30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #17)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Bill Gates was once asked what super power he would like. After some thought he chose one. It was not x-ray vision or to be invisible. The super power the richest man in the world would like was to be able to read books faster. Knowledge is great potential power. If we put into use what we have learned that makes it valuable. Knowledge without action is of little use. Using our example of Bill Gates, I would have to say the knowledge I am most grateful for is the ability to read. Why? If you can read, you can accomplish anything! Want to learn a new language? There is a book for that. Want to learn how to repair cars? There is a book for that. As with anything, these areas are learned even more if you put them into practice, but the basics can be learned by reading about them.

These days you can learn almost anything using a YouTube video as well. In order to look up the correct YouTube video…yep…you have to be able to read. Reading has allowed me to learn how to formulate this blog, how to be better in my jobs, how to be the best man I can be in my relationship with Margie and how to give as much to the world as I can. Without a doubt, knowing how to read is one of the best bits of knowledge I am gratfeful for.

How about you? What knowledge are you grateful for? Is it something you learned recently? Maybe it is something you were taught when you were very young? I would love to know what bit of knowledge has changed your life and why.

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #16)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

This can be a difficult one for a lot of us. Body shaming seems to be too popular in the news today. It can seem uncomfortable to mention anything good about our physical appearance. Some of us even feel guilty if we mention any aspect of our body in a positive light. There are those of us who have absolutely no problem doing this, but I digress. Today it seems we are told to focus on what areas of our body may seem ‘unsatisfactory’ by society’s standard and begin at once to work on correcting them.

While it is good to want to be healthy and fit, no matter what your body looks like there are beautiful aspects to it. I think a smile is one of the most beautiful things you can wear. Eyes that sparkle with passion and joy are hard to resist. A heart that is caring and compassionate is truly something to be grateful for. A mind filled with positive solutions and ways to better the world? That would make the gratitude list.

Here is another thing to consider, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people prefer people who are tall. Some fancy shorter people. Have hair? Don’t have hair? There is someone who is looking for someone just like you. I know is can be hard when you are not feeling good about the body you have. Trust me when I tell you that you are beautiful just the way you are. If you haven’t heard that from someone in your life lately, you may need to add some new people there. Everyone of us has many beautiful aspects to us. We may have a hard time appreciating them, but they are there and we are beautiful.

If you are having a hard time finding an answer to this one, it might help to ask the love of your life. If you don’t have a special someone in your life, ask a close friend. Blame it on me. “Neil has us doing this gratitude list. What about my body do you think I should be grateful for?” The answer may surprise and delight you. You may discover ways and things about you that you had not thought about appreciating. You may not like the way your feet look, but as Gandhi once said, “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” Even aspects of our bodies we don’t think of. Our nerves that let us sense danger. Pain that alerts us to something being wrong. Our circulatory system that delivers all of the nutrients to the different parts of our body.

As you can see there is so many different ways to approach this question and so many different ways to be grateful for your body. I would love to hear which way you decided to go with your answer.

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #15)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Right away my brain screams, “Summer!!!” when I see this question. No doubt as I sit here writing slowly losing feeling in my toes from the cold (I am inside a coffee shop mind you) I am grateful for weather that does not feature such temperatures. It is the holiday season here in the United States. It features a little more kindness than usual, that is reason to be grateful. There are seasons of life. I suppose I would fall in the middle of mine. I am grateful for that. I am old enough to realize what I should not do. Occasionally, I am still young and foolish enough to try things I shouldn’t. I recall a moment of sustaining a concussion at the last Warrior Dash race I ran.

What season are you grateful for? How did you interpret this question? Seasons of life? Seasons of mother nature? Holiday seasons? I would love to hear your answers. 

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #14)


Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.


