IT IS JUST WHAT YOU NEEDED

Fun… that’s so childish. What does fun do? Provides us an escape. Fun gives us a chance to use our imagination and see the future we would like to create. On the practical side, fun allows us to sneak in some physical activity while enjoying ourselves. We can learn and develop skills all while having fun.

Let me ask you this, when are we most in need of all of these things? When we are children and have little to no responsibility, generally walk everywhere because our legs are too short to reach the pedals, or when we are adults and face the pressures of work, bills, family and fixing the car we are now able to drive?

Another thing that seems oddly more difficult to do as adults is make new friends and bond with the ones we already have. Margie and I began hosting a board game night and had the great honor of being joined by our friends Beth, Terri, Shawn, Josie, Mimi, Michelle, Beto and others. We laughed, drank copious amounts of wine and rum. The best part? We all laughed, and got to know each other a great deal better through this fun.

What does all of that do? The obvious answer is relieve stress, create good feelings and smiles. Maybe not so obvious is that it allows us to get to know our friends likes and dislikes. It allows us to build the level of trust and connection between all of us. The crazy thing? It’s all fun!

So, make sure you schedule some fun in your life! It will help your physical and mental health as well as strengthen your relationships! Now to get some wine, rum and friends together for the next game night!

SURROUNDED BY GREAT FRIENDS 

People are forever asking me how I am able to keep my positive attitude. The first thing I tell them is that it has taken years of consistent actions to get to this point. The payoffs have been more than amazing. There is the practice of focusing on gratitude, there is meditation and journaling. In short, it is not just one thing, but a million little things. If you wish to change your outside, you must first change yourself. Until you change yourself, nothing will change. Once you change yourself, everything changes. Read those last two lines again slowly. Working on yourself is not only the best and quickest way to change your life, but it is the only way.

There is one thing I want to share with you today that can make the journey to self-transformation not only easier, but a lot more enjoyable. Surround yourself with great friends. When I was at my lowest points I looked around and noticed the people I was surrounding myself with were not people one would aspire to be. Your friends need not be perfect, and expecting that of anyone does not make you a good friend. That being said, there are a few qualities you may wish to look for in the people you choose to invite into your life.

First, they must be people genuinely interested in bettering themselves. Often, people who are not improving themselves may attempt to bring you down or hold you back. This is not done with any malice, and maybe not even consciously. The reason is there is a fear that if you do become better you may move away from them. To be honest this is a rather legitimate fear. When you are trying to lose some weight and be healthier you would not want to go out drinking every night. That is not to say you would be leaving your friends, just that you might start having less in common. I was guilty of thinking “I will help my friends improve too.” Here is the problem with that, change has to come from within. If they do not want to change it will be painful at best, impossible at worst. A side-effect might be that they will resent you for ‘trying to change them’. If you surround yourself with people looking to better themselves they may be able to provide you secrets to help your own journey, or at the very least understand the struggles you are going through.

Second, you would want to avoid people who gossip. Instead focus on those friends who do their best to try and see the good in everyone. Sharing your world with people constantly giving you the latest dirt on everyone not only drags you down emotionally, but sooner or later you end up being the one talked about to others.

Here is a little secret I have employed. I have become friends with some of the most famous people in the world. We talk right before bed, they ride along with me on the way to work. How does all this happen? Through books, and audiobooks. Imagine having the words of your favorite sports coach to pep you up on the way to a job interview? Having a hard time forgiving someone? Read the words of Mother Teresa. I am a big fan of Tony Robbins and have purchased several of his products. Tony speaks directly to the listener and it is almost as if he is sitting in the car next to me as we drive along. By the time we get to work I am inspired and ready to go.

So pick some good people and hang on to them. Think of famous people who inspire you and add some of their material to your motivational library. Feel free to mention some of the people who inspire you in the comments below!

