Here we go! The last day of the year. As we look forward to the new year, many of us will make resolutions and think about what goals we would like to accomplish in the next 365 days. That is good. I would like to encourage that. Looking to improve yourself is always something to strive for. This year, I would like you to contemplate something new. This was brought to me by doing something that I have told you about earlier this year. I heard it while listening to some daily motivational and inspirational videos.

The message came from Inky Johnson, the man pictured above. In case you haven’t read any of my previous posts about him, allow me to provide you a quick explanation. Inky Johnson was a stand out college football player. He was projected to be an early first-round pick and an instant millionaire. He came from a very poor family and was looking forward to being able to help them move to a better location. Only a few games before being drafted, Inky suffered a hit that ended up costing him the use of his right arm and the ability to ever play football again. In one play, all of the years of hard work and dreams of being able to help his family were taken away from him. That would be enough to break most people. Not Inky Johnson. When the doctors told him that he would never be able to use his arm again, he politely corrected them. “I am going to use this arm every day.” was his response. Inky has went on to be one of the most powerful speakers and motivators. He uses his story to inspire those that he speaks to.

When someone like that speaks, I tend to listen. What about all of those years of discipline and hard work that seemed to be for nothing? He has an answer for that too. He said something in this video that really stuck with me. He said if you want long-term success, you should eliminate the outcome. This sounds very counterintuitive, but considering who was speaking, I listened. He explained if you tie your efforts to an outcome, you will never be successful. The outcome, he said, can be taken away from you. I think he knows a thing or two about that. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as his situation. You could have been a great employee for years at your company and then they have to downsize or go out of business. You could work on being a great spouse, and your lover could leave you.

What is the point here? Don’t have any goals? Don’t chase any dreams? Not at all. What Inky said next in the video really made sense. He asked, “What is more important? What you get or who you become?” You see my friends, what you get can always be taken away from you, but who you become is yours forever. If your goal is to get in shape for that class reunion, that is good, but what if it gets canceled? How about getting in shape because you want to give your children someone they can be proud of? How about becoming someone who can be proud of themselves?

When we are setting our goals for the coming year, let us focus on who we want to become and not just what we hope to obtain. Ask yourself, who do you want to be in the coming year?



One of the most ironic things that I hear as a life coach is that people do not have the time for self-care and self-improvement. The misconception here is that it is somehow a separate area of your life. They will say things such as “I know I need to take better care of my mental and physical health, but I really need to focus on my money situation.” or “I would love to spend more time improving the way I deal with stress, but the kids keep me so busy.”

Do you know what the common denominator in your money, your parenting, your career as well as every other area of your life is? I give you a really big clue, you can find it in the mirror. You are the common ingredient in every area of your life that you are trying to improve. Worried about your health? Here is an interesting fact, do you know that you are 11% more likely to have a heart attack on Monday morning than any other day? How can that be? We hear about smoking, alcohol consumption and diet being risk factors. None of them would make Monday worse than any other day. What the data tells us is that life and job dissatisfaction is one of the main risk factors for heart attacks. When you are going to a job that is killing your soul every week, it might be killing more than that. If you are having an issue dealing with work stress, not taking the time to get help and learn to use stress in a healthy way can end up costing you a lot more than just medical bills.

How about money? Everybody needs to focus on their finances. What would we need to be more financially healthy? Energy? The ability to deal with stress and change? Focus? The ability to perform better at work? How are all of these obtained? We could focus on each area one at a time, which a lot of us do, but there is a quicker way. That is to focus on you. If you improve yourself, you will be a better parent, a better employee, a better business owner, a better friend and a better lover. When we improve ourselves, our lives improve. If you bring a better ‘you’ to any area of your life, that area will improve.

In closing, we need to stop treating self-care and self-improvement as a separate area of our life. Instead, we need to understand by focusing on improving ourselves, every area of our life will improve. If we focus on our physical health, for example, we will be sick less often. This would allow us to use less sick days at work. It would give us more quality time with our children and our spouse. That would make us better parents and lovers. If we improve our mental health and ability to deal with stress and change, that will help us be a more patient and attentive lover, parent and coworker. If we work on improving our listening skills…well, you get the idea. Focus on yourself. It is one of the best things you can do for everyone else.


