IT CAN BE A GLORIOUS TIME… IT CAN BE A DIFFICULT TIME

Halloween has just past and the seasons are beginning to change. Here in the city I live it they have not only begun to change, it would seem we went right from summer into winter. What this points to is the holiday season fast approaching. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or any other holiday this season is a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate. It does not matter if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other faith. It doesn’t even matter if you do not follow any particular faith at all. Usually you will be attending some gathering.

These times can recharge our spirit and sense of belonging. It can, however, do the opposite for many. If you find yourself living away from family and friends you can experience a feeling of longing and being left out. Those who have lost love ones can often be reminded of the pain of that lost most around the holidays. While partaking in long-held traditions the feeling of emptiness can be magnified. Maybe you have recently went through the heartache of ending a relationship. Not having that certain someone to celebrate with can cause your heart to break again. Watching one of those fabulous Hallmark movies, or groups of other enjoying their holiday season can leave you feeling down, even though we think it should have us feeling joyous.

There are two points I would like to make with this point. The first is to not only understand, but be compassionate these feelings are what some of those closest to you may be feeling. They may be doing their best to ‘put on a happy face’ and make it through the holiday festivities. They may be worried about bringing everyone else down because of their sadness. There may even be feelings of guilt because they do not feel as happy as they should. We must treat each other with a special kind of compassion and respect during this holiday season. Just because someone is wearing a holiday smile or a silly holiday sweater doesn’t mean there is not some pain and sadness behind that. We must also remember that many times there is nothing we can do to help them, but just be there to listen and even offer a hug.

The second point, what we can do if we find ourselves to be the ones with sadness this holiday season? We can also practice compassion…with ourselves. We must give ourselves permission to experience our feelings. We must be brave enough to reach out to others for help. That could be a friend, a family member or even a grief counseling group. It is a gift we can give ourselves this holiday season. The grief and sadness you feel may never go away, but it is important to know that you are not alone in feeling this way. There are those who can listen. There are those who can help you cope and be with you throughout the process. I encourage everyone to keep these things in mind during this season.

As I write this, it is the final day of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This is a holiday celebrated in Mexico. It is the celebration of our loved ones who have passed on. It is not a solomn holiday but one filled with joy and a feeling their relatives are still with them in spirit. This is little consolation to some, but may be a helpful way of looking at it for others. Memories, although they can be bittersweet, are gifts from those who have passed on. There are many ways to connect to others. If your sadness stems from having to be away from your family this holiday, try reaching out with a phone call, skype, text, email or even an old-fashioned letter. As you write you are with those you miss. (as a side note this can also work if someone has passed on) Just healing over the end of a relationship? Honor those feelings and discover new and wonderful traditions you can begin. It is a fresh start and the birth of a whole new way to celebrate.

In closing, this holiday season remember to be kind and compassionate to everyone…including yourself. 

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THE KEY TO SUCCESS


Before I began writing this post I put the word ‘success’ into Google and this is what came up. I am calling B.S. on this definition! While it is true a part of success is the obtaining of goals, it is by far not the whole picture. In both of my books and on this post we have pointed out that the gain of material things does not bring happiness. Can your life truly be considered a success if you are unhappy? I think we can all agree the answer to this is ‘no’. We have witnessed countless celebrities end their lives in what seems like the world of their dreams. They have “achieved their desired aims and attained prosperity” as our definition above leads us to believe is what success is all about.
What is the problem? What part of success is missing? What is left out of this definition that makes all of the difference? Much like fitness, nutrition, love and relationships, spirituality and every other area of life, success and its definition should not be about obtaining an end. If you got in the best shape of your life and then stopped taking care of your body would you stay that way? If you wow your partner with the most beautiful romantic moment ever but cease to put anymore effort into that relationship, how long before it fell apart? I think the point has been made.
What is the solution? How can we achieve a success that leaves us fulfilled and full of joy? Once again, I want to refer to the definition given by one of my mentors, Mr. Earl Nightingale.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”

