A GREAT LESSON

Yes, you are about to witness another post involving the Wisconsin State Fair. It is my favorite place after all. Even while ‘on vacation’ I still notice things that we can all gain motivation from. Take the example in the two pictures above.

I found this display behind one of the barns housing animals. It was a place where the people exhibiting their animals could thank those people who helped them on their journey to the fair! A lot of the signs you could tell were composed by young people. What a great lesson to teach these children? Instead of focusing on whether or not your pig or cow came in first, to appreciate all the work that went into just getting there. To remind them of the sacrifice of a lot of people made so their chance was possible.

Not all parents reading this have children in 4H or FFA, but in any case it is a good lesson to impart. Starting children out in the practice of gratitude early not only helps the parents have a more grateful child, but as the child grows into an adult it will help them to remain focused on what they have instead of focusing on what they lack.

What a great gift to give to a child, a tool to help them remain positive even in tough times. There is nothing, in my opinion, that can transform a life for the better than fostering an attitude of gratitude.

What if you don’t have any children or what if they are grown adults? The same holds true for friends and coworkers. Helping anyone become more grateful will make their life so much better. It will increase joy and decrease stress. A regular reminder of what we all are grateful for will help us all. What a great conversation to have as well. I would much rather listen to someone telling me what they are thankful for rather than listening to them complain. Let us all work together to help each other become grateful.

LAW OF ATTRACTION MADE EASY

I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction. Not just for the metaphysical aspects, but the scientific reasons behind it. It has been proven ‘Where focus goes, energy flows’. Like when you buy a new car and suddenly you see that car everywhere. The cars were always there, it is just that your brain has made noticing that more of a priority.

Still a lot of people have tried the Law of Attraction without much success, or may even be confused as to what exactly it is and how to use it. I highly recommend watching the movie The Secret. Not only will that answer a lot of questions, but it will introduce you to a lot of different individuals who can be of a great help in your journey to improve your life and manifest your desires.

Above is a simple flow chart I invite you to print out and make use of. It will begin to change your minds focus from what you are worried about, to what you desire. Go ahead and take a few seconds to read it. In my opinion number 3 and 4 are the most important. If we just ‘see’ in our minds what we desire it does not generate the power needed to ingrain that thought into our subconscious mind and begin to manifest it. What is needed is emotion. Want a new car? See yourself in that car. Feel the new steering wheel in your hands. Smell the ‘new car smell’, hear the new sound system, see the beautiful interior. The more emotion and more senses you can use the more powerful your thoughts will be.

Step 4, feeling grateful, can seem challenging when you are focusing on what it is you are trying to manifest. Achieving and maintaining a positive attitude also makes your thoughts more powerful. If you have access to the internet and are reading this, you have many things to be grateful for. Plus, when focused on gratitude we foster a feeling of abundance. That helps us visualize what exactly we are working towards.

I hope the chart and this brief explanation helped answer some of the questions you may have had. Again, you may really want to watch the movie The Secret to gain further insight into the Law of Attraction, how it works, and how you can use it.

17 SECONDS TO IMPROVE YOUR DAY

Let me tell you the idea behind this picture because it is not the easiest to read. One of the main challenges I hear when people are working on creating a more positive life and a more grateful attitude is the lack of time. Do I really have to spend 2 to 5 minutes writing in a gratitude journal? If you are serious about changing your life, the answer is yes. I am a firm believer that writing 3 to 5 things you are grateful for every day and reviewing them right upon waking and right before sleep will change your life quicker than anything else I know.

Still there are those who claim to be even too busy for that. In this world focused on material accusation and corporate success, often our minds find it difficult to remember to take that time for ourselves every day. Here is a practice that does not take any extra time in your day and can begin to ship you to a more happy and joyous feeling in 17 seconds!

Don’t worry, you won’t even have to take 17 seconds out of your day. This idea makes use of 17 seconds we generally waste, or even use somewhat destructively. Let me ask you this, what do you do at a red light? If you are like most people you have to stop and think about that. Chances are we do anything from thinking about the car in front of us, or worrying about how late we are already are to go to a job we are not thrilled to be going to anyway. This either causes us a moment of ‘zoning out’ or chips away at our positivity. My lady and I have started a tradition of kissing at red lights. It not only helps us feel loved, but in the off chance we may be disagreeing about something it helps reaffirm and maintain that love.

