WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE

This was one of those things on social media you post and people comment what they love most about you. I did it as a means to discover new and interesting views about how people see me. It was a good exercise for several reasons. What I left with was a profound and grateful feeling in my heart for the kind words that people shared as well as a greater appreciation for the friends that I have in them. It also served as a great indicator as to whether or not I was really fulfilling the vision of the man I strive to be. One thing that made me happy, was judging by the comments I read the answer to that was definitely in the affirmative. New friends, not so new friends and even soul friends let me know that I was indeed living up to my standards for the type of man I wish to be.

I formerly advocated to write your own eulogy as a means of gaining clarity as to the type of person you wish to be thought of at the end of your life as well as how far you have to go to reach that point. I still think that is a very powerful exercise. If you would like more information on doing so, you can watch the video with that title on my YouTube channel, Neil Panosian, or read that section in my first book, A Happy Life for Busy People. While that is helpful in discovering who you want to be and how far you have to go, putting something like this on your social media is a good way to get a snapshot of how you are being viewed currently. The answers will hopefully fill you with a sense of joy and a great deal of appreciation for those you share your life with, like it did for me.

My greeting for all of you today

My next thought about this activity was what a great addition to everyone’s day this probably was. How many of us are quick to post a snarky political post or some sarcastic meme? I hear people complain about social media as a negative influence more than anything else at my seminars. This still strikes me as odd because we, for the most part, control who and what we see on our social media pages. This got me thinking about something I teach in my books and when I speak live. The best, and often easiest, way to eliminate negativity from your life is to add positivity. This is easy to see on social media. Are you sick of all the negative political banter? Do not like seeing depressing news? Done with people who bring nothing but drama, yet you are hesitant to delete them because it will just cause…well…drama? Have no fear my friends! The solution is at hand. You add some positive material.

This doesn’t have to even be something in the self-improvement field or subscribing to the Secret2anamazinglife Facebook page, although you could certainly do worse. No, it can be anything that brings you a smile. If you were my lovely Margie it could be the unicorn and puppy cupcake eating page. If you happen to be a future best selling author and speaker, it could be the sipping Jamaican coffee while sitting on a beach in…say…Jamaica page. The formula here is as follows – even if the usual amount of negative nonsense would still be on your page, it would be coupled with unicorns and puppies eating cupcakes, or coffee and beaches, depending on who you are. Eventually, things would begin to shift towards the positive. If you share this formula with all of your friends and family (you can even share it with all of those people who continue with the political posts) and have them start doing it, that will lead to even MORE positive things showing up on your page! This brings us to our final point and challenge….

I would like to invite you to the Secret2anamazinglife positive social media challenge! For the rest of September, post at least one positive thing on social media every day. This can be many things. It could be a romantic and loving post about your significant other (I think you can guess the positive outcome that might have) It can be a picture of a person or animal that makes you smile. It can be an inspiring news story. It can even be a picture of a beautiful beach you would like to visit. One caveat here, it cannot be accompanied by a sarcastic caption or comment. You cannot post a getaway in Fiji and caption it “I would rather be relaxing here than working this stupid postal job” Nothing negative. Either just post the picture or add something like, “I can’t wait to be relaxing here one day” I am going to do this, and I invite all of you to do the same. Feel free to share some of the positive things you will share in the comments below. If we all do this for the rest of the month, we will bring a lot of smiles to those who see our social media, which in tru

IT ALL STARTED TODAY

Today is my birthday. I was born on this day a mere 46 years ago. I didn’t have a picture from that day as I was a little to young to hold the camera. You can, however, see the evolution of me in the photos above. It also happens to be national lasagna day, national chicken wing day, national lipstick day and international tiger day. This year national chili dog day and national intern day also fall on this day. Much to celebrate and much to eat. I took off of work today and my guess is that my lovely Margie and I will be doing something fun to amuse ourselves.

