This bit of information that we do not have to agree on everything to be kind to each other hopefully is something you already know…at least intellectually. In this day and age of social media, individuals can broadcast their opinions to the world with a click of a button. It is my belief they should. I think one of the beautiful things about technology and social media is the ability to be exposed to others who are different than we are. Whether that is someone in a different city, state or a different country.
I am blessed that this blog is followed in over 100 countries. I regularly converse with wonderful souls from Italy, Lebanon, Syria, Australia and a host of other countries. Still working on Greenland, but we will save that story for another post. What warms my heart is that on any given day people in countries that can’t seem to get along socially or politically both read what I have written. Just today I was in touch with some amazing individuals in both Pakistan as well as India. Yesterday despite what I read in the headlines, people in both Turkey and Syria read what was posted here.
I equate this to my ability to speak to topics that affect all of us. No matter where we live, everyone would love to reduce their stress, increase their joy and become the best version of themselves. In general, we all have a burning desire to live a life full of happiness, abundance and love. All of us at some point enjoy motivation, inspiration and encouragement. Everyone enjoys receiving a smile. Well maybe not one of my coworkers, but she is the one who probably needs it the most. As you can see deep down we are a lot alike. We all have hopes, dreams and passions. True, they may not be the same, but we all have them.
What about those pesky differences? There are major differences after all. Religion, sex, politics. All of the subjects we were told not to discuss because they precipitate many disagreements. I say we should discuss our deep beliefs and passions. It is learning the proper way to discuss them. I also think disagreeing is ok. We just need to learn how to disagree. Even at the highest level we have regressed to personal attacks and name calling. It can be challenging to admit someone has a right to a contrary opinion than us. It can be even more difficult to be able to respect that opinion.
Do you know what happens when you can say things like, “This is the way I think, but I understand and respect you have a different belief on this matter. How can we work together to come to a common accord?” One, you sound like a really badass. Seriously. You are a warrior. You have conquered the fiercest opponent – your own emotions and your own mind. There is not greater challenge than that.
Here is another bonus to being diplomatic and understanding – you never come out looking like a jerk. By displaying a sense of compassion and understanding you have taken the high road. You also give them an opportunity to not only be a part of the solution, but walk away with dignity and respect for their belief. Why people feel there can only be one correct belief, opinion or answer is beyond me. Instead of focusing on trying to change others, we should work on changing ourselves into someone who operates with more compassion and understanding.
Some of you may be saying, “How can I agree with someone who has a different faith than I do?” Again, it is important to note that you don’t have to agree with someone to respect their differences. This picture is bordered in green and yellow. Those two colors happen to be the colors of the Green Bay Packers, the local professional football team. Every Sunday when they play you can read posts and comments on social media of a very intense and passionate nature. Again, nothing wrong with that. What is sad is often these degenerate into the same name calling nonsense of the other subjects.
Here are a few quick news flashes… You can’t change others, only yourself. People are allowed to be different, just as you are. Two people can have different opinions and beliefs and neither or both of them can be right. You can both disagree and respect someone’s difference. There are civil ways to discuss differences. Being exposed to and not automatically rejecting different people and their thoughts and beliefs can lead to some of your greatest personal growth. So let us all be kind to each other and work to live with more compassion.
Today in the United States we observe Memorial day. Originally known as decoration day and started after the Civil War, Memorial day became a federal holiday in 1971. It is a day set aside to honor those who have fallen in the roll of serving our country. From all of us at Secret2anamazinglife.com we send our thoughts, prayers and respect to all of the families who have lost love ones in military service. We thank you all for your sacrifice.
As we pause and reflect on this day, two thoughts come to mind for me. The first thought is how we can best honor those who have lost their lives. If you have read anything I have written before you know that I advocate continuing on what the world has lost with the passing of the individual. My grandfather was a veteran, who did not pass while serving but has sense passed away. I will always remember the respect he earned by showing respect to others. Those in the family would listen when he would speak. He did not often raise his voice because he did not have to. He was generous with sharing his experiences and the lessons he learned. Those are traits, among countless others, that I will carry on in memory of my grandfather.
Today I feel there is another great way to observe memorial day and to honor those who have fallen. That is to reconfirm our respect to those who have served in our country. I do not know what country you may be reading this in, but the point remains the same whether you are in the United States, India, Kenya or any other location. I know a lot of people who read this blog are anti-war. So am I. If you ask most veterans, so are they. They serve their country to defend the principles it stands for. Some are conscripted, some volunteer. They may not always agree with the political actions that send them in harms way, but they faithfully carry out their job. They may raise concerns or even objections to their superiors, but in they end they follow orders. Do not hold soldiers accountable for the actions of the government.
