This post kind of follows a little in the footsteps of our last discussion, only it is a little more proactive. One way to reduce, if not eliminate, most negative souls in your life all together is to become a light of positivity. When sunshine-challenged people, or those with a negative disposition, encounter a positive soul they do one of two things. They either decide right away that this is not a person they want to be around or they work to destroy and bring down the positivity. These two actions have a similar motivation behind them – fear. As unpleasant as living as they do may be, that is their comfort zone. Giving up that negativity and embracing a more positive outlook is not only uncomfortable, but can be downright scary. These thoughts are usually subconscious, but exist just the same.

Let us explore the first option and why it may happen. They decide to that you are not a person they want to surround themselves with. This can lead to individuals no longer wanting to be a part of your life, or in some strange cases, people you meet picking up on your positivity right away and deciding to remain distant. Again, this comes from fear. If you live your life from a standpoint of negativity and encounter a positive person, you face the prospect that they may shed light on what a poor choice living in a negative state can be. Suddenly, you would be faced with the realization that living more positively would lead to a stronger immune system, fewer aches and pains and a lot more friends. Who wouldn’t want that right? Unfortunately, to get there requires admitting that the decisions you have been making up to this point were the incorrect ones. It also requires challenging many of the established beliefs you have such as life being against you, everyone is out to get you, life not being fair, etc. This would leave you feeling lost and a little unstable. It will also be a lot of hard work. Of course the reward would be a much healthier and more fulfilling life than you are living now, but it would be a lot easier and safer to just find a circle of people who reinforce your negative beliefs.

How about the second group of negative people? The ones who attack your positivity. They do it out of the same fear that their negative way of thinking may be incorrect. They also usually have a fair amount of jealousy. After all, you are happy and enjoying life despite often facing the same challenges they are feeling miserable about. They will often call you foolish. They will say you are wearing rose colored glasses or have your head in the sand. What should you do when attacked by such a person? Let them be. The more you respond to their attacks and negativity the more motivated they become. Being positive doesn’t mean not acknowledging the negative in life, it just means not focusing on it, or only focusing on it long enough to create a solution for dealing with it. Deflecting their negative criticisms with deflate their motivation for attacking you and they will search for someone who will be easier to tear down and join them in their world of negativity. There is a great deal of truth to misery loving company.

When it comes to negative people and their place in your life, take their breath away as the quote above says. Understand their desire to tear you down comes from a place of fear. Do your best to be a shining example of positivity. They will either decide that you will not allow their negativity to be an influence in your life and move along, or they may surprise you and seek to join you on the road to positivity. If this is the case, keep in mind all of the changes we discussed earlier this person will have to go through. Be patient and encouraging to them. They are trying to overcome a lifetime (or sometimes generations) of limiting beliefs and negativity. Just continue to be a shining example of the light of positivity. You will draw the ones who are ready to you and repel the ones that are not.


I hear many people discuss how they have decided to remove certain people out of their lives because they want to reduce the amount of negativity/drama/disrespect that these people bring. Good plan. I actually heard no less than 3 examples of this last night. What I find ironic is that this is usually followed up by how much they are concerned that these people are upset with them. This is just another part of the drama and disrespect. If you truly want peace in your life, you may have to deal with some folks not being happy about that. Rest assured they will find another soul to peddle their drama with. They are just upset at the prospect that their audience has decreased by the size of one. This is no longer your problem.

I love this quote because it is quite true. If you were to be asked directly, “What would you give up your peace of mind for?” the answer would be quite high or maybe even nothing at all. Yet, when done indirectly, we settle for some quite low sums. We give up our peace of mind so our coworkers will like us. We give up our peace of mind so we will not look foolish in front of others. We may not look at quite this way, but that is exactly what we are doing. When we engage in needless gossip at work or in a social setting just to fit in, we are giving up our inner peace. There is nothing that will destroy our inner peace like speaking ill of others. When we don’t speak up when we disagree with something that is happening or being said around us, we are giving up our inner peace just so others will not think us as different or rediculous.

