CHASE YOUR DREAMS!

Today is the first day of spring. This happens to be one of my favorite days of the year. Although meteorologically this does not often mean much in the fine state of Wisconsin, it officially marks the end of winter. We have trees budding, flowers blooming and birds singing to look forward to.
It is with this sense of renewal and rebirth, I want to bring another rebirth to your attention – YOUR DREAMS. Even if you are not as bad as I am during winter, the lack of sun and cooler temperature can dampen enthusiasm for even the noblest of causes. Perhaps your ‘winter’ has lasted several years. Perhaps you view that dream as having died. Just like the plants that seem to have ceased living, your dream may very well just be waiting to bloom again. I urge you to take a new look at dreams you may have thought have passed you by.
Perhaps you are thinking time and these dreams have passed you by? There are countless stories of people in their later years going on to create dreams. Colonel Sanders is a fine example. Born in 1890 Harland David Sanders held many jobs. He cleaned ash pans on the railway before becoming a railway firefighter. Was that his dream job? No. At night he studied law at La Salle University. He became a lawyer until a courtroom brawl with his own client ended that. Did he think his dreams died then? No. He even was involved in a shootout with his competition in the service station industry. A man lost his life and Sander’s competition was sent to jail. He opened up a factory selling acetylene lamps. Shortly after Delco introduced an electric lamp and he was forced out of business.
It was not until 1952 that Colonel Sanders franchised the first Kentucky Fried Chicken. If you are keeping score at home that would make him 62 at the time. At the age of 72 he sold KFC for $2 million dollars and served as an icon until his death in 1980. Proof dreams can take a lot of challenging situations, and a lot of years to come to light.
Whatever your dream is, just get started today. Breath life into that dream no matter how ridiculous it may seem. Maybe your dream is to be the next great publishing tycoon? Start a local newsletter. Maybe you want to bring joy and positivity to all you meet? Start a motivational blog. Whether your dream is to be a giant of industry or the world’s greatest parent, chase that dream today. What the world desperately needs is people chasing and living their dreams. If you come across someone who is on the verge, or maybe already has given up on their dream, encourage them. Use your candle to light theirs.
HAPPY SPRING TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. MAY ALL OF YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!

STOP WAITING!

Last post we discussed enjoying the process. That is, whatever goal you are chasing, whatever you are trying to accomplish, whatever outcome you are working towards, remember to focus on the enjoying the journey. Celebrate small victories. Understand challenges and what may seem as temporary failures are really learning opportunities and stepping stones to where you wish to go.

Why is this so important? It is paramount! Up to 90% of our life is spent on the journey from one point to another. If you catch yourself uttering phrases like, “I will be happy when..” Stop right there. By stating that you will only be happy when the goal is achieved, the destination is arrived at, you are postponing your happiness. Who decides when you should be happy? You do! You do this by assigning meaning to daily events. The difference between happy, successful people and those who feel life is hard are whether or not you do so consciously.

We do not get to decide what circumstances arrive daily, but we do get to decide 100% on what it means to us. It is the difference of life happening to you or you happening to life. If you are living in reaction you are giving up control of your emotional well-being to other people, other circumstances, the weather and a million other sources. It is our decisions, not our circumstances that should control our life. Do not wait for the weekend, do not wait for graduation, to not wait until you are married or get that dream job. Decide to be happy starting today, starting right now.

If you wait to be happy in your relationship until you are married, you may never get there. Decide to create as much happiness in your relationship starting today and when wedding bells chime, your heart will be exploding with more joy than you can imagine. Postpone your happiness until that dream job arrives and you may not only be passed over for a more enthusiastic and cheerful candidate, you may even lose the job you are not enjoying now. Decide to find even the smallest things to enjoy and be grateful for in the job you are in now, and you will find yourself receiving praise from those around you and you will find in a short time you will have outgrown your position!

The most important benefit of this decision will be the improvement in the quality of your life. You will have good days and bad days. What is for certain, when you adopt this attitude, you will grow on each and every one of them. You will also find your hardest days will be your greatest blessings. Develop an attitude that says ‘Either I will win, or I will learn’

USE YOUR PAIN

This man is Inky Johnson. I highly recommend you look up his story, but I will give you a brief outline here. Inky was born into challenging situations to say the least. A very poor neighborhood, 16 people living in a two bedroom house. He had to sleep on the floor. Once a week he got to sleep in a bed…with 5 others. He was surrounded by family and friends going in and out of prison. Truly a recipe for disaster.

