REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE JOY AND BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOU
A bartender and Postal worker by trade I was witness to the overwhelming negativity that is so common in todays society. A firm believer in the motto "Better to light a candle than curse the darkness" I created this site to bring some of the positivity back into the world and share with otheres.
With a title like this, you may think I have lost my marbles or that maybe Margie slipped something in my coffee. While those may be true on any given day this is not the case here.
What is actually going on is the payoff of years of practicing the principles we share on here. It allows me to view circumstances with a different perspective than most. The reward for this? A better emotional state during and after what most would perceive as a negative experience.
A quick version of what happened. Margie and I had concluded our DJ work for the evening and I had stopped for gas a few blocks from home. It was a blustery early morning and a few snowflakes were falling. As I stood filling my gas tank the wind gusted and I looked forward to getting back in the warm car and more so the warm bed with my hot lady.
I jump in the car, turn the key and…nothing! A few more tries, same result. Lucky for me I have AAA, roadside assistance. I called and they told me it would be an hour. Not what you want to hear when it is below freezing, but there was hope.
90 minutes later I cake called to see what happened to the hour. It was now 3am and I could not feel my feet. The nice lady explained there were not many people available and the man would be there in a half an hour. 60 minutes later he arrived and I stumbled out of the car unable to feel my legs.
“I don’t think it’s the battery.” He grimaced. Probably the starter or alternator. Fearing I would attempt a show of strength similar to the picture above, I asked him to try and jump it anyway. The car roared to life. After trying a few things and looking at some reading on a machine I have never seen before, he assured me it was the battery.
We settled up and I drove home anxiously watching the dim dash lights. After making it home and turning off the car (it did not restart) I wanted to run inside and jump in a warm bed. Being that I could now not feel anything from the waist down it took a bit longer than I thought.
Less than 12 hours later I am so grateful for this experience. “Did he just say grateful?” Yes I did. I am sincere about that statement as well. Let me share the reasons why.
This happened at a gas station open 24 hours with hot coffee and a bathroom, which I made use of twice. (Grateful) I had AAA who were able to send someone even at such an early hour. (Grateful) Even though it took the man 2.5 hours, he was pleasant and got me up and running. Even waited for me to call him and let him know I got home ok. (Grateful) This morning my mother took me to get a new battery(Grateful) The folks at Auto Zone by my house were super friendly and even carried everything out to my car(Grateful) Lastly, although I had to be stranded for 2.5 hours, I did so next to the most beautiful woman in the world. Even though she was extremely cold as she always foolishly dresses for form over function (that is me yelling at her for both her mom and mine) she never complained and was actually rather encouraging. (Grateful)
This may all sound like I have a supply of sunshine where it is not supposed to shine, but it is true. I think the evening would have been longer, colder and far more unpleasant had i taken a ‘whoa is me’ attitude. I actually came out of this situation feeling so lucky for all I have instead of unlucky for all of the misfortune that happened.
To some of you this may seem like I am looking at this situation through rose colored glasses. It is not denying that the situation was less than ideal, but that despite the challenges there was a lot more to be thankful for and I was able to see and feel that. Even better I was able to do in the midst of it occurring. Ask Margie, I am not always able to do this. The more I practice the principles we share here, the better I get at seeing the light in the darkness. Do you know what that leads to my friends? That leads to an amazing life!
I was talking to my good friend Ricky at Station 6, a quaint cocktail and craft beer establishment in West Allis where I live. I enjoy talking to this friend as he always offers a fresh perspective of life and how to look at it.
As I sipped my Allis old fashioned and he enjoyed his Irish coffee he shared with me some of the daunting things he had faced growing up as a young man. We all have had challenges in our childhood, but his was more than most.
What impresses me about Ricky, is his perseverance. Although many people could have used these as an excuse to give up, and it would be understandable, he has overcome. That is not to say he has not struggled with some demons, in fact he is conquering some as you read this, but he is fighting. It reminded me of the quote from Eric Thomas above It is not where you come from,it’s about heart.
Life can feel like a boxing match sometimes. As the character Rocky reminds us, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit,and keep moving forward…That’s how winning is done.”
Today people determine success by how much one has achieved or obtained. What many of fail to realize is that some of the greatest winners are the ones who have taken the hits and keep moving forward. To me these are the true winners, the true heroes in life.
You may see people who seem the picture of success, but when life punches them in the mouth, they fall like a house of cards. Then again, you may see people who are struggling, or even those who seem like ‘average’ people yet have overcome so much. These are the people who have taken, or in some cases are still taking, the hits from life and keep moving forward.
