MY FAVORITE GIFT

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.

MORE TIME DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Ah… the holiday season. Filled with great joy, family and feelings of love and gratitude. Sometimes, however, it is also filled with stress, feelings of being overwhelmed and stress. It seems we need another hour or a couple of hours in our days to get everything done. There is shopping, finding the perfect gift for people we discover we do not know as well as we thought we did. Often there is either travel, or preparing for the arrival of people who are traveling to see us. We have to shop and prepare meals considering everyone’s likes, food allergies and culture restrictions. Not only do we have all of these things to consider, but we also have our regular obligations of work, housecleaning and parenting as well.

Sadly, there is no way to extend the daily deadline beyond 24 hours. How then, can we gain more time during the holidays? The man above you might recognize, his name is Albert Einstein. world-famous physicist. He developed the theory of relativity. I found this hard to grasp when it came to time. How can time be relative? Is not an hour always 60 minutes?

I found the answer, and a great explanation on the theory of relativity in a most unlikely place. There is a home-improvement store here called Menards. On the bottom of all of their sales ads they have motivational sayings in real fine print. One fine day while pondering why I even live in a place where I would need a snow blower, I found the answer I was looking for. On the bottom of the page read “How long 3 minutes is depends on what side of the bathroom door you are on.” While I would love to claim credit for that great bit of wisdom I cannot.

How does this translate to the relativity of time, and more importantly, how can it help us gain more time during the holidays? Think of that situation if you will. Yes, it is odd that a self-improvement website will ask you to think of spending time in the bathroom. I don’t know about you, but sometimes that is when some of my greatest ideas come to me. Have you ever had to use the bathroom when somebody else is doing the same? Every second can seem like an eternity. If you are the person on the inside the time would certainly seem different, yet they are exactly the same amount of time.

That is the most poignant example I have seem, but doesn’t the same thing happen to us during the holidays? It seems when we have one more place to stop and it closes in a half an hour that is when we get into the line with the sweet little old lady paying for her cartload of groceries with change…of which she has to count out by hand. Wait, did she just loose count and have to begin again? How long have I been in this line? How about preparing meals. I have experienced this first hand. Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t mean I actually prepared the meal. Watching Margie work so hard during the holidays to make sure everything is done at the same time, and that time being close to when our guests arrive is crazy. Especially when you have to consider everything cooks at a different rate.

You may be thinking this is great Neil, and I have spent part of my holiday time reading this article and other than a entertaining bathroom analogy, you haven’t told me a single thing I can do to help my holiday craziness. Fair enough. Let us explore a few simple things we can do that will not only help us make better use of our time, but take the stress out of the time that we do spend, allowing us to enjoy more of what this time of year is all about.

The most important thing that can change our holiday is focus. When we are stuck in the slowest line in the store, focusing on that can only raise our stress level and blood pressure. What if we chose that time to try and focus on what we have to be thankful for. During the holidays that is something we all can count on and is a great gift to give ourselves. Even just a distraction whether it be reading those informative magazines telling us what the royal family is doing, or where Elvis, who is really alive, is spending his Christmas. Try to find the most interesting or amusing headline. Think of a nice thing you can say to the cashier, who truly is under a great deal of stress themselves.

Another great thing we can do is think about the outcome we are striving for. Is the goal to provide a tasty and enjoyable meal our family can gather around and share the holiday? Then does it matter if the steamed vegetables end up being part of dessert or the gravy is not as smooth as we would like? Sure, it would be great if the meal was perfect, but that is not what the holidays are all about, and nobody will expect that. What if something goes terribly wrong? One year my aunt was supposed to watch a pot of soup that was baking as the rest of us went to pick up some other relatives. She…well…I am not sure what she did other than it wasn’t watch the soup. It burned and had to be thrown away. The entire pot tasted terrible, but there was other food and it is still a story we laugh about today.