This line of thinking got me pondering my next question. How can we do our part to really honor the day itself. I think the best way to honor memorial day is to do all that we can to reduce the amount of soldiers that are exposed to harm. What I am talking about is encouraging actions that facilitate peace. To make sure those who have given the ultimate sacrifice have not done so in vain. Vote for those you think can solve the world’s problems without resorting to putting the lives of innocent men and women at risk. On a more personal level, do more to grow peace in your personal life. Communicate with those who are different than you, especially those you disagree with. You can always disagree without disrespecting. Start dialogue. Learn about different cultures.
Once again, all of us at this site wish to offer our respect and gratitude to those who gave their lives believing they were doing so to bring peace to this earth. We wish to encourage all of us to work toward peace in their memory and in their honor so each year we may move closer to peace and lose less lives of those we care about.
We interrupt our usual material to bring to your attention a great opportunity to help impoverished children in both India and the U.S.
My amazing friends Sonny and his wife Ami are taking part in an event to raise money for children needing help in both Atlanta, where they live as well as India. I encourage you to click the link below to help them out as well as sharing this article to reach more people who can help. My heartfelt thanks in advance.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND TO DONATE
If you recall, a few weeks ago I was skeptical that my writing was having the desired effect. It is my wish that I reach people and help them see the beauty in themselves, others and a the world around them. What seemed to be a lack of engagement had me pondering whether my efforts would be better suited elsewhere. After all, this month we will be celebrating 5 years of this website and 4 years since my first book was published.
When I voiced my concerns I was greeted with what was the greatest gift I could ask for. About a hundred people reached out to let me know that my writing had touched their lives in some way. Each story was unique, but each person was touched and their life was a little brighter thanks to the ideas and words we share here. For someone like myself who would just like to leave the world a little better than he found it, there is very little that could have made me happier.
The good fortune and reassurance that I am indeed living my life purpose continues. I was recently nominated for ‘Best Milwaukee author’ in Shepherd Express magazine. I am hoping this will help me reach and inspire even more individuals. You can certainly help me reach that goal. A win would go a long way to bringing these words of positivity and hope to those who need it most. If this is something you would like to be a part of, I humbly ask you click the link at the bottom of this post and go to the ‘Arts and Entertainment’ category and vote ‘Neil Panosian’. The beauty of this being an online affair is that you can vote from wherever you may be. Whether it is West Allis Wisconsin where I live, or even in India, Jamaica or wherever these words inspire you.
Working together we can certainly bring this message of inspiration and positivity to those who are hurting or who have given up hope and find themselves in a dark place. I will certainly use my title as ‘Best Milwaukee Author’ to help as many people as I can. This can only happen with your help. Together we will make the world a better place for everyone.
P.S. – While you are on the voting site, if you would also go to the ‘Milwaukee made food and beverages’ and vote for my lovely lady Margie Story for best cupcakes I would be most grateful. Her delicious treats bring smiles to the faces of so many, and she puts her heart and soul into each of her creations.
CLICK HERE TO VOTE AND HELP ME TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL
“People often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning”
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you are right”
When it comes to anything the most important aspect in regards to whether you will succeed or fail is your attitude about the subject. These two quotes above from two great leaders demonstrate that. It is amazing to me to hear lots of people speak to defeat their own dreams. I wish I would’ve painted for a living, but now it’s too late. Some people when they hear I am writing a book tell me they were always going to write a book but never did. My answer is always the same “The get out there and do it NOW!” Yes, I do say the last word rather loudly, but that is because these people have been talking themselves out of their own dreams for years. Listen, I am not telling you to abandon your job and family and head off to the beach to surf your life away, but if you have a dream start on it. If your dream is to be an artist explore that talent. Start drawing, painting, sculpting or writing before work, after work whenever you can find time. Trust me in the beginning it is hard, but once that part of you comes alive again energy comes out of nowhere, passion explodes. You are eager to take an hour less sleep because you are doing something for your soul, that could very well end up helping your pocketbook. here is some bad news, your first attempts, they just might suck. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the first couple posts of mine here. I am not saying that to put myself down, just to show you that you have been denying part of yourself for years and it takes a while to develop a passion. Even if your first attempts leave you saying you should be satisfied with just doing that current job you despise, keep on swinging. The world is always grateful to someone living their passion. It could be an engineer designing safer roads or cars, a composer bringing beautiful music for all of us to share. I personally am overwhelmed and it is the best part of my day when I can hear how much this blog has helped even one person in the smallest of ways. Why? Because that is my dream, that is my passion. To help others live a life of passion and to discover the true beauty inside them. Now when you are beginning and you are putting out a less than polished product, you run into people I have mentioned before, Dream killers. Why on earth people will rain on other people’s parades and put down their dreams I do not understand. If I could count how many people have cautioned me and discouraged me about writing my book I would reach a pretty high number indeed. They may tell you they are just trying to not let you get your ‘hopes up’ I tell you get your hopes up! When you fall down, keep them up! In fact, when you are down quite often hope and faith are the only friends you may have. So make your hopes and dreams and faith strong. Feed them daily. Chase your dreams this weekend! Just begin to start chasing that passion! I’ll see you all in the winners circle!