Inky decided to take a different path. At the age of 7, with some help from a coach, he decided he was going to play professional football. He practiced every day. Often running light pole to light pole with no shoes on. Eventually he received a scholarship to the University of Tennessee. With 8 games to go he was told he was going to be a first round pick. Imagine being told finally you will be able to erase generations of hurt, pain and financial suffering for your family. He immediately called his mother and grandmother to inform them they would no longer have to live in poverty.

Two games later while making a tackle that all changed. Inky felt like he had the wind knocked out of him. He woke up in the hospital where he was told he had to be rushed into surgery or he would die. Waking up from  that the doctor said he had some bad news. Considering he was still alive, Inky was confused. The doctor explained he had sustained nerve damage and would no longer be able to play football again. Imagine being that close to helping your family, having worked all your life, never cheated and it is stolen away in one play.

The reality of what he was left to deal with sank in when the doctor informed him “Son, you will never be able to use your arm again. You will never be able to use your hand again.” Inky’s reply?  “No disrespect sir, but I am going to use this arm and hand everyday. I am going to use it to inspire people. I am going to use it to help people not give up.” Today Inky Johnson is a motivational speaker and has several videos on YouTube.

When I heard that I had to fight back tears. Wow. I pray that I would be able to see things that way. Which is ironic, because that is what I am challenging all of us, myself included, to do here today. We have all had pain in our lives. Most of us not to the magnitude of the story above, some even worse. My question to you is this, what are you going to do with that pain? My answer is this, you went through the pain, put it to use for you. Use what you have went through to inspire and push you. Use it to motivate and give hope to others. DO NOT WASTE YOUR PAIN.

Maybe someone broke your heart? Use it to not only motivate you to make your next relationship your best relationship, but to help those who are also heartbroken. You lost your job? Use that as a tool to motivate you to chase a job you would enjoy. Do so while maybe helping at a meal program helping those who are in an even tougher situation. Turn your pain from a liability into an asset.

THE SECRET TO A PASSIONATE LIFE

Everyone wants a life filled with joy and vitality. I believe the quickest way to accomplish that is to increase your passion. How do we do that? Find a ‘why’ to your life. What does that even mean? What it means is finding a reason you want to get up in the morning. Why going through all the tough times will be worth it.

I have asked a lot of my good friends what their ‘why’ is. When asked most of them don’t know. Some give me answers such as “If I don’t I will be fired”. That is not very motivating.  Ask yourself that very question. What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning. I must confess there are days not much will get me out of bed. Still most days I have a compelling reason to put both feet on the floor and begin moving. This blog is part of it.

We all need something that stirs our soul. Usually it is something bigger than just ourselves. I am not advocating you quit your job and move to the tropics, although I must admit that thought crosses my mind several times a day. No, you don’t even have to change your career. You may eventually want to, but you can always begin chasing a dream part time. Maybe begin writing that book you have always wanted to? Start your own YouTube channel doing videos on a topic that excites you. (Mine can be found by searching Neil Panosian). There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities. My mother recently retired and will begin volunteering at our local zoo.

The point is all of us, I don’t care who you are, were born to do more than just pay bills and die. We each have a unique gift and passion to share with the world. Nelson Mandela once said “Action without vision is only passing time, Vision without action is merely dreaming, but vision with action can change the world”. I don’t care if your passion is attending state fairs. Perhaps you can recommend ways in which they can be improved. Maybe write a book about your different experiences, or create a photo book? The point is no matter what your passion is, sharing it with the world will accomplish 2 great things. One, it will bring joy and fun to countless people who share your passion and most importantly it will set your soul on fire. These are two things the world desperately needs, people sharing their passions and people living their passions. Once you start, your life will never be the same!

BE IT NOW!!

Looking at this picture I long to be here! Anyone who knows me will tell you I belong in the tropics. As I write this I am in West Allis Wisconsin where presently it is cold and snowing. What can all of this possibly have to do with the power of choice we have been discussing all week? Plenty.

If all I did was sit here behind my keyboard and complain I really wouldn’t get anywhere. Not to mention any great goal needs to be first seen in the mind. If you do not know exactly where you want to go how do you ever hope to get there? How will you know you are moving toward where you want to go or away from it?