Earl Nightingale
There are two very important words to note in that profound statement. First is the word progressive. Success, much like fitness and love in the examples above, should be a life-long pursuit. Your goal should include certain ends but not be defined by such. This will accomplish several great things for you. First, it will allow you to experience several wins. Let us say your goal is to get into great physical shape. As you are progressing towards that and every time you take an action that gets you closer to that you are a success and should celebrate. Once you get in great shape, the same will hold true. Every day at the gym, every healthy meal you chose…success! In your relationship the same is true. Every romantic gesture you show is a success. Every action you do that makes your partner feel loved and appreciated…success! The more you do to get better, the more reasons you have to celebrate. The more you make them feel loved, the more you can celebrate.
The second word of note is worthy. It mentions pursuing a worthy ideal. Is the accumulation of material goods and wealth the exclusive ideal to pursue? On a personal level, I would love to be a famous best-selling author. That type of goal only serves to get you out of bed so well. It is the deeper ‘why’ that accomplishes that goal. I really want to be someone who can positively affect others and make positive changes in the world we all share. By accomplishing my goal of becoming a best-selling author I would be more likely do that. It is not the wealth or notoriety that drives me, but the desire to make a difference. That is a goal that is larger than myself. That is what we all need, a goal larger than ourselves.


One other key that speaker Steve Rizzo does a wonderful job in describing is ‘Falling in Love with the Process’. This is vital. We spend the majority of our lives in the process and very little time reaching goals. Which would you rather attach your happiness to? Yes, being able to fit in that pair of pants that used to be too tight is a great feeling, but so should be working out in the gym knowing you are getting closer. Seeing the smile on your love’s face is amazing, but so should be putting together the very thing that will bring it out. Recalling our definition of success, remember if we are progressing towards a worthy ideal we are successful. We should celebrate every step closer we get.
As a bonus, I will tell you how I have come to learn how to celebrate even the failures. When I eat a huge meal that I know was no good for me, I either use the feelings of guilt and disappointment I have in myself for motivation to eat healthier in the future. ( a “remember how bad you felt?” sort of thing) or if the meal is not that bad, I celebrate that fact that eating healthier and working out at other times gives me the freedom to eat a little crazy every now and again. Same for my relationship with Margie. Try as I may, I am not always the perfect boyfriend. (I know I found this hard to believe at first too) Seeing the upset or disappointment on her face is a terrible feeling that drives me to never take such actions again. Not to mention, I relish in the fact that I learned a way in which NOT to behave/talk/cook/clean etc. when it comes to our relationship. Yes, of course I would rather have everything be sunshine and unicorns (that in itself would be a great compromise) but then I could never celebrate growing and learning to become an even better version of me. Fall in love with the process. It will add immeasurably to your experience of success and the amount of joy you have in your life.

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GROW LIKE A SHARK!


