IN THE COMPANY OF ANGELS 

Angels, what exactly are they? If you look up the definition online it will tell you they are “spiritual beings superior to humans in power and intelligence.” Where do angels come from? You can often hear people say when someone has passed away that they have become their guardian angel. I’m not 100% sure that this is true as I am still alive, but it is something that certainly sounds wonderful.

This post is not about death, what happens after we pass away or even angels in the biblical sense. It is about our daily angels. Daily angels are the people I truly believe bless this world. When you see a young person open the door for an elderly or physically challenged person, to me that person in acting angelic. There will be a section in my upcoming book filled with examples of these people and what we can learn from them. I’m going to include a few of them here as well, both specifically and the kind of people in general that I believe qualify as angels.

The other night I was out with my lady at a friend’s birthday party. A gentleman I have known since I was very young, grade school age, came up to talk to me. Not only was he effusive in his praise, but let me know that he was proud of the life I was living and the accomplishments of both my lady and I. He shared a lot of the good memories he had of us and left me feeling very happy and good about myself. Someone who brings only joy and positivity to others and helps them feel good about themselves fits my definition of an angel. Therefore I would say Scott is a living angel

My aunt has never really had a high paying job, lived in a glamorous house or even driven a car. On top of this she has had five different kinds of cancer and beat them all. How does she manage to do this? A great (although strange at times) sense of humor. She makes herself and others around her laugh. She never gave in to any of her health challenges, and continues to live on the ‘sunny side of the street’. Maintaining and sharing a positive attitude in the face of such personal challenges fits my definition of an angel. Therefore I would say my aunt Virginia is a living angel.

One final personal example. Sometimes doing the simplest acts with the certain attention to detail and compassion and love for your fellow human beings makes you an angel in my book. There are two gentleman I routinely run into at coffee shops I frequent. They serve delicious drinks and they do so quickly. If you love coffee as much as I do that can mean the world, but it does not make them an angel. What does is their attention and care for their customers. They get to know you, care about you and are not afraid to show it. When you can make customers feel like friends and bring people joy while you are merely doing your job that fits my definition of an angel. Therefore, Curtis and Kyle are living angels.

Whether you bring light into the world with a smile for those you meet, listen to a friend who is sharing their troubles or a host of other selfless acts I believe that is what makes an angel. Let us recognize all of the people in our lives who fill our souls with love and hope on a daily basis. We are daily in the company of angels.

This post would not be complete without the mention of two very important things. First, my own personal little angel, my love, my Margie. I could tell you all the hard work she puts in around our house in terms of keeping it clean and full of love. I could tell you the countless smiles she has brought with all the effort she puts into her cakes that bring joy to the lives of everyone who orders one, but I need to let you in on something else. Currently I have been going through a lot of personal challenges in my own life. Some that must also make life very difficult for her as well. The more love, patience and understanding she shows me on a daily basis the more I see I am blessed to have my own little angel next to me every day.

The final piece of information I am going to leave you with is this. The world never has enough angels. If you can’t seem to find all that many in your life I encourage you to really begin to look for them. If you are overwhelmed with gratitude for all the angels you see, let them know. Whether you fall into either category, or somewhere in between, do yourself and the world a favor, become an angel. Look for ways you can serve your fellow human beings with love, compassion and joy.

Feel free to recognize some living angels you know in the comments below or by sharing this post with them.

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.

UNLEASH YOUR SUPERPOWER!

Did you know that you have a super power? Yes you reading this right now. If you find yourself scratching your head, rolling your eyes or any other sign of disbelief let me assure you that you do. This thought occurred to me at the most unique time. Still it is something we can all do that can not only make us feel like a superhero to ourselves, but seem like one to all other we interact with as well. My favorite part? Doing this can take your relationship to the next level and make you a hero to the one you love.

Those are all pretty bold claims, but let me prove them to you. Let us start with the last one because that is the one that I feel this idea can make the biggest difference in. How can we become a hero to the one we love? I am going to give you a clue, the answer has been in front of you all of the time. There are two steps you must take to make this happen. The first step is to listen and observe. You will be listening for something very specific from your partner. The next thing you should do is to write down when you hear these items. I know, I know, another list. Anyone who follows this blog or knows me in person knows that I am a fan of lists. Why? In short, lists work.

Here is what you are going to be listening and looking for. Have you ever done something that just wowed the person you love? It could be something dramatic, like take them out for a fancy dinner at a special place they like. It could also be something simple like helping out with the dishes so they can focus on making a masterpiece cake. (shh…I’m trying to help myself here). Either way, they let you know that really made them happy. Start that list. Things I do to make my partner happy. I suggest doing this list when they happen as it is fresh.

The next items you will be looking for is things you do to make your partner feel loved. Maybe you share a special smile they love. Maybe you buy them a red balloon? Maybe you make them a tres leches cake? (still trying to help myself) Again, these can be big things, but mostly they are little small things. This can often be harder for ladies as men are not very likely to tell the woman they love “thank you baby that really made me feel loved.” If you do have a man like that, hang on to him, but more likely ladies you will have to look for the more subtle signs. Write down everything that fits in this category.