A lot of people say “I want to be successful” or “I want to be rich”. What exactly do those two things mean to you? Is rich a certain amount of money? Does it only have to do with money? I know of some people who have money, but no peace in their life and a lot of stress. To me, that is not rich. As far as successful, that is way to broad of term.

So, how do we get clear on what we would like our lives to be? I am going to give you a secret little process you can do that not only helps you focus and put more of your mind to work to help accomplish your goals, but can be so much fun. This secret was first shared with me by my good friend Sharon at one of her journaling classes she taught. It both serves as a mental vacation, and puts the law of attraction to work for you. Are you ready to learn this powerful secret? Grab a pen and some paper and follow me. Second thought as I mentioned it is cold and snowing here, maybe I will follow you.

Sit down, close your eyes (obviously not good to do while driving although I swear some of the people I share the road with are doing this) Begin to think about a day in your dream life. Start by what happens when you first wake up. What time is it? Where are you? Who are you waking up to? Try to use all of your senses. Do you smell fresh brewed coffee? To you feel the ocean breeze through the open widow? Do you hear the crashing of waves or perhaps the song of birds? Does breakfast come to you in bed from your butler? Maybe you go into your spacious kitchen to make yourself some Kodiak power cakes (sorry personal favorite). Do you go for a jog next? Maybe a walk on the beach? In the woods? Where to you work? What do you drive? How long do you work? Include all of these plus any other details you can think of. Remember to both include people and places as well as senses and emotions. Make it as visceral as you can. That way all you have to do is close your eyes and step into your dream.

After you complete your script and find yourself back in bed concluding your dream day, put the script away. Now I recommend reading this daily until you can picture it without the script and then as often as you desire after that. The trick here is that it should always be fun, like you are escaping to that other reality. You may find yourself changing a few things as you go along, that is wonderful. adjust the script as you go along. You will notice certain opportunities begin to show up and your mind draws you in particular directions. Not to mention the time you spend visioning your dream life will have you feeling like you are on a vacation.

GIVE UP GOOD TO GO FOR GREAT

Here is me behind the bar at the local club anything, the last place I worked as a bartender. I gave up bartending as of this past Saturday. I have been bartending off and on for 23 years now. That even sounds like a long time typing it. My grandfather and great uncle were also bartenders. The reason I started bartending was simple, I thought it looked like a cool profession and a great way to meet new people. I was right on both accounts. I took a break in 2002 to focus on my postal career.

After returning to bartending a lot of interesting things happened. I met the beautiful lady I now call my own, I met a bar owner I consider a good friend and I met a whole group of new people many of whom I consider as close as family. Bartending has brought me many financial rewards as well. The money was good, I had chances to affect people and learn about their life situations. Yes indeed, bartending has certainly brought a lot into my life.

So why leave? Why walk away from a job that I am told I am very good at, more so than any other I do? Why end doing something that brought me such personal and financial success? The reasons are simple and yet complicated.

In the case of this particular location, the people stopped showing up. Not really the way one wants to go out, but in business this happens. There was a bout of construction on the street in front of the establishment that I think ended the success we were starting to build there. My lady, who was the DJ that night, and I did everything we could to promote that night. 95% of the time we were the only ones doing so, but still it was tough at best.

More importantly, however, my heart is leading me in another direction. So even though my head would say to stick with a job that you are good at and can make a fair amount of coin at, my heart says it is time to move on. Throughout my years on this wonderful planet I have learned when your head and heart disagree it is often wise to pay attention to the latter. I often write about living your passion and that is what I am focused on doing. I am taking Monday to focus on my writing and speaking career. I am determined to make a difference in as many lives as I can in 2017. The money may not be as great, but in doing what I love I feel I can make the greatest difference in the world.

I want to take a moment to thank a few people who have made my journey in bartending special. First, Scott Bunker who gave me my first bartending opportunity. Also the 2 Jimmys, Jim Grossmeyer who was my first mentor who taught me the ABC’s of bartending and Jimmy (Pops) O’Leary who taught the spirit in bartending. Selena who talked me out of retirement for the last time. Danny Seiy who not only gave me a home for 3 years, but who also introduced me to the lady I love. Of course a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have ordered a drink from me in the last 23 years. It has been a pleasure to serve you and I look forward to seeing you at a book signing, seminar or some other event down the road.

GO BIG OR GO HOME!

There is a quote by Nelson Mandela that reads,

“You’re playing small does not serve the world.  Who are you not to be great”

This statement could not ring more true. How many of us know people who have enormous amount of talent, but fail to act on it out of fear of failure or even fear of success. 

