Here is a good thought to remember- hurting people back makes you just like them. This can be difficult to remember in the middle of an emotional situation when all you want to do is see the other party hurting just as bad as their actions hurt you.

If we are being honest, not only is that becoming just like them, it is the lowest course of action we could take. Giving into our emotions and reacting makes us a slave to both our emotions and the other person’s actions. If we take a breath, and a moment to ourselves, until we are able to respond, then we can make the choices and take the actions that are best for the situation.

It also keeps the door open for the future of the relationship. Reducing the amount of hurt and terrible things done or said,in any relationship, increases the likelihood that relationship will continue.

Next time someone gets you upset, before you react, and hurt them, ask yourself if you are going to be a slave to your emotions and let them control you. Instead, take a moment and respond. That way you are in control. Not the other person’s actions. Not your emotions. You are in control. It will only benefit your relationships in the long term.


The weekend is coming! Certainly, there will be time for some well deserved relaxing. Don’t forget, however, this is a great time to pursue your goals and chase your dreams! While many of us think extra sleep and drinks with friends are the best ways to recharge our batteries, I disagree.

There is nothing like getting one step closer to realizing your dreams to put a fire in your heart and passion in your veins. Whether that is a great workout to get you one step closer to that body you want, or 1000 words to get you closer to writing that book you have been talking about. Getting closer to your end goal builds excitement and certainly recharges the batteries. This weekend take some time to relax, but also use some of this 48 hours to work on your goals and your dreams. They deserve it and so do you!


Middle of the week! In the middle of all our hard work, let us take a second, catch our breath and refocus. Most of us, myself included, do very well at focusing on what needs fixing and what needs to get accomplished. It should be apparent why this would be helpful.

Today, however, let us take just a few minutes for ourselves. Stop whatever we are doing (don’t worry this will be over quickly) and focus on what is going right in our lives. Maybe we are grateful we do not live in a place where there is a war going on. Maybe we are grateful to be healthy. How about the wonderful people in our lives that we love and care about?

Just do this for 2 or 3 minutes. Really do it. Stop whatever else you are doing and just think about everything that is going well and does not need fixing. Can you see how powerful this would be to do on your lunch break? Maybe even while you use the restroom? How about while you wait in line? A quick change in focus can refresh our attitude and our spirit!


Today is the first day of summer where I live. To me, it is one of the best days of the year. I was born in the summer, I love the sunshine and I can never have enough summer fun. Thus, the official start of the season is greeted with great joy and enthusiasm. I am sure the same is true for those of you who enjoy fall or spring. I can’t really wrap my head around those of you who feel this way about winter, but the same must hold true there as well. Another thing that makes this day so special is that where I live summer is very short and fleeting. It makes the season we do have that much more special.

I do my best to enjoy as many wonderful events during this season as I can. As you read this, I will be attending an exciting bike race taking place just blocks from where I live. There will be a street party and many other fun things to do. I will also be enjoying the sunshine and the company of the woman I love. Finding new and exciting ways to celebrate the season I love is a fun adventure. I will do the same, with the help from my lady, for my birthday. We are also planning to take our first vacation in several years.

Both celebrating and planning fun things to do only serves to extend the joy of the actual event itself. Looking at videos of different resorts will certainly put us in an excited state. Perhaps planning a tour or two? Maybe even just planning where will we eat dinner on what night can be exciting. Looking at all the fun places to explore and learn about. This is all before the plane touches down on the runway. Same is true for my thoughts of summer. Margie and I were talking about more picnics and bike rides this year. My mother and I were talking about exploring new parks and woods to hike in. This is all before the season of summer has actually begun. Getting excited for these events will make them more enjoyable, and thought out, when they actually happen.

What events or times of year do you look forward to? How do you celebrate? Remember there is always something to celebrate and be grateful for!


What is your first thought upon waking? If you are like most of us, that can be beginning to fret over the list of things you have to do, or worrying about how little time you have to get ready and get to work. The attitude we bring to our day will tend to follow us the remainder of the day. How much better would we feel if we began our day with a feeling of gratitude for the gift of waking up to another day? How about the excitement at being able to show those we care about in our lives how special they are? The opportunity to make someone else smile? The chance to witness nature and all of its miracles?

