed my eyes and a sinking feeling came over me as i realized there was only one car parked in front of the house….mine.
I jumped out of bed, grabbed my coat as it was a mere 9 ° outside. Sure enough my car, i named Earl, that was parked in the street in front of my house was now several feet closer to my front door. Further down the street i saw what was left of an elderly man and his car. I ran to check on him and saw his head was bleeding and he seemed out of sorts. As i called the police i offered the man to come inside and a hot cup of coffee which he politely declined. Soon the police arrived and after about an hour both vehicles were towed away and i was left with the reality of having no car on a cold winter day.
Here is where all of this leaves us. At the end of last year i told everyone i knew i felt 2017 was going to be a great year for me. I’m not into numerology at all, but something just told me “this will be your year”. This would seem to be an auspicious start, and truly my ford escape has seen its last days, but i am going to have a rental car that will tide me over and i am sure the insurance company will give me something. I called the elderly man’s son, who picked him up that evening the following day to inquire as to his condition which i was informed was greatly improved. I had a warm house to spend the evening in and was assisted by family and friends in getting where i needed to go.
The takeaway here is even though i have been inconvenienced and may very well end up with less than i started with i still am very grateful. Nobody was seriously hurt. Perhaps if the man had not hit my parked car he would have went on the hit something far worse. Maybe something was about to go wrong with my car that he prevented? Either way 2017 is still going to be my year. It began with a great challenge to my positivity, but it also provided a chance to persevere and remain grateful.
This time of year there is always a lot of talk about changing who we are for the better. About how we can improve on this and do better on that. Here is a better idea – try loving yourself more-.
If that sounds a bit silly or a little too ‘new age-ish” for you stop and think about what we tell ourselves. Last post we talked about what we can do when we make a mistake and how beating ourselves up doesn’t not serve us or anyone else around us. We don’t really seem to talk to ourselves much unless it is criticism.
Let’s be honest, if you are reading a blog like this chances are on a daily basis you do more right than you do wrong. On some days maybe this isn’t true, but as a person you do the best you can to do what is right. If it doesn’t feel like that sometimes it might be because we don’t congratulate ourselves as much as we admonish ourselves.
This weekend try doing two things for yourself. First, try to notice and congratulate yourself when you do something nice. You held the door for someone, you threw your trash away instead of leaving it for someone else to do. Maybe it is that you went to work even though it was cold and you didn’t want to. Take a moment and say to yourself, or out loud if you’re that confident, “hey me (i recommend using your name it’s ok to refer to yourself in the third person just this once) i did a good job right here”.
Second, when you do make a mistake find a good. Yes, i did slip up and have a cigarette, but i haven’t had one for 7 days before that and next time I’ll go even longer!
Try this for a few days and you will notice you feel better over all and you won’t get so down when you make a mistake. After all, you’re amazing just the way you are!
The phrase above translates to “my fault”. Last post we mentioned how even the most ‘enlightened’ or ‘self-evolved’ of us can trip up and do things we know we shouldn’t do. When this happens, when you don’t live up to your own standards it can be one of the worst feelings. Not only have you often hurt or let someone else down, but you have done so by doing something that is out of character. As a fabulous bonus, you can also come across as looking like someone who says one thing and does another. In short, a hypocrite.
So this has all been very inspiring hasn’t it? So you have done great on your goal for so long. You have not smoked, you have controlled your anger, you have been more positive, whatever your goal is. Then you slip up. You have a cigarette on a stressful day,or you blow up when someone seems to push just the right buttons. Maybe you find yourself in a very negative and depressed state? In the past because I worked so hard on being the best I can be, and trying to set a good example for others i would beat myself up for days when i let myself down. Being an author and motivational speaker it is also bad for business. Do you know what is worse, however? Not moving on. If you wish to continue to work on your goal of bring a non smoker,or whatever it might be, you do not want to begin again with a feeling a failure.
So what do you do? Take a step back, catch your breath and confidently say “I screwed up”. Trust me it is quite liberating. If you spend all of your time trying to come up with reasons or justification for your actions you can quite often look like someone who can’t admit they’re wrong at best, or drive yourself insane at the worst. Just own your temporary moment of insanity and strengthen your resolve to do better. Find a better way to deal with stress than lighting up. Try to be more compassionate when someone pushes your buttons. Saying “it’s my fault” not only frees you from spending wasted time trying to excuse your bad behaviour, but also shows you have the character to admit your wrong. Now just focus on making things right!
Last post we talked about why happiness is so important. Now let us look at how to get there. Read the picture above. Here is what is says in a nutshell ‘Happiness is an inside job’. I would like to add a few words though. I would like to put forth that nobody can make you happy, or unhappy without your permission. When I first heard this my first reaction was “Well I can’t help how things make me feel?”. Guess what? You can! So how on earth do we do that? How when the person we gave our heart and soul to tells us “It’s not you it’s just me” can we not feel deflated? How when after we have gave our all someone tells us we are not good enough, can we keep our head held high and move forward?