I recall a recent conversation i had with a young man who was just finding his way in the world. He approached me and inquired as follows,  “being a life coach, what do you think i should do with my life?”. For years i asked myself the same question. The answer I believe has two parts to it.  

First, what can you do to bring the most to the world. Our world is always in need of help in many different areas. A sense of Contribution is one of the basic human spiritual needs. If you feel what you are doing does not matter you face two challenges. One, the ability to get up and do it when the weather is too cold, or too hot, or too wet. Perhaps when you have had too much the night before, or not enough. Two, if you feel what you do does not make a difference you lose your feeling of self worth. Your spirit begins to die. The “who cares if i don’t show up anyway”.

The second question we should ask ourselves when deciding our lot in life is what do we enjoy. If you are going to do something 40 hours a week (or more) it should be something you enjoy. Something that stirs our soul. When we are doing something we enjoy we tend to work harder and do a better job. 

When I tell people this they often find these two in conflict. I knew a man who really liked to paint. He told me painting brings me a sense of fulfillment, but i don’t think my paintings contribute anything to the world. What the world needs is people living their dreams. People of passion who are full of love for life. These people tend to be kinder and contribute more than those who are doing a job that they think is important but doesn’t speak to their soul. 

Ok, but what about making a living? Obviously that is important. I advise people to break down what needs their passion fills. In the case of the painter he should pursue a job that fuels his creativity while he markets his paintings. Sometimes we must begin our dreams as hobbies. 

So ask yourself those two questions. “What can i contribute?” And “what do i enjoy?”. Often what you enjoy will be the area on which can contribute the most. 

CAN YOU MAKE IT THROUGH?

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Are you a passionate dreamer? Are you someone who has a clear vision of who you want to become? Do you have big dreams and great ambitions? If so this picture is for you. I was immediately drawn to it because it shows what we all must go through.

First, let me tell you this, if you are not pursuing a great passion in life, you are wasting your time. That is a pretty bold statement so let me offer you some reasons I am so passionate about it. What is your reason you wake up in the morning? Before you start saying things like “I have to go to work” or “I have to take care of the kids.”. Let me explain  I did not ask what your obligations were, I asked what your reason was. 85% of people are going to jobs daily that do not give them a sense of fulfillment. So if your reason to get up in the morning is to go to work so you can pay the bills you are wasting your life.

So what am I suggesting you do? Quit your job and move to the islands to live a life of leisure? Not exactly, but then again I am not telling you to not do that either. I have been tempted to do such a thing myself on occasion. Here is what I AM telling you to do, live your dream. What do I mean by that? Find what drives you and pursue that. It doesn’t even mean quitting your job, or even changing your job. Start it as a hobby. Do it part time on the side. Whatever you do, live your dream. My dream is to be a best-selling author and motivational speaker changing people’s lives and making the world a better place for everyone. I do this all between working for the post office, bartending and being a DJ. Is your passion trains? Start a train newsletter on the side. Perhaps you could take yearly trips to different train museums. Maybe you could research and write a book about trains. You could build and display model trains. There are a million different ways to live whatever you are passionate for.

Now here is where the magic comes in and life changes its meaning. Did you know in the industrialized world statistically you are more likely to suffer a heart attack between 8-9am on Monday morning than any other time? It’s true. We go back to the fact that 85% of people are going to jobs they do not like. So if quitting your job and moving along is not the answer what is? Here is the magic, I share this with people at my seminars. The very best way to reduce the effect of stress and negativity in your life is by increasing the positivity. That sounds good on paper, but what does it actually mean? Think of how you are right before you are about to go on vacation. Something bad happens and you think, “that’s ok, I am almost on vacation”. Perhaps you are someone who works outside and you wake up to a cold and raining day. If you know in a few days you will be on a tropical beach and it will be 80 degrees it is a lot easier to make it through that day.

Still that only works the one or two times you are taking vacation. How can capture that feeling daily? Let us take the idea of a train newsletter. Say you are a postal worker whose passion  is trains. You wake up to head to deliver mail, it is cold and raining and you know it will be a long day. Still you also know when you get home you can work on your train newsletter. As you drive to work through the rain and deliver mail as the water leaks through your weatherproof uniform you are thinking of what information you are going to share in your newsletter when you get home. Before you know it you are finishing delivering your mail route and it is almost time to go home. On the drive home as you listen to the same five songs on the radio you perfect how you are going to tell the world about the newest trains and how great they are. Normally coming home tired and wet you would just want a hot shower and to collapse, but today that shower will only provide more time to think about that article for your newsletter.