If you haven’t already, take a moment to read the quote in the picture above. In my both of my books I advocate a very important principle called “Pick Your Posse”. In which I give you some simple steps to surround yourself with positive and driven people to make your life even more amazing than it is today.
It is said that you are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. I have met a lot of people who doubt that this is true. I am not 100% sure the exact number is 5, but let me assure you that you are indeed affected more than you might realize by the people around you. To help you realize how this happens let you provide you with an example. While working as DJs Margie and I are surrounded by both a lot of people and a lot of couples. Often, these couples are not their best after having consumed some cocktails. We have seen couples both verbally, emotionally and more often than I care to see, physically abuse each other. This could leave us with 2 conclusions. First, you see this often enough and it can’t help but dampen your enthusiasm about love and relationships. Second, you do leave with a feeling of gratitude (always a great and powerful emotion) saying to ourselves, “I am glad you are not like that man/woman.” or more to the point, “I am glad we are not like that couple.” This is good and does serve as a great warning of what could happen if we don’t work hard. there is a downside to that.
In our grateful attitude about being more emotionally mature, respectful or whatever difference may set us apart from those couples, it can leave us blind to, or lessen the concern for, issues we could be improving on. Instead of being concerned that our communication may be slipping from the great standard we like to keep it at, we may feel content that we are not screaming at each other like the couple we saw last night. Perhaps we have let our work commitments take us away from being as affectionate as our partner may like. We may not be as concerned because we are not grinding against someone else like that couple last weekend. I equate it to running a race against people you know you will always beat. Sure, you may win every time but will you get faster?
Do not get me wrong, there are lots of amazing couples we are blessed to have join us every weekend. In fact, we encourage them to come back every weekend. Watching them love and respect each other can inspire us and give us new ideas on ways that we can do the same for each other. We make it a point to search out and spend as much time as we can with couples that are even more loving and connected than we are. It not only reaffirms our faith in love, but pushes us to up our game when it comes to love.
This is just one example. The same holds true for keeping your faith, gossiping about others, staying positive, staying driven in your business or any other area of your life. Here is a great piece of wisdom. Whatever area of your life is lacking, begin by surrounding yourself with people who are exceling in that field at a high level. By associating with them you will both learn and be motivated to excel yourself. Pick your posse carefully. If you need help doing this feel free to pick up a copy of my book for additional tips.

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LOCAL LOYALTY


Above is a picture of the local diner named Michaels Family Restaurant. Nestled in the fabulous community of West Allis Wisconsin where I live. This is not so much a food review as it is a value review. Michaels is, as the name suggests, a warm and friendly family restaurant. As my lovely Margie enjoyed a well-deserved weekend away with her daughter, I took my mom out to breakfast here. Although our hostess was a tad sunshine challenged, our waitress, Julie, could not have been more friendly and helpful.
What makes this place a destination I feel compelled to write about is the local aspect at work. In an age where Wendy’s has recently joined McDonald’s and Taco Bell to start serving breakfast, it is far too easy to make our morning meal an after thought of something we do along the way. I am just as guilty of this as anyone. As I write this I just enjoyed a ham and swiss sandwich at Starbucks. This might be good for being both efficient and productive, but does not give us an amazing life. Yes, being efficient and productive can be part of an amazing life but at the sacrifice of being present, it can leave us wondering what happened to the morning.
In this post I am going to advocate taking at least a few morning to sit down and enjoy a breakfast without being rushed. Why do it at a place like Michael’s? I will give you a few good reasons. First, this place is a great value. Virtually the same price you would pay for some reheated breakfast sandwich at a chain or fast food place, you can get a warm, home-cooked meal served to you by one of your smiling neighbors. That leads us to the second reason to visit Michael’s Family Restaurant in the morning, it is supporting a local business. There are plenty of opportunities for you to save a few cents here and there by giving business to the chain establishments. That is ok too as they employ a lot of our friends and family. That being said, there is something special about a locally-owned family restaurant that has been there for over 30 years. Some of my first memories include going there with my grandfather when I was young. He understood the importance of supporting a local business and seems to still be teaching me long after his passing. I have enjoyed several mornings catching up over breakfast with Margie, the love of my life, as well. All the way up to yesterday when my mother and I shared a nice meal to start the day.


You can make memories in a chain restaurant or even running around trying to accomplish everything on your to do list but you deserve to give yourself a few minutes at a local establishment supporting your neighbors while enjoying their company. If you are in West Allis Wisconsin, I recommend stopping by Michael’s Family Restaurant. If breakfast isn’t really your thing, that’s ok. They also serve lunch and dinner with the same warm community spirit. Unable to make to the fine city that I live in? That’s ok too. Find a local restaurant in your neighborhood and enjoy some time with those you love.

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I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

As most of you know, this blog is all about discovering ways in which you can live an amazing life. If you were not aware of that, you could ascertain that from the name of said blog.