What about when you are in the car by yourself? Perhaps you have yet to find that special someone? Here is something so easy to do and it will begin to shift your outlook on life 17 seconds at a time. Whenever you stop at a red light, begin to think of what you are grateful for. By the time the light turns green you will begun to have brought a little more joy into your life. I am going to do this when I am on my way to work as well as right after I receive a kiss from my lovely lady!

I would really like to know how this works for everyone on here. Please let me know in the comments after you have tried it and let us all share our results.

WHY ME??? WHY YOU???

The other day I had a discussion with my friend Terri. We discussed how both of us have bought ‘new to us’ cars that have proven to be lemons. Mine is a PT Cruiser who in the first 5 months of owning has cost me $2000 in repairs and still runs rough. Daily I am looking forward to going back to driving an SUV. Terri’s plight is much the same. She bought a car and now things have started to go south.

What does our car trouble have to do with living an amazing life? Terri asked me a very thought-provoking question. That question was this, “How to keep calm, cool and collected when life is throwing me disappointment and struggles?” This is an excellent question and one I think we have all asked at some point or another. No matter who you are or how together you have your life, at some point life will hand you a bunch of lemons in the form of challenges and disappointments. This is never fun.

How do we stay calm, cool and collected as Terri so wonderfully put it? The first point I suggest is to gain perspective. In our situations, we bought a car that turned out to be not what we had thought. This can be especially hard when you are truly excited and then get let down. By her sharing her story with me, we found out neither of us were alone in our troubles. This can be a healing itself. The next thing we need to do is work on what questions we ask ourselves, or more importantly, what answers we give ourselves. It is all to easy to ask the question “why me?” when things go wrong. God knows I asked this when I found out all that needed to be repaired on my car. What you answer is more important. I am a fan of putting everything that happens to me in my life to work for me. When I asked myself, after my last vehicle was totaled while parked in front of my house by a elderly man visiting from Greece as I was sleeping, why did I get a car that was filled with issues? Truly neither of them were my fault. I could focus on how unfair it all was and how much of a victim I was, but that would not serve me and only serve to make me feel helpless and terrible.

Here is another secret, what you focus on in any given situation can literally transform that situation. What should we focus on? Here are two things I suggest; first, what you have to be grateful for. In my case, I was not in the car when it happened. His car was so badly damaged he could not drive away and not be held responsible. He and everyone else was safe for the most part. Let me be perfectly clear right here, this is not an easy habit to do. Focusing on what you have to be grateful for in the middle of a challenging situation takes practice and patience. When you master it, however, it will soften the blow of disappointment you encounter.

The second thing I recommend focusing on is what is positive about the situation, or another way to word it is how to use what happened. What did I find positive about my car being totaled while I was inside sleeping? Like I mentioned, I was inside sleeping for one. Another is maybe there was an impending problem with my car that could have surfaced while driving 70 miles per hour on the freeway, that now will never happen. Another great thing that happens when challenges arise is you find out who really supports you. This is something that can only happen during a challenge. Someone can tell you they will be there for you, but until the ‘chips are down’ you never know for sure. In this case there were so many who were. There were also other benefits of this awful situation. I became better at dealing with rental car companies. Something I just would not randomly do. Also got practice researching used vehicles to purchase. Obviously I still have a way to go on that one. There was the extra practice in asking for and receiving help. I have written about that in the past, but allowing others to help you can be giving them a great gift as well.

All of those skills I would not have had a chance to learn if my car had not been unfairly totaled. Did it inconvenience me? Absolutely. It happened in the coldest month of the year. Did that suck? Yes indeed. Still I gained valuable skills and appreciation for both patience and people. My love and I had to learn new fun ways to entertainment which serve us to this very day. Even having the new car problems has put me into contact with some truly amazing people.

We all will have challenges in life. Remember you are not alone. Take time to focus on what will serve you. Be grateful for the lessons and look for the positive. This will not be easy, but if you keep at it the rewards will be a far happier, and yes more amazing life.