Here is another way we negotiate our peace of mind for a price far lower than we should – we react to others. This is one I can be guilty of myself. If someone does something to upset you it can be hard to let that go. It might be bouncing around in your head for some time after. Those pressing thoughts like “Why on earth did they say/do that?” If asked, “Is it true that all someone has to do is say or act in a certain way and you will let them decide your emotional well-being?” Most of us would certainly respond that there is no way we will give them that kind of control over us. Still, isn’t that what we are doing when we let the actions of others upset us? Especially long after the event has occurred. It is a thought worth considering. Next time we find ourselves upset at the actions of others we should ask ourselves this very important question, “Am I negotiating my peace of mind at a price far lower than I deserve? Am I also giving this person’s words and actions control over my mental well-being?” Reframing it this way can change how much importance we place on the poor choices others make and how we let it affect us.

Next time you find yourself concerned that certain people may be exiting your life and taking their drama with them, realize this is the price they are paying for your peace of mind. Is having this person in your life worth the unnecessary drama they bring? All of our friends have problems and down times that we must support them through, but being someone who fills your life with at constant stream of negativity is something you do not need. If you find yourself being upset over the words and actions of these folks it is time to make a change. If they are owning to much space in your head or your heart raise the rent or evict them.


When it comes to the area of self-improvement, one of the things that prevents people, including myself, from using what they know is the complicated nature of it. To be honest, the easier and quicker something works, the more likely I am to implement it in my daily life. It was this thinking that drove the creation of my first book, A Happy Life for Busy People. In it, I used tools that take only 2 to 5 minutes and can have dramatic change in your life. The reason I wrote that book was simple. I wanted to change my life, but every book I read usually contained a litany of changes that involved complex processes. With everything I do in my life, that wasn’t happening. Life is complicated enough, improving it shouldn’t be.

That is why I like the quote above. It gives us 3 criteria to measure things in life by. If what you are doing doesn’t fit these 3 areas, plus a bonus one I am going to give you at the end of this article, then it probably isn’t worth doing. Let’s take them one at a time starting with the first one – make your parents proud. I would say we could even substitute the word ‘parents’ for those who believe in you. When you think of your parents, or people who believe in you and support you, what comes to mind? To me, it is a feeling of gratitude. I am overwhelmed by people who often believe in me more than I do. This can go for your spouse too. When you are making life decisions, especially ones involving morals and character, it is important to think of those who count on you and stand with you. If something would cast you in a negative light, think of how it may affect these individuals. That will help keep you on the straight and narrow path.

To me, this is the least motivating of the 3 steps, but worth considering. I usually recommend not wasting time, energy or thoughts on those who speak or act against you. As with many things in life, this can be easier said than done. This is especially true if the offense comes from somebody you did not expect and can feel like a betrayal. Those really sting. In this case, as is the case if it comes from somebody you don’t like, becoming the best version of yourself is the best answer. I recall a quote from Frank Sinatra – “The best revenge is massive success.” How foolish does someone who speaks ill of you look when you are being the best version of yourself? This includes being kind and compassionate towards others as well as material and life success. Being a great human being does not make you immune from criticism, there are people who will criticize the best of us, but does certainly make those things said against you a lot less believable. Next time you hear or see someone being against you, say to yourself, “thank you for reminding me to be the best version of myself so what you are saying looks foolish.”

The last of the 3 steps listed is one of the most important – make yourself happy. People may view this as a selfish thing to be concerned about, but the opposite is really true. Think about how you treat others when you are happy? Are you more tolerant? How about more forgiving? When you are happy, do you tend to spread that cheer to others? Now, think about how you are to be around when you are unhappy or feeling miserable? Are you more easily upset? Do you tend to complain more? Who would you rather be around, someone who is happy or someone who is not? Being in a positive state has many benefits for you as well. It strengthens the immune system. It prevents things like high blood pressure and upset stomach that being upset can cause. When you are happy you are better able to handle stress and make decisions. You become a more creative problem solver. It helps reduce pain and adds years to your life.