If this is you, if you have struggled or are continuing to struggle, know that we here at Secret2anamazinglife.com know and salute you as a winner in life. You may not feel like it. You may not have the awards and accolades. In fact, it may feel like you are still fighting. Know this, every day you keep moving forward you are a winner. Keep this in mind when meeting others who are struggling as well. Remind them of it. If you still need a little inspiration, click to watch the short video below.
Today I share with you a video from my YouTube channel. It contains a challenge those of us at secret2anamazinglife.com are undertaking. We invite you to join us and share your experiences as we share ours.
This challenge will last 30 days. It will improve many areas of your life including, but not limited to; fatigue, headaches, stiff joints, insomnia, digestive issues, skin appearance and may even help you drop a few pounds during the holidays!
This challenge, although very helpful, is safe and simple. All you will need is some water and some will power. Click the link below to watch the 2 minute video and find out how you can join the challenge too!😀
Whatever you may be shopping for on black Friday, there is one purchase you should be making – investing in yourself.
The majority of people stop learning when they conclude their formal education, whether that be high school, college or a PhD. However, investing in ourselves will give us the greatest dividends.
If we invest in our health it will give us quality years with those we love. If we invest in learning, it will give us increased income and success. Investing in stress reduction will give us an increased peace of mind and better health.
So this black Friday if you are out shopping do not forget to invest in yourself. Next week we will look at specific investments we can make in ourselves.
Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a holiday in honor of everything we are grateful for. It also happens to be my favorite holiday for that reason.
I have an idea of a new tradition we can all start. While it may be difficult to shift our entire attitude to one of gratitude, especially in the course of one day. We can take one simple step.
We can all think of one thing we are truly grateful for. Do this right now. No, really, right now, as you are reading this. Pick one thing in your life that you are truly grateful for. I’ll share mine with you. After having the Corona virus in March, I am honestly just grateful to be alive! With asthma and a heart condition I realize it could have been a lot worse.
Here is where we start a new tradition. Take the one thing you came up with and share it with others. Just let them know what you are grateful for in your life. Through observation I have noticed 75 to 90 percent of what comes out of people’s mouths are either gossip or complaints. It seems to be human nature. Let us throw a statement of gratitude in the mix. It will certainly help us feel better. It will also be refreshing to those who hear it as well. Encourage them to join you on this new tradition!
Wealth can be defined many ways. One that I really think matters is relationships. Let us face it, if you have all of the money and possessions in the world but nobody to enjoy them with you are about as broke as they come. I have been wanting to write about my outstanding wealth of great relationships in my life for a while and thought that now would be as good of time as any. I wanted to do so in some sort of orderly fashion. I knew there was no way I would be able to include everyone. If you are not mentioned in today’s post please do not take it as a slight in any way. There are so many great friends I am blessed to have it would take a whole post just listing their names.
First, I wanted to talk about some of the people I have known the longest. These people have been in my life so long it has me wondering if I am that good of a friend or if I just happen to befriend patient and forgiving people. In reflection I would say it is a little bit of both. My friend Matt, or ‘Big Sexy’ as those close to him know him, has been in my life since the age of 7. Matt is not only a fun and entertaining person you would love to have at any party, but one of the most caring and honest people I know. Whenever I am asked to describe him, my answer is always the same. “Matt is one of those people you would give the keys to your house, go on vacation and not worry a second.” My friends Amy and Jon I have known since kindergarten. Both of them have went on to raise amazing families and are a great example of what a parent should be. I am lucky to still have both of them in my life. My friend Jeremy I have known the longest. I believe we met when I was 4. His mom and mine were close friends. Although I don’t have the pleasure of talking to him that much these days, I can admire his passion for his beliefs and for the arts.
The next group of people I have known quite some time as well, but I am only now able to appreciate how wonderful they are. My Friend Kelly and I went to high school together and interacted a little. Later, I discovered her wonderful ability to cut hair and she began to be the one to cut my hair every time I needed a haircut. It was Kelly that I went to when I decided to go from decades of long hair to a mohawk. I can still remember the combination of shock and excitement when I told her that is what I was looking for. My friend Jodi and I also had went to the same high school. We really didn’t talk much then, but reintroduced through a mutual friend Russ (more on him later) we reconnected and she has been so sweet to both myself and my lovely Margie (more on her later as well) My friend Angie has been in my life for a long time as well. We still run into each other at local functions. It has been a true blessing to see what a great mother and example for her children she has become. My friends Jennifer and Scott are both amazing people. I had the pleasure of knowing both of them for years. Scott I have always admired for his integrity. He has always been a man of great character. Jennifer and I started out on the wrong foot to say the least. When we met we were told the other was the cause of a host of different situations that was not true. Fortunately for me, I met Jennifer again through her father Dale, who was one of the nicest men I have ever met. We were able to discuss the misinformation we both received and have become fast friends. I admire the work she does with foster animals. Another great things about Jennifer and Scott is they got married and are raising a wonderful family. Great when 2 wonderful friends come together.
