I recall some of my first exposure to the principles of self-improvement. They seemed hokey and new age at best, far out and ridiculous at worst. I was a singer in a band, I was a bartender. I had no desire to take my inner child on a play date. When I heard someone talk about meditation or keeping a journal I thought they would be someone sitting alone in a tent in the middle of the desert giving advice or something. That was actually a description I gave to my good friend Russ. In short I thought all of this self-help stuff was a bunch of B.S..

My dramatic change from someone who mocked all things that might be labeled ‘self-improvement’ to someone who is not only a proponent of such material, but a creator and distributor as well, happened over a period of time. It is like the story of boiling a frog in a pot of water. If you put a frog in a pot of hot water it will jump out, but if you turn the heat up slowly it will sit there until it boils to death. Please know I am not advocating harm to animals, but my life proceeded along a similar path. As life slowly turned the heat up on me I found myself literally boiling to death in a pool of stress.

One of the first stresses I can think of is when I was working at a telemarketing job. For those of you who have never had a job in this field, just consider what you have said, or heard other people say to telemarketers. Now, imagine being the person on the other end of the phone…eight hours a day…6 days a week. I remember listening to Bob Marley’s Legend album on my lunch hour every day. I would close my eyes, push play and picture being on a beach in Jamaica. Little was I aware I was practicing visualizing and meditation. Not that I called it that. At the time I just said I was “unwinding on lunch”. All I was sure of is that is made me feel better and be able to withstand the constant barrage of colorful phrases people share with telemarketers.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself awake at 3a.m. ready to go to the post office job I was thrilled about. This was after working an entire bartending shift I was also growing weary of. As you can imagine this and other stresses also affected my relationships with others at the time. While sitting on the couch putting on my shoes I saw an infomercial. It was for a collection of CDs from Tony Robbins. Being half asleep and feeling frustrated with the direction my life was going at the time, I thought “What the hell do I have to lose?” I ordered the tapes, went to work and soon forgot all about it. A week later they arrived. I listened on my short commute I had to work at the time and soon found myself taking detours to listen to more.

Soon I found myself looking at life from a different angle. Shortly thereafter, my job was downsized and the real test began. I found myself at the local library looking for answers. Those of you who have read my book or followed me for any amount of time have no doubt heard this story countless times. After finding things that helped a former ‘rock star’ and bartender who was too cool for self-help, I wanted to share it with others who thought themselves too bad ass for this material, but were silently, or not so silently suffering on the inside. That lead to the creation of this website, a book, a YouTube channel and seminars. In short, it brought us to where we are now.

If you came across this on accident, or are postponing on taking the leap on learning tools that could improve your life because you are simply too cool, I urge you to reconsider. First of all, get rid of the term self-help. I never liked that term to begin with. It has the feel like you are helpless and can only succeed with the help of someone else. I prefer the term self-improvement. The truth is you don’t need anyone else. What you may be lacking is information and a plan. As long as you have the desire, there are many paths that can lead you to success.

The other thing you might wish to consider is that in the beginning nobody needs to know what you are doing, or that you are doing anything at all. You can read in private. You can rent and watch movies in the privacy of your own home. You can start like I did listening to things while you are alone in the car. Once you see, and more important feel the increase in joy and reduction in stress, you can decide how public you may want to be with your quest to become the best version of yourself.

As a bonus, here are a list of a few recommendations I have for improving yourself after spending over two decades in the field. This is not a complete list by any means and if you would like to add to it feel free.


  • A Happy Life for Busy People
  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The Power of the Subconscious Mind
  • The Tao of Pooh
  • The Secret

CD or MP3 Programs

  • The Strangest secret
  • Personal Power
  • Any videos or audio by Tony Robbins, Earl Nightingale, Les Brown or Eric Thomas


“When you are busy doing what you love, you will meet who you love.”

Neil Panosian

I am not sure if it is because I am blessed to have such an amazing relationship that we both work so hard in, because I am a self-improvement author or just because I am around so many people over the years working as a bartender and DJ, but a lot of people share their relationship struggles with me. I am very grateful for the knowledge and insight this provides me.

One of the most common stories I hear is this, “Neil, I keep thinking I found the right person but then it blows up in my face. Oh well, I guess I am going to have to look harder.” My advice? Stop! On a metaphysical level, by looking for something it tells the universe you do not have it. On a more practical level there are far better ways to find a partner that has long term potential. It may not be as quick, but the results are a lot better in the long term.