One of the simplest ways to begin living an amazing life, yet for a lot of us very difficult, is to celebrate ourselves. It is the middle of the week. Hump day as some us say. It is time to take a step back and tell the world what is great about you. If this makes you uncomfortable that is a sign you need to do it even more.

A great way to live an amazing life is to grow our strengths and give of ourselves to the world. In order to do that most effectively, we need to know what we are good at, or put more simply what we rock at. If you are not sure, feel free to ask around. This does not make you self-centered or egotistical. Quite the opposite really. By learning what you are good at you can discover how you can best bring joy to others. Not to mention let others know what they can come to you for.

To help you get a idea of some things you can use I will list a few of mine. 

I am good at putting thoughts and feelings into words.

I am good at discovering ways to turn even the most negative situations to our advantage.

I am a good bartender.

I love to bring joy to those around me.

Hopefully you are getting the idea. Please list some of yours. Let us know why you rock! If anyone wants to add to each other’s lists go right ahead! Let’s all build each other up to finish the week strong! If anyone can think of something I missed on my own list feel free to mention that as well! I can’t wait to hear all the awesome things about each and every one of you!!

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RAISE YOUR VIBRATION


Those of you well-versed in the Law of Attraction know how important it is to raise your vibration and keep it high. It serves us well for manifesting what our hearts desire. For those of you who may not be that well-versed in the Law of Attraction, raising your vibration means raising the state of how you feel. Simply put, the higher your vibration, the better you feel.
When we feel good all sorts of things open up to us. We are more likely to try new things and talk to new people. Both of these can lead to wonderful new adventures. We take better care of ourselves and those we love. We are more likely to wear a smile and spread joy to others. To, of course, the obvious – life is a lot more fun. After all, that is what living an amazing life is all about, feeling good.
If you are thinking there is more to life that just feeling good, I challenge you on that statement. It is important to help others, yes. When we help others how do we feel? We feel good. It is important to do good for the world around us. When we do so how does that leave us feeling? It leaves us feeling good. When you are enjoying life you are far more productive and pleasant to be around. Who wants to sit next to a ‘Debbie downer’? Not me, and I would venture a guess not you either.
Do yourself a favor and try to fit in as many things as you can in the first list while limiting or eliminating as many things as you can from the second list. Do not stress about it for that would defeat the purpose. Work to raise your vibration, or feel as good as you can for the next 21 days. Make it a focus and watch the miracles begin to unfold in your life!

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH MORE IDEAS FOR MAKING YOUR LIFE AMAZING!!!

DIET VS. HEALTH

This is a great comparison in different thinking. Although this is obviously written for physical health and weight-loss, the same can be said for going on a mental diet. Changing from a life filled with stress and pleasing others to one of inner peace and spreading love can be just like the diet verses health comparison.

The circled part of the two words is an important element to think about as well. When you go on a diet, what you are doing to both your body and your mind is stressful. You focus on things like ‘cheating’ on your diet. You think of all the food you are restricted and forbidden from eating. It becomes about suffering through this period so you can go back to eating the terrible way that got you this way in the first place. Focused on more healthy eating is entirely different. You don’t restrict yourself as much, you just think, “would this help my body or hurt my body?” If you have a day where you do not eat as healthy as you should, you focus on reducing them while increasing the amount of healthy meals. This in turn lowers your stress which can help you lose weight anyway.

When embarking on any lifestyle change, whether that is diet, exercise, attitude, gratitude or a host of others there is one thing you should keep in mind. It is not so much about a specific process as it is about progress. Working on being a little better than you were the day before. Print this picture out if you like or even just print out the two words circled as they are for a powerful reminder. 

KEEP THE DARKNESS AT BAY

I saw this picture on the Facebook page of my local neighborhood association. (That would be the East Allis Neighborhood Association.) I found it to ring so true. A lot of us can fall into the rut of thinking there is nothing we can do to change the world. This is far from true.