This post should be a fairly easy one for all of us. On a daily basis we are greeted by many sights we could be grateful for. It may be something we do not stop and appreciate, as are most of these, but with a mere second of reflections many can leap to mind. Start by looking around you. I can say the sight of the hot cup of coffee and the computer it is sitting next to are great for me. Why? Beyond the obvious reasons of liking both coffee and writing, I can afford both. The computer allows me to reach homes and phones around the globe. In Lebanon, a gentleman informs me they print these posts and hang them in his office for inspiration. The coffee fuels the content you read on these posts.


Then I reflect on my day. The sight of the sunshine when I left to drive at work. It was well below freezing today. After the work truck warmed up, the sunshine allowed my brain to forget, if just for a moment, how cold it was outside. The temperature on my cell phone when I left work which was higher than when I arrived. Still below freezing, but at least going in the right direction. The sight of a not so crowded gym after work meant the machines I wanted to use were available.
Then I begin to think of some of my favorite sights. Any tropical scene is inspiring to me in a host of different ways. I have a calendar at work that is full of different tropical paintings. I like all things tropical. Palm trees, pink flamingos, rum and the ocean. Images of any of those are wonderful. My favorite sight is smiles on the faces of those I love and care about. It means they have joy in their hearts. In the case of Margie, it also means that, for the moment at least, I am doing a good job as the man in her life. There is no greater reward than to see her genuine smile.
There are so many more sights in life that I am grateful for. When I think about all of the amazing things I see on a daily basis, I am so grateful. I do not appreciate them nearly as much as I could. As a bonus, I am grateful for this exercise bringing that to my attention. What sights are you grateful for today?

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #13)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

I like today’s topic in our 30 days of gratitude for a reason other than fostering gratitude. It can also help to boost our self-confidence. Often we focus on our shortcomings. This can be done with the best of intentions. Mostly, we are doing it because we want to be better individuals and make the world a better place. Some of us may feel focusing on our abilities makes us feel selfish or self-centered. That is really not so, especially when you are focused on being thankful for them. Some we were born with, but most took some hard work and practice to develop. Even those we may have a natural talent with took some work to be proficient in.

When I first began pondering what abilities of mine I was grateful for, my writing naturally came to mind. I started to feel how grateful I am in my ability to put my thoughts into words and share them with all of you. Then I was grateful for my ability to absorb and retain what I learn. I never realized how much of a gift this is until Margie repeatedly pointed this out to me. I guess that would lead me to being grateful for my ability to talk to and pick out the best life partners. There is my ability to talk to complete strangers. Although sometimes a blessing and a curse all rolled into one. My ability to help people see the positive aspect of the world. My ability to help myself see the positive side of things. I am working on the ability to control my mind and emotions and proud of how far I have come with that.

How about you? What ability are you grateful for that you have? Are there abilities in others you are grateful for? I think once we start being honest with ourselves, we really have a lot of abilities to be grateful for. However you are recording your grateful list for these 30 days, whether in a journal, on a sheet of paper or in the comments here, I hope you take time to list what abilities you are grateful to have. Many skills we take for granted others would relish having. 

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY # 12)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Texture is something that doesn’t leap to mind when you are thinking of things to be grateful for, but it really should. Imagine if everything felt the same. What a crazy and mixed up world this would be! It would also be a lot more difficult. Imagine sleeping with a blanket that felt like sandpaper. How about sanding with something that had the texture of a soft blanket? Texture plays a very important part in our lives. There are different road grades of road that alert us from when we stray to far out of our lane (I mean I heard there are) and some that tell us we need to slow down. All very important for safety.

Then there are the more pleasurable textures. The feel of your favorite stuffed animal when you were young…or maybe not so young. No judgment here. How about the texture of your pet’s fur when you pet them? How about the texture of your soft skin when you apply lotion to it? The texture of sand between your toes on a tropical beach on vacation? My favorite texture is that of my lady’s soft skin under my fingertips. When I hug her, touch her neck or even just hold her beautiful face in my hands. It is a feeling that is so hard to describe, but feels so amazing.