PAIN-FREE WAY TO SELF-IMPROVEMENT 

Here is something so powerful I am excited to share with you. Why is it powerful? One, it is very simple. Most powerful things are. Two, it can help turn your life around with ease. Yes, I said it. What if you could work towards any goal you are chasing with less struggle and less pain? Sounds great doesn’t it? What is this secret method? I am about to share it with you, but before I do it must be proceeded with a word of caution. This idea may sound way too simple and you could be tempted to dismiss it. Trust me when I tell you that it would be in your best interest not to. Do not dismiss it because of its simplicity, rather rejoice that you have found something so powerful that is so easy to do.

Ok, what is this secret formula? Let’s take a look at what some of your goals may be. Weight loss? This will help. Being more positive? This will also help. Being better with your money? Again, you can use this formula to assist. Are you excited yet? You should be. Ok, here is the magic to improving your life with little or no struggle – increase the positive to decrease the negative – sounds catchy but what the hell does that really mean?

Let’s take a look a look at some of the examples. Weight loss is a great place to start. It would seem persistence is the key here. I should know. I’ve lost 20 pounds…several times. Anyone familiar with me knows that I love pizza. I also love chips and salsa. Burgers from the nite owl, a local place here, are another vice. I also preach if something makes you happy and doesn’t harm others you should include that. Well, obviously burgers, pizza and chips and salsa are not going to get the scale moving in the right direction. So, how can I still enjoy those and remain healthy? Trust me this is a question I really worked hard to find an answer for. Instead of deprivation and feeling like something is missing in my life I chose to add something healthy. I now go to the gym 5 days a week. I also started experimenting with healthy recipes. If I eat a salad, there is less room for pizza. That means I might just eat a few pieces instead of the whole thing. It also means I don’t feel like I am giving up something which often makes sticking with your plan hard to do. 

Want to eliminate some of the negative people in your life or on your social media page? Try adding positive people and sites (just search ‘motivation’, ‘happiness’ or other such terms or add Secret2anamazinglife) then in addition to the drama and political banter there will be an inspiring quote or a picture of a cute piglet, puppy, beach scene or whatever else makes you happy. 

Another bonus when you do this is that quite often the negative things seem to fade out if not all together, at least a little. You may find you like eating different types of healthy foods. You may find the feeling of starting a savings account and watching the money grow will motivate you to do so more often. 

Please feel free to share ways in which you add positive things in your life and the impact it has had in the comments below. 

I’VE HIT THE WALL

Hitting the wall is a phrase most often used in sports. It usually refers to the feeling of totally exhausting yourself. When you’re running for example, you get to a point where it feels if you take another breath your lungs will explode. 

This feeling is not limited to the arena of sports. When pursuing our life’s purpose and passion we can often feel like we have hit the wall. That we have tried everything we can, or maybe everything we are trying is not working. This can be especially frustrating if our goals have a noble intent. 

This is where I find myself presently. My goal has always been to help individuals reduce stress in their lives and become the best versions of themselves all while enjoying the process. Currently work on my latest book has ground to a halt. Views on both my website and YouTube channel have flatelined. I was even told by our local library that, and I quote, “stress reduction is not a very interesting or helpful adult education topic. Perhaps you could do a talk about local history.” Most of my efforts to bring my helpful tips on decreasing stress and increasing joy from my book A Happy Life for Busy People have not come to fruition. 

When sharing my frustration with the love of my life about the inability to share these great tools I have learned and help others live a more passionate and rewarding life my lovely lady, as she so often does, came up with a great solution – write about it. 

In sports if you manage to keep going after hitting the wall you get a second burst of energy. You feel unstoppable. My passion is to truly help others and I will continue to push on to do so. I am recently in talks to make an appearance on a podcast. Tomorrow I shall return to the keyboard to conquer another section of my next literary masterpiece. Oh, and the local library? I’ve made arrangements to rent out the room to host a seminar on my own to help those who need it most. 

So, when you feel like you have tried everything and are getting nowhere, hang in for just a little while longer. They say it is always darkest before the dawn. I firmly believe that right around the corner will be the next opportunity to bring my message of stress reduction and hope to many more and help make the world a more positive place one person at a time. 

I invite you to share what you do that allows you to keep going when the going gets tough. If you know of any opportunities for me to share my motivational message with others please feel free to share them as well.