Tonight I went to an elementary school spring performance. In addition to singing contemporary favorites such as Uptown Funk, the children from k-4 to third grade also performed some of my favorite classics like Brown bear, Brown bear.

Two things jumped out at me during this show. First, I had all but forgotten that I had attended this very school. Although when I was there it was grades seven and eight, the look had remained virtually unchanged.

The second thing I noticed was the talent of the children. It was amazing. I found myself dancing in my seat. Well, at least as much as I am want to do. Another thing I noticed was that I was in a very good mood. That made me take a break from my legendary chair dancing to sit up and take notice. Every time that I find myself in an extreme of emotion, be it good or bad, positive or negative, I stop and notice what has lead me to that point.

In this case it was a very good mood I found myself in. Was it being back in a place I had been so long ago? Not quite. Days weren’t always rosy in middle school. As we approached the door I pointed out to my lovely lady, Margie, an area where I had indulged in a rather intense physical interaction with another fellow student. “You were in a fight?” she asked incredulously. Anyone who knows me will understand seeing me engage in a physical altercation is a stretch these days. Even though back then it may have not been.

Ruling out the power of nostalgia, I moved on. Being that I was rather sleep deprived, I decided just to relax and really be present for the show. Then somewhere between The hungry caterpillar and I Bought Me a cat, it occurred to me. It was the show itself that was inspiring me. Not just the positive and light-hearted lyrics, but the scene itself. Children were putting their hearts and souls into their performances. They were doing this out of nothing but personal pride and the desire to make their parents proud of them. The parents also made me proud. As children can so often do, when they are supposed to hold up a picture of a bowl of soup during a song, it winds up being in a position that would leave more soup in your lap than in your stomach. Despite this, the parents glowed with pride and cheered for not only their child, but each and every child. They did so knowing the reasons the children were doing it were pure and innocent.

There was a bonus item of joy I noticed it not only filled my heart with a personal sense of joy, but made me proud of the parents and even more so, the students. In each group there were several children who seemed to suffer from some form of challenge mentally. Not only were they allowed to join the other students in the production, which made me proud of the job the teachers did, but as they were often wandering all over the stage involved in what seemed to be their own little show, the students not only remained focused, but often encouraged and embraced these children so different from themselves.

I began to wonder why the world itself is not more like this ‘Spring Showcase’. Imagine if we all worked with a heart filled with joy and a desire to make those closest to us proud of the job we did? What if we encouraged everyone who worked hard, doing the best they could, even if it didn’t turn out perfect and they did hold up the picture of a cupcake instead of string beans. What if we accepted those around us that were different and even invited them to be a part of our world while living the way they were created to? This was an example of the way the world should be. The greater question is how do we carry this behavior into the adult world?



What you are about to read will change your life. That is not hyperbole, it is not an exaggeration. If you are to really understand what I am about to share with you it will transform the way you view the world. It applies, and can be utilized in every area of your life. Personally, I am just beginning to grasp the power and magnitude of what I am about to share with you. Since coming across this knowledge only a short time ago, it has revolutionized how I write and teach.

There are three levels to every person. You, me, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Mother Teresa all have three levels. How we use and become aware of these three levels will affect every area of our lives. Want to be a great parent? There are three levels to that. Want to get healthy? Three levels there too. Want to have a great relationship? Three levels of love. I am going to share with you what these three levels are, how I came across this information and then we are going to scratch the surface of how we can put this to use to transform our lives. I say ‘scratch the surface’ because I could write and entire book on this subject. I also say that because I am only beginning to work with this information and I am continuing to learn and find new and exciting applications for it daily.

Without any more build up, here are the three levels you, me and the rest of the world share.

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional/Spiritual

This may not sound too profound at first, but stick with me and I think you will become as excited as I am.

First, allow me to share with you how I came to understand this principle. On a Wednesday at my Post Office job I had a very physical day. Sadly, that night I had to work as a DJ as well. Fortunately for me, my lovely lady was kind enough to put together a dinner as I took an hour nap. I slept well the physical nature of the work was exhausting. Thursday work at the Post Office was slightly less physical. I left and went to write and work on my upcoming book. I tried to do some self editing, which I enjoy slightly more than getting a root canal. I also created and worked on some posts for this website. I came home feeling even more tired than the night before. The following day, Friday, I planned to have a nice relaxing day. I arrived at work only to be told my job was looking at being eliminated. Something the Post Office seems to like to do rather often. I was informed by a coworker that not only was this the case, but the boss had also called into question my work ethic. Which, next to my integrity, is one of the most important things to me. You can imagine how frustrated, disappointed, and to be quite honest angry I was feeling. I few hours later the boss returned from lunch and I asked if I could speak with him. Knowing the discussion he had with our coworker he informed me that he expected to talk with me. To make a long story short, he cleared up that both issues were not at all true. My job was safe, for the time being, and he appreciated the job I did. You can imagine the change in emotions then. I went to back feeling relief, gratitude and a sense of pride in my work. I also felt something else – exhausted!!!