Look, I get it. At 4:45 in the morning, these are generally not my first thoughts as the alarm clock wakens me from a blissful slumber. The realization I have to leave a warm bed and a hot lady to drive 35 minutes to go to work is not the most inspiring thought. How can we change this? I have several suggestions and I am looking for more! How can we wake up and focus on what is right with our lives instead of what is wrong? In the first 20 minutes after waking we are most susceptible to suggestion. This is true even when it comes to our own thoughts. That is why it is so important to start the day with a good one!

Here is one of the secrets, making the best of everything. Perhaps having this quote printed, or even written out, next to our bed for us to see first thing in the morning could change our mentality after that alarm goes off? We don’t even have to wait that long. A good deal of us use our phones to wake us up. Do you know there are so many ways to customize your alarm? You can pick a favorite song to wake up to. You can pick something funny or inspiring. I even learned you can type in a saying that your phone will say to you when the alarm goes off. How cool is that?

Another tool we can use is giving ourselves something to look forward to. I mentioned some of the thoughts I had early in the morning. Leaving my warm bed and hot lady. Driving 35 minutes, especially if the weather is not the best. None of these are things to look forward to. One of the things I do in the morning is make myself a cup of coffee. Having a coffee I like would be something to look forward to. What if on that 35 minute drive I had a good audiobook or some music to listen to? That would certainly be something worth waking up for. Sure, we may rather sleep in on any given morning, but having something to look forward to would inject a little positivity into our day.

Another thing I have is a daily calendar that features positive and inspiring quotes. Not only does reading something positive first thing in the morning help, but even looking forward to what they might say goes a little way to help me get out of bed in the morning. You can also get apps on your phone that do the same thing. I have such a thing. Regretfully, they do not post until 7am, almost three hours after I wake up, but it is something to look forward to.

Starting your day in a positive fashion can make the rest of the day, even the challenges, go more smoothly. What do you do, or what could you do to start you day off right? Could you place a picture of the one you love on the bathroom mirror? What about your favorite inspiring quote by the coffee maker? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Let us all share our ideas with each other for a more positive morning and thus a more positive day and positive life!


With all of the negative news on television, it is easy to get trapped and bogged down with feelings of negativity, overwhelm, and hopelessness. Ask yourself this very important question – what has watching, reading or listening to something negative and fear mongering ever got you? Chances are it was the three emotions mentioned earlier.

These negative stories come to us everywhere! On our television sets, on our computer screens, they even go with us courtesy of news alerts on our cell phone! My suggestion? Turn them all off! Replace them with something positive and motivational.

You may say, “but Neil, I need to know what is going on in the world!” Two things of note here. If it is important enough, it will make its way to you anyway. Also, it is more important to focus on what is going on in YOUR WORLD. You can always get a weather app to know if it is going to rain. Why let others decide what you are going to focus on? Especially, if it doesn’t bring you joy? Just turn it off!


A little mid-week motivation for us this morning. In today’s society, it is always tempting to compare our life for those of others. We see people’s best lives on social media. We see the success of our friends and family. Although happy for them, we often look at our own life and wonder where our success is.

Today’s photo serves as a great reminder that we all have our own time to shine. One of the best ways to set ourselves up for the greatest moment to shine, is to celebrate the shine of others. While you are waiting for your moment to shine, look around you and see who is having their moment in the spotlight, and celebrate with them!

We do this for many reasons. One, we should be happy for the success of those in our lives. In law of attraction terms, if we focus on celebrating success, the universe will ultimately give us more success in life to celebrate. It is only a matter of time before it is ours. Also, it helps us feel good. Celebrating the success of those you care about should make you happy. It will also deepen the relationship you have with this person. Lastly, you will have a lot more people willing and eager to celebrate with you when it is your turn to shine!🌞


This post could have been titled many different things. “My secret to happiness” and “23 years of training” were other considerations. Let’s talk about the title i did choose. “Everyone should do this once in their life. ” What should everyone do once in their life? I think everyone should work a job in retail at least once in their life. You should do this for several reasons.

The first reason is that you will have a lot more compassion for people who work in retail. When you may feel tempted to yell at a store clerk during the holidays or demand the coffee shop employee creates your beverage with a certain amount of ice cubes or anything that involves fractions, you will reconsider. You will personally know how it feels to be on the receiving end of that.