I tend to use and enjoy birthdays as a time to reflect. Think of how far I have come and how much I have grown. Not only in height and waistline, but as an emotional and spiritual individual as well. This past year had many ups and downs. We certainly all have our tales of what 2020 brought to us. This past year has seen me on the news several times for having Covid and once for my books as well. I have been on a few podcasts, one television show on NBC as well as a few limited public appearances. I also had the great chance to speak with some school children on the subject of writing via zoom. That was a very cool experience. I lost a few friends but certainly gained many more. My second book, Living the Dream, finally hit Amazon and store shelves. That was an accomplishment that took 8 years. All things considered, it was a very good chapter in this 45 chaptered life.

These ‘then and now’ pictures are getting to be a little bit hilarious. Birthdays to me are also a chance to reflect on where I would like to go from here. Having published 2 books and closing in on 1500 blog posts, I asked myself, “What’s next?” I have decided that in some form or another, the next evolution for this gentleman is hosting a talk show. In the past I have hosted 2 different radio shows with my friends Jason and Guy. (tragically, Guy is one of the people I lost in the last year) I have also hosted a television show and directed and produced 2 others. This conclusion came to me after contemplating both what my favorite job I have ever had was. (that would be the radio show) I also asked myself, “What do you really enjoy doing in life?” I got that from George Burns who said that is the secret of life. Bob Hope also referred to it. Both of those guys lived to be 100, so I thought it to be some fairly sound advice. I decided that two of my favorite things to do in life are drink coffee and talk to people. Not many career options there. I also enjoy hearing people tell their story and helping them to feel good about themselves and help others. Therefore, when we meet here a year from now it is my goal to have either a new radio show, podcast or some other medium that will allow me to share with all of you wonderful stories and life lessons.

Whenever your birthday may be, perhaps use it as a moment of reflection. Feel free to use my birthday for this purpose. Think of all that you have made it through and ponder where you want to go from here. You might even ask yourself what it is that you are really passionate about in life and let that be your guiding force.

As a parting note, some people ask what I would like for my birthday. I am truly content in the physical sense, although a paid trip to Fiji or Bali would be nice, but I do have one gift that I would be honored if you all did for me. I would love for you to help me spread this blog to as many people as possible. Share it on your social media, tell your friends and their friends too. Share it with your dog, cat and goldfish. It would be my honor to share Secret2anamazinglife.com with as many wonderful souls as possible. Thank you all so much in advance.

IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO PLAN A PARTY!

Confession time. I am really terrible when it comes to planning and hosting events. First, I rather enjoy my peace and quiet time. Margie and I have very social and interactive jobs. We are always dealing with groups of people. I am also very low maintenance. For reasons of party planning, I guess that is not always a good thing. That is another reason that Margie and I make such a great team. Let me give you an example. We are at the store and the love of my life is looking at dishes. “We have dishes.” I inform her. “We need a matching set of six.” She replies as if it is something I should know. In the confusion, I mention that at our house there are only 2 people, her and I. “What if we have company?” Still confused as to what the issue is I offer that if there are more than four people we could just use different plates or bowls. After all, they should be happy that we invited them over and they are getting delicious food. That is how I would feel I guess. By the shocked look of horror on the face of the woman I share my house with, I surmised that this was not the correct answer.

I never realized what goes into planning a party the right way. Margie showed me that. From cleaning, matching dishes, matching placemats (again, something I had no clue of) cleaning the house, finding what everyone likes to drink, decorations and a million other details that I can’t even remember. People go through a great deal of planning to throw the perfect party. Well, people other than me. If you look at the list in the picture above, you can see how much details and planning can go into a celebration. Planning over one month out? Sounds pretty crazy to me, but if you want an epic party that is what you have to do.

Why all the talk about planning a party? While my birthday is this month, I am not expecting any of my followers to throw me a birthday party. Unless of course you are reading this in the country of Fiji, I will stop by, we will have a great time. No, it is the subject of my upcoming third book, Life is a Party, Put Your Name on the Guest List. Does your life seem like a party? For most people it does not. Maybe it does on the weekends when we are not working. Maybe only 2 weeks a year when we are on vacation? What if our life could feel like a party as the general rule? Seem unlikely? I put forth life would be a lot more like a party if we planned it like one. Look at the list above. It is a lot smaller than our first example, but holds many clues as to how we could live our life more like a party. Let us take a look at just a few of them.

