Here is a simple question I have learned to ask myself that has reduced my stress by a great margin. In addition to the stress reduction, it has kept me focused and helped me improve almost every aspect of my life. What is this amazing question? Will this help me evolve in any way? Now this can be financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically or any other way in which you might come out a better person.

Routinely I see and hear about people concerning themselves with things that do not matter in the slightest. They argue passionately (and sometimes even hold grudges) about things such as sports or politics. They get involved in gossip. They worry about celebrity activities. The ironic thing about all of this is it seldom affects the people they get so passionate about. The political landscape will not change because you and your coworker are no longer on speaking terms. Your team will not change its approach to the game because you and your best friend end up screaming at each other. In fact, they probably will never even know or care that the discussion happened. How will it affect you? It will stress you out, put a little wear and tear on your nervous system and probably a lot of your relationships.

Then there is the matter of gossip. Margie and I go to great lengths to keep this as far away as possible. Working in bars as a DJ, however, I have the unfortunate displeasure of seeing this more often than I care too. People who have no involvement in an issue throw their opinion and quite often themselves into others business. I cannot think of a time when this has resulted in anything but more of a mess.

Begin this week to ask yourself “Will this help me evolve as a person?” Maybe the book you are about to read will help you learn something, or maybe it will give you a laugh or some heartfelt entertainment. Will voicing your disagreement as to how your football team played verses how your friends played do anything but start a disagreement?

While thinking of this, be careful to know the difference between instant gratification and evolving. Sure screaming at your spouse when they make you mad may allow you to blow off some steam, but will it do anything to help your relationship evolve? Will giving a not so friendly gesture to the person who cut you off in traffic really do anything to help the situation?

This takes a little practice and we all have moments that we do things that have us asking ourselves, “Why did I do that?” If we make a practice of asking ourselves “Will this help me evolve?” more often, we can avoid asking ourselves the first question.


Cell phones. Depending on your opinion they are valuable tools making life more convenient, or a terrible addiction that causes many people to drive worse than they already do. I find myself somewhere in the middle usually.

This is a bit of an odd post so please bear with me here. Just to prove how easy it is to find something to be grateful for, or some positive thing to look at, allow me to share my recent experience. For those of you who may be easily offended, now may be a good time to stop reading.

My lady and I were out to breakfast at a local restaurant when I had to use the restroom. Yes, inspiration can even strike there. As I closed the door to afford me the privacy so required at said moment, I noticed something a bit rare these days, graffiti. Now I am not sure who Jay and Amy are, but it would appear they had a very intense romantic relationship. It also appears sometime later that relationship seemed to end badly. There was even contact information for one of them available should I have had the desire to check my theory out. For the sake of time, and to keep the intrigue of this post going I chose to pass on that option.

Being that I had a few private moments to my own thoughts, my mind began to wander. What happened between Jay and Amy? Did Amy receive any calls thanks to the Jay kindly providing her number for all the men using this restroom? Who would really call a number they found in a restroom? Why would anyone feel the need to express their heartache on a stall door of the men’s room of a diner?

As my time in the stall drew to a close there were two things that occurred to me. One, I did not know they made toilet paper that was that skinny and two, how rare bathroom graffiti had become. Only a few years earlier one could have expected to see some in almost any restroom you used. The reason? The cell phone. In addition to cleaner facilities, we also have the added bonus of listening to the awkward loud talker who may be in the rest room with us.

Next time someone cuts you off in traffic while watching a cat video on YouTube, just remember all of the clean restrooms.


The other night we tested our new equipment while DJing. I am still learning all of the buttons, knobs and controls. One of the controls that I have figured out is the button you see lit up in this picture.

What this button does is mute whatever channel is operating. In this case happens to be my microphone. When you push the button and the red light comes on you cannot use that channel. In this case even if I had the microphone on and the volume all the way up you would not be able to hear me. That is beyond my regular projection.