If you still have a problem focusing on making yourself happy here is a thought to help. It does not have to be a you/them proposition. If fact, doing things that make you happy at the cost of other’s happiness will generally make you less happy in the long run. You may need to say ‘no’ to attending a social function and you may need to disappoint people at times for your own physical and mental well-being and that is ok. Quite often explaining that to someone can reveal what degree of friend they are to you. Doing something that will cause another person harm or pain, be it emotional or physical, for your own benefit will leave you feeling regret and guilt in the long run. Chances are it will also leave you with less friends, which in turn will leave you with a lot less happiness. Most of the time, however, keeping yourself happy will also keep your friends happy. When you take time and effort to make yourself happy, you can show up to be a better friend/lover/coworker for those in your life.

Bonus time! If you are looking for another question to ask yourself, try asking this one – Does it make the world a better place? Think of things like throwing your empty bottle in the recycle bin instead of the trash. Not only will that small step make a difference, but it will give you a little feeling of happiness. This isn’t limited to being a responsible consumer, but a responsible human being. Think of what a difference treating everyone with respect and kindness would make? Think of doing this with everyone one you come in contact with? How would the ripple effect of that change the world? Think of the effect if everyone you came in contact with did that? World changing.

I would suggest making sure most of what you do fits in one of these categories. Does it make your parents, and those who believe in you proud? Would it make your enemies jealous or look foolish for speaking ill of you? Would it make you a happier person so you could bring the best version of you to the world? Would what your doing make the world a better place? If so, do it! If not, find a way that it can fit one of these categories. As for myself, I am going to start thinking of activities that I can do more often that may fit several, if not all of these categories. These are 3 steps to living an amazing life.


For those of you who may not know, I am a big fan of Winnie-the-Pooh. Always have been. Whether it is his east going nature, or his loyalty to his friends, he is just a good…um…bear. To this end, I usually read whatever Winnie-the-Pooh books come out (Winnie the Pooh on Problem Solving and The Tao of Pooh are two of my favorites) I also see whatever Winnie-the-Pooh movie comes along.

A few years ago a movie called Christopher Robin came out and Margie was sweet enough to take me to see it. For those of you not familiar, Christopher Robin was the boy who played with Winne-the-Pooh as a young child. This movie shows Christopher Robin as an adult. He has become wrapped up and all consumed in his work much to the detriment of his sanity as well as that of his family. Through a series of adventures, or should I say misadventures, he is reunited with the loveable bear to be reminded of all of the important lessons he learned as a young child.

Pooh on the train

In the film, there is an adorable scene where Pooh is forced to amuse himself while Christopher Robin is again consumed by his work. They happen to be riding a train at the time and Pooh decides to play a game he calls “Say what you see”. The game, much like most things Pooh does, is very simple. All it consists of is Pooh saying out loud what he sees. As Christopher Robin is doing his best to focus on work, he hears a small voice saying things such as “cloud…tree…cow” Irritated this is interrupting his work he yells at Pooh to play the game to himself.

In the movie, this game serves as an important reminder to be present and notice what wonderful things are around you. Oddly enough, I was reminded of this while listening to a great experiment Tony Robins does. To prove how much our minds can see what we are focused on much to the detriment of what we are not (just like Christopher Robin focuses on his work and cannot see the detriment he is causing his family) Tony has everyone look around the room for what they see that is brown. He does this for about 60 seconds reminding everyone to “see what is brown. Look for what it brown” Feel free to try it yourself right now. Then he has them close their eyes and think of everything that is…red. Most people can think of only a few things if anything at all.

I tried using this technique one day on the way home from work. As I drove along, I tried to see everything that was certain colors, say yellow for example. I was amazed to find how much I missed in my everyday commute. I decided it might benefit me even more if I were to notice things that made me happy. Cars that looked fun, houses that I enjoyed, great scenes of natural beauty or anything else. Again, it was shocking how many things you drive by day after day and never notice.