That brings us to our last point, find ways to laugh. Nothing is that serious and it is often things that go wrong that make the funniest and most entertaining holiday memories. Find a way to laugh, it will make a great holiday gift to everyone you share the holiday with. In that vein of thinking, try finding ways to genuinely compliment as many people as you can. Know and understand each of us face unique holiday stress and all of us would appreciate some kind words.

Please feel free to share your holiday stress relieving ideas in the comments below. Working together we can make the holidays better for everyone.

We all serve a great purpose

Today a lot of us celebrate Christmas. If you are anything like me you are running around last minute looking for the perfect gift. Do you go wine? Gift cards? Coffee? There are a million different options! Still there is one perfect gift for any holiday.

That gift is the gift of help. Being the light in someone’s darkness. The gift of time, understanding and just listening are something that you can’t buy even if you are Bill Gates. It also makes you one of the most valuable people to have in anyone’s life. How valuable is a good friend who listens to you? To me I love gifts that people make and put their heart and soul in, but even better is the gift of time. Those wonderful souls who bring light to my world and make me smile are the gifts I treasure all year long.

So you want to make someone’s holiday? Call them up and ask how they’re doing. Give them time to really tell you. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk. Give your time and money to your favorite charity. Be someone who always brings a smile to a room when you walk in, and to the souls of all you know. Share a smile. Share an encouraging word. Share love and respect with all this holiday season. Thank you and feel free to share this blog.

YOUR GIFT GIVING TROUBLES ARE OVER!!!

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We all have them, people on our holiday shopping list whom we don’t know what to get for them. Perhaps they are one of those people who have 3 of everything? Maybe it is a person who really has nothing and you wish you could give them the world? If you are anything like me. You to love to give a gift people will not only treasure, but will certainly make them happy.
So what can you do? Spend endless hours searching countless crowded stores often in terrible weather? I have the simple answer. What if I told you there was a gift you could give that would take a lot of the stress out of the holidays for anyone who received it? Not only that, but they would be filled with a peaceful happiness they may have never experienced in their life before. Every morning they woke up with a smile on their face and joy in their heart they would know it was you and your thoughtful gift that changed their life from that day forward.The best part? This gift will only set you back $10 but the rewards will continue for the rest of their lives. Truly the gift that keeps on giving. What can do all this? A copy of my book “A Happy Life for Busy People” available at www.amazon.com/author/neilpanosian with shipping times running long during the holiday, don’t delay! Order copies for everyone on your list today. Get them in time and I would be happy to sign them as well. There is no better gift than to fill one’s life with joy. They will be not only thanking you this year, but every year for years to come. Think of the stress that will save you. Truly the perfect gift for anyone. Don’t delay order today!

 

SAVE YOURSELF!

English: A "Jesus Saves" neon cross ...
English: A “Jesus Saves” neon cross sign on a church in Alphabet City in New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This month Christians around the world have been celebrating Christmas. This holiday represents the birth of Jesus Christ, their savior. Hopefully all have had an enjoyable and healthy holiday season. Different spiritual beliefs all have their own saviors. A figure that will bring them to salvation. What is salvation? Well with slight variations on the term it means deliverance from a life lived on a lower plane to one lived on a higher plan. It involves forgiveness of the things we have said and done wrong to ourselves and to others. No matter what spiritual belief you follow, or if you follow none at all there is a savior we all have in common. This person can lead us from a life of despair and depression to one filled with passion and joy. They can fill our hearts with love and forgiveness. They know our pains and our hurts and have the best information to heal us and deliver us to a new and amazing life. So who is this person and how can they know all of our deepest feelings? Don’t worry it is not some secret operative or a government conspiracy. No this savior, this person who can reveal to us a whole new life can be found in the same place whether we are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or have no spiritual yearnings what so ever. Are they in a secret temple? Are they found deep in a mysterious forest? No. This great leader can be found in rather humble place…the bathroom; the mirror to be specific. That’s right you are your own savior. The anger and pain in our hearts is kept alive by one person, ourselves. Sure, you can blame the person who broke your heart, but that was their action. We can not control others words or actions. We can, however, control what they mean to us. Are there some feelings of hurt or pain in your heart preventing more joy and love from entering? Have you been carrying a grudge that poisons your emotions and outlook on life? It is time to let it go! Do not know how? Think of the savior you follow. If it is Jesus, what do you think he would say and do to save a soul like you? Would Mohammad let you settle for a life that is less than your worth? It is time to view yourself as someone who both needs to be saved and can do some saving. Do not view yourself in a condescending manner, but one filled with concern and compassion. What could you to live a life of love and forgiveness and well as one with passion and meaning? If you do not know, study, find out, do whatever it takes. Your life is one that is worth saving and you are one powerful savior!