This would be about all to this post if this was a blog about being a DJ or sound equipment, but it is not. It is a blog about improving your life and steps you can take to do so. Sometimes improving our lives involves a mindset change. A different way of looking at things. Here is how these two items correlate.

During the course of our show I spoke to two of my friends about negative people in their lives. One of them spoke to me about how they feel some people who perform rather well judge her. Certainly, we do everything at our shows to make sure the focus is on fun and enjoying yourself. A night out with friends should be just that. Personally I do my best to find something nice to say about everyone who performs. The goal of myself and my lovely lady Margie is to have people feeling better when they leave than when they came in. We do our best to make sure our shows our judgment free zones. You are welcome to come and perform no matter what your level of ability. We also encourage everyone to…well…encourage everyone. We hope people will think of our shows as much for the karaoke aspect as much as an opportunity to make new friends, have fun and be supported.

The other touched on an aspect that we also work very hard to limit and do without at our shows – gossip. She informed me that is why she prefers to come to our shows verses some others she has been to. When you work at several local bars there is always some amount of “He said/she said” or “Did you hear what she said about her?” kind of thing. It can creep into the act of merely trying to put on a good show and I must confess can be frustrating when you try to deal with it. We are blessed that Margie and I have made it clear that we want nothing but positive vibes at our shows and that gossip is not welcome. For the most part we are fortunate that most people respect that as well.

What does all of this have to do with a new mixer? Most of all the little red light and mute button pictured above? This is where it gets fun! Sometimes having a picture or analogy in your head can serve you quite well. In my case, when people around me start speaking negatively about someone, or gossiping in my head I push that button and the little red light comes on. In effect, I mute them. After which time no matter how much they tell me, or how loud they choose to tell me I simply can’t hear it.

I shared this idea with the two ladies I spoke with and now I am sharing it with you. When someone comes to you with an earful of gossip, or some negative conversation I encourage you to simply push the mute button. Do not let any of that to even enter your mind. The good news that the mute button on the mixer, as well as the one in the mind can be pushed again, allowing them to be heard, provided the person stops with the negative input. Just like a poisonous plant will only grow if it has access to food and water, negative conversation will only grow if it has an audience. Sure, there will always be people willing to listen to such nonsense, just make sure people know you are not that person. Watch the joy in your life increase tremendously.

I welcome any analogy or ideas you have for limiting negative people and their influence on your life. Please share with our readers in the comments below. I can assure you that there are a lot of people who are struggling to deal with this very topic.


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!



This is a quote from Michael Bernard Beckwith, one of my favorite inspirational authors and speakers. Here is what I get from this. Filters, what are they? Well in a furnace they trap dirt and other things from getting through. In  cameras whether video or still, they change the way we look at things. So now we have a clear idea of what filters are. How does all of this affect our lives?

Here is the thing, filters in life, what are they? In short, experiences. You have a powerful experience in colors the way you see life from that point forward. If you were in a relationship and there was a lot of dishonesty that you ended up being hurt by, in the future you may be less likely to trust. In fact, you may see dishonesty where there is none. This as you can imagine, can cause great problems for any new relationships. So like a camera filter it can totally color the way you see the world. If you put a red filter over a camera lens everything looks different. If you look through the filter of past hurts and dishonesty the world looks different than it may actually be.

Here is something else that can act as a filter, belief systems. If you were raised in a certain spiritual belief system you may not understand or accept others. Worse yet, if you were raised with certain prejudices you may have beliefs or dislikes for certain groups of people. This could act like a furnace filter mentioned above. It could trap things from getting through to you. Say you were raised to believe people with red hair were not smart. Then any idea you receive from a person with red hair you would dismiss. This could result in you missing out on a lot of good ideas.

