Today is my birthday as some of you may know. I really enjoy birthdays as I grow older. I think that is because it becomes less about the ‘stuff’ and more about spending time and receiving love from people who mean a great deal to you. I was lucky to experience that last night due to the efforts of my lovely Margie.
If I were to ask for a gift on this birthday it would be inspired by the quote above. Mother Teresa knew a thing or two about giving. She dedicated her entire life to giving to those who needed it most. It is in this thought that I would ask all of you to do one thing in honor of my birthday – GIVE. It doesn’t have to be something crazy outlandish, just something positive. Give an extra tip to your server, bartender or barista. Give a sincere compliment or genuine smile to a stranger. Give the gift of encouragement to somebody who really needs it.
Whatever you give, do so with love. Pick something or someone that means a great deal to you or who you appreciate and give from the heart. It is what the world needs more of and that is what I would ask as a gift from you on my birthday. I am going to let you in on a little secret. This giving has a very interesting side-effect. I promise you giving with love will leave you with a heart filled with joy.
I recall two such examples in my own life. I helped at a meal program once a month for several years. When I was there I used all my customer service and people skills to provide the patrons there with the best experience they could have under the circumstances. Recently, at the coffee shop I write at there is a man who is destitute and sits outside by himself. I have watched him pick up garbage and throw it away. He even picked up my coat for me once. This is a good soul who has found himself on hard times for reasons that are none of my business. One day I inquired if he would like something to drink. He informed me how much a hot chocolate would mean to him. I happily got him one. Here is a man who spends his time making the place look better and is kind to everyone who passes by him. It felt so good to be able to do something nice for him. The next time I saw him there I just ordered an extra hot chocolate and brought it out to him. He was so overjoyed. Not with the hot chocolate, but by the fact I remembered him and what he drank.
Doing something for someone who can do nothing for you is not only a good thing to do but personally gives me a feeling of joy and inner peace that not much else can match. I wish for you that same feeling. Give something today. Again, it does not have to be a big something, but do so with a great amount of love. That is what I would ask of all of you for my birthday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I work a lot to help bring joy and happiness to others and to the world at large. It can sometimes be a rather large task. One of the things that really keeps me going is the love and support of the beautiful woman in the pictures above. That is the love of my life, Margie. Today is her birthday. I celebrate this day with a great deal of joy because if it were not for this wonderful woman, I would face a far greater challenge doing what it is I do.
Whether it is reassuring me when some negative soul reports my writing as offensive, when not as many people show up to a seminar as I had hoped or when books sales or views on my website are not going as I hoped, she is always there to remind me of the good I do and how many lives I touch. This has been the greatest gift she can give me is to love me in an encouraging and supportive way.
It is her birthday, but I am the one who is celebrating. Her being born means that I am the one who received the most amazing gift. This beautiful, wonderful and loving woman I am blessed to call my own.
I love you baby and I am going to celebrate your birthday right along side you because I know the miracle it brought me, you, my little miracle.
A touching story about a little boy and a starfish. Plus, find out what I would like for my birthday!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH 99 SECONDS WITH NEIL EPISODE 8
Every year I have 2 interesting challenges, my mother’s birthday is February 13th, the day before Valentine’s day. The love of my life, my beautiful Margie, seen in the picture celebrates her birthday on today, December 15th. Which, if you are keeping score at home is a mere 10 days before Christmas.
I used to quip that December and February were my poorest months. That may seem true for obvious reasons. In reflection they are actually 2 of my richest months. How can that be? Allow me to explain.
It took the love of this beautiful woman to remind me that the greatest gifts are people and not things. While I would love to give this woman the world, but budget is somewhere closer to a plastic globe.
By celebrating her birthday today (as with my mother 2 months later) I realize I am celebrating the greatest gift I ever received, this beautiful woman sharing her life with me.
As Christmas comes around it is a good reminder how no material item, no matter how expensive or even how thoughtful would be more valuable than the life and love I have with my Margie.
I would love to say happy birthday to you my love. No matter what gift I can come up with, I will still feel like the one who is getting the best present. Today we are celebrating the birth of the woman who brings so much joy into my life. I love you baby.
Our last post was a little lengthy, so we will try to keep this one short and to the point. Today is Monday, the beginning of a new week. Time to start to be refocused. It is also August 14th, a great time to start to be refocused! What makes today so special? Everything and nothing. Confused? Let me explain.
We often wait for moments like New years day, our birthday, or even the start of the week to begin our new goal whether that be a healthier life, a more positive attitude or any other journey worth embarking on. The truth is by waiting we are just losing momentum. If you were offered to start your dream job on a Thursday would you decline because it wasn’t a Monday? If you were to win the lottery on the 3rd, would you pass because it was not the first? Of course you would not. The same holds true with anything we wish to begin.
Most of us have heard the expression “It’s 5 O’clock somewhere.” Meaning anytime is a good time to begin to celebrate. I couldn’t agree more! I want to remind you of another expression, “There is no time like the present!” If you have the urge to begin to eat healthy for example, capture that feeling by at least doing one thing towards that end right then and there! If you wait until New Years, your birthday or even next Monday, a lot of things can happen to drain that enthusiasm. Let’s make August 14th the day we turned our lives around!
