Every so often, I search myself on Google. This is not some exercise in vanity, or to serve my ego.As an author, I like to make sure that the information and links are correct. Go ahead and Google “Neil Panosian” yourself. You will discover manynew and fun ways to connect with this author.
In doing so last night, I learned something that taught me 2 very important things. They came one right after another. I learned that an interview that I had done was picked up by a local Fox News affiliate in New York. That means I was able to reach and hopefully inspire people in a new region. I was keenly unaware this even happened.
That is where the second lesson came to mind. This one was even more important. It made me realize the parallel between this interview and life in general. All too often, we feel we are not having the impact, or doing as much good, as we would like to. Much like this interview, the good we do can often travel farther than we ever realize.
Unfortunately, there is no Google to see how much we have impacted the lives of others. What this story does remind us of, is that we may never know how far our influence may reach. Let’s make sure it is a good one and know that we make more of a difference than we can ever know.
Who out there would like to support local businesses and artists? I would hope the majority of you are raising your hands. Feel free to put them down and read on. One of the toughest parts about supporting local business is that it can tend to be a bit more expensive. With money being tight all over, it can be hard to do. Supporting local business can be easier than you think and does not have to cost a thing. The picture above gives us many examples of simple steps we can take to make a big difference in the life of a small business without affecting our budget at all.
Let’s take a look at a few of them. Writing a review. This is a big one. When people purchase products or services, they generally look at the experience of others. Did they have a good experience? Were they satisfied with the product? Let people know! Many are quick to give negative reviews, but what about supportive and positive reviews? They will make a huge difference. Share their content. For me, this is a big one. We all have our own social circles and can reach people others can’t. Helping spread the world for someone working hard locally can extend that reach much better than they could on their own. Engage with their posts. I cannot tell you how much of a difference maker this can be. It can seem discouraging, especially for artists, to think their work is not only unappreciated, but not even noticed. To take just a few seconds to comment and engage with them can help them understand the message and effect they are having.
My favorite two are give them a shoutout and cheer them on. Recognition for the work they do can make all the difference to a local business. It can help them make it through the challenges often faced by local businesses. For some people, staying up until midnight, or as I have seem Margie do, not sleep at all, can keep them going. This is better for motivation than caffeine or an energy drink.
All of the above examples make a HUGE impact on local businesses, and they cost nothing except our time and a little bit of effort. 64% of all new jobs in the United States are created through small businesses. By helping them, we are not only helping the owners, but everyone they employ and their families. If you are interested in helping this future best-selling author, feel free to share this blog or click the link below to leave a review for, and if you like purchase, any of my books. Support local business. It doesn’t have to cost you anything, but it can be priceless to them.
In the United States, today we recognize Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, from the tradition of decorating graves with flowers and flags. It is a remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It is sad that after thousands of years on earth, humans have not learned how to avoid war. As I write this, the terrible situation in the Ukraine rages on. Soldiers from both sides are perishing every day. Not because they personally dislike each other, but because of decisions made by their governments. Not only is this true of the soldiers sent to war, but the innocent families torn apart for political gain.
Here in the United States, we have seen our share of casualties. In the civil war alone, 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. That occurred between 1861-1865, when the population of the country was a lot lower. In World War II, an estimated 70-85 million people perished. At the time, the earth’s population was only 2.3 billion. That means roughly 3% of it was killed as a result of war. These numbers may seem to big to fully appreciate. Let us just take one. How does it affect your life when someone you care about passes away? Does it just affect you, or is there a ripple effect? Think of how painful that is. Now, can you imagine multiplying that times 70-80 million? Each person we lose to war is someone’s son, brother, father, mother, daughter or sister. The pain is felt by everyone they know. Each loss could be someone who could have a great impact in the world. It could be someone who could help us cure disease, feed the poor, or even feed our spirit.
No matter what country you are reading this in today, I ask that you take a second to offer thoughts and prayers for not only those we have lost to war, but to the friends and family they have left behind. Pray for the human race that we may better appreciate the value of human life. If we all do this, perhaps we can heal the hearts of nations.