First up, guestlist. I find it how much time people will spend thinking of what people to invite to an event that may last a few hours or at most an entire day. Most of us, however, will not compose a guestlist of people we want in our life. If your life was a party, who would you invite? Ever have a party where there is someone who is a ‘Debby downer’ and brings down the entire party? Probably not a name that would be on top of the guestlist. What about people who are rude or insulting? Again, not the people who we would invite to a party, but somehow they show up in our lives!

How about decorations? Am I suggesting you fill your house with party decorations? Not exactly…but then again, kind of. Think of what the idea behind decorations at a party are? They are there to create an atmosphere. Either to go with a theme (Tiki party anyone?) or to just create a fun and festive atmosphere. What would make a good party to you? You may even just want a relaxing party of one. Maybe some nice spa colors and scents? Maybe a bath bomb or some bubble bath? Why not surround yourself with a fun and festive mood or even a theme you like? I have a friend who likes the ‘Day of the Dead’ decorations and has their house filled with things like that. Maybe you are a fan of a South Pacific look, or beach or lake. Whatever kind of party may work for you, try to include some decorations.

Food and Drinks. This is a good one. When people think of parties, they generally think of party food and alcohol. You can’t really spend every evening sitting at home having a personal party with a glass of rum in your hand, can you? When it comes to having a cocktail, pacing yourself is the idea. Nobody likes a drunk at a party, and you certainly do not want to be the drunk at your own party, but having a glass of wine or a nice coconut rum drink (or whatever you may like) while cranking up your favorite party soundtrack with some great friends can do a lot to fire up a Wednesday. Food is another interesting animal. If you want to feel like a you’re living life as a party, you don’t want to fill up on chips and dip or lay around feeling bloated. No, you want to dance, you want to laugh. Party food can be fun and fairly healthy. I am thinking some guacamole right now. Maybe a homemade taco night? Even trying new fun festive healthy foods can make it feel more like a party.

What other aspects of a party could you include in your life? What about a party soundtrack? Push play on that fun list on the way to work and you could spend the day thinking about Margaritaville or singing your favorite dance tracks before you notice the boss is in a bad mood again. If so, just don’t invite them to your personal party. How about dressing for a party? There are so many ways to approach this. You could dress like a formal party one day, a party at the club the next or just a fun party outfit the next! Think about how much the right outfit can change the way you feel about yourself. Life can be a party, we just have to plan for it!

TAKE A GETAWAY TODAY!!

On occasion, it would seem my ideas run in a rather odd streak. They either happen while I am in the shower with no way to record them, or they happen just a minute too late. The idea I wish to share with you seems to have fallen into the latter category. As you read this I will be enjoying my first day back at work after a well-deserved two week vacation. Normally, this vacation would have been spent enjoying a great deal of time at our local state fair. Sadly, due to the corona virus, this year that fabulous event has been canceled.

This marks the second straight time my vacation has been altered due to circumstances beyond my control. Last year Margie and I had planned to visit the lovely tropical destination of the Bahamas. As it happens, the resort and part of the island we were due to visit was destroyed by a hurricane that had settled over the island. We had planned to explore going in March, but then we both had Covid-19 and were in quarantine. I guess that would make three vacations that have been postponed or canceled all together.

You may guess that all of that postponement of pleasure would have me feeling rather frustrated and irritable and you would be right. Being the optimistic, solution-oriented person I am, there is always an attempt to find a creative solution. In the first 12 days of my vacation there was an amazing and brief getaway with the love of my life a few towns away. I was determined to enjoy the last few remaining days experimenting with different states of repose. My house is located next to an open field. I took out this wonderful zero gravity chair and decided to sit in the sun. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine that I was laying in the tropics. Although the sun felt warm, it was hard turning the sound of the passing cars into boats on the ocean. Then it occurred to me, I put in some earbuds and looked up beach/ocean sounds on YouTube. Before long I was whisked away with tropical birds and ocean waves. I swear I could even small the salt water.