GRATEFUL FOR THE CHALLENGES 

This is my condition at present. I have a dislocated shoulder. Although on the surface this really sucks. Ok, maybe slightly deeper than the surface. Still, it is a reminder of the many blessings I have. My friend Bret was grocery shopping, but stopped to come drive me to the hospital. Sadly, due to the pain it wasn’t possible and an ambulance ride was required. In the ambulance staff I met 3 very genuine and caring men. I also discovered one cannot put one’s shoulder back in place without pain medicine. Then at the hospital the ER staff were very caring and courteous. The doctor, managed to get my shoulder back in and talk to me about tacos. Something I guess I did under the influence of the pain medicine I was unaware of.

Even more so, the gratitude group I started online sent so many good thoughts and vibes I am truly overwhelmed. Friends who were not part of the group also set messages of well-being. My lovely lady’s friend drove her to DJ when I couldn’t. The people at the show sent a lot of well wishes for my health and return. Even today when picking up medicine I met some fun people at the pharmacy and received a $25 gift card for bringing my prescription there.

Last, but by no means least is my lovely Margie. She has been making sure I have everything I needed. Even helped me tie my shoe before I left to write this. She even did our DJ show all by herself while I recover. She has drive, love and caring.

The point is that this situation, as unfortunate as it is, has brought to light, and reminded me of the many blessings I sometimes forget to notice as well as many I did not even know where there. They say you can only see the stars when the night is the darkest, and I sure do have a lot of stars that came to shine in this dark period.

There are challenges in this situation to be sure. Try, for example, using the other hand when you use the bathroom. Should be the same right? Not so much. While that is a problem I have to work on by myself, there are plenty others I can ask for help with. Myself, like many of you I am sure, are not big fans of asking for help. We are, however, big fans of giving help to those of our friends who need it. Why is that? It feels good to know we helped someone. I am glad to be able to give that pleasure to those who are helping me now. Not to mention, it gives me an extra chance to show my appreciation not only for their help, but for their friendship.

I would not recommend dislocating your shoulder (trust me this is #3) but if you find yourself in a situation you need help, remember that is a blessing too. Feel free to share some of the blessings you have noticed in your time of need or thank those who have helped you in the comments below.

MAKE IT EASIER

 

All week we have been discussing ways to help us along the great journey we began with Monday’s post. Again, if you have not had a chance to take part of this amazing 7 day transformational event it is never too late. Feel free to click the link below to see how you can get started today!

I DARE YOU….

The last two days we have looked at ways in which we can remain positive and make this journey not only more powerful, but more fun. We mentioned finding the dessert in any situation on Tuesday. Yesterday we talked about making the most of happy moments and how to use them to also help us achieve our goals.

What is the best way to find the dessert in every situation and have as many special moments as possible? Surround yourself with people doing the same! If your life is filled with Debbie downer and Negative Nancy it will be extremely hard to remain optimistic about the realization of any goal you are focusing on. The best is when you can recruit your partner to join you on the journey to having an amazing life as I have. Even if you want to keep what you are doing to yourself, surrounding yourself with people who are not only positive, but want to make the best of themselves can make all the difference.

Above is a picture of my friend Russ and I. We have been friends for…well…let us just say a really long time. Russ and myself have many different viewpoints and have taken several different paths. What is the same is our end goal. To learn how to squeeze every last drop of passion and enjoyment out of life all while learning to be the best versions of ourselves.

Because, not in spite of, the fact that we are different can we help each other so well. Trying to read every book or try every method for self-improvement yourself is just not practical. There is just not enough days in one’s life. Having a friend, or friends, who look at life differently but have the same end goal can introduce you to a world of different options than you could ever discover yourself. In addition, having someone facing the same struggles and cheering you on can get you through the toughest times. So ‘pick your posse’ carefully. This, more than anything, can make all the difference in your journey to live an amazing life.

FOREVER YOUNG

I’m sure we all know some old 18 year olds and some young 80+ year olds. What is the secret to staying young? Mindset. Ok, that sounds easy but how does one keep a young mindset? This can be a challenging thing to do the older we become. Pain, heartache all can leave one feeling older by the minute.