Does having a passion in life really work this way? I can tell you yes it most certainly does. So why doesn’t everybody pursue their passions at least part time. Here is the funny thing, when you choose to start chasing and more to the point, living your dream there are a million people telling you no. When I began to tell my customers that I was going to write a book and become an author I had no shortage of well-meaning people telling me things like “Do you realize how few authors succeed?” or one I will never forget “My cousin wrote a book, but only sold a couple of copies so don’t get your hopes up”. A lot of these people were just trying to protect me from hurt feelings or ‘wasting my time’. What they didn’t realize, and what you may not realize yet is that doing anything you are passionate about is never a waste of time. Even if you do not succeed at first, you will learn and be able to do it better the next time. If you are truly passionate nothing will keep you from your goal. Not to mention a very important thing, it will be fun. Life will regain that childhood wonder we seem to have sucked out of us. So decide on what you are passionate about and how you can incorporate that into your life. Even this doesn’t have to be perfect. You may very well start by writing a train newsletter and it turns into a book. Perhaps it turns into a newsletter about the train loving community. The important part is to get started. If you recall the statistics we cited earlier, 85% of people going to jobs they don’t like and being most likely to have a heart attack between 8 and 9am on Monday morning due to stress. Having something you are passionate about may just save your life.

Feel free to share this with anyone and everyone. A world full of people living their dreams would be an amazing world. Also feel free to share how you live your passion if you are doing so in the comments below. You just might inspire our other readers. Thank you.

 

RISE FROM THE ASHES!

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This is a picture of the Phoenix the mythical bird that dies by bursting into flames, but then rises from it’s own ashes to be born again.

This is an important symbol to those of us who have had our lives figuratively burst into flames. Perhaps we have worked a good portion of our lives at a job only to watch the company, and our retirement burst into flames and disappear. Then finding ourselves to old to begin a new career our life feels like we are standing in a pile of the ashes of the hopes and dreams we once had.

Much like the Phoenix we must use those Ashes to rise again! So this weekend if you find yourself at some point in your life where you feel like you are standing in the ashes of your hopes and dreams and everything you wanted to accomplish rise again like the mythical Phoenix and Chase those dreams harder than ever feel free to even print out this blog post and this picture to inspire you and feel free to share this blog post to inspire others as well as to leave your story about how you Rose From the Ashes

WHY YOU SHOULD BE KIND AND NOT AN ASS

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This post was inspired while having lunch with my lady, my friend Gail and her son. Gail was mentioning how people routinely come up to her and mention certain things she has done that have really touched them. If you were to ever meet Gail you would find this easy to believe as she has a very good energy and spirit about her. The funny thing is the same thing happens to my lovely Margie and myself quite often. Just last night a gentleman thanked Margie for making him get out and be social. People often remember me as the “Friendly guy from the post office”. Sometimes things end up a little more intense. Considering the kind of work I am involved in there are occasions when tools I have passed on, or just different ways to look at the world have inspired people and helped them take the actions necessary to turn their lives around.

It always reminds me of the importance of being kind. You never know when what you say, be it a kind word or an inspiring idea that can have a great impact on their lives. You never know if someone may be going through a challenge we know nothing about. What you say may inspire them to follow their dreams and become a blessing to so many others. Imagine what the world would be like if Einstein never pursued his passion? Being Jewish in the World War two era he could have easily just become bitter and walked away. You have heard me mention Walt Disney who was rejected by over 300 bankers before being approved for a loan for Disneyland. In addition to strong personal power I believe these people must have had a person or two who inspired them along the way. Einstein himself said that he used to say “thank you” over 100 times a day.

So what about the second half of the title of this post? The reason why you should watch what you say especially in times of great emotional upset is this, you never know who is listening. You could shatter someone’s dream and they may give up and never go on to bring their gifts to the world. We may lost the next Walt Disney, or the next great doctor, scientist or author. Your seemingly foolish comment may give someone a complex for the rest of their lives, or worse push them over the edge in a battle they have been fighting.

So the point is this, use kind words and encouragement often, and do your best to swallow your criticism and angry words. If you wish to encourage more people feel free to like/share and comment on this post. Together we can turn the world into a better place for all.