After a few minutes of this blissful mental escape I took it to the next level. No longer was I relaxing at a posh resort in the islands. No, this time I was on the deck of my own house overlooking the ocean. One of my neighbors was unwittingly participating in my fantasy and happened to be grilling out. The scent of the food cooking on the grill had me imagining Margie, or the maid if she wasn’t feeling up to it, in the kitchen preparing a fun lunch for when I had my fill of sun. The following day I even sprayed some sun tan lotion on for the coconut smell. (For the record, this is something I do not usually use as it is not needed for me) There I was, actually in West Allis Wisconsin where I live. In my mind, however, I was laying on the beach in… Jamaica, Fiji, the Maldives or any other tropical location of my choice.

If you are in need of a vacation, do what I did. Recreate the experience as much as you can. This can be as simple as looking online at resorts you may want to stay in and watching videos on them. (This is something I do way too often) It works even better if you can involve more of your senses. I had the feel of the sun, the smell of the grill and the sun tan lotion, the sound of the waves and the sea gulls in my ears. The more senses you can involve, the more real the experience becomes. Next time I will try to work in the taste of the rum. (I recommend Blue Chair Bay toasted coconut white rum) I only wish I would have thought of this great idea on my first day of vacation. Right now we could all use a getaway, let us do our best to give it to ourselves.

DAY 4 AND STAYING POSITIVE!

Today in the United States we celebrate our country’s independence. My condolences to my friends in Great Britain. This is also the fourth day of our week of posting nothing negative and at least one thing positive. There are so many things I wish to focus on today. To keep this short we are going to stay focused on the world independence.

One of the phrases I have been reciting for years now is, “There is no law of physics that states your mind and your body have to be in the same place and the same time.” On any given day this is no doubt used to help me make it through a situation I would rather not be in. A long tough day at work, using a gas station rest room, stuck in line behind someone of questionable hygiene or a million other circumstances I could find myself in. It takes a little imagination and a lot of effort to try and convince yourself the toilet at the local petrol station is really a beach chair in Fiji, but it can be done.

These days when many of us can find our travel options restricted at best, nonexistent at worst, the freedom of independent thought is something that can’t be over looked! We may be under some form of quarantine, but our mind and our thoughts are not! We are still free to dream, to create and to use our amazing imaginations to soar as we please. As we wait for the day when we can all enjoy cocktails on a beach near the ocean, we can all plan, watch videos on YouTube and maybe even reflect on past vacations. Our focus greatly determines our emotional state. Let me repeat that for those who may have missed it – Our focus greatly determines our emotional state.

If we focus on all of the things that we cannot do as we wait for everything to be sorted out we will find ourselves in a miserable state. The great thing is we don’t have to! We have independence of thought! That is a miracle of the human mind. It may also be a miracle of the animal mind, but they can’t read so this blog does not pertain to them. We can change our focus to what these restrictions are giving us time to do. We can organize that area of our house we claim we never have time for. We can begin to write that book we always knew we had inside us but never had the time to focus on. We can focus on the things we can do. Personally, I have enjoyed spending more time in nature and reading great new books! Take advantage of your independence of thought. It is a great gift and something positive!

ARE REAL FRIENDS FOUND HERE?

Today’s post is going to look at one of the more hotly debated places to make friends. In fact, this is not actually a geographical location at all. The place we are talking about is online. I have heard people say that online friends are not real friends. Perhaps this stems from the fact that people can be less than truthful about who they are. Profile pictures can photo shopped, facts can be embellished, even names can be changed. I can understand all of these concerns. Even in the ‘real world’ people can be dishonest and deceiving.

With over 7 billion people on the planet I feel it would be doing ourselves a great disservice to only count those among our physical location as friends. There are people who live halfway across the world that might hold the information we need. The person that could relate to your situation the best and offer you some insight and encouragement may not only be outside your city, but might be outside your country. Personally, I work with an amazing publisher in Los Angeles, Aura, who has helped my writing to grow. I speak with an author in Romania, Andrada, who is going to interview me in the future and who understands the struggles of being a hard-working author.

