It is Monday. The day when many of us need a little extra dose of motivation. Personally, I tend to go with a stronger brew of coffee ☕️ What is one way you get extra motivation when you need it?
One of my favorite exercises to have people do is to write their own eulogy. I feel it helps people get clear, often for the first time in their lives, what kind of person they want to be remembered as. It also makes it pretty clear if there are on track to be remembered as that kind of person. Going forward, it gives them a pretty good set of self-enforced guidelines. If you know what kind of person you would like to be remembered as, are the actions you are taking going to lead to that? If not, change them. If so, do them more often. It makes life simple and helps steer the rudder of our ship of life, if you will.
There are many people who have an issue with this exercise, or in some cases flat out refuse to do it. They have a hard time getting past the death part. Les Brown said it best, that you can’t get out of life alive. He also said, “Most people die at 25, but don’t get buried until they are 65.” Death is a natural part of life, but I do not want someone’s fear of it to get in their way of success. It is just this thought that I was pondering, along with what the subject of my fifth book will be, when the answer to both questions came to me!
Let me ask you a question that I really want you to think about. If you were to write your autobiography, that is the story of your life, what would the title be? I have been encouraged to write one myself. The best title I could come up with is The Amazing Life of an Ordinary Man. I will explain that in a future post. What I want to plant in your mind is the seed of what story you will leave behind. Will it be one of someone who inspired others or who was only out for their own gain? Will it be of someone who gave or someone who was always looking to take? A “What is in it for me?” sort of attitude. Let me give a clue to those people. As Denzel Washington once said, “I have never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse.” You can’t take it with you. Think of the title of your story. How will it read? Even if you find yourself down and out at the moment, that can be where your story changes. How many of us like to go to a movie or read a book where the main character rises up from the ashes to achieve a level of greatness? The story wouldn’t be as good without the struggle.
Want to take this exercise a step further to help improve your life even more? Imagine someone else was writing your biography, what would they say? What would they title it? Notice how this will be different with each person you think of. If you want to be the best spouse you can be, imagine your better half is about to begin work writing your life story. You certainly would not want them to say you were an inattentive lover. You wouldn’t want to read that you were emotionally unavailable. You want to read how you made their heart sing. You want to read that you made them feel safe both physically and emotionally. Ok, if that is what you want to read, what actions can you take to make that the story? How about if your children were going to write your biography? What would they say about you? Are there ways you could improve that story? Take those actions now.
Think about your own autobiography. Is it what you want it to be so far? If not, what actions can you take to change that? I would start with this first. Then when you are comfortable that you are on track to live the story you would want to write, think of others. What would your spouse write? Your children? Your friends? What actions could you take to make their story one that would make you proud. This should be a fun and insightful exercise. I would love to hear about your experience.
In the next two posts, we are going to look at ways of becoming immortal. Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with magic potions, the occult or some guy trying to sell you snake oil. In fact, I want you to sell me something. If there was one thing that I would love everybody in the world to do it is this – share your story. I used to say I think everyone should write a book, and that still holds true, but writing a book is not for the faint of heart. After three of them, just trust me on that. Fortunately, for all of us, there are so many avenues in which to tell you story, you don’t have to write a single thing. My most recent book is about my heart surgery, but when I wanted to tell my story about the first person in my community to get Covid-19, I used YouTube videos. Now, to reach more people, I have started a podcast. You also have social media and many other outlets.
Nothing frustrates me greater than to hear someone exclaim, “I don’t have a story to tell.” Everyone has a story to tell. When I inform them of this, I hear some replies that leave me speechless. As anyone who knows me personally, that takes some doing. I have heard people say things like, “I am just a server.” “There is nothing special about me.” “I am just a parent.” or “I am not succeeding really well in life.” Those last two really get me. You are just a parent? So you are just responsible for crafting another human life and raising a future generation? Yeah, no big deal. You are not doing so well in life? Despite what you may see on Facebook, how many people would you guess have areas of their lives they are not doing so well at?
There are two VERY important reasons you should share your story. The first is the lessons you can teach the world. Before you tell me that you are not a teacher, or even haven’t been very good at something, let me tell you that you are a teacher. If you have not been very successful in life up to this point. Maybe you have made a lot of mistakes, or you let one big mistake continue to haunt you, do you think there are lessons you could give others in those mistakes? Even if your story consists of “Don’t do all of the stupid stuff I did.” You could very well save someone else’s life by doing so. Think I am being overly dramatic? Maybe that person would not be as resilient as you and would not be able to make it through. People get hung up by things that may not bother us. Let us say you have accomplished some things in life. Do you think there is lessons in them as well? “If you want a good relationship like me do this….” (My advice would be to become an active listener and work on being the best version of yourself)
Second reason you should share your story is that there are a lot of other people just like you out there. Those people may be feeling alone in their struggles. If you think of yourself as just a parent, how many other parents are out there that could relate to your struggles? That is the point, sometimes we just need others to relate to. When I am with fellow authors, guess what we talk about? The struggles of writing! When athletes get together they talk about their sports. Now imagine if you could reach a wider audience. How many people do you think you could affect? If you are a server, would you enjoy reading stories of unique customer challenges other servers have went through? Of course you would! I can just imagine you reading it shaking your head and saying “I know what that is like!” How about a parent going through the struggle of the ‘terrible twos’? I am sure just reading a story about it could help lots of other parents.