One of the problems that can generate such thinking is having us think we need a grand gesture in order to make a big difference in the world and the lives of those in it. It is the little things that make the big differences. To prove this is more than a cliché saying that you can find on a Hallmark greeting card, I am going to share two personal stories with you that reflects how this can work both positively and negatively. I think once you see both sides of the equation you will begin to not only intellectually appreciate this, but understand it emotionally as well. This is important because once something gets into our spirit we are more likely to act on it.

I am going to start with the negative example for no other reason than we can end on a positive note. The other day at work I was checking with a group of mail carriers to see if they had anything to go to the other post office to which I was headed. That day I happened to be wearing a new colgne that I just purchased. I am not sure how you are, but I am always a little nervous when trying a new fragerance for the first time. As I passed one of the carriers she expressed her displeasure on how it smelled to her. Not that big of a deal. Normally that would just be a valuable source of feedback. It was, however, they way it which she did so that made all the difference. Instead of letting me know she did not find my new scent pleasing one on one, she began yelling to the whole post office about how terrible it was. To her this was no big deal, but it threw my day for a loop. Considering I have never said anything but compliments to this lady, it really got under my skin. Her small act had a rather big impact on my day.

On the exact opposite side of the coin, I would like to share a great example of how a simple act can make someone’s day. I was at home and had just stepped out of the shower. Wearing just the bare essentials, shall we say, I was digging in the closet for a shirt to wear on a special date I was taking my beautiful lady on. That very lady stuck her head in the room I was in to check on my progress of getting ready. Observing me looking for my shirt in the closet she remarked, “You look very sexy my love.” Mind you her and I always do our best to make sure we point out things we love about each other often. She doesn’t often use the word ‘sexy’ and that really made me feel good. I work hard to look appealing for her and to know that was working really meant a lot. For the rest of our date I had a smile in my heart thanks to her off-handed compliment.

Whether it is paying someone a compliment, picking up a piece of trash to help the neighborhood look better or making a small charitable donation, it is the little things that make a big difference. You may think how can picking up one piece of trash make my neighborhood look better? If we extrapolate that over a few hundred neighbors that is a lot of trash! Now what if those same 200 or so neighbors decide picking up one piece of trash is not worth the effort? Now you have 200 pieces of trash floating around the neighborhood. The same works for the charitable donation. I have roughly 40,000 followers for this blog in about 100 countries. The thought of what it would be like if each one sent me $5 has not escaped my thinking. To them $5 would most likely not be that big of a deal, but multiply that times 40,000 and it becomes substantial. If they all decided that donating $5 would not make much of a difference, no money would show up at all. Think of how this works for your favorite charity next time you ponder if your small donation would make a difference.

We may all not be able to do the grand acts we desire, but we can all do something. By doing even a small something we become part of the solution. If we decide that a small act is not worth bothering with, we remain part of the problem. Do what you can with what you have today and know even your small acts can have a great impact. 

YOU ARE YOUR PAST… BUT THEN AGAIN YOUR NOT

Boy this is a confusing title! Then again, trying to understand life can be a little confusing as well. How can you both be your past and yet not be your past? We are going to be taking a look at both of those. By the time we are done I have confidence you will be better prepared to make your life an amazing one.

Let us start by looking at how you are your past. I believe we touched on this a few posts ago but it bears repeating. One example is your physical body. Let us say you find yourself a few pounds north of ideal. Let us say you have also recently started a new workout program. You may look in the mirror after a few weeks and not see the results you expected or desired. That is because you are your past. Your present is that you have comitted to a workout routine and a healthier lifestyle. The past few years may have included way too many pizzas and Boston Creme doughnuts. Not only can I understand that, but I can empathize as well. Perhaps you are not that good with keeping up with your oral health and you end up with a cavity. You can start bushing and flossing like someone obsessed and you still will have the cavity.

Even more than your physical body is your emotional and mental state. Your thoughts go a long way to creating your reality. If you have been thinking your life is full of misfortune and your wallet is light while the number on the scale is not, those events will tend to come true. Negative thoughts equal a negative life. 