The other day I combined this game with that of Winnie-the-Pooh. I started saying out loud things I noticed at first. As I drove to work at 5am, finding myself saying things like “Dog, birdhouse, tree” out loud not only made me aware of my surroundings, it gave me a little chuckle at that. Recalling what I did with the Tony Robins idea, I decided to say out loud things that I saw that I enjoyed. Who cares anyway? I was in the car alone and the time of my commute was my to spend however I chose. If you carpool or use public transportation, you might want to do this in your head. You will be amazed how even a mere few minutes of this can alter your mood.

Combining the knowledge of a personal-improvement expert and a loveable bear can lead to great discoveries. I encourage you to try this yourself one day. You will be surprised at not only what you miss, but the positive effect it has on your mood. Here is a great side effect I have noticed in playing this game myself. After the initial playing of the game, where I happen to notice things that I enjoy that I might have missed before, they then become ‘present’ to me even when I am not playing the game. For example , on the route I drive for work while playing this game I noticed a particular tree that had a quite unique look about it. Now, when I drive route for work, I notice that tree even when I am not playing the game. This is one of many examples. Can you imagine if your ride to an from work, the grocery store or any other places you go were suddenly filled with things that make you happy? It can be by playing this game brought to us by a “bear of very little brain” as Pooh refers to himself. Do it for 5 minutes or so on different parts of your journey. You will be amazed at what you discover. It will have a positive effect on that days journey and every day to come.

As a special bonus, I have included a link to the very busy Christopher Robin telling Winnie-the-Pooh to amuse himself so he can work in the link below. I highly recommend seeing the entire movie. It is a great reminder for busy adults not to forget the things that are truly important.



The cover of my new book!

On a cold day in December of 2013, my first book A Happy Life for Busy People, was released. It featured some of the best blogs I had written to that point. Focused primarily on happiness, that book was my first dive into the vast ocean of writing. In reflection, that seems like a lifetime ago. My life was different, and I was a different person.

Before that book was even released for sale, I had begun writing the follow up book. The idea was to live a life that felt like you were on vacation, no matter where you were physically. The first step was learning to do this myself. There was much research involved. I interviewed people who seemed to keep a positive resolve despite the most negative of circumstances . I also read and researched countless books and articles on positivity, productivity, spirituality and many other topics related to life satisfaction. I gave many seminars and spoke with those who attended to see what their experiences and challenges were. Through this very blog, I have had the pleasure of connecting with wonderful people from around the globe. I even took a trip to Jamaica with Margie to reconnect with how it feels to actually be on vacation. All in the name of research of course.

Over the next 8 long years, I began to write, rewrite, and try out many of these ideas. In the course of discovering how to turn my own life into something I loved, I had to overcome many of the obstacles we all face from time to time. Loss of a job, loss of those we love, loss of friendships and even the addition, loss and addition again of some extra weight. Realizing life is multifaceted, I began to work on improving one area at a time. Doing so allowed me to gain momentum for improving my life. I began to discover what worked in each one. Some worked in several areas, some methods had to be employed differently depending on the situation.

As you can imagine, this also required making many mistakes. Each one was a valuable learning opportunity. I knew the more mistakes I made and learned from, the less you, my reader, would have to endure. I discovered not only what worked, but how to put it to work in your own life. Imagine instead of waking up with dread, you wake up with a sense of passion and purpose for the day? As you’re going through the day, the feeling of being stressed replaced with one of inner peace? Imagine being able to do all of this without switching jobs (unless you want to), partners or even winning the lottery? Imagine being able to do all of this by using simple secrets that take mere minutes a day and are enjoyable too! You will watch your life improve like magic all while enjoying the process! You may be thinking, “Neil you are living a dream!” I would tell you that you are correct! You too can be Living the Dream by getting your hands on my new book! It can start the day you read the very first page!