As the year draws to a close and we look forward to 2023, I would invite you to do one thing. Introduce yourself. This blog is called Secret2anamazinglife. It is a place to both give and receive. We are followed in all but 8 countries in this amazing planet of ours. We are followed on all 7 continents. That means there are so many of you out there with secrets that help you live an amazing life. It would benefit us all to know them. That is why I would like to extend an invitation to introduce yourself. Tell us where you read these posts of inspiration and motivation. Let us know a little about yourself. What do you enjoy about what we share here? Most importantly, share your knowledge. What do you do to live an amazing life?

Each of our lives, whether that be our personal experiences, the country we live in, the people we know, the jobs we hold or the pets we have, hold secrets to living an amazing life that are worth sharing. I get regular feedback from my friends in Italy, Greece, and Lebanon. I would love to hear from people in every country we are followed in. By all of us sharing, we can help each other live a more amazing life. We have over 4000 followers in India alone. 1000 in South Africa. Each one of you is awesome and a great asset to this website. In the coming years, I hope to meet a lot more of you. Certainly, my followers in Fiji and the Maldives can host a book signing. I would be happy to come out and shake your hands. In regards to our friends in France, Peru, and Kenya, as well as everywhere in between, it would be wonderful to meet you at the very least virtually. Tell me what you would like to read more about. Tell me what you enjoy about this site and what is important to you. In what ways do you benefit from what we share? In what ways could we improve?

Lastly, I invite you to share this site. The more people we can reach, the more we can spread the positive, motivational and inspiring messages we share here. Share the posts you enjoy on your social media pages. Invite others you think could benefit from learning secrets to an amazing life to be a part of our family. That is what I consider all of you, a family. We all gather here to both discover and appreciate the true miracle we are all living. Let us introduce and meet each other. Share a little about yourself in the comments below and please continue to do so all year long. Your interaction only makes what we share here stronger. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

As a bonus, you are all invited to become a part of my new Podcast, Living the Dream with Neil Panosian. Here you will hear me read sections of my books and get the behind the scenes information as to what went in to creating them. You can also listen to inspirational messages as you drive in your car, go for a walk, workout at the gym or whatever else you may be doing. Just click on the link below to listen and subscribe. It is an opportunity to become part of another inspiring community of like-minded people.



The above picture was taken in fern Gully Jamaica in 2019. Margie and I had met this very nice lady, I think her name was Stephanie, on the tour we were on. It was truly a wonderful vacation where we met a lot of nice people. I often reflect on what a good time we had and miss being somewhere tropical with my love. We are currently planning on taking another trip in February to somewhere warm and sunny. It is tricky not to have my mind back in 2019, or look forward a couple of months to our next adventure. It certainly helps to do that when the temperature was well below freezing and the weatherman was cautioning you to stay inside.

Having these little mental vacations is not only helpful, it is recommended to maintain your sanity. They were only made possible by creating those memories in the moment. In a world where many of us post pictures of every meal we eat, it is just as important to slow down and enjoy the meal as we eat it. What good would it do us to look back at a picture of a mouth-watering meal and not remember what it tastes like? The picture from Jamaica was taken because we really enjoyed this young lady’s hospitality and wanted to remember the good time we had.

Here is another picture from a trip Margie and I went on. This one was to a city about an hour or so from where we live. We did so many fun things while we were there. One of my favorites was discovering a coffee shop that employed people with mental and physical challenges, giving them valuable experience in the workplace and an opportunity to feel how important and valuable they are. I even have a sticker from that coffee shop on the laptop I write on. If I would have stayed focused on how much I enjoyed our Jamaican vacation, I would not have been able to enjoy this one to the fullest. That would have been a shame. Not to mention, I was lucky enough to enjoy both of them with this beautiful lady.

During the holidays, this can be tough advice to follow. Especially, when we lose someone we really care about. Above is a picture of my grandparents. I recall a house full of people. My grandmother, and other relatives, making enough food for at least twice as many people as were present. It seemed the whole family got together. They have long passed away. The family does not seem to gather like it used to. I not only miss them, but those moments. Then I remind myself to do one thing – look around the table. It is very hard not to let our sadness of missing those we love overcome our gratitude for those we still have in our lives. This is brought home every time that I scroll through my friends on social media. I notice how many people, young and old, are no longer with us. It would be a shame to be missing them and not be able to appreciate the long list of those still with us. While our hearts are longing for those who left us, please let us look up and feel a great deal of love and gratitude for those who we are still blessed to have in our lives. Next year the list may be smaller and it would do our hearts good to know that we took the time to appreciate them while they were here. Loss is painful, but it is only made worse by regret.