So you are your past? There is not much we can do to change that? Not so fast. While your present reality is a reflection of your past, your future will be a reflection of your present. If you hold firm to your resolution to live a healthier life, a year from now you will have a lot to smile about. If you maintain great oral health, your next visit to the dentist will be filled with less dread and a lot less pain. Your thoughts work the same. Begin to fill your mind with thoughts of positivity and gratitude and watch your life change as if by magic!

What it all comes down to is this, although you are a reflection of your past, you are not a slave to it. Perhaps an emotionally trying situation from years ago has left you scared and unable to move forward? You can begin to transform that situation into a motivational event and begin to move forward. If you need help you can begin to see a therapist. We do create our own futures, but we do so by creating our own past. Today’s prest is tomorrow’s past. As the saying goes, “Do something today your future self will thank you for.”

A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

A lot of people will see this quote and think that it is not so. Of course a lot of people live a life that is south of amazing. Whether you are studying the law of attraction, business or quantum physics, you undoubtedly understand what you focus on expands in your life. The average person looks for and anticipates problems that may exist in any situation. It is a survival mechanism and can be extremely helpful. If, however, you are not just looking to survive in life, but to thrive, I suggest taking a slightly different approach.

Looking for challenges that might pop up in life is smart and I do so myself. Looking for and preparing for challenges is far different than focusing on them. When you are focused on seeing something in your life you will find it. When you are not focused on something in your life you may miss it even though it is right in front of you. If you find this hard to believe, stay tuned we will have a fun and simple experiment that you can do to prove it to yourself in just a second. First let us digest the theory that you notice what you focus on and miss what you don’t. There are people who are constantly telling others how rough their life is. How they have the worst luck. Wouldn’t you know that tends to hold true. You look at their life and some crazy things happen to them that are not that pleasant. It is not the things that happen that lead to the attitude, but the attitude that can perpetuate the events.

Those who have this challenging life may be rebeling at the notion of this, but that does not make it any less real. When you are determined to see the challenges in your life that make it such a struggle they will stand out nice and tall. Meanwhile, any good fortune you may have will go under appreciated at best, or even unnoticed at worst. When you life has a run a good luck your subconscious mind will spring into action and say, “Well he keeps saying we have bad luck. Let us go find some!” Believe me when I tell you I had a hard time accepting how responsible I was for my own life at first too. To help all of us along I am going to share a quick experiment with you that you can do wherever you are to demonstrate how true this is.

 

THE EXPERIMENT

 

Wherever you are right now whether it is at your home office, driving in a car, on the job or anywhere else this will be fun. First, clear your mind the best you can. Next, look around you for anything you see that is red. Find red anything. Red signs, people wearing red clothes, a red stop sign or anything else red. Look for red. See red and note that thing. Now close your eyes for a second (unless you are doing this experiment driving) and think of something around you that is brown. Rather hard to do isn’t it? A million brown things could have been surrounding you but you would not have noticed them because you were looking for something that is red. In fact, when you were looking for things that were red did you notice things that were maybe a dark shade of pink or wine colored just so you could have another thing that was red?

This is a basic example of how our minds work. Imagine if you will, how our life would change if we would use this for gratitude, for example. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel. How great would our life be if we looked for everything we loved in a situation? Think of how life would be if when we are stuck in traffic next time we played this game and asked ourselves over and over, “What can I be grateful for in this situation?” or “What do I love about this situation?”

I can tell you this formula has worked miracles in my life. I am not exagerating, but do not take my word for it. Use this experiment yourself. Do it for 21 days randomly throughout the day. Start with times you are enjoying yourself. This is a little easier and helps the brain get into the habit. Next, try it when you are waiting in line at the store, stuck in traffic or dealing with a difficult customer. Every time you use it, you will get better and so will your life. Feel free to share your experiences with using this formula.