One simple answer – meaning. I have wrote about this before but it is so important that it bears repeating. If you can not only know this in your mind, but get this in your soul it will make you unstoppable and life will be filled with so much joy you will wonder why you didn’t take time to learn this before. Sound like a big promise? Then I challenge you to do this and prove me wrong.
Here is what I am talking about. Everything that affects us emotionally is determined by the meaning we attach to it. If we can control what things mean to us, we can control how they make us feel. I will attempt to explain this somewhat complex subject in brief here. Ok, say the person we love leaves us. What does that mean? Look at the different reactions people have. I know a friend who recently found himself single. His reaction? He has been in the gym every day creating the best self he can. He is determined to show his former love what she is missing. I also worked with a man whose wife left him and a few days later he ended his life. Now this man had everything going for him. He was charming, smart and had a great sense of humor. What is the difference between the two? Meaning. The first gentleman took stock of where he was, saw his faults and decided to evolve and improve so that moment will have propelled him to be a better man. The second man decided life was over.
Now I hope you don’t find yourself in this situation anytime soon. Now is the time to start working on taking control of your emotions. First, take notes on what makes you happy and what does not. It is important to write them down as it creates a mind/body connection. Then ask yourself why you feel this way. In the case of negative emotions I am going to give you a magical question to ask yourself. Why is it a magical question? It will break your emotional pattern and free you up to remove a lot of those negative emotions. Here is the magical question – what else can this mean -. Perhaps this person who is treating you harshly has something going on in their life you don’t know about? There is a story about a gentleman who was on a subway with a man and his children who were running around screaming and misbehaving. As the blocks went by this gentleman was getting more and more irritated with the lack of parental control this man was demonstrating. In fact as the children’s behavior got worse he just sat there staring into space. Finally the man couldn’t take anymore and said to the man “Don’t you think you should do something about your kids?”. The man looked up for the first time and responded “Yeah, I guess your right. We are just leaving their mom’s funeral and they don’t know how to act and to be honest neither do I”. Imagine how that man felt? It was the meaning he first attached. He was thinking “these kids are misbehaving” “They were not raised right” “This man is a bad parent”. The truth was far different. Now is this easy? absolutely not. In fact, when you have been hurt, it is very hard to ask what else can this mean? To find a positive and motivating purpose in even the worst situations is a life-long challenge that takes continued effort. In fact, even the most self-developed of us can still work on that. The man in the subway, was Stephen Covey a famous speaker, author and self-improvement guru. Next time you find yourself irritated or life throws you a challenge ask yourself “What else can this mean?”. Try to find as many positive possibilities as you can. Trust me, this will be challenging at first, but will get easier the more you do it.
Please share this post and help those you care about to live a more amazing life.
One of the main questions i get asked doing my seminars is “why is happiness so important?”. Why not teach people how to make lots of money? When people are rich they are a lot happier right? Let me ask you this, when someone close to you passes away does your bank account matter? When you get your heart broke does how much you are worth matter? In response to this a lot of people tell me that everyone they know is healthy. Their love life is amazing and in fact they are pretty happy. Another group of people have this answer, “I’ll be happy when…”. The second half of that statement varies, but basically says that some outside circumstance determines your happiness.
Let’s tackle the first statement. If your life is going well, that is awesome! Take notes. That is what makes a successful life. What do I mean take notes? When life is working take notes. Pay attention to what is working for you. Same when life isn’t working. Take notes. That way you will have a recipe that works for your life. Why worry about happiness when you already have it? Simple, life is always changing. In fact, when you are happy is the perfect time to learn about and design your happiness. Our mind is clear, and we will be better prepared to face challenges when they come. If you and your friends planned a white water rafting trip would you wait to learn to swim until you fell out of the raft? Of course not. So learning to manage your emotional state, or to maintain a positive attitude is a skill that not only affects every area of our life, but will determine how much we enjoy the life we have.
That leads us to the second answer. The “I’ll be happy when..” people. So you are waiting for the kids to go off to college and then you will be happy? You are waiting until you get that new promotion and then you will be happy? What will you be doing in the meantime? Reacting to how life decides to treat you? What if that promotion never comes? What if someone close to you passes away? Not a pleasant thought, but it could happen. Then you find yourself saying “I wish I would have enjoyed life more with….”. Here is one other fact, we never know when our time is up. You could eat healthy, go to the gym everyday and life could take you out. So why put off enjoying life? Enjoy the journey. Begin today! Develop and feed your happiness. Life will begin to be so magical. It was John Lennon who said “life is what happens when we are busy making plans”. Do not let that be you. Do not be so focused on a destination you miss the journey. 90% of our time is spent in the journey. So how do we do that? Come back tomorrow and we will tackle that subject.
In the meantime please help me bring light to the world by sharing this blog post on your social media page and by telling your friends about secret2anamazinglife.com.