One way to ease the burden of loss is to know that we lived, laughed and loved with those who meant the most to us. It will not only help us ease the feelings of loss we have for those who have already gone, but help that same feelings of those we will tragically lose in the future. Love who you have as much as you can and your life will be full of joy and peace.


I love this picture for several reasons. First, I am a huge fan of Winnie-the-Pooh. Second, the quote by Hans Christian Anderson is amazing. Last post we spoke about changing perspective. Can you imagine viewing a lot of our everyday things as miracles? To some of you that may seem like a stretch, but really it is not. Take the simple act of eating. Food grows using the power of the sun. It is composed of complex molecules of all different sorts. We mash it up using our teeth and swallow it. Somehow, inside of our stomach it is transformed from a piece of broccoli, or in my case a slice of deluxe pizza, to a source of energy that powers all of the processes in our body. This occurs without us having to learn or do a single thing. Pretty amazing if I must say so myself.

Here is another aspect of miracles, being grateful. When you think of the things mentioned above, they might seem like the basic items of life. It is true that everyone should have these items. It is also true, that the vast majority of people on this planet do not. If you are reading this, it is assumed you have an internet connection in some fashion. Think of the miracles of that! You can access knowledge of the ages in the palm of your hand, in the case of a cell phone. When I was young you had to go to the library and search through volumes of books called encyclopedias. Today you just talk into your phone and access Wikopedia in seconds. 100 years ago, electricity and running water was just beginning to be the norm. Today, in places like war-torn Ukraine, and many rural villages in Africa it is still a luxury. Many of the things we can take for granted can be ripped from our lives in the blink of an eye. As I write this, the western part of the United States is being subjected to a terrible winter storm. 40 people have already lost their lives and thousands more are without power.

This is not meant to be a doom and gloom post. Just a poignant reminder that many of the basic services will become a luxury if they are taken away. A mother in Kyiv would give anything to have a safe roof over her head and a place to raise her children without the fear of a bomb falling on them. Do you have that? Be grateful. Somewhere in western New York, a family was wishing they had heat to be able to stay healthy and enjoy the holidays. Did you have that? Be grateful. There is a tired clichΓ© that we do not know what we have until it is gone. For most of us, that is uncomfortably true. As the year draws to a close, I invite all of us to consider the ordinary things of our lives and how miraculous they truly are. Think of what many of us take for granted that others would be so grateful to have.


This is a view from the hotel that I took my lovely Margie for her birthday πŸŽ‚ Stepping back and looking at the city from this angle certainly changes how you view things. In the thick of things with the pollution, hustle and bustle you can miss some of the beauty of the architecture, the lights, and the cityscape itself.

The same can be said for life. In the middle of our work-a-day world, focused on working and paying bills, we miss a lot of the beauty of our lives. It’s not our fault. Life gets so busy it seems to fly by in a blur. We need to “push pause” and appreciate the beauty of our lives.

If life is so busy, how can we manage to do this? Who has time to step back and just appreciate life? Lately, Margie and I have been crazy. I’ve been working about 50 hours a week at my day job, plus working on my fourth book and of course bringing you this daily inspiration. Margie was finishing school, under the weather and still making delicious desserts to brighten people’s lives. We, like many other busy couples, fall into the habit of being too busy for each other.

I’m sure you have felt it. You both are working hard and feeling tired. Suddenly, you find yourself being irritated with the person you share a living space with. Everything you have going on and they want to spend quality time together? You may even snap at each other or speak in a less than loving tone. Not because you are necessarily upset with them but because there is too much life on your plate.

When this happens, that’s when you need to pull the emergency brake. Trust me, if you don’t notice it is happening, your partner may gently remind you it is. Here are some secrets to getting a new perspective. First, apologize. Explain that you lost focus. This is not a bad thing, but will let your partner know that life, not them, is what has your nerves frayed. Second, take a step back – literally. When you take a physical action, it can change your emotional state. There is a whole chapter about this in my second book, Living the Dream. Wherever you are, take one step back. Take a deep breath and slowly let it out while your at it.

Next, change what you focus on. Last night Margie made us quesadillas for dinner. I took a step back and watched her flipping them on the griddle. All i could think was “How is such a beautiful and funny woman also such a great cook?” That got me thinking how grateful I was that we were together. How she can always make me laugh,or at least raise one eyebrow.

In your life, take a step back regularly. The more you do it the more you will see a great deal of the beauty you may have missed while you were busy living life.