This website you are now reading has allowed me to interact with people on 6 different continents and over 100 different countries. By remaining open to learning and becoming friends with these wonderful souls my life has improved by leaps and bounds! I look forward to traveling to Fiji in the near future and have already made some connections there through my writing. I have learned about different cultures, food, music and holidays. Being a self-improvement author and speaker, I have also seen how much we all have in common. Everyone has the desire to feel important. Whether you are a farmer in Greenland or a prince in the UAE, we all wish to be loved.

Today, the love of my life reminded me of something even better than all you can receive by being friends with those halfway around the world. That is being able to give. While having dinner with Margie and my mother, my love stated that I have no idea how many lives I have touched without even knowing it. My mother brought up the ripple effect. How every life we touch can end up touching another. Through this giving we can improve the lives of an entire community clear across the world. Seldom does it matter where an inspiring word comes from if sent with love and good intentions.

Are online friends real friends? I say absolutely. Some of my greatest advice and most wonderful inspiration has come from afar. We must remember to maintain a sense of balance with friends online and friends in the physical world. I encourage you to reach out to people in different countries and cultures. Join online communities dedicated to your interests.

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?

This blog post created itself last night. After Margie and I had finished our Wednesday night show and found ourselves driving with our friend Kelly. We began sharing defining moments from our childhood that defined who we are today. It caused me to reflect on a few moments that I would like to share with you. More so, it made me think of something far more important that we will get to right after this moment of reflection.

For those of you who may have been reading my writings of late, I have shared the story of my senior year English teacher. On the final day before graduation, she pulled me aside and said in an almost pleading tone, “I pray to God you will never have a career involving writing.” Given the evidence up to that point I would have been inclined to agree with her, but here we are.

Another fun story involved a teacher I had for business. She was a kindly lady. She kind of reminded me of someone’s grandmother from a Norman Rockwell painting. My relationship with this wonderful woman was great. We laughed, smiled and shared many good conversations. I would have said I was the perfect student with one glaring exception. In this class it just so happened I was surrounded by friends of mine. It also happened these were friends that like conversation as much as I did. Daily we shared conversations about life, love and our pursuit of happiness. When the time came out for giving everyone a grade I still recall what this teacher wrote. Written next to my grade was the comment, “Neil will do a lot better in life when he understands you can’t make a living discussing life and its challenges with people.” Once again, here we are. Discussing life and how to positively approach and overcome its challenges. Granted you might be reading this in Greenland, South Africa or Fiji while I am here in West Allis, Wisconsin, but virtually we are engaged in this conversation.

Let me share a more comical example from my youth. Second grade I do believe. I had a good friend who had just moved away and I found myself in trouble for something. That part seems to remain vague. As punishment I was to stand with my back against the wall and watch the other kids enjoying recess and playing on the playground. Sounds a little cruel in hindsight but I guess it served as a lesson – almost. As I was standing there I thought of a joke. One of the kids walked by and I told him my joke. He thought it was so funny he went to bring other kids to hear it. Before recess was over I found myself doing what could be described as a forced stand up comedy routine.

I saved this example for last because it was by far the darkest example. I was part of a group called ‘peer helpers’ in high school. The program was designed to help students who were facing addiction, abuse or any other emotional trauma. To me it sounded like a great idea on the surface. It became apparent very quickly that I disagreed with the approach of the program. It seemed to approach the issues from that of the adults who formed the group and not of the youths facing the challenges. I soon politely left the group. All would have been ok with one exception. I really did have the desire to help and still talked to many of the kids I had met in the program. I tried methods I believed might reach them. This was especially true because most of them had stopped asking for help from the Peer Helpers program.

Again, this would have all been good, but my locker happened to be right across the hallway from the lady who was in charge of the program. Once she noticed that quite a few of the students who left her group were coming up to my locker and asking questions she stormed over. She issued what can only be viewed as a veiled threat. She yelled how dare I think I could help kids better than she could and I better stop what I was doing “or else.” I really wasn’t trying to do anything but help people the best way I thought I could. I continued to do so with a little more discretion. Two days before I was set to graduate I was summoned to the principle’s office. When I arrived the teacher was there along with several police officers. This teacher, this adult, this individual who is supposed to be an example told all of them I had threatened to physically harm her. Not only was that a total lie, but I had no malice towards this woman, merely a difference in philosophy. Luckily, with the support and sworn statements of my character from other instructors I had and her changing her story several times the matter was all but dropped.