While pushing around a pallet jack, I stopped to share what I noticed with a coworker who happened to be standing there. I inquired whether she had noticed you can be tired in three totally different ways, physically, mentally, and emotionally or spiritually. Being that she is what we could safely say as not the most self-aware person, she stared and said, “Umm… I guess so.” Being that I was just kind of thinking out loud, I nodded and moved on.

As I was letting this information bounce around in my head as I worked, one of the benefits of having a job that does not tax me to mentally, a quote suddenly came to mind.

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

Suddenly, the light bulb started to glow. I would say it lit up, but sometimes information takes a moment to develop in my brain. I thought to myself, “If there are three forms of exhaustion, there must be three ways to energize!” This simple thought has began to change my life. Here is what I came up with. Let us say you are having a day where you are sleep walking through everything you do. You could stop at your local Starbucks and grab a double espresso, the caffeine would give you a little boost. If you are anything like me, there are days where I swear my body laughs at my feeble attempts to bring it to life. Perhaps that same day you come across an article on a subject that really interests you, or you have a conversation with a friend about a project you are working on. Now you are mentally stimulated. The body will more than likely come along for the ride. Here is where things get interesting to me. If, on this day of working with an energy deficit, you come home to find your spouse has surprised you with tokens of affection you totally did not expect. Maybe a friend calls you to tell you how much they appreciate you. Suddenly, your soul is on fire! Nothing can top that. Sleep? Who needs it.

This applies to more than energy. Trying to lose weight? If you just try to eat better foods (Physical) your chances of success are slim to none. If you study the effects of being overweight (mental) such as less years in your life, complications that can arise as you age, your motivation will be better. If you really want to improve your odds of success, you may want to look at your children or grandchildren and realize you might not see what they will become in life. Maybe you will think about how much you will miss doing with them while you are here because you will not be able to keep up with them physically. This will cause a powerful emotional response. Your motivation then becomes part of your spirit. When that happens, you will change your thinking (mental) and change your actions (physical)

This works for healing too. Let us say you were in a car accident. Your cuts, scraps and bruises will heal. It may take a while for you to remember that your odds on being in another accident are rather slim. Still, in a traffic jam it may take you a while not to have your heart race and your nerves be on edge.

There are so many more areas of life and examples we could touch on, but I wanted to introduce you to this principle and allow you to begin to work with it in your own life. I would be elated to hear what areas you can think of where you could use the knowledge of the three levels and how you can put what we are learning into practice.


Above are pictures of water molecules after being exposed to certain emotions. They are part of ground-breaking research done by Dr. Masaru Emoto. If you have a few minutes, I definitely recommend reading a little of his research.

To bring you up to speed on a nutshell, Dr. Emoto subjected vials of water to human emotions both positive and negative. The results are what you see above. That is pretty interesting. Then he gathered a group of people and did the same for the largest fresh water lake in Japan. The results? The same as above. That is very interesting. For his third experiment her gathered an even larger group of people and had them send out love to all the lakes around the world. When samples were taken at that moment by people stationed around the globe. The results? You guessed it same as above. How interesting is that?

You may be thinking, “Cool water experiment Neil. I get it, bad vibes make water bad, good vibes make it good, who cares?” If our thoughts can have that effect on water, even halfway around the globe, what do you think it will do to the human body which, as you may know, is about 60% water? Here is something even more intense, the brain 73% water. The lungs? 83% water. What happens when we get stressed or have an argument with someone? Headaches? Shortness of breath?

The good news is it works the opposite way. What to help a friend feel Better? Sending them love can really make a difference, and now you have scientific proof!


In every situation in life that we approach the one and only thing we can have control of is ourselves. The reason I said can have control of is because quite often we relinquish that control. We allow others to determine how we are feeling and acting.

Instead of taking actions that we choose for ourselves and the course we would like to take our life on, we live our life in reaction based on the actions chosen by others. If someone were to ask you directly if you would let someone run your life for you the answer usually is a resounding “No!”. That is exactly what you are doing when you live in reaction to others and your environment.

Taking charge of your emotions is not the easiest thing to do, but the rewards far outweigh the risk of giving control of your life to anyone but yourself. One simple way to begin to take back control of your emotions and as such your life is to ask yourself this question several times a day, “How would the best version of myself deal with this situation?” This especially proves helpful in times of challenge and conflict. Even if you discover you do react instead of acting, take some time after the event is over to replay it in your head and think of how the best version of yourself would have handled things. By doing this, even in your head, next time you find yourself in that situation you are more likely to choose your actions instead of having others decide how you will act.

feel free to share your tips for controlling your emotions in the comments below!