I am currently about 10,000 words into my fourth book. At about the 6000 word point, I realized this book was going to be something entirely different than I expected. By writing this story, I am learning a lot about myself and my life. Just another great reason for everyone to write their story. You never even have to show it to anyone else. So far, only Margie has heard what I have written. I think her lone comment was, “It is funny.” but we are getting there.

Aside from the comedy that was my young and crazy life, I learned several valuable lessons. This sounds crazy even as I am writing it. You would think that you are more likely to learn a lesson by living it, but many of them only appeared as I began to write about them. Maybe it was the space of time and distance that allowed me to gain a proper perspective. Maybe I was just to young and stupid to appreciate what life, the universe, God an the world were trying to teach me. It is probably a combination of the two.

One of the great lessons that occurred to me this morning was this – every great triumph in my life was proceeded by a tragedy. Every great period of growth and evolution was proceeded by a death of sorts. The ‘me’ that was had to be humbled and often that version of me was put to death. At that point, it felt that life had beaten me. There were job losses, people losses, health losses. After all of them, much like the mythical Phoenix, I rose from the ashes as a more powerful, more evolved version of me. The hard truth is that none of that growth would have been possible without the death.

A person close to me once told me, “Neil, life always seems to knock you down, but then you end up in an even better spot.” Quite true. The more I thought about that as I wrote, the more it seemed to show up. It revealed one of the secrets to not only my success, but success for anyone. It is a 3 word lesson – Triumph. Over. Tragedy. We are never really down until we refuse to get up. When life beats you down, remember this lesson. Look for the opportunity for growth. Use the ashes to build yourself anew. A stronger, more resilient and more evolved version of you. This thought can be summed up in this beautiful quote from Wilma Mankiller.


I was reading a book by Pam Grout. Rather insightful and entertaining author. I highly recommend checking out her books. She is best known for her book E-Squared. It is a list of experiments to help prove that your thoughts create your reality. I highly recommend reading it. The book I was leafing through is called The Course In Miracles Experiment. It is composed of 365 life lessons based on the course in miracles.

There is a line that begins lesson 24 that really struck me as I read it. When I excitedly shared it with Margie, she looked at me and said “You already know that.” This was true, but have you ever heard something you have heard a million times before and it was worded in just such a way that it really got through? This was the case here. The line read,”The brain is basically a bureaucrat. It looks at the past, applies it to the present and uses it as a map to predict the future.” Think about how true this statement is. πŸ€”

When we plan our future, we think about what happened in the past, apply that to our current life situation and use that to predict our future. Now, think of how stupid that is. First, if we think of how things always were and apply that to our current actions, do you think our future will be much different? Probably not. Our life becomes some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s great if our life is a continuous bucket of smiles, but even then, the past does not necessarily dictate the future.

Think of it this way. What worked in the past might not work in the future. What didn’t work in the past might work in the future. There are just too many variables. Speaking of variables, we must also take into account something that doesn’t vary. The only thing that is constant – change. If we base our course of action on events in our past, do you think that leaves us open to problems?

You would not drive cross country with a map from the 1800’s? Don’t do the same thing with your life. People change. Opinions change. The world changes. Our thinking must adapt with it. Learn lessons from the past, but don’t base the future on it.


It might be slightly ironic that one of my favorite people to quote is a French writer, but it is. Voltaire had a lot of interesting points of view. I like this quote specifically. How many of us have commented, at one time or another, about God’s sense of humor. In my life, there have been many examples.

More interesting in this quote, is the inference that we all take life far too seriously. Most of what we concern ourselves with, will not matter months, weeks or even days from now. Off the top of your head, can you name the Super Bowl champion from 4 years ago? How about the World Cup champion from 3 years ago? My guess is that unless you are from the location that won, or you are a super fan of the sport, your answer would be ‘no’. Yet, how many grown adults scream at each other every game? Dont even get me started on people who worry if they do not have the right brand of shoes or clothing on. Some of the happiest people in the world can hardly afford shoes.

Even the more ‘serious’ of the worries are only as important as the amount of our energy that we designate to them. Read that last line again slowly. Remember in high school when you had your first heart break? Seemed like the world would end. Now, how many times do you even stop and think about it? Lose a job you thought you would have until you retired? Certainly sucks, but that has been the starting point for a lot of amazing life stories. I believe God is a comedian. I believe the purpose of life is to find love and laughter as much as you can. I believe the ultimate gift is to not only find the humor in life, but most importantly, sharing it with others. For the last few days of the year, let us do ourselves a terrific favor. Let us lighten up, not take things too seriously and not be afraid to laugh.