What is the point of all of these stories? The point is that anyone of these stories could have had a very negative impact on my life. What made the difference is that I chose what they meant to me. My high school English teacher could have prevented me from ever starting this site which has close to 1000 posts. What she told me could have dissuaded me from ever writing my book A Happy Life for Busy People. My business teacher tried to convince me there was no future in listening to the challenges people face in life and trying to help create solutions, but that is the basis of all I do.

Through my punishment that day in second grade I learned the power of humor to reach people. I also learned that sometimes when the world seems to be taken away from you, the best solution is to make the world come to you. It is a theme that kind of plays throughout the videos on my YouTube channel. It also showed me new and wonderful ways to make friends. The lesson that if you can introduce your material to enough people it can really change your situation didn’t escape me either.

The final dark situation could have steered me in many different directions. I could have decided not to trust authority. Certainly learning that ego can override professionalism and make people act in ways they shouldn’t. I could have decided that it meant if I try to do things on my own in a way I feel will help the most people it will lead to trouble and could land me in jail. Of course it also showed me the value of displaying and acting with the best character and highest standards.

What is your story? What events have transformed your life? Have you let them decide what you can or can’t do? Are they putting limits on your life or are you using them to motivate you? The story of our lives should not be told through the mouths or actions of others. Realize you are not a victim of your past but a victor over it. You have made it to today despite what you have been told and what has happened to you. Do not let your past or those in it steal your power for a strong future. Find the empowerment in every challenge you have faced, or may now be facing.

JOHNNY APPLE SEED AREN’T WE ALL?

Countless are the times that people have come up to me and said things such as, “I was thinking about what we talked about a while back….” I am sure we have all heard this in our lives. We have all been on the opposite side too, haven’t we? Something someone was telling us didn’t make sense to us at the time, but through some change in life circumstance, we can appreciate it now. Maybe it is a loving thing they told us, the reminder of which has helped us make it through a tough time we are currently facing. This can work in the opposite way too. How many times have we remembered something hurtful that was said or done to us? I am not sure why we choose to do that, but that can be how the human brain works.

What we must keep in mind is that everyday we go through life we are planting seeds. Much like a farmer, what we grow will depend on what seeds we plant. We can plant beautiful flowers, fruit, or even a poisonous plant. The seed may take root or it may not. It may grow in our garden or others may be left to benefit, or be poisoned by what grows. In this way we have an ability to affect not only our life, but the world at large. Allow me to explain what I mean by use of a historical figure.

Johnny Appleseed, better known as John Chapman was an American Pioneer nurseryman who planted apple trees in several states and in part of Canada during the late 18th and early 19th century. A lot of the trees he never saw grow, but in the places he visited people were eating apples long after he was gone. We do much the same things with our words and actions. They may not be apple trees, but we are planting seeds just the same.

If we think in terms of Johnny Appleseed’s story, what will grow from the seeds we plant? If we are planting seeds of kindness and encouragement every where we go, we will see kindness blossom and grow. We will see the confidence and joy continue to grow in the hearts of our friends and family. If we plant seeds of gossip and complaint, we will see melancholy, sadness and resentment blossom all around us. In this way we do a great deal to shape the world in which we live.

What about the world at large? Truly, the seeds we plant can’t make much of a difference on a global scale? Think about this. When you go to purchase a cup of coffee at your local Starbucks, treating the employee with extra kindness could ease a tough day they are having. There you affect one person. Due to that act of kindness, they may treat the next person in line with an extra amount of customer service. Then you have affected two people. Maybe that person is on the way to the airport to fly home to a different city or even country and now feels good thanks to the good service they received. They may go on to treat people they encounter on their journey with more kindness and compassion. Thus, your simple act of kindness could affect people halfway across the world. It may not reach such global proportions, then again with comments on social media and the internet we can spread a great deal of seeds without even leaving our homes.