Once you have these lists, and I recommend you update them as often as you can, you have a really great power. Knowing, and more important, paying attention and putting to work things that make the one you love feel happy and loved will make you both very happy. Get into a disagreement? Now you have a few items that can help get things back on track. Your spouse going through some rough times? You can help them make it through and keep their smile.

The best part is this works with bosses, parents, children and anyone else in your life. Pay attention and make your list. Then, at anytime you need to you can be the light in someone’s life. Feel free to share this with everyone you know. After all, they may make a list for you.

SAME..BUT DIFFERENT

As we watch what is going on in our current political climate i am reminded of my great friend Cari. That is a picture of her above. Not only does she obviously have great taste in books (you can get a copy of that very book by clicking this link A Happy Life for Busy People) but she is one of the sweetest people I have the honor of having in my life. Cari literally will help anyone and everyone she can. When her friends are hurting, she is hurting. She is a great listener and has a kind word about everyone. She even bakes amazing cookies. 

Other than the fact I am grateful for my friend and can take a moment to brag on her,what is this post about? Here is something about Cari and I, when it comes to some very important issues we have major differences. We are both very spiritual people and lean heavily on our faith. It is one of the things that I respect most about Cari. She stands by her beliefs even when it is not the easiest thing to do. She also does her very best to not only stand by them, but live her faith as well. She ‘walks the walk’. She also expresses her faith quite openly.

One evening Cari and I met for dinner which ended up lasting several hours. We discussed at length our beliefs and how they would apply in certain situations. We discovered on a lot of issues, important ones, we were miles apart. On others our views were in direct conflict with each other. 

A discussion like that could lead to conflict between the two individuals. How often have we heard never to discuss religion and politics? Here is what came of the evening with my friend. We expressed our views openly and passionately while the other party listened with the intent of understanding and not to ‘correct’ or even contradict each other. On several issues we agreed to disagree and on others even incorporated each other’s belief to gain a more complete understanding. 

The reason i bring this up is to encourage all of us to do the same. We can obviously see on a bigger scale governments having difficulty doing this, but it starts at a fundamental level between two people. I encourage us all to search for common ground and learn to agree to disagree. You can certainly respect someone and their convictions even if you do not agree with them 100%. Feel free to share any ideas you have for doing so 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

EVERY LIFE MATTERS


Yesterday the world lost a great, and one of my favorite actors. Gene Wilder was a comic genius who happens to be from my hometown. So how did this man change the world and what can we learn from him and the life that he led? Born in 1933 he was coming of age just as a world war was coming to a close, the depression had just ended and the economy was just starting to pick back up.

Mr. Wilder chose to live his gift in that circumstance and give the world what it needed, a reason to laugh. He stared in and co-wrote movies with Mel Brooks both of them showing through comedy the virtues of a race that had just been persecuted. Gene Wilder was good and living a role and developing the characters he played. He stared in several of my favorite movies and has brought joy to several of my days.

Here is the point I am making, some people may look at this man and say “All he does is make people laugh what is so special about that?”. Perhaps people say something similar about you, or maybe you even find that you say that about yourself? I have heard things from friends and people at my seminars like “I’m just a stay at home mom.”. Just a stay at home mom? You are raising the next generation and you somehow have been lead to believe that is no big deal?  Are you a good friend? Do you help around the house? Do you serve customers with a smile? Everyone is good at something and that something can change the world. Maybe it just will change the world of those you know, maybe your actions will have a ripple effect and go on to change lives you may never know. My point is the best way of doing this is living the person you are at the very core. If there is something you enjoy and are naturally good at that is where you should go. It is there you can make the biggest difference.

So let us all use the passing of this great talent to remind us that we are all great talents. We all have something great to bring to the world. Feel free to share or tag anyone you know has a great talent to remind them that they change the world.

IT IS THE SMALL THINGS 

In reflection it has come to my attention how many moments that seemed insignificant at the time ended up being life-changing. Here is what I mean. When a friend suggested in 2006 I see the movie ‘The Secret’ I thought it would be just another movie. It turned out to change the way I look at the world. When I ordered my first Tony Robbins product off an infomercial I thought it would end up on a shelf collecting dust. Now I practice a lot of what I learned from that. In addition I have made my life’s mission to help others learn how to better their lives and the world around them. When I started this blog which is going on 500 posts ago, I thought it would merely be an outlet for my philosophical musings. It has turned into a book A Happy Life for Busy People as well as several speaking engagements.

Even when my boss at the time told me that my hours at the post office were going to be cut from 45 a week to 10 due to down-sizing I thought that was going to be a major negative moment. It was that event that pushed me into the self-improvement field. So never underestimate the effect that things can have on you. Keep your ears and mind open. Also stay present in the moment to be able to take from life what you can. Each moment presents its own lessons and its own opportunities. Make sure to grab them all.

Lastly, some moments may not become important until long after they have passed. My grandfather was a very important figure in my life and taught me many things. Some of which I thought were crazy or even disagreed with at the time. He passed away years ago, but often I find myself thinking of things he said and appreciating them in a whole different level. He is still teaching me long after he is gone. Sometimes there are things you have to experience, or a place in life you have to be before the lesson can be fully appreciated.

The takeaway here is to soak up everything in life. It may seem insignificant at the time, but you never know when it may be just want you need!