Do you ever find yourself getting discouraged at the state of the world today? I think we all can. With the wars, civil unrest, violence and general discord we see and hear about, it can be a bit difficult to remain positive. Yet, the more negative the world becomes, the easier it is for us to make a difference. Traits like love, kindness, compassion and encouragement become more special the less they appear. Some days, using them at all makes you a super power. Sharing a smile with a stranger is not only unexpected these days, it is shocking to many. A kind and encouraging word to someone working in a busy retail environment? Nothing short of a miracle!
You may be asking yourself how much of a difference you are really making. That is understandable. If we are putting forth effort to make everyone’s day a little brighter and we seem to be outnumbered by those who are determined to complain and bring everyone down, it can seem like we are not making a difference at all. The opposite is true. To illustrate how powerful being kind and loving to the world can be, please allow me to use an analogy. If you think of all the positivity you attempt to bring to the world as light, which is pretty close to accurate, this example will ring true with you. If you are in a bright room, or it is the middle of the day, and you turn on a lamp, how much of an impact does it have? Not much generally. Sometimes, you can’t even tell you turned a light on. Now, imagine being trapped in a cave, unless of course you are Closter phobic, then a dark bedroom would do. What happens if you even turn on a flashlight in that situation? It transforms the entire room! That is how kindness and compassion work in a negative world.
Next time you feel like your kindness is not making a difference, think of this example. When you feel like the world is becoming a very dark place, know that being a light will make an even greater impact. Here is one more thing to consider. How many dark rooms do you encounter? Meaning, how many negative environments do you find yourself in? It could be the gossip at work. It could be the stress of a busy retail location. How about a stressful situation at home? The darker the room, the greater impact your light will have. Kindness, love, compassion and encouragement are not only powerful, they are super powers! Develop yours today!
It is the weekend and we deserve to relax. However, we also deserve to live a life where our dreams are accomplished. One way to make this happen is to realize that what we do is based on what we find important. Perhaps you are thinking that after working all week, you need your rest this weekend. Maybe your weekend is filled with plans with family and friends? Then getting up early could be the answer for reaching your goals. I can hear the responses now. “Get up early?” “On the weekend?” Most people say they are not morning people. If spending an hour a day could help you write that book you have always wanted to do, would you do it? What about starting that new business you dreamed of? If it is important to you, waking up early is not that difficult. If I were to tell you that you could have 5 million dollars if you met me at a coffee shop at 6am, where would you be at 5:59? Why? Because 5 million dollars would change your life.
What works even better is if you do take the weekends off. Schedule your hour first thing in the morning. That way everyone is still sleeping. You can make yourself a nice cup of coffee and focus on your goals. You might think it would not be worth it to wake up a whole hour before you actually have to. Let me give you some numbers. If you work one hour a day on your dreams and goals. If you only do it during the week and take the weekends off, how much time is that? That would be 260 extra hours a year. That is 32 and a half 8 hour days, or over 4 and a half working weeks dedicated to achieving whatever goal you are pursuing. How much further do you think you could get with that extra time?
I usually write for an hour after work as I already wake up at 4am. That still gives me the time we mentioned. In addition to the 55 hours I work at my day job, I have managed to write 2 books in the last year. I have also delivered blogs for the last 330 days straight. All from an hour a day. Try dedicating a focused hour of your day, only 5 days a week to your goals and see what happens. Do this for a month straight and see how much you can accomplish. You will be amazed!
It is Friday. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to relax a little after a week of work? That is exactly what this post is not only about, but advising! The quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne above says it best. When you chase happiness, it always remains just beyond your grasp. Do you know why that is? It is because happiness is an inside job! When you chase happiness is some thing, or every someone, there are many times when you will end up disappointed. You are putting the key to your happiness in their pocket. Sometimes, they are too busy to take that key out of there pocket.
