I think it would be safe to say that most of us underestimate the effect we have on others around us. We hear a lot about emotional trauma people are still feeling from a hurtful act that someone did to them years ago. How many of us still carry around a hurtful memory of a cruel thing someone said to us? It seems painful emotions seem to leave more of a lasting impression. If we think long and hard enough, can’t we remember a teacher who believed in us? How about a meaningful compliment someone paid us that made our day? I do believe we need to put more emphasis on these for two very important reasons.

The first reason is that it helps us balance ourselves and realize that we can overlook a lot of positive experiences that occur in our lives. This can leave us feeling that life is far worse that it actually is. When we were young, when did we right in our diaries? Usually after a heartbreak or some very upsetting moment. As adults, we have to realize to record all of the peaks, as well as the valleys. This can leave us with a feeling of hope and optimisim.

The other reason we should put more attention on the positive inspiring moments should be obvious, but in case it is not, I shall explain it here. One of the most selfish things you can do is to do something for someone else. Why is it selfish? Because it leaves you with such a great feeling you often leave filled with even more joy than the person you helped. One of the greatest ways we can help is to just make as many people as we come in contact with a little happier. That could be through an act of courtesy, a genuine compliment, or another random act of kindness. If we did this for as many people as we can in a day, and each one gives us that feeling of joy, imagine how we would feel at the end of the day?

When you strive to bring light and joy to as many lives as you can every day, there are so many wonderful side-effects that occur. First, you find yourself more popular. People remember your name. Not because of what you did for them or said to them necessarily, but because of how you made them feel. When they do see you, chances are they will greet you with a smile and pleasant demeanor. Can you imagine if 90% of the people you encountered greeted you this way? If you strive to be the person who brings light and love to every situation, they will. Everyone likes someone who makes them feel good. Be that person.


Here is an example of how ideas and inspirations can come up when you are least likely to expect them. This one was relayed to me last Sunday night, or what would more accurately be described as very early Monday morning. After a night of DJing, Margie and I were speaking to our friend Heidi. She is a good friend of ours and this site, often adding very thought-provoking comments to a lot of my posts.

This particular conversation highlighted our morning routines. Mine was about to begin in roughly 2 hours after we completed our show and got back home. We usually get home about 2am and my alarm goes off at 4:45am. This is an every Monday ordeal. Heidi mentioned that in the morning she has what she referred to as ‘Duh Time’. When pressed as to what this actually meant, she explained it was just time sitting in silence not thinking or doing anything. Just sitting there mentally unattached. In a world where many of us wake up and grab our phone or check our emails, this is a very healthy alternative.

These moments of silence are worth their weight in gold. Starting our day with some time for ourselves and our thoughts allows us to get ourselves together. Before injecting any outside influences into our day, which can often be of the negative variety, we have a second to just breathe and relax. If we want to make this even more powerful, after a few minutes in silence, we could add some thoughts of gratitude or gratitude affirmations. There is another thing that happens during this ‘Duh Time’.

Often, our subconscious mind will have been working on a problem that is vexing us in the background. This happens while we are sleeping or otherwise occupied doing something else. When if finally comes up with a great idea and solution, it has to relay that information to the conscious or waking mind. The trouble is, when we are always busy thinking or doing something, there is no opportunity for our mind to speak to us. It is like trying to interject a meaningful replay to a friend who never stops talking. You may have the greatest idea, but they will never hear it if they don’t stop and listen. They same can be said with your mind. We need to stop and listen.

Give yourself some ‘Duh Time’. Your mind will thank you. Your day will thank you. Your life will thank you. I would love to hear what benefits you have found in sitting in silence. Is there a morning ritual that you find helps you live an amazing life? Share it with the rest of us so that we may benefit as well.


This is one of the first pictures Margie and I took as a couple. It is also one of my favorites. This morning while I was relaxing and enjoying my morning coffee, I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone looking to eliminate some I did not need anymore. This is always a good practice to do every so often. There was an interesting side-effect to all of this. As Margie worked obsessively on a cake she is making for a contest, I was thinking how adorable I found her even when she is stressed out. Here is a little side note about the love of my life, she is one of those people who look adorable in every picture they take. This always fills me with a mix of pride and envy. I thought of this as I scrolled through my pictures.