In my life there have been three great keys to staying young. First, surround yourself with people who have a young mindset. There is nothing better than a friend who encourages you to laugh and to live. Take chances, try new things.

The second key to staying young has been learning to take care of my body. To live life to the fullest you need energy. The best energy can come from being physically fit and healthy. You do not want to run out of gas climbing the mountain of success. Incorporate a daily walk in the park into your routine. Even 10 minutes of exercise can get you on the right path. Eat healthy meals more often. Trust me, some of them taste amazing.

The third and final key to staying young may be the most important. Grow and maintain your sense of humor. There is no anti-aging product that works as well as laughter. It truly is the best medicine. Taking life too seriously is the quickest way to grow old before your time. Watch a funny movie with the one you love. Draw a silly picture. Learn one new joke a day. Just keep that smile on your face.

Feel free to share any tips you have for staying young in the comments below.

YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND

This post was influenced by my friend Heidi. You must decide to be your own best friend. If you have read my blog even a little you know I advocate taking care of yourself first. To some this may sound selfish, but it is only by bringing the best you to life that you can best help others. An empty pitcher can never fill anyone’s cup.

Most people know that my lady is my best friend. She is smart, talented, loving and always supports me. This being said, if I didn’t have a healthy self-love I wouldn’t be able to be the man worthy of all of this.

So how does one become their own best friend? There are a million little things that have been listed in this blog and I would invite you to go back and read a few, but today we are going to touch on the major way. The most important thing in life we must decide is where to spend our wealth. I am not talking about where to spend our hard earned dollars we earn 40 hours a week or more. Of course that is important, but I am talking about how we spend something even more valuable than our money – our time.

Think about this, you can lend your friend your car and they can crash it. You can buy another. They could watch your house and burn it down. You could buy another. Still, if you decide to give someone your time and they turn out to waste it with drama, or gossip about others you will never get that time back. So be careful who you spend your time with. What do they bring to your life? This is not to say friendships should come down to “What can you do for me?”. Friendships are give and take. They say you have two hands for a reason. One is to reach out for help when you need it, the other is to reach out to others to help them when they need it. It is the friends who only call when they are in need that you must be careful of.

Last post I wrote about everyone sharing their gifts. This is true in relationships. My friend Russ for example shares his gift of deep philosophical thinking with me. My lady shares her artistic and creative ability with me. I do my best to share my gifts with them. So be careful with who you spend your time with. Remember no matter how much money you have you cannot buy more time. Your time is valuable, treat it as such

EASY(ER) SUCCESS

This title is a little tongue in cheek. Success does require a great deal of work, focus and discipline. Still, there are things we can do that allow success to have a smoother, and thus, a quicker road in our lives. Who would not want that?

Aside from developing and maintaining an attitude of gratitude, surrounding yourself with positive driven people who want to see you succeed is one of the most important choices you can make. Notice i  ‘choice’. For the most part we can decide who we would like to have in our lives. 

What is the benefit of this? There are many. Just some of them include the following; increased accountability. Now this can not always seem fun at first. Who wants to hear “did you go to the gym today?”. Quite often though knowing we will be held accountable for our  actions keeps us focused on taking positive ones. Encouragement. The opposite side of the coin, when you feel like giving up having someone to pick you up and let you know they believe in you can give you the strength to keep going. I heard Les Brown say once “sometimes you have to believe in others belief in you until you can believe in yourself”. I can say from personal experience that is true. Lastly there is an increased network. There are always people who know people, and knowing more of them only serves you well. I cannot count the times i have had people tell me “I know this person that would like to buy your book“. Through them i am able to reach and help more people. 

These are just some examples and there are a great deal more. Regardless of what you stand to gain, surrounding yourself with good people who want you to succeed will help. 

Feel free to share tips on surrounding yourself with good people or what you can gain out of it in the comments below.