Last post we talked about not holding on to negative emotions. The easiest way to do this is to not have too many of them in the first place. Easier said than done right? After all how can we help how our family, boss, coworker or even spouse treats us? We can’t tell them “I’m trying to live a more positive life, could you please not act like a jerk?” OK we could tell them that, but not with very positive results.

So how do we limit the effect that other people’s actions have on us? This can be done by asking two very simple questions. I suggest you write them down on a small piece of paper and carry them with you for when such an event takes place.

The first question is this, “what else can this mean?” Quite often the answer can be the other person is just a jerk or has just treated you poorly. Which again is on them and not you. What others do is their business, how we react is ours. So look for a deeper meaning? Often they are hurting and may be expressing that hurt in a very unproductive way or in other words taking it out on you. Another popular thing to note is that often anger is a cry for help. Hearing your spouse say “If you ever stopped playing golf long enough to do something else” may be their way of saying “I would really enjoy spending more time with you” Which brings us to the next item. Sometimes they are bringing to our attention some aspect of our character that could use some work. This is often hard to see if done hurtfully, but ask yourself if there may be a ring of truth to what they are saying? Could you improve a little bit in that area?

The second question we should ask is “How can I use this?” Turn their hurtful emotions to your benefit. Can you use it as positive motivation? Can you use it to learn something about them or even you? Perhaps you can just use it as practice to control your emotions or practice forgiveness?

Either way, understanding we can control our emotions by asking two simple questions “What else can this mean?” and “How can I use this?” Will certainly give control to us.

If you still get upset or hurt see our last post on the power of forgiveness and how it is truly a gift we give to ourselves.



“I would be angry a lot less if my wife/husband would be more understanding and not make me so angry” “I would love to be more positive, but everything keeps going wrong for me”

Have you ever heard others around you saying phrases like this? Have you ever found yourself uttering the same type of phrases? Today’s post is about one of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn. I once heard at a seminar that nobody can make you feel anything, that all emotion comes from within. My first instinct, as is so often the case was to challenge that notion. After all, how can the girl who just broke my heart not make me sad? How can the person who just said something hurtful and insulting to me not affect me?

Did you ever notice that some people can be put through the same event, but come out feeling two completely different ways? Have you ever told a friend “I don’t know how you stand that, I would have been so mad” or something more colorful? How can people be affected so differently by the same things? The answer is simple, and a bit hard to believe, but once you understand it will give you a personal freedom you may not have ever had. How we feel about any given situation is based on the meaning we attach to that situation. Does the person who is insulting us really suffer from some internal pain we do not know of? Are they really jealous of us and therefore put us down to make themselves feel better? I know it can really be hard to not be affected negatively by outside situations. Believe me between adults that act more like teenagers and last minute adjustments to my seminars, I have had lots of practice deciding what challenges mean to me. So how do you start to change your course from ‘reaction’ to ‘action’? The quick easy answer is change your question. What do I mean by this? When you are faced by a seemingly negative situation there are 3 questions you should train your brain to ask. Perhaps writing them down on a small piece of paper may help as you are beginning. They are as follows. 1) What else could this mean? as we mentioned earlier in the case of the person insulting you, maybe they were hurting or maybe even jealous of you. Perhaps they have really low self-esteem or maybe it might be an issue people insult them with as well. 2) What can I learn from this? Sticking with our previous example, perhaps the person is simply pointing out an aspect of your life you need to work on, and just doing so in a very unhealthy way. Sometimes all you learn is that person acts like an ass. Why is this important to learn? When they do so in the future you will know that is just who they are and take it with a grain of salt. 3) How can I use this? Out of all of the questions I find this one to be the most powerful. It puts negativity in your life to work. You could use the persons insult to remind you to treat others with more compassion. You could let it serve as a practice for these principles. In my own life recently when my seminar was forced to relocate a mere 15 minutes before it was set to begin, I used that as an example of how to remain positive in the face of negativity. Which just so happened to be what the seminar was about in the first place.

Trust me this is not always easy. It is something that you can work on over a lifetime. Controlling your emotions instead of letting them control you sounds so simple, but takes a lifetime to master. Just last night I dropped the ball on this one. So what to do when you do mess up? My suggestion is the same as above. If you have already reacted and let others actions get the best of you, do yourself a favor and ask the three questions anyway. Why? It will both give you some insightful answers and a way to put this to work for you as well as begin to show you the power of acting from your own place instead of reacting to their emotions. It will also show you how in control and wonderful you can feel in the face of situations and emotions that used to challenge you. If you continue to react time and time again, just remember a certain blog writer/self-improvement author is still working on this himself.