Next are people I have met through my career in writing. It is my passion and meeting these people have certainly impacted my life for the better. My Aussie friend Kaylene and I initially met discussing music we both enjoyed. We became good friends and remain so to this day. We have exchanged gifts with each other and I really look forward to visiting her some day. She is doing an amazing job raising her two boys. Andrada is a friend of mine in Romania. She is also an author and a host of an amazing podcast. She is a great example of how to put all of your skills to use. Aura is my Romanian friend who lives in the United States. She is the publisher of See Beyond magazine. I will be forever grateful to Aura for allowing me the opportunity to share my talents with her audience. Carole is another amazing and driven woman I have had the pleasure of getting to know. Carole is an accomplished journalist and now hosts a show called Positively Milwaukee. The show highlights positive things in our community. She put together an amazing piece on me and my writing. I was so grateful for all of her hard work.
Then there are the people I have met in my bartending/DJ career. My friend Bret is truly one in a million. Confident to be himself, but always caring about others. He has a great talent singing and performing as well as an amazing brother in Bart and sister in Alisa, both who also belong on this list. My friends Kelly and Steve not only look good together but are both amazing people. Steve has offered Margie and I some very helpful advice when it comes to our shows. Kelly is amazing behind the bar as we DJ, and does so much to help so many others. My friend Kelly (blushes) always has a smile for those who need it. She has a caring heart that can be seen in her work with the victims of child abuse and their families. Finally, my friend Travis. I met him when we both were in a club I was working at. Immediately we clicked and discovered my much our values aligned. Working together we not only helped a lot of people, we started a movement.
Even the Post Office, as dark and dreary as it can be, has offered some unique friendships for me. My friends John, Tom and Don all have been great to have in my life. From exploring culinary offerings to pondering the cinema, they have always brought a great deal into my world. My friends Jim and Tony are both great people. Tony and I have discussed music and Jim and I have went on road trips to experience great music. We even appear in a music video together. My friend Laura adds much needed comic relief to a serious atmosphere. Her wit and humor make the day more enjoyable. My friend Chris and I always have a lot to discuss. Whether that be just finding the humor in our work day or discussing some Native topic, it is always a better day when Chris is at work.
Then there are the people I really have close and lengthy conversations with. You have heard me mention my friend Nick before. We meet for coffee, although not nearly enough. We never know what the subject will be, but the conversation is always deep and thought-provoking. My friend Shannon has been in my life for a rather long time. We share many amazing deep conversations. We have many of the same literary tastes, love nature and both have a fondness for sunsets. We actually refer to each other as soul-friends, because ‘friend’ seems like to shallow of a term. My wonderful sister Michelle. Although we found each other late in life, we have made up for lost time. We have shared many great adventures and always have each others back. My ‘brother from another mother’ Russ is one person I really treasure. Friends since I was 13, we have been in bands together, we have been in trouble with the law together. We have seen each other through heartache and loss. We do our best to talk every week. When we do, something great always comes out of it. Although he was smart enough to move away to a warmer climate we still travel to meet each other.
Then there is my mother. She may never forgive me for putting her picture in here, but I couldn’t leave her out. We have developed a tradition of taking walks and exploring nature together. What amazing adventures we have had including getting stuck in the rain several times at my favorite state park. Speaking of which, every year we attend the state fair together. We have so much fun it would be hard to explain. Whether it is a fun dinner out or in, or even a game night, I am always thankful and grateful for times with my mom.
Last and certainly not least, is my best friend, my beautiful lady, my Margie. My great treasure. Together we have faced some of the hardest situations life can throw at a couple. We have overcome or are overcoming all of them with love. She is always there acting silly and making me laugh. She has brought into my life her fun-loving aunt and uncle, her wonderful children and grand children as well as many friends. Through her I have found a whole new way to love foods I didn’t even think I liked, new ways to enjoy the holidays, and ways to relax and be yourself. Most of all, Margie has shown me how to be a better man and a better person. It is because of her love that I am always looking to push myself to improve. She is always making me proud with her artist creations, the way she cares for friends and how much she loves family.