THE DAY HAS FINALLY COME…

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If you love this blog please feel free to check out my brand new book now available A Happy Life for Busy People is now available online at Amazon.com. It is a great way to bring the power of positivity and a lot of the tools we explore here to those you care about this holiday season. It may also be a great gift for those you do not enjoy being around so much as it could help them change their attitudes around as well. So pick a copy up today it is as simple as clicking on the following link A Happy Life for Busy People

DON’T BE A TURKEY!!

In the USA today we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is toward the end of the year where we reflect on all the things we have to be grateful for. Much like New Years, where we have a holiday set aside to specifically set goals and focus on our future. Thanksgiving should be a practice and not a holiday. So instead of a few quick words before devouring lots of food Why not take all of five to ten minutes of your day to just sit down with a pen and paper and reflect over the past year and think of at least five things that have occurred or that we have accomplished that you are thankful for. Write them down. List them under 2013. I can safely say that there are many things as I reflect on the year that I can be thankful for. I am thankful for the joy I was able to bring to the town of Franksville Wisconsin. I am also proud of the way I accepted my removal from that position and being able to see the good in that. Of course I am thankful for completing my first book, and starting my second. I am also thankful for meeting a new creative partner in my new friend Margie as well as discovering a close friend and source of inspiration in my friend Kim. I am grateful for continuing developing my relationship with my sister Michelle whom I had the pleasure of discovering only a few years ago. See that was five things right there and it took me all of 2 minutes to write them down here. I encourage you to right them down for a couple of reasons. One, it forces you to take the time to really think and focus on being grateful while you are writing or typing them. The other reason is you start to develop a record of everything you have survived, accomplished and appreciated over the year. More on this later. Next flip the paper over and write 2014 on top. I know this will take even a little more time out of your holiday, but trust me this will be fun. Number the paper one through five and think of five things you are looking forward to being thankful for this time next year. Think of how great you will feel a year from now. Here is a little secret. One through four should be realistic goals and things that you are working towards. number five should be a bit of a reach. Think of one big, exciting goal that gets your blood pumping! Do not worry about whether you think it can be accomplished in a year or not, that is not your concern at the moment. Just pick something that gets you excited, write it down. My examples from this year is as follows. I look forward to collaborating on projects with several of the new creative souls I have been blessed with. I look forward to help bring other people’s books to print and help them realize their dreams of becoming an author. I look forward to continue building the people I reach with this blog and my books. There are four, so what is my big exciting fifth goal? I am thankful for becoming a full-time author in the year 2014. There it is. Not only have I written it down for myself, but I have made myself accountable to all of you reading this blog. The thought of being able to write books that bring joy to people’s lives and change their worlds and to do so for a living excites me more than you can imagine. Now by place this list in an envelope and mark it 2013 (you can also store it on a file in your computer if that works for you) around New Years day take another glance at it. Looking at what you wish to be thankful for may very well help you set better resolutions. Plus it will reinforce the thought in your mind. I also recommend doing this at least one other time during the year. The middle of the year like in June would work well. Of course the more you look at this list and imagine how wonderful it will feel to be grateful the more likely you are to move toward them. Then next Thanksgiving let us all meet back here to discuss what we have to be grateful for