As I scrolled through the pictures, I noticed all of the things we have been through and all the moments we have shared. I saw all of the wonderful people we had spent time with. I noticed how we changed (She got cuter, I got older) and the different ways that we showed our love for each other. It made me stop and be grateful for something that I might not always appreciate to the level I should. After all, I have a beautiful lady and have had the opportunity to create a beautiful life with her by each other’s side. This not only holds true for romantic relationships, but friendships as well. Family too. Think of all the years and events that people that have shared life with you. A trip down memory lane may very well strengthen the wonderful feelings you already have for them.

This evening, why not take a moment and put together a group of pictures of someone who means the world to you. This could be a lover, a friend, a parent or a child. You could put a special album of pictures in your phone, you can have a photo album made or make one yourself. Look through it every once in a while and appreciate how much they have added to your life and how different life would be without them. As a bonus, you can do this for yourself. Capture some of your greatest moments throughout the years. Think of not only all you have accomplished, but all you have made it through. This will only make you love your life, and the people in it, more than ever. I am going to leave you with another one of my favorite pictures of the love of my life. It was the first time she ever made me a cup of coffee and was so proud. Proof she is as beautiful as an angel, even first thing in the morning!


Here we are, Monday morning! We have a great and powerful idea to not only discuss, but to put to work this week. The title of this post may shock you. A site dedicated to self-improvement tell you to forget affirmations. After all, affirmations have been suggested in almost every success book published, including mine. They help keep your goal front and center and keep you focused on the positive. They have also been suggested in many Law of Attraction books and even the movie, The Secret. With all of these sources mentioning affirmations, why would we be telling you to forget them in favor of trying something else?

Affirmations do a lot of great things and they certainly have a place in self-improvement. They do have one little problem, our own mind. Have you ever tried repeating “I am wealthy and drive the car of my dreams.” While you climb into your 2005 Ford escape? I mean hypothetically? Your reasoning logical mind can’t help but use your 5 senses to point out that this indeed is not your dream car. Affirmations are most powerful when they have a corresponding feeling to back them up. You can repeat “I have the lover of my dreams.” but if the other side of the bed is empty, that wicked conscious mind will let you know that you are one person light of a great relationship.

So, how do we manage to get a feeling of where we want to be, when our mind keeps pointing out where we currently are. Even those of us with the best imagination can find it difficult to imagine they are in the Maldives when they are shoveling snow in below zero weather. There is a way to turn the tables on your mind and make it work for you instead of against you. This can be summed up in one line – ask it a question.

When we ask our mind a question, it doesn’t rest until it comes up with an answer. Unfortunately, we often use this against ourselves by asking disempowering questions such as, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “How come I can never lose weight?” What if we used this power to help us reach our goals? How can we do this? By phrasing our affirmation in the form of a question. Precluding our affirmation by asking our mind “What would it feel like if ____” This causes our mind to use all of our senses to visualize our goal. When shoveling if you asked yourself “What would it feel like if I was in the Maldives?” Your brain would come up with answers such as, “I would be warm.” and “I would feel light instead of having six layers on.” Your mind will come up with the scent of the ocean, the feel of the sun, the smell of the tropical food, the taste of the cold cocktail and the sound of all the people playing in the pool.

Asking yourself a question causes the brain to come up with an answer instead of arguing with reality. It will help capture the feeling of the goal being accomplished instead of preventing it. This will help you accomplish your goal within a very short time. Why not try this for the week and see how it goes. At the very least, you will give yourself a mental vacation.


What can your garden possibly reveal about your life? A lot. For those of you that are like me and have a thumb that tends to be a little more brown than green, fear not, it is more than your garden. If you have a garden, or just a yard around your house would you want it to look good and be doing well? I think most of us, especially those that read this blog, would answer in the affirmative. If, for some reason, your garden is not looking so good what would you do? Would you give up and just let it go? Would you spend extra time pulling up weeds and watering it? Would you call someone who knows better than you? In my case that would be my good soul friend Shannon. Maybe you would read up and study the different plants.