What is this secret formula? Do you. I am not talking about ways of satisfying your carnal desires until you find a partner, but they way you live your life as a whole. When you focus on doing things you enjoy, and how you enjoy them you set yourself up for the best possible results for meeting someone whom you have a lot in common with. Are you a morning person who enjoys breakfasts? Then combing the bars at 2 a.m. looking for the next partner to share your life with might not be the best option. Are you an active person who loves to cycle outdoors and go for long hikes in the woods? Then the chances are your future partner will not be found at the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. There are exceptions, however. Oddly enough, I enjoy both of those activities. This is not about ruling out someone completely, but increasing the odds of finding the right person.

Even if you have already found the love of your life, this formula works great for finding friends to add to your life. As adults sometimes it can seem more difficult to make deep bonds with others as we can in childhood. By surrounding yourself in a group of like minded people, you will have a great chance of developing friendships that will add the maximum joy to your life!

Often the urge to have companionship can override our patience in finding the right partner. Do yourself a favor and by holding out for what you deserve and not settling. In the meantime pursue that hobby or passion. Consider researching and joining like-minded groups in your area. Spend time in places you enjoy. Are you a reader? Spend some time in library or book store. Maybe take a book with you to your favorite coffee shop. If you enjoy the outdoors hike on a popular trail a few days a week and see who you meet. It may take a while, but eventually you will find someone who is right for you. As a bonus you will probably end up making some great friends along the way.



“Whatever you are, be a good one”

-Abraham Lincoln

Here is a juggler/comedian i saw at this year’s state fair. I am a fan of juggling although I do not have such a skill. Perhaps that may be just why I am such a fan of this skill. It takes a lot of practice and patience. Two things that I do not always excel at.

When you do a blog on positivity and now are a motivational speaker, you are always on the lookout for inspiring ideas. So what great profound idea did I receive from a man juggling in the state fair? Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with juggling. In addition to being very skilled at his profession, here is what separated this man from all the other performers – his charisma. He had mastered self-deprecating humor, to a point where the audience didn’t know whether to applaud or laugh.

What is the point we can get from a funny juggler? It means not only did this person master his skill he also mastered the art of relating to people. Think of whatever your profession you do. Are you doing the best job at it you can? In todays world of fluid job situations it is even more important than ever to be the best you can be. As the quote from the 16th president above says, whatever you are doing, be a good one. That may also mean learning other skills. No matter what profession you are in, people skills are always a great idea to master. In an ever shrinking world, no person is an island. So if you want to learn any skill I would recommend investing some time and effort into improving you ability to relate to others. I strongly recommend picking up a copy of my favorite book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

So remember, whether it is a truck driver, bartender, blog writer, mother, brother or friend. Whatever you are doing today, be a good one


“If you continuously compete with others you become bitter but if you continuously compete with yourself you become better”

This is a quote I came across somewhere online but it really struck me. So many of us want to be the best this, or the best that. This is good. Wanting to be better and improving is what keeps us growing and evolving. I personally always take pride in wanting to be the best bartender I can be. I am lucky enough to know several other amazing bartenders in my life. My friends Lisa, Matt, Shelly, Shilla and Alysa are downright amazing. I never look at them and compare myself though. One, they have their own styles and skill sets that differ than mine. That is not to say I will not ask them for advice or watch them and pick up a few things I could do to make my shift a little better. Still comparing myself to them, or even competing against them does not good at all. One it makes competition and enemies out of allies and friends. Plus, it is unfair and unproductive to ourselves. As I mentioned before they are different people and have different life stories and experiences. They also have different natural talents to build on and weaknesses to address. I must focus on what I do well and how I can use what I have experienced in life to learn and grow from. What does all of this have to do with you and your life situation? Plenty. Remember to harness true power in life you must not try to master others, or even master other situations. The greatest skill in life one can have is to master over your own thoughts and emotions. To conquer your doubts and face your fears head on. Sure you can learn from a friend and even ask them for help. In fact a true friend can be one of your greatest allies in bettering yourself. Just remember the struggle really does not exist without, but within. When you master yourself nobody else can control your emotions. Nobody else can stop you. So todays challenge is to begin to take a good hard look inside and see what you can do to improve yourself. Trust me, if your honest with yourself this can be a life-long pursuit and give you very little time to even worry about trying to improve others, which is not our job anyway. So let us begin on this daring and noble struggle. Let us all work on improving ourselves and becoming the best people we can be!