Share your stories my friends. You never know who you will reach. You never know who you will connect with. You never know who you will help.
I know that most of you following this blog post are aware that I have started a podcast. Being that I had my own radio show for several years, and even my own television show for a short time, I thought it was a natural progression. What I allowed to get in my way was not being up to speed on the technology. I recall having coffee with my friend Nick and giving him the same excuses for the last couple of months. Being that Nick is a good friend, he looked me right in the eyes and called me out. “Isn’t this what you have been telling me four months now?” He was right. I needed to just jump in.
I still am figuring everything out. The podcasts are rough, but we already have 4 done. I am learning new things with each episode. You can see the email I received above. It is congratulating me on 10 plays. For someone who has a blog that has over 1700 posts and is followed in over 187 countries, this was a little humbling. After all, if I only got 10 views on my blog, I would be disappointed.
There are 2 things that I had to keep in mind. If I went back to 2012, when I began my blog, I believe I had 12 views the first 2 months. I was followed in one country…mine…by one person…my mom. To think I have over 32,000 followers now all across the globe. It has taken 10 years to get to that point. I had to remember to be patient. I also had to keep in mind my why for doing this podcast in the first place. The reason was to reach and help inspire many more people. In today’s world, there are plenty of people who would rather listen to a podcast for 30 minutes than read a blog for two. I should know, I live with one. There is nothing wrong with that. If I wanted to reach these people, I had to adapt. It would also allow me to reach people on a more personal level. Many have never heard my voice, or the inflection that adds to my writing.
I invite you to also check out my podcast at the link below. You will not only have another avenue to be inspired and learn tools and strategies to turn the life you have into the life you love, but may be able to do so at times that reading is not convenient. Check out and subscribe to the “Living the Dream with Neil Panosian” podcast at the link below. I would love your feedback as I continue to grow in this field as well.
Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? Does it seem too good to be true? Does it sound like something from a science fiction movie? Does it sound too new age for you? You are not alone.
What if I were to tell you there was actual science behind why this does work? The Law of Attraction is real and it has to do with a part of the brain we use every day! Once I show you this powerful example and how you are already unwittingly putting it to use in your own life. With a few tweaks, you can take this part of your brain and consciously put it to work for you.
In my latest podcast episode we examine this phenomenon and tell you how to use it to start manifesting the kind of life you are dreaming of.
Have you ever wondered how to become immortal? Learn the secret to immortality in my latest podcast. You will be introduced to a strategy that will help you live your life to the fullest and insure your place in history. No fountain of youth required!
Above is a picture of the Mitchell Park Domes. They are 3 giant green houses, for lack of a better description. They are only a few miles from my house. They are an important part of today’s post. Before we get to what the 3 giant glass domes have to do with living an amazing life, let me share a personal fact with you. I strongly dislike the winters here in Wisconsin. It gets so cold some animals sleep through it, many leave the state entirely. Unfortunately, at this time, I am not an animal that fits into either category. Therefore, I must make certain adjustments. This post will focus around that. Just like a lot of what we learn here, it can be adapted to your situation.
The winters here also lack sunshine and things that are…well…alive. The trees look like dead sticks, all the plant life is brown and shriveled up. I don’t mean to sound negative, especially after last post about the power of positive thinking. These are facts and they can make it difficult for someone, like myself, that has Seasonal Affective Disorder. That is where the lack of sun and such throws your hormones all out of wack and can cause feelings of depression. This used to pose quite a challenge for someone who writes blogs and books about living an amazing life. Especially since winter seems to last roughly 9 months here. Then I began to put into action many of the things I learned and began to teach. I would love to share with you what I came up with for my situation, in hopes you can apply it to your own.
I realized one of the most dangerous things about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or any condition, is the feeling of hopelessness you can fall into. Although I am not able to move south for the winter just yet, I realized there are other things I can do. Plan a vacation to the sunny Bahamas with my beautiful Margie, like I am this winter. That helps. Let us face it a tropical vacation is not always in the cards. That is where The Domes, as they are locally known, fit into the picture. As you can see in the picture above, they have living plants all year! They must also have some kind of light that allows them to grow in the gloomy Wisconsin winter. Spending time in these places are like a mini vacation. We also have an amazing museum that has displays of places like Bali, Fiji and other tropical locations I would like to visit. I can at least escape mentally for the time I am inside the building.
Add to this things like coconut scented oils, shirts with the Jamaican flag, pictures of past vacations and many other ways to at least take me away mentally. I also was given a ‘Happy light’ that mimics the sun by Margie. I often use that when I write. Even a little time in front of it, helps my spirits stay up. Plus, I read and research on other things that might help. Taking Vitamin D, listening to ocean waves. There are many options to employ and more I am learning every day.
