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.  

WHO WE ALL SHOULD BE

Anyone who knows me knows that I believe you should do your best to be who you are deep in your soul. So what is up with the title of this post? Well in case you didn’t catch the picture allow me to tell you. Whether you are a farmer or an artist. Whether you work at a coffee shop or the post office. Whether you are short, tall, black,white or some other beautiful shade we should all be somebody who makes everyone feel like somebody. 

What does this really mean? Let give you a great example of this in action. There was a class on successful business being given by a man who was a CEO of a successful company. After several weeks the final exam came. When the students reached the final question they were shocked to see it was worth 50% of their grade. The question? What was the name of the cleaning lady that worked until their class began every morning. 

The point of this was that as a business owner, and dare a day to be successful in any area of life, we must realize every person has great value. If that cleaning lady had not attended to their classroom it would have been filled with dirt, trash, possibly insects and other pests. 

This weekend take the next two days to stop and offer appreciation for the people you come across. Not only will you give them a good feeling, and thus give yourself one as well, but that is how we should treat each other. 

Make this an ongoing habit and you will find yourself surrounded by happy and loyal friends in great abundance. Feel free to share this post to inspire others and share your story of showing appreciation in the comments below. 

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.

A TOUGH DAY

Did you ever have a moment where you looked in the mirror and did not like who you saw staring back at you? I had just one of these days last Sunday. The ironic thing is I love my life. I really do. I have an amazing lady, first of all. She is beautiful, smart, silly, funny and very loving. I have amazing friends that are loyal and caring. I have a great passion that allows me to share my passion of improving life and by doing so hopefully help and inspire some of you.

So what gives? If all of this is true, and it is, why did I feel so bad this past Sunday? Even those of us who are far along the path of working on ourselves run into this from time to time. At the risk of getting too personal. Just was not liking my look that night, was frustrated with not being able to reach and help more people. I left feeling unattractive and like a failure. Now some logical reflecting could have changed that. Obviously if I have a very attractive lady I must be attractive to at least her which is all that matters to me. This blog is followed in over 70 different countries so even if I don’t always hear about it I am at least reaching a fair amount of people and hopefully affecting them in a positive way. Still all of these conclusions might have well been locked in a secret vault buried deep in the remote parts of the arctic for me to see in my current emotional state.

The million dollar question then is how did I discover this answer and begin to turn my state around. Thankfully I have developed tools on my own and learned from some of the great spiritual and motivational masters that I put into use. Even these, however, were not all available at the location both geographically and emotionally that I was at. No, what I did have is something else I continue to learn and treasure – great friends. First, when I excused myself to ‘get some fresh air’ my friend Pat, came up to me and just let me know he was there for me. Let me know that he cared and did not like to see me upset. I wrote about Pat in an earlier blog as an example of what a great man should be. On this evening he just provided yet another example. Then my good friend Bret could see through me and inquired what was wrong. Confiding in a vague way Bret first provided some verbal reassurance, but also followed it with a wonderfully supportive text.

Last, and certainly not least was my beautiful Margie. At the time we happened to be DJing a show, which for the record is not the perfect place to be overwhelmed with depressing feelings of self-doubt, she began healing me in ways only she knows how. First of all, she expressed her frustration with how I was feeling. At first blush this really didn’t seem to help at all, but as the night went on and I realized by expressing that she was actually showing me how much she thought of me and how difficult it was for her to understand how I was feeling. Then, she finished the show on her own, treating the people to her special form of DJ magic and allowing me to just take some deep breaths. When we got home she lovingly explained how she felt about me and did something that makes me love her so much. She began to use things that I teach in helping me. I recall her saying to me “You don’t like how your writing and speaking is coming along? Then change it!”. She was, of course, right. If you are depressed or frustrated with your current situation the best way to turn those feelings around is through massive action to change that situation. She also provided me some wonderful ideas to do so and pledged her commitment to be by my side through it all.

In looking back I realize there was many great blessings in this tough day. One, I was able to see the benefit of taking care of your friends and being a good friend. Two, I was able to feel the gratitude for the amazing friends and divine woman I have in my life. Finally, I was able to increase my motivation to carry my message to as many people as I can and will be announcing the first of my new seminars for 2017 soon. As a bonus I was also able to see how powerful the things we learn and share on this site work.

So if you are having a bad day, know that each has a host of blessings and to just hang in there, the light at the end of the tunnel may be you.