It has been a year already. It has been a year since I was able to celebrate the birth of this wonderful lady. The woman in the photograph is my lovely lady Margie. As you are reading this we are enjoying ourselves in Las Vegas. It was a trip I planned for sometime. Every year I do my best gift ever. This year I finally have it all figured out!
So a trip to Las Vegas is the best gift ever? In short, no, but then again…yes. Please let me explain. This is something I would like to share with all of you gentleman out there. The best gifts you can give to the lady in your life are not the most expensive, the most elaborate or the most material. So why a trip to Vegas and what is the greatest gift ever? A trip to Vegas is because with the exception of when she was a toddler my lady has only been to the states surrounding the one we live in. She has not been on a plane since she was one. Why is this the greatest gift?
Here is what is important. As a gentleman I realize the greatest gift I can give the lady in my life (this applies for friends and family too) is the gift of the experience. The greatest gift you can give is one of respect, time, attention and love. So this was not just a trip to a city that sparkles like my lady, but a chance to give her experiences she has not had. A chance to expand her world. An opportunity to bring something new into her life. The greatest souvenir we will both take home from this trip? It is the greatest gift. The gift of loving memories.
Happy birthday baby. That is the gift I wish to give to you today. The gift of my time, my attention, my respect and my love. I would wrap up all the memories we are going to create on this trip if I could, but since I can’t I will just wrap you in my arms and tell you I Love you.
Yes this is me. Why do I look so happy? I’m celebrating. Why am I celebrating you might ask. Well, today is my birthday. I have made it through another year of trails and challenges. I am reasonably healthy and have some great people in my life. Still that is nit the reason I am celebrating in this photo. As you may have guessed I am celebrating my cup of coffee I am holding. I had been craving that very coffee for a while and finally stopped on my home from work. That also happens to be my ‘on the way home from work’ face. It also happened to be a sunny day out as you can see in the picture. I am a big fan of the sun.
What does all of this have to do with living an amazing life? Here is something that I learned that I want to pass along to you today. It is something that has added a lot more joy to my life and only takes a little bit of effort. The best thing about the effort it takes is that can also be fun. Here is what I learned in the last year or so. If, for example, I had been craving that coffee a year ago I would have purchased one and said “Great! Now let’s enjoy it”. I would have drank it and moved on. After all it is just a cup of coffee I wanted. Same with the weather that day. I may not have even noticed it. A lot of us only notice things like our health when they are bad. I may have only given a passing notice to the weather or none at all and just went home. Here is what I learned. If you take time to savor and celebrate daily things take on a whole new meaning.
So how can we celebrate things in our life more? In the above example when I got the coffee I took time and sipped it noticing every little detail. I tasted it and thought about the experience of buying it. I enjoyed the aroma and the feel. As for the weather? I took time to feel the warmth on my skin and thought of days gone past in the sun. I noticed how beautiful everything looked lit by the sun. If this all sounds a little over the top to you, ask yourself why. We should take the time to enjoy all of the good things in our life. Savor every drop of joy out of life you can. How many times to we replay hurtful or sad events in our heads? It is time to take back our joy! As a birthday gift to me, please start focusing on all you have to celebrate in life and share your ideas in the comments below. Feel free to share this post with your friends and help them celebrate life as well.
Sometimes it is too easy to get hung up on details. recently I went to a surprise birthday party for a dear friend of mine. She was surprised and seemed genuinely pleased. The night was filled with plenty of joy and a great time was being had by all. When I happened to catch a glance of the friend who had thrown her the party. She seemed quite unhappy bordering on downright depressed. I caught her alone for a second and inquired what seemed to be that matter as the party seemed to be going swimmingly. She began to list off all that had not gone according to plan. The guests had not all arrived before the birthday girl and thus were not able to yell surprise. The person who was supposed to bring some of the food had not even shown up and she even forgot to invite some of the girls friends and was unable to contact others while still keeping it a surprise. I couldn’t help but stare at her blankly. “Do you not see how much fun everyone is having?” I asked. Noting the having the most fun was the girl for whom she had put the whole party on for. “It could’ve been a lot better” she muttered. After pondering mentioning the lack of dancing-girls I decided to mention how worse it could’ve went. She managed to keep it a surprise for one. The birthday girl felt special and grateful. Nobody missed whatever food was supposed to be brought by the missing guest. Quite often we can focus too much on the details and fail to look at the success of the big picture. In every phase of life something is sure to go the opposite of the way we had planned. Weddings, birthday parties, careers, you name it. It’s important to remember not only does this often lead to some of the best stories, but also to different ideas and paths we may have not thought of. What may seem like a failure can be the seed to the greatest blessing ever. On a side note, the lady who missed that party showed up at a party a few weeks later which angered the friend who had thrown the surprise party weeks before. About an hour into the evening people were complaining about the negative energy she had brought with her and how all her food had tasted salty. Issues that had not come up a few weeks before. So remember if your going to focus on details instead of focusing on the ones that are going wrong and begin to tear apart your evening, focus on the ones that are going right and build from there.