I encourage you to take the same approach to whatever life challenge you are facing. I realize that I am not able to change the weather and make the sunshine at will. What I can do is some of the things that I mentioned in the paragraphs above. I also use this ‘winter dread’ to motivate me to save for a vacation. Having things to look forward to makes challenges a lot more bearable. I would love to hear how you approach and prepare for the challenges you are facing. Oh, and if you happen to have more suggestions to make winter bearable for me, I am all ears!
Law of attraction. Positive thinking. Manifesting. These words have almost become cliché. For a lot of left-brained folks they can also seem a little too New Age. I get it. I am a little left brain myself. Having faith in something that seems spiritual can be quite difficult for many of us. “Can I really just start thinking positive and my life will improve?” we wonder. The answer is both yes and no. I want to introduce you to a concept that will make this a little easier to understand and put into action.
When many of us hear of things like positive thinking and the Law of Attraction, we think of it as just blissing out and our life will change. It is not quite that simple. I have had people watch the movie The Secret and say I don’t believe that all you have to do is think positive for your life to change. They are right…kind of. You have to do more than think positive for your life to change, but if you don’t think positive, your life is highly unlikely to change. At least not for the better. This is not some strange occult or new age concept. There is actual science involved here.
If you google the reticular activating system like I did, you will be greeted with some wonderfully scientific definitions that you will have to read slowly and might not understand. Let me give it to you in terms of an example. Have you have noticed when you buy a new car or outfit that you start seeing that car or outfit everywhere? Let me ask, did everyone realize that you bought it and want to appear cool like you so they rushed out and bought it too? Could be. After all, you are a very awesome person. I don’t want to bring you down, but there is a far more likely explanation. The reticular activating system, among many other things, decides what is important and not important in your world. Here is the truth, those cars and outfits were there all the time, they just were not that important to you. Once they were, your brain began to bring them to your attention.
This is all really cool for new cars and outfits, but what does it have to do with positive thinking and Law of Attraction? When you are focused on positive things, or opportunities, what do you think your brain will bring to your attention? That is why people who say “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.” have it all wrong. Your expectation has a great deal to do with your success in life. Here is where those who argue that you can’t just bliss out and life will magically improve. If you just sit and meditate and all the wonderful things in life without doing anything, people will come and take your furniture. What this positive thinking, and exercises like vision boards do, is let your brain know what is important. Then, when your brain presents you with these situations, you must act. What the positive thinking and Law of Attraction will do is present you with more opportunities. Just like the cars and outfits. It is then up to you to take the inspired action. Here is the good news. It will seem easier and more enjoyable than before.
I hope the science behind all of this will make things a little easier to understand and will make it more likely for you to dip your toes in the water of putting your mind to work for you. Just remember, if it works for cars and outfits, it can work for opportunities and positivity. If you want to learn more about this, feel free to pick up my b, Living the Dream, on Amazon or wherever fine books are sold.
Yesterday, I took a rest day. To be honest, I’m not very good at that. Today, I’m feeling rather healthy, and even more important, happy. In physical fitness, they always recommend you take a day off to let your body heal. I believe the same is true for your mind and your spirit. Even the toughest of us need a chance to catch our breath.
So, go ahead. Take a rest day. You deserve it.
One of the most important areas of our lives is our relationships. I am not sure if there is anything that has a greater impact on our emotional well-being than our relationship to others, especially our intimate relationship.
The relationship field is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are books, seminars, therapy, coaching and a million other options. Add to that things like candy, flowers,greeting cards and other gifts and the dollar amount soars. I’m here to tell you there is one thing you can do that will mean more to your spouse than any of those things. It is also cheaper. It can even be free! One thing that can improve your relationship no matter how good, or not so good, it is currently.
I promise if you do this one thing, your relationship will be stronger, more fun and your partner will be more in love with you than ever before. I go into greater detail about this in my second book, Living the Dream, but I’ll give you the short version here. The Secret is…become the best version of you that you can be.
Investing time and effort in yourself may seem selfish, but it is actually one of the best investments you can make in your relationship. The better you make yourself, the better your relationship will be. Work on becoming a better listener, that will have positive effects on your relationship. Get in better shape? You will have more energy and become more attractive to your spouse. Learn a new skill? It is another interesting aspect you bring to life with your partner.
As you can see, I use this in my own relationship with my beautiful Margie. Here is another great thing. You can always work on improving yourself. There are always ways to become a better version of yourself. This means there is always a possibility of your relationship getting better! How cool is that?
As a very important added bonus, if things don’t work out in a relationship, working on yourself helps limit the regret. There is no wondering “if only I had…” You can rest assured you brought your best self to your relationship. Sure, you going to make mistakes, but as long as you learn and keep improving, so will your relationship
Although this is most noticeable in a romantic relationship, it holds true for any relationship in your life. It also holds true for your life in general. When you improve, so does your relationships and so does your life.