These may all seem like logical answers, but how you treat your garden has a lot to do with how other aspects of you life will turn out as well. What would you do if your relationship was not looking so good? Would you just let it run its course? Would you perhaps leave and go to a different relationship? That is like tilling a new field with the same gardening skills. You are likely to get the same result. Would you get in there and start working on pulling weeds (addressing problems) and watering (adding love wherever you can)? Would you read a book that can tell you more about how to have a successful relationship? Would you call a friend who has a great relationship?

You may think that this isn’t so. You may think you can put forth great effort in one area, such as a relationship, but slack off at your job. You may think that being a great father or mother and a great husband or wife take two separate traits. That is not really so. Consistent action, admitting to ourselves and others that we do not know everything and seeking the wise counsel of others, whether that be in person or through some other medium. Develop successful habits in one area and it will be a lot easier to do in others. The danger here is that it is a double edge sword. Develop lazy and unproductive habits and they will carry over to other aspects of your life, no matter how hard you try.

As Aristotle said, we are what we repeatedly do. What do you repeatedly do everyday? Is it successful habits? Are there areas which you could improve? If you are human, I would imagine the answer to the second question is a resounding “Yes!” This is good news, because it means there is room for both you and your life to get even better than it is now!

Here is a suggestion that I found worked in my own life. Start by putting habits in place in areas you are confident in first. If you are looking to be more self-disciplined, would it be easier to keep to a schedule at the gym, or getting up without hitting the snooze button? Start there and develop the habit. Once you have discipline in the area of life you are confident in, it will be easier to apply it to other areas of your life. Also, be on the look out for areas in which you are starting to develop bad habits. Are you slipping at the gym? Are you showing up for work late? It will only be a matter of time before this starts affecting other areas of your life. Make sure you address them as soon as you can.


This is a notification that I received a few days ago. At the time you are reading this, I believe we will be up to 103 days in a row. That is 103 days where I have written something to share with you, my wonderful reader and friend. I can say that because we are kindred spirits. You are reading posts on a site about living an amazing life. You are eager to learn tools and strategies that can improve the quality of your life. That is what I did over 20 years ago. That has allowed me to write over 1700 blog post, 3 books, and to date, 7 podcast episodes(found at living the dream with Neil Panosian) along with over 100 YouTube videos. (found at the channel ‘Neil Panosian’).

By doing this, I have reached people in over 187 countries. This is a feat that I could not imagine when I sat down at my computer to begin this blog in 2012. My books have been sold and read in multiple countries. There are still goals to reach, such as my good friends in Greenland, but every post helps me reach even more. In these 100 days of posting I believe I added a few new countries to those who have read my writing. More importantly, it has allowed me to share what I have both learned from others and discovered on my own to make our lives and the world at large a far more positive place.

That is the key to success – consistent action. It is like the old adage about chopping down a tree, was it the last swing of the axe that felled the tree or all of those swings before it? The answer is ‘yes’. It is both that final swing, as well as all of the ones that proceeded it. We may not think we are getting very far or making a great deal of progress as we begin. It may be hard to even see the result in our heads. Think of the tree metaphor. Could the tree have been chopped down if we skipped the first few deflating swings and went straight to the final swing? Most of you will realize what a foolish question this is. We could not even have the final swing if it were not for the many that proceeded it, including the first few that seemed like we were getting nowhere.

This same situation is true for any goal you are chasing in your life. At first it may not seem like you are getting anywhere. If you keep up with consistent action, you will look up one day to find that your goal is in sight! You will smile thinking of all the work you put in to get where you are today. You will be proud of yourself for not quitting when it looked as if you may never reach the destination you had set for yourself.

I would like to mention I am in no way promoting chopping down trees and to reassure everyone, no trees were harmed in the writing of this post.


This is not a post about breaking up with a lover. It is not a post about quitting your job or any other act of finality. It is about an act that we all do at least once, sometimes several times a day. Changing how we end this act can have a very positive impact on our life and those we share it with. Today we will be learning how to end this act so that both parties leave with a smile and a desire to get together again. Doesn’t this sound like something that could be useful in your own life? This ending we are speaking about is the end of a conversation.

This is something we often give little or no thought to. Most of the time, we just let conversations end themselves. Here is a somewhat morbid, but never-the-less true statement. At some point, the conversation you are going to have with someone will be the last. What would you say and how would you like them to feel if that were the case? It might not be this week, it might not be today, but then again…it might be. That is part of the craziness of the world; we never know.