As you can see, when it comes to amazing people my life is truly abundant. I have been blessed greatly and I can imagine you are too. I invite you to share some of the amazing people you are grateful for in the comments below. Remember, if you have someone to share with in your life, you too have an amazing treasure.
Last post we looked at how our focus determines a great deal of how we see the world. That goes with the first half of the quote above, keeping our eyes positive. Seeing the possibilities and not just the obstacles. Seeing what is working while working on what could use some fixing. Looking at the good in a situation and just the bad.Changing how we look at the world will change the world we look at a great deal whether that is positively or negatively. That is why it is so important to keep our eyes positive.
Let us now look at the second half of that statement. Keeping our tongue positive will have the world loving us. Some of you may say “I don’t care how the world sees me!” or “The only person’s opinion that matters in mine!” To that I would say you probably have yourself fooled about other things as well. It is true that we should not live our life predicated on what other people think of us and what we are doing. That being said, if your friends, your family and your spouse go to bed thinking what a jerk you are every night, that is going to weigh on you no matter how self-centered of an individual you may be.
Considering you are reading a blog called Secret2anamazinglife, I assume you have a good deal of affection for your fellow humans. Not to mention, it always feels good to hear a kind and encouraging word throughout the day. Think of how you feel after you have been the recipient of some love and praise. Perhaps you feel energized? A little more confident. You feel believed in and supported. How would this affect your productivity? Would this affect the way you treat others you come in contact with? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone came from a place of feeling energized, loved, believed in and supported? Wouldn’t it be great if you came from that place…daily?
The truth is your world can be this way. Those you meet can, eventually, come from a place of love, appreciation and positive energy. You can come from this place and you can do so on a regular basis. Not only can this happen, but it is easier than you may think and all it takes is one decision from you. This is not some self-improvement hype or positive thinking theory I am giving you. It is the truth.
All we have to do is to decide to use our tongue to spread positivity. Let us look at how this will play out. First of all, if you know someone is walking up to you and, through past conversations you know the conversation is likely to be a positive one, how will you treat them? Chances are you would greet them with a smile, and genuinely welcome their company. When you share positive conversation with others it will make them feel loved and appreciated. That will positively impact their lives and in turn will positively impact how they act in association with you. Can you imagine if you did this with everyone in your life? Would that mean everyone in your life would be positive? Not exactly. We would be fooling ourselves if we didn’t admit that we share the world with people that see the rain in every rainbow. I know a person that if I gave them a golden goose would complain it poops on the sidewalk. Still, these people would certainly be the exception and not the rule.
This may sound like a fantasy world, but it is not. It is a simple mathematical equation. If people are exposed to positivity and encouragement, they tend to be more positive and encouraging. Not every day. We all have times when life gets the best of us. The more you spread positivity, however, the more likely you are to receive it as well. Here is the great bonus in all of this. The more you receive this positivity in return, the easier it is to go on spreading the positivity. It continues to grow in both frequency and intensity the more this equation is put into place. The exciting part is it is all up to us to start it. Use your tongue to spread positivity today and watch your life change in the days to come.
For years I have been telling you how important focus is for impacting your life. (with language and physical movement being the other two) With today’s technology, we can find any information we are looking for. This not only comes in handy for those arguing far-fetched political ideas, but any other subject as well. The dangerous part of this is that if our primary focus is how terrible the world is, with just a click of a mouse we can find information to support that theory. It is actually even easier than that. With online news delivered right to your phone, many people wake up, roll over and read about violence, environmental disasters and other such unpleasant topics.
Here is a statement that, if we remember it, will make our world, and those in it, a lot easier to understand and deal with. If we fully understand this statement, we can have compassion for those who are different than us. The statement is this – our truth is not the truth. What does that even mean and how can understanding it have a great impact on our life? Let us start with the first part of that question, what does that mean. You would think facts are facts. Once we read them that has to be the truth right? Not so. Let me give you a quick example from a book I was reading and you will be able to better grasp what we are working on here.