Ok, but filters can also be good. The furnace filter mentioned above traps impurities, which serve as a good thing. I do my best to have a filter in my life against negativity, gossip and judgment. Working with the public, especially in places where alcohol is being served that filter can trap and stop a lot of those impurities and become less effective. So I am going to have to replace or clean that filter. How do we do this? That is a topic we will address in an upcoming post. Until then, look at your own filters. Are there any coloring your world in a negative way? Are there some you could add to color your world in a positive way? Do some need cleaning? Feel free to share any ideas you have for doing so in the comments so are other readers can do so as well. While you are in a sharing mood feel free to share this post in any way you see fit. Thank you for reading and sharing.


This was a post that I had written earlier but I delayed due to a tragedy in a good friends family. There has been a lot of attention to bullying lately and rightfully so. With the internet childhood teasing can be spread with lightning speed to entire classes, schools even across the globe. What may seem like harmless childhood joking can have devastating effects. Recently a good friend of mine had a relative kill himself at the young age of 15. Why? In a nutshell he did not feel as though he was well liked. I am sure the other kids who made him feel that way had no intention of driving him to that point. That, however, is precisely the point here. We never know exactly how our words or actions may be interpreted by another. So parents, if you hear your child engaging in bullying activity put an end to it right away. On the flip side, never lose a moment to remind our children how loved, valuable and amazing they are.

That brings me to my next point. This may seem like a childhood issue, but sadly it is not. It just goes by a different name as adults. Gossip. What used to be water cooler gossip can now spread quickly through Facebook, twitter and even text messaging. We somehow assume adults are ‘tougher’ or better able to handle such things. The truth is jobs have been lost, people’s reputations destroyed and lives ruined by what some view as harmless gossip. The only kind of gossip that is harmless is good gossip. It never fails to amaze me how few times I hear conversations about how kind, helpful, beautiful someone is when they are not around versus how much I hear conversations about how stupid, crazy or ugly someone may be. Think of how this is in your life? How often to you hear or engage in positive gossip? How about negative gossip? Be honest with yourself here nobody is listening but us. I know I have been guilty of this myself. When you spread or engage in gossip of a negative nature you are being nothing more than an adult bully. Here is another important idea to ponder. Would you trust a person who is always speaking negatively of others? What do you think they may say about you when you are not around? As the new year approaches one of my resolutions is to do away with negative gossip in my life entirely and replace it with more quality positive gossip. As my stylist and good friend Kelly says it is as simple as “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”


Working with the public both at the Post Office and at the bar I find myself mixed up in many different conversations.  Most very intriguing and interesting, but some rather negative and not so pleasing.  How many times have you found yourself telling someone about the job you applied for only to hear a 30 minute lesson on how bad the economy is? Now the reality of the financial state of things is interesting.  Whenever we complain about something or just talk about ‘how bad it is’ not only do we leave feeling upset which does not help our personal situation, but we also give energy to the very situation we are lamenting.  Perhaps you are wondering how can my opinion really effect change halfway around the world?  The best analogy I have heard to explain this is place a drop of red ink in a glass of water.  As hard as you may try it cannot stay separate.  This is how our energy affects the world.  The ink will certainly not make the whole glass red, but it will, without a doubt, change the chemical make up.  Now imagine dropping three or four drops.  Now maybe 10 or 20.  You can see how a group of people standing around gossiping or complaining can really put a lot of negative energy out into the world.  So what to do about it?  Let’s face it at some point in time we are going to find ourselves wrapped up in one of these conversations.  Here is 3 things we can do at that point.  One, change the conversation to something more positive, or if that is unable to happen excuse yourself and walk away.  Two, begin to develop ‘positive gossip sessions’ ask a group of friends or coworkers what their favorite place to go on vacation, or favorite childhood memory.  Just keep the talk positive.  Start throwing some good energy out there.  Lastly, make a point to surround yourself with as many people who have positive attitudes as you can.  I had lunch with my good friend Jamie the other day and even in discussing events that many would perceive as negative, she managed to find the positive side of them.  These people are worth their weight in gold.  Try to schedule as much time with them as you reasonably can.  Better yet, try to be one of them yourself.  You will be amazed at how much better you will feel and how much better your life and the world around you will seem!