When you sit down in a calm and focused manner, happiness, much like the butterfly, will find you. This is shown in pictures of one on my mom’s shoulder and in the hair of my beautiful lady. The key is being calm and focused. What should you be focused on? What you can be happy about in the moment. It is easiest to try this on a good, or even neutral day. Another way of looking at this, is what you could be grateful or thankful for. Try this right now. You could feel joy that you have access to the internet on which to read this. The internet not only allows you to read this inspiring blog, but material on every other subject you choose. Think about this. You have access to more information that even the greatest leaders in the world had only 50 years ago. You can be grateful you have health, to whatever degree you do.
This works great to give ourselves a lift to brighten our day. This works good when things are going well, or even neutral, as we mentioned earlier. It can work even better when we are having a tough day. If you have practice doing this on the good days, which I cannot urge enough to do, then it will make it easier when times are tough. Just had a tough day at work? Be grateful you have a job. Furnace went out at home? You have a place to live. You got a flat tire? Well, you get the idea. Every bad situation could always be worse. Even losing someone we love, which to me is probably the worst situation to have happen, leaves us grateful for having love for that person while they were in our life. Many people live a life devoid of any real connection. It may be cliché, but it is indeed better to have lost in love, than never to have loved at all.
Begin today to make a habit of sitting down and noticing what you can be happy for in your life. It only takes roughly 5 minutes of your time, but can transform your whole day. Not to mention, it puts control of your personal joy and inner peace right where in belongs – with you! I would love to hear what practices you have for developing a feeling of joy and gratitude and what you are thankful and happy for today.
I would like to share two things with you in this quick post. I would like to begin by sharing something that makes me happy and that I am very grateful for. I will follow that by giving you a personal invitation.
I want to begin with something that really makes my heart soar and fills it with gratitude. This blog now has followers in over 200 countries. Some of you who are regular followers that stop by rather often. I consider you friends and companions on the road to living an amazing life. Eduardo in Italy, Elena in Romania, Grace in both Tanzania and Kenya. Thank you for not only reading what I write, but for also offering your amazing feedback and insight. I feel like I have a friend in almost every country around the world. The exceptions being ones who cannot access what we share here for political reasons, and Greenland for their own reasons. If you have a second after you read this post, I would love to meet all of you. Until I become a rich and famous author and can fly to you in person to shake your hand, it would mean a great deal if you would take just a few seconds to introduce yourself and say where you read this blog.
I love hearing stories from every corner of the globe. There is a gentleman in Lebanon who prints out posts to hang in his office to share with his coworkers. My good friend in Italy I mentioned earlier, shares them on his social media. To a woman who reads them to her Grandmother in Peru because she is not online. This I am so grateful for as well. I can hope to reach everyone, but without your help in sharing, I could not imagine succeeding. A big thank you to all of you who share our inspiring content.
Now for that personal invitation I promised you. I want to invite you, the wonderful individual who is reading this, to join our global community. You can subscribe to this blog at secret2anamazinglife.com, join the Facebook page of the same name, or even follow our podcast at Living the Dream with Neil Panosian. In any of those cases, you will be a part of a positive-minded community that spans over 200 nations. In our online family, there is every race, creed and culture. We encourage and inspire each other. When you do subscribe, you can drop in whenever you have a need for a little motivation and inspiration, or even better, when you have a little extra to share.
I want to again thank all of you in our global, online family. 200 nations strong and only growing. Every time you hit “like” or leave your feedback in the comments, you bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. Whenever you share our content, you do the same to so many across the globe. So, once again, I want to express my deepest gratitude and invite you to join us on our journey to live a more positive and rewarding life.
When asked to describe me, I always find it interesting to hear what words people choose. I am always hoping for dashing, handsome, charming. Instead, I often hear words like calm, laid back and relaxed. Not the description of the gent on the cover of a romance novel, but not bad either. Usually, after giving such a review, I am asked the same question. It is usually some version of, “How do you remain that calm?” The answer is a simple one – I only give my emotions to that which is truly important to me. This is easy to understand, but to many, almost impossible to do.
This usually generates the follow up question, “How can you do that?” One of the ways I do that is to remind myself of how I used to be. Those who let other people and situations control them are putting control of their life at the mercy of others. You must ask yourself, “Do you want to control your life, or do you want others to?” If you are reading a blog dedicated to living an amazing life, my guess is you want to be in control over your own life. When we live in reaction, that is the opposite of what we are doing. I know. I used to live that way. It can leave you feeling like a ship in the ocean without a rudder. There is no way to steer your life and you are at the mercy of the wind and the waves.