Busy People enjoying a happy life!

Last book we showed you how to have a happy life, even if it is a busy one. In this new book you will learn many amazing secrets including, but not limited to the following. You will learn the three levels of life you must master. You will learn how to develop a champion’s mindset. You will discover the essential keys to success and how to use them to unlock any door in life you please. You will be given the magic pill that will transform your life and learn how to become immortal. I will share with you the four-letter word that used to offend me, but now helps me transform my life for the better and accomplish great things with amazing speed. How about relationships? You will learn the one word the will allow you to get inside anyone’s head and know what makes them happy and what does not. Would you like inspiring stories filled with secrets about how others created the life of their dreams? You will find that in your copy of Living the Dream as well! I am so excited for you to get your hands on this life-changing book and begin to turn the life you have into the life your love! Do yourself a favor and click the link below and order your copy today. I look forward to hearing all of the great things it will allow you to do in your own life.



The last eight years have been one crazy journey. Eight years ago in December of 2013 my book A Happy Life for Busy People was released. I think back to where I was, and more to the point, who I was, back then and it seems like a different life entirely.

When I set out to write my first book it was to capture the feeling you have when you are on vacation. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting an exotic tropical location, allow me to explain. When you step off the plane and make your way through the airport a change happens. Once you are on the bus headed for your resort, a different vibe and mindset over take you. Kenny Chesney explains it best in his song “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem” the islands change who you are. Life problems either cease to exist, or are greatly reduced in their importance. A sense of calm and inner peace take over. All of this before you have even had your first cocktail!

All these thoughts might explain the cover of the upcoming release as seen above. I asked myself “Why can’t you keep that feeling of “Living like your on vacation” as the lyric from a song by the band Kiss so eloquently states. That might be the first time someone used eloquent and the band Kiss in the same sentence. I was inspired by a friend of mine, Samantha. When asked how she was doing as she worked at a local restaurant, she would, with a large dose of sarcasm, respond, “Oh, you know, living the dream here at ________” You could fill in the blank with the name of whatever job you hold. My goal was to make that statement not mere sarcastic fodder, but reality.

Over the next eight years I read, researched and tested many tips, secrets, hacks and tools to discover what really made that difference. I even took a trip to Jamaica with my lovely Margie just to recalibrate how that emotion feels. The things I am willing to suffer in the name of writing a great book. I recorded things in notebooks, on my blog and at my live seminars. I tested them out both myself and with my friends and followers. We kept what worked, threw away what didn’t and tweaked what needed to be. As I began to incorporate each of these secrets in my own life, the result was nothing short of magic! I can safely say I am now living the dream. Do I still have challenges? Sure, but I face them with a smile, peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

Just to make sure that I had opportunity to test how effective these tools are and whether they would still work under the most trying of circumstances, life gave me just that. Over the course of two years, I lost several family and friends. In that same year I spoke at 5 different funerals. Not a record I care to try and beat or even repeat. What did get me through was the support and encouragement of countless individuals. When it comes to having people in my corner, I am truly blessed in abundance. From friendly people I meet at the coffee shops I write at, to family, soul friends and certainly my lovely and supportive lady. Who, just for good measure, had lots of struggles of her own as she was writing the foreword to this book. I am proud to say she persevered and did an amazing job. You will be able to see for yourself as that will be the first thing you read as you open the cover of this life-changing book. I was also blessed with several friends who were brave enough to share their stories and the tools they used to make it through some of the toughest trials anyone could imagine. The words of Stephen King above are so true. Writing is a very lonely job. It can take you away from friends and fun for countless nights on end. It does reveal the people who love you the most to be patient and understanding.