As you can see, texture is a very important aspect of our lives that can go unappreciated and even unnoticed by many. Just another aspect of our lives that we can be grateful for that we did not think about. See how amazing life is! I would love to hear your favorite textures.

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #11)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

It is ironic I suppose that this post comes out on Friday the 13th. Not exactly a holiday, but a day people either fear or celebrate. What holidays are your favorite? My quick answer would be Thanksgiving. There is no other holiday that involves no gift exchanges, no rituals or dogma set in stone. Just a simple gathering for a meal and to celebrate all that we are thankful for. This year Margie and I had a small and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Here is another interesting fact, I love to learn about and celebrate holidays outside of the beliefs I grew up with. An example would be the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of the world and includes 10 days of introspection and repentance. Who among us couldn’t use some of that? Yom Kippur, also know as the Day of Atonement, where individuals are encouraged to make amends and ask for forgiveness. Once again, who couldn’t use a day like that in our lives? The Muslim holiday known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a celebration of the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. It is celebrated with not only enjoying a good meal, but also giving zakat al-fitr or charity in the form of food. What a great tradition this is! There are certainly more to both of these holidays and I do not mean to not give them their full explanation here. Rather, my purpose is to introduce you to some amazing holidays you may not be familiar with.

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate? Why do you enjoy celebrating it? Are there some fun traditions or rituals that make it special for you? Let us all learn and maybe incorporate some of your ideas into our holiday celebrations. 

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #10)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Taste can ultimately conjure up thoughts of food. Some of my favorite tastes have little or nothing to do with food. This is extremely shocking considering I live with one of the best cooks I have ever met, my lovely Margie. Her culinary creations are second to none.  Why are they not my favorite tastes? I am going a little metaphorical here. I love the taste of success. When you begin to see something you have worked hard for begin to take shape, that is exciting. The taste of the spring air on your lips. This may be normally seen as a smell, but I think it is something so tangible you can actually taste it. The same holds true for me in an even more intense fashion when it comes to the salty ocean air. When you are near the ocean the entire ambience changes. It is a change in vibration. Not only can you see, smell and feel it, but I think you can taste it in the air as well.

This leads to my favorite taste – the lips of the one you love. I don’t care how full I am from eating one of her delicious meals, I always have room for a kiss from my lovely lady. To me, there is no dessert sweeter than that of her kiss. Talk about a taste with an emotional reaction. I can think of little that is better than enjoying a delicious meal prepared by one of the most amazing women I have ever met, sealed with a kiss to show how much she loves me.

Your tastes need not be so metaphorical. They can be a certain dish prepared just the way you like it. I am a big fan of my Mother’s lasagna. As I write I am always grateful for the flavor of hot coffee. Another author, Honore de Balzac routinely drank 42 cups of coffee while writing. Due to my heart condition and desire to keep typing instead of visiting the gents, I usually limit my consumption to two cups. I am grateful to be able to share that story with you. I look forward to hearing what your favorite tastes are. 

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30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #9)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Places. This one is a little vague, but let us run with it. What place are you grateful for? There can be that little place in the park you escape to. I have one where I go meditate and read. There can be favorite vacation spots. I love Jamaica and would be inclined to host a book signing at Tony Robbins resort in Fiji if I was so invited. There are also places like being with the one you love. In Margie’s arms or laying next to her are two of my favorite places to be. Places can even be non-physical. Not sure that is really a word, but I digress. We all have places in our mind we escape to when the boss is coming down on us. Sitting across from aunt Mable at the holiday dinner listening to her medical history? Then perhaps it is time to mentally transport ourselves to our upcoming vacation.

I love to sit in the sun and read. It matters little where that sun is. I love to be surrounded by good friends and music. Again, the specific location matters little. Sure some are more preferred. As you can see in the preceding examples, sometimes a place can be less geographical and more about who you are with. Whether your place is with friends and family, on the beach, in the mountains or anywhere else, why not share with all of us?

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