It is important to understand that the same holds true of your own emotions. When you let yourself react to life and those in it, you are a slave to your emotions. They own you. People often tell me things like, “Neil, I can’t help if that is how things/people make me feel.” I get it. Life, and the people in it, are often less than ideal. That is an eloquent way of saying they can sometimes suck. While they have the freedom to act as awful as they please, what they don’t have the power to do is to make you feel any way other than how you choose to let them. This may sound difficult, but it really isn’t. Controlling our emotions can be done by understanding how they are formulated in the first place. What you feel is determined primarily by 2 factors. What you focus on, and what you decide it means.
Yes that person may have called you a racial slur or some insulting name. Are you going to focus on their ignorance or your truth? What does it mean to you? Does it mean the world is full of hatred? Does it mean you are less than? Does it mean that you have an opportunity to demonstrate a positive example for your race and make this person look foolish? Does it mean this person is serving as an emotional trainer to help you strengthen your compassion for the less-enlightened? That is also an eloquent way of saying having pity for the ignorant and stupid. There is nothing that infuriates someone trying to upset you than not allowing it. Not to mention, not getting upset about that which does not matter greatly reduces your own stress.
You will certainly be faced with situations in which you need to be emotionally involved. There are situations that disrupt your spirit and upset you. I was once told that the most important decision in fighting a battle, is whether it is worth fighting in the first place. You must ask yourself the same thing when you find yourself at the mercy of your own emotions. It is a fool who wastes his time trying to master others. The true power is learning to master yourself and your own emotions. That is the secret to my calm. That is a secret to an amazing life.
A few posts back, we discussed the importance of self-care. If you missed it, I highly suggest giving it a quick read. One of the two reasons we gave for healing yourself was the ability to pass the knowledge of what worked onto others. This is priceless information. Often, when we are going through pain, we can compound the emotional struggle by feeling alone. It can seem as if nobody in recorded history has had the problem we are facing. We may know that is not true intellectually, but it can still feel that way from an emotional standpoint.
Imagine, if you will, how healing it would be to hear from someone who has faced similar challenges to what we are now facing? If they could share with us how they overcame it? How valuable would both of those things be? Speaking for myself, they could make all of the difference in whether or not I make it through a situation. I often wonder why more people do not realize the power of sharing not only their successes, but their struggles. On social media, it would seem everyone wants to appear perfect. Being imperfect is where it is at, if you ask me. It makes you more relatable. Who can relate to someone who has a perfect life? Certainly not me.
The most interesting thing happens when I tell people that they are a healer or a hero. Whether it is out of modesty or maybe even ignorance, they just blush and say, “Not me. I am nothing special.” That could not be further from the truth. Every struggle you have made it through and lived to fight another day is a victory. “It was messy and a screwed a lot of things up.” they say. Great! You don’t think someone hearing that despite doing seemingly everything wrong, you still overcame and later thrived could be valuable? “What if what worked for me doesn’t work for them?” they ask. That’s fine. Knowing something can work in that situation can give them courage to try their own solution.
Please understand that having a life that is not perfect does not make you less than. What it does make you is a healer and someone who could help and inspire others. As long as you had to suffer the pain, put it to good use helping others. You never know when your struggle could save someone else.
Yes, it’s Monday. That doesn’t mean all doom and gloom. What is to say that some of the best things of our life will not happen today? Some unexpected good news or fortune? Don’t fall into the trap of assuming it will not be a good day just because it is Monday!
People win the lottery on Monday. You couldfall in love on a Monday. You could finally get that promotion you deserve. Your spouse, family or friends could surprise you with something fun. Maybe you could surprise them? Make Monday great for someone else.
Let us take back Monday! Let us make it the day to start a week of joy! Start by declaring the thought in the picture above and then go out and make it happen! Share your goodMonday thoughts with us on thecomments below 😀