Although this was a positive example, the same holds true in reverse. You may think comments and they way you treat people are harmless, but you are forever planting seeds. We may not see them grow and it may take years for them to blossom, but given time they will. Let us all do our part to plant seeds of kindness, compassion, encouragement and joy. We will grow a garden of positive results. Let us be equally vigilant against casting seeds of negativity, gossip and judgment to the wind. They too, will grow into a world of negative people, places and things.

Let us all remember we are Johnny Appleseed in our own way. Let us plant seeds to grow positive families, friends, communities and the world at large.

FRIENDS WITHOUT BORDERS

This here a picture of myself and my good friend Johnny on St. Patrick’s day. I was working as a DJ at a local club that night. The story I am about to tell you serves as an example of several things. First, how small indeed the world is today. Second, how foolish things like racism and prejudice are. Third and finally, the benefits of being nice and sociable.

The back story is as follows. Johnny is a good friend of my lady, Margie. He has been a regular performer at her shows for quite some time. Before I met Johnny, Margie told me, “I think you are really going to like this guy.” She was indeed correct. Before I had the chance to discover that, however, there was some waiting involved. The reason for this waiting was due to the fact that Johnny lives in Mexico and only comes to visit at most a few times a year.

Through the last couple of visits he has read a lot of my writing and has found some things he can relate to. In fact, recently he has shared my book with people in the great state of Texas as well as other places. He has offered some very insightful feedback that has caused my writing to develop in ways it may not have otherwise. We have had some great discussions including sitting down for breakfast recently. These conversations has given birth to some great ideas that have been on this blog site and in my next book.

Speaking of books, recently Johnny has informed me that he is working on a book himself. He shared the plot with me and I must confess it sounds like a great story. I’ll update details as the situation develops. We discussed writing styles, publishing ins and outs as well as other ideas. There is no doubt his book will be a success. It is in a totally different genre than I write, but we certainly had a lot to discuss as the process and struggles of writing are the same regardless of content.

Johnny’s creativity is not limited to being a potential best-selling author. He also has several CDs available on cdbaby.com just search ‘Johnny L’. The style of his music is also something I am a fan of, classic standards from Elvis to Frank Sinatra. If you are a fan of this music or just great talent in general, I highly recommend giving him a listen.

The point of this post is several fold. If I were to make a sweeping judgment about people from the great country of Mexico I might not have the great benefits that my friendship with Johnny provides. If both Margie and I were not outgoing and genuinely friendly to the people at our shows Johnny would not have spent the time to become friends with us either. If it wasn’t for technology communication between all of us would be limited to just those few times a year. Whether you are from Mexico, Jamaica or Fiji shouldn’t matter. It is how you treat people and what you can bring to their lives. Technology is not limited by borders or culture, neither should your friendship be.

FIRM IN YOUR GOALS, FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH 

Be firm in your goals, but flexible in your approach. That is a mantra i have heard many times! This morning while occupied at my day job a fine example of this occurred to me.

Before I share this example with you let me begin with a question. Have you ever heard somebody say “I’ve tried a million different things but it just won’t work!” It always amuses me to ask them to name the million things they have tried. After which they usually reply “well ok it has been hundreds.” When pressed to name them we usually discover the individual has tried a few things, usually things they have done in their past, and they didn’t work. This always makes me question the importance of the issue at hand. If it is a problem with their relationship you would think they would keep trying until they return to love.

When a baby is trying to walk they just keep at it. Why? Because walking is that important to them. Perhaps it is all the disappointment we experience as adults that lowers our level of persistence.

Here is another way to look at this. As I mentioned earlier, I was working at my day job when I started thinking how much I’d like to go to Fiji. My thinking is my lady and I would fly there first class and spend time relaxing and mixing with the local culture. What would happen if I was invited for a speaking engagement there? Maybe instead of flying I win a cruise? Perhaps Tony Robbins invites me to his resort to work on a project together? Would I say no because it was not exactly what I had envisioned? Of course not. The goal is to get to see Fiji, how it happens could vary.

My point here is you have to keep trying until you find something that works.  It may seem impossible at first, but so did walking as a baby. Just keep trying and you will succeed. Oh, and if you happen to have an extra ticket to Fiji…