This book has taken a lot of my blood, sweat and tears as well as eight years of my life. I am so proud of the result and all of those who played a part in it coming to life. From December of 2013 to June of 2021, we have learned, shared and discovered so much here together, I think you will enjoy reading the end result in your copy of Living the Dream. It will be available by the end of the month. I will be happy to sign your copy should we meet in person! Just for fun I have included a video that Margie made as we pushed the button to make it official. It is short and silly. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing Living the Dream with all of you. I promise it will help take you from the life you have to the life you love!


Growing up, many of us did things we thought were silly just to fit in. We wanted to be part of that certain peer group. Looking back some of these things may seem kind of foolish. One thing that we may have done as well is hide aspects of ourselves we thought people might not like. Perhaps we worried about not seeming ‘cool’ enough. We liked a movie we thought everyone might make fun of us for. Maybe there were even certain friends we didn’t speak to because they didn’t fit that cool group we were looking to be a part of.

I did a lot of stupid things while I was growing up. I think we could all claim that statement to some degree. One thing I was proud of is that I never let anyone decide who I should speak to or be friends with. Even at an early age I realized that all of us have value in different ways. To my everlasting joy this has brought more to my life to most anything else I can think of. The gift of relationships I had formed back then and since have brought me countless blessings.

One thing I did do, and continued to do through adulthood is keep some of who I am to myself. We may worry that revealing too much will leave us vulnerable and open to criticism. It is something I suppose we begin in our teens and carry with through adulthood. We don’t want those at the office thinking we are some kind of weirdo. As we grow older it seems more difficult to make new and deep friendships. I am not 100% certain as to why that might be, I suppose there are several reasons that factor in. So we hide little bits of ourselves in hopes we may not offend too many. We also do want the added drama that comes with showing our true nature. There are times when this is prudent. If you know someone has passionate and opposing views on politics or religion for example, it may be wise to avoid broaching those subjects.

If, however, we really want to develop deep and lasting friendships we should be our complete and full versions of ourselves. As long as we are not hurting others, we should let our light shine as bright as it can. This does two very important things. First, it lets people know who you really are. You may find people who share the same interests that you have you may have considered weird. Like to go ghost hunting? Do you enjoy visiting classic diners? Perhaps you have an interest in bird watching? (these are all true of me btw) The more you put this information out there, the more people will know and you will find yourself crossing paths with those who have similar interests. Even friends who might not share your exact interests, may have a different friend who does and introduce you. Attending events that center around these interests can introduce you to a whole new group of friends. This is something that seems to be difficult as we grow older. Will there be a few who still may give you a hard time or even belittle you for your interests? I am not going to lie, the answer is ‘yes’. There are simply those who haven’t grown up yet. It could be that they are doing so because they are afraid of revealing who they truly are. It could also be that they are just jerks when it comes to that. Which is information that is good to know as well.

The second, and perhaps more powerful thing that being your authentic self does is provide freedom. It can give those around you the freedom and courage to be their authentic self. Margie does this for me to this day. I can still be slightly guarded, and with her free spirit and silly humor can give me the courage to open up a little more.

What I think living life as the truest version of yourself does the best is give you personal freedom. It allows you to live life with a passion and inner joy that those who hide who they are will never fully experience. It also helps you grow and blossom to become even more of what you were born to be. If there is one thing this world needs it is people living the life they love.

In a personal example, I used to keep my self-improvement studies and interests to myself. I figured “who would be interested in this anyway?” I thought it may be to ‘new age’ for some people. I was right, but to a much smaller degree than I anticipated. This is true for almost any interest. What was interesting was that I began to include a circle of new and wonderful people from around the world who share this passion. I have been able to offer them some insight and they have done the same for me! The more of myself I let show, the more free I feel and the deeper the sense of inner peace I experience.

It takes bravery and courage to show the world who you are. The payoff is a group of friends that you can truly connect with and who when they like you, will be liking the complete and true version of who you are. It also helps you bring the most to the world in the time you are here. What is the most beautiful thing is that is provides a sense of inner peace and freedom knowing you can be loved for who you truly are. Be yourself my friends! There is no greater gift you could give yourself or the world.