While you are keeping that sobering thought in mind, I encourage you to ask yourself a question as well. This may seem like a lot of work, but stick with me. Not only will this pay off with both better conversations as well as better relationships. Ask yourself, “How do I want this person to feel when they leave me?” Have you ever encountered people who after you are done talking with them you want to take a shower to wash off the negativity? I have. Have you also left someone and just felt inspired and like their company was a real breath of fresh air? I think it would be safe to say we have all had our share of both of those situations. Now, think of how many times you have consciously acted to affect a conversation you are having? You have that power!

I would love to give you a personal example. The other day my mother and I met for coffee. Both of our schedules are usually pretty busy and walks or coffee are welcome escapes. They always come with great conversation. On this evening as our time together was drawing to a close, we found ourselves discussing the somewhat absurd nature of political ads. The fact that they spend great amounts of money to tell you how terrible their opponent is without actually telling you what they will do for you or any solution they may have. If you don’t believe me, feel free to check your mail or turn on the television. As with any conversation to do with politics, this started to leave us feeling drained and frustrated. The thought occurred to me, “Is this how I want us to go home feeling?” The obvious answer was “No”. I began to make a conscious effort to steer the conversation to a more inspiring and positive tone.

We all have the power to do this. Even with people that enjoy each other’s company, such as my mother and I in the example above, the conversation can take an occasional downturn. The more we make an effort to keep our conversations uplifting and encouraging, the more people will want to have them with us. That is not to say we should be ignorant or fake, but to find ways to see the positive side of even the darkest subjects we discuss. We should also make a point to end our conversations in such a way that both parties leave with joy in their hearts and a smile on their face. How do you end your conversation to make sure everyone leaves with a smile?


My schedule is one that is quite full. I spend roughly 46 hours commuting and working at my day job at the post office. On top of that, I spend about one to two hours at the gym three days a week. I record three podcast episodes a week. I am currently working on my fourth book. People are always asking me, “How can you still spend time doing blogs everyday?” This is compounded by the fact that they bring me very little, if any, financial gain. The picture above can help us answer that question. It is a partial list of countries that had logged on to read my blog during a particular week.

The last country on the list is Ukraine. This country is facing one of the toughest times in its history. People are being forced from their homes. If they are staying, they often have to do so without power, running water and under the threat of violence and destruction. To know that a person in this country took the time to log on to, is not only a great honor, but a great responsibility. How many of us have thought to ourselves, “I sure wish I could say something encouraging to all of the people in the Ukraine.”? In this case, I get that chance. When you are living in a country that is at war, you need all of the inspiration you can get. It is difficult to keep your head above water, not to mention deal with all of the death and destruction. A voice of inspiration, encouragement and motivation from afar could be, at the very least, a welcome escape.

If you look a little further up on the list, you will see Puerto Rico. This view happened shortly after the island was devastated by a hurricane. There was almost no power on the entire island. Yet, someone still managed to log on to this blog to read what was written here. Very likely, their valuables were washed away. It is probable that their house was damaged in some form. They may have even lost some loved ones. These people came to read what I have written. Again, quite an honor, but an even greater responsibility. What could I possibly say to someone in that situation?

It does not have to be people in countries who are both ravaged by war and natural disasters. Take a look at any of the other countries. Any one of the people in Ecuador or Ethiopia could be facing one of the darkest days of their lives. Maybe they have lost a job. They could be experiencing the grief of losing a loved one. It is thoughts like this that are in my mind as I write these words. How can I write these blogs? To me the question is more accurately, “How could I not write these blogs?” If my words could improve the life of a neighbor down the street, or halfway across the globe, I owe it to them to share both the knowledge I know, as well as the love in my heart with them.

You may be thinking to yourself, “That is great Neil, but I don’t have a blog.” It is not just the online community that needs our love and encouragement. In todays social media world, where many people can forget the power of their words, we must remember what a positive impact ours can have. It could be someone who is in our social media network. It could also be a coworker or even the guy sitting at Starbucks with no shoes on. That last one is a personal observation I made while writing this. Any of those people could be facing some of the challenges we mentioned earlier. You may never know the impact your positive words or actions may have, but know they do make a difference.