The other reason to work a job in retail is to expose yourself to as many different people and ideas as you can. Like anything in life, this can either drive you crazy or make you more open-minded and compassionate. It may be one of the best ways that I know to meet people in many different fields and with many different beliefs. You may discover things that you never knew you enjoyed about some of your fellow human beings. It is good training on managing your emotions when it comes to these same fellow human beings. It will also train you, if you use it for this purpose, on managing your own emotional well-being.

I was a bartender for 23 years. My next book will be my journey from that profession to self-improvement author, speaker and blog writer. In this profession, and just in life in general, one of the questions I get a lot is, “How can you be happy all of the time.” The short answer is that I am not. Margie can certainly attest to that. It also would make life pretty boring. We learn most when we go through challenges. That is where the growth comes from. The goal in life should not be to be happy 100% of the time. You will never achieve that and it may even increase the feelings of failure you have. The goal should be to reduce the frequency and intensity of the times you are not. You should also endeavor to learn from every situation you experience in life.

Learning from everything in life is what I do my best to do. I am always trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. When I think about what allows me to feel upbeat most of the time, a lot of things come to mind. First is gratitude. Developing a attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Surrounding yourself with what Les Brown calls OQP, or only quality people. These are the ones who will both encourage you and hold you accountable. Developing a routine of self-care is another thing that will pay dividends in the long run. I recommend all of these steps to each and every one of you reading this, but it was something I learned on my first day of bartending that made a huge difference.

Jimmy G was the man who trained me. He was one of the most respected bartenders in the city and taught me many things that I will never forget. I had the good fortune to work with and under several amazing men. One of the things Jimmy told me was “Nobody cares about your problems.” He went on to explain that you never want to walk into a bar with a depressed or even indifferent bartender. Whatever is happening in your life, for the time you are behind the bar you must put it behind you. “When you are done working you can go back to being sad, mad or whatever else you are dealing with. When you are behind the bar, you must act as if it is the greatest day of your life.” I used this same manner of thinking when it came to working the window area of the post office. Even if people dealt with me for a mere 60 seconds, I wanted it to be the best 60 seconds of their day.

What I learned by being ‘happy’ for an eight hour bartending shift, is that you can emotionally compartmentalize many emotions. I was forced to learn many methods and find the ones that worked for me. Doing this for the time I was working taught me that I could still have things crumbling down in my life and manage a positive outlook. In doing so, it allowed me to see opportunities and solutions I may have missed if I was in the whirlwind of negative emotion focused on what is wrong. This is a skill that has stuck with me. I am grateful for the chance to learn it. Having a positive outlook, even one that may be just ‘show’ for the public, can help us see ways in which to do so authentically.


When was the last time you asked yourself the very important question, “how can I enjoy life?” I mean actually sat down and mapped out a plan to enjoy life more. It has been quite a while for me. Considering the extent our emotional well-being affects our quality of life, you would think it would be something we ask ourselves often. Yet, it is a question we not only rarely map out an answer to, but hardly ever ask.

I believe the reason we do not place more of our focus on what brings our hearts joy, is because we have been trained to focus on getting things done. Especially in Western society, the focus has been more material. Get that good job. Get that promotion. Get that new car. I’m not here to tell you that having a goal you are working on is a bad thing, quite the opposite. I just believe you should also focus on enjoying the process.

Would you feel that you were a success if you had a great job, a great car, a fancy house and all that money could buy but were miserable? I’m guessing the answer would be no. Material gains are of little value if we are bankrupt emotionally and spiritually. One of the secrets of being happy is being grateful for what you have. Combine this ‘attitude of gratitude’ with the desire to have something better and you have a successful formula for most areas of your life.

Take your relationships for example. If your sole focus is “This relationship should be better.” You are going to feel miserable. Conversely, if your thought is “I am so grateful to be in this relationship. I wonder how I can make it even better?” That will give you an entirely different feeling!

Same holds true for your job. If your thought everyday is “This job sucks!” I can tell the morning commute will not be that much fun. If,however, you say yourself, “I am grateful to have a job. I wonder how I could enjoy it more?” Even if you really want a different job, you can still say to yourself, “I am grateful to have a job while I am pursuing a vocation that speaks to my soul”

In all areas of your life,please remember to include enjoying the process. We spent 80% of our life in the process. If we can find a way to enjoy that, we quite possibly come close to enjoying 100% of life. Try asking yourself today, “what can I do to enjoy my life more?” I would love to hear some of your answers in the comments below!