Let us suppose you have been applying for months to get your dream job. Today is the day! You have an interview this afternoon. You drive a good 30 minutes to the location. You are running a little early so you decide to stop and get a cup of coffee. You are so nervous you can hardly contain yourself. You order your cup of coffee and and wait. A few seconds later you are handed a steaming cup of delicious coffee. Within seconds a young man bumps your arm and spills the coffee all over you. It is on your white shirt, down the front of your pants and scalding your leg. “Watch where you’re walking!” you yell. “So sorry.” is all the young man can say before quickly walking off. It is too late. The damage is done. Your choices now are showing up for perhaps is the most important interview for your life with coffee stains all over your clothes or trying to reschedule and interview at the last minute and hope they will oblige you. All the fault of some young kid that was not paying attention, right?
Not so fast. Let us look at this from a different angle. Instead let us be someone watching this happen while drinking our hot tea and writing a blog that will go on to positively affect the lives of thousands. We notice a man come in the coffee shop. We notice him because we saw him walk past the door, realize it and have to turn around and come back in. Once in line he seems nervously agitated. He is fidgeting as we waits his turn, clearing mentally preoccupied with something else. He orders his coffee and as he offers to pay drops his credit card. “Damn it!” he yells. Rather upset with something that doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. As he waits for his coffee his eyes seem to have a glossed over look as if his body was there, but his mind was somewhere else. Finally, he is handed his coffee and quickly turns and runs into a young man who was walking by, spilling his coffee all over himself and the floor. “Watch where you’re walking!” you hear him yell.
In the first example, when we were the young man on the way to the important interview, the fault seem to be entirely with the young man. When we were the person watching the situation unfold from in front of our laptop, the fault seem to be a little on both individuals. Which is the truth in the drama at Starbucks? The answer is both…or neither. There is an entirely different viewpoint that could be explored if we were the young man who did the spilling, or the worker behind the counter or any of the other people in that coffee shop at that moment. Imagine magnifying that by thousands, or millions of lives looking at a global issue and see how many versions of the truth their can be. All of them equally as valid as our own.
Whether you decide to Google “Why the work sucks” or “Why the world is amazing” you will find answers to both. So, does the world suck or is it amazing? It depends a great deal on what our focus is on. Remember, our truth is determined a great deal on our life experiences, our beliefs and opinions applied to certain situations. Others have different life situations, beliefs and opinions and can view the same exact situation in an entirely different light. Both are true. Knowing this we cannot only understand that our truth is not the only truth. Keeping that in mind we can hopefully develop and appreciate the fact that others have lived a different life that has been shaped by different experiences. To them their truth, although different, is just as real.
In the spirit of ‘Throwback Thursday’ I wanted to take a moment to look back at this blog and see where we have come from and where we are heading. Just like when you are walking up a steep hill and running out of energy, it can help to stop, look down and see how far you have already climbed. To me, growing this blog can sometimes seem like climbing a hill. Although I am extremely passionate about helping others and learning and sharing ways to improve our lives, the business of growing an audience can, on occasion, feel daunting. How I measure success in my writing, speaking and coaching business is the amount of lives I have touched. When it comes to this blog, the metrics are pretty much the same.
Lucky for me, I can see the stats daily. This not only shows me how many people my words are reaching, but also where these people are! So far we have reached over 150 countries and all 7 continents! Imagine how thrilled I was the day I received notice that someone at a base in Antarctica was reading what we share here. Still no Greenland. Perhaps everyone on that island country is living the life of their dreams. I must confess as to not having the pleasure of visiting there. I look to having more ‘meet and greets’ and book signings in many more locations as soon as the world goes back to a degree of normal.
Back to our friendly stats. As you can see I began this blog in 2012, eight years ago. That seems like a different lifetime entirely to me. When I began it served more as a place to record not only the best of what I had discovered in the world of personal-development, but my own thoughts of many of the challenges facing the world today. I began that year on Thanksgiving and by the end of the year had over 100 people visit this site. I was shocked to discover there were that many people interested in discovering secrets to an amazing life. Fast forward several years and we had grown our community to almost 15,000 visitors. I was excited to share with, and learn from so many wonderful people. My goal this year is to double the size of our community. Imagine having that many minds sharing secrets that have allowed them to lead an amazing life?
As we look ahead I am excited to see what the future holds. I would love nothing more than to continue to develop this online community and discover more ways to be of service to all of you. With that in mind, I humbly request you share this site with anyone you might know who would enjoy learning and sharing with us secrets to living an amazing life. This site is completely sharable on all social media platforms. Feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and anywhere else you think would be served with a little light and love. If you have any suggestions to increase our following or add to what you would like to see on this site, I encourage you to leave them in the comments below. Once again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for a great 8 years and look forward to an even better next 8 years!