“Just because a treasure is not valued, does not make that treasure less valuable.”
Ok, yes I did it. I just quoted myself. Am I having a fit of narcissism? Am I running dangerously low on material? The answer to both is no. If you do have any other ideas you would like to add to the secret2anamazinglife website please feel free to let me know. This is just one of those statements that came out of my mouth once and I had to take a step back and go “Wow, that is so true!” Let me explain the meaning behind the quote. Quite often if we lose a lover, a friend or a job our very first question may be “what is wrong with me?” That is not always a bad thing as it helps us look at our role in the situation. Were we not attentive enough lover? Did we take our friends for granted? Did we not do our best at our job? These are all good questions, but there is something more to remember. Sometimes we have done nothing wrong. Here is my honest opinion, each one of us is a treasure. Not only because you are spending your valuable time reading all these words I write, but you are either doing so because you are genuinely interested in discovering ways to improve your life or you are a really good friend of mine who is just that supportive. Either way, you are amazing. When you “fail” in a situation and you start to feel a little shine has been taken off your apple, remember two very important things. One, the shine on apples is usually from a wax that is put on so you are better off without it. More importantly, maybe everybody was full. What do I mean by that? Let’s use another analogy. When you think of treasure what do you picture? Jewels? Diamonds? Gold? We are each diamonds to the world in our own way. Very valuable, priceless. People pay their life’s savings for diamonds, yet what good would a diamond be to a starving man on a deserted island? Sometimes our treasure is just not as valuable to the situation. Other times the other person can’t understand the true value of the treasure. If you showed a diamond to a baby they would appreciate it no more than any other sparkling object. So when someone doesn’t appreciate the treasure that is you, just remember it doesn’t make you any less valuable, They may just not know any better like the baby. Take your shining diamond somewhere it will be appreciated for its full value. You are all treasures my friends!
“The fact that there is always a positive side to life is the one thing that gives me a lot of Happiness. This world is not perfect. There are problems. But things like happiness and unhappiness are relative. Realizing this gives you hope.”
The Dalai Lama
I really like this quote. How many times in life have we looked back at an incident that at the time seemed terrible only to realize how much good had come of it? The secret here is to try to shorten the time it takes to see the good in a given situation. Here is something to carry around with you and try when we encounter one of life’s unavoidable challenges. Ask yourself, “What is good about this situation” Spend no more than five minutes pondering that. Then move on and do your best to forget about what is troubling you. Your subconscious mind will still be focused on that very question. Then later that day sit down and ask yourself the same question. Although it may not seem you have given it any more effort you mind will have been working behind the scenes to come up with several ideas. It may even help to sit down with pen and paper and work on creating a list. The more you do this, the more you work on training your brain to be positive and this same formula works for solving problems. This week, let us all try to see and focus on the positive side to everything!
This has always been one of my favorite quotes. How often do we find ourselves lamenting a certain situation, event or person. I used to be as guilty as anyone of complaining the news was always negative, or people just seemed not to be as friendly as they used to be. Although i truly believe these observations to be accurate, what purpose did they serve? Sometimes events can seem to big for any of us to control. After all, what chance do I have of changing the way the nation broadcasts the news? Can I hope to make everyone treat each other with kindness? Of course the answer to both of those is no, but that forced me to revisit this quote. Sometimes the best way to begin changing the world, is by changing our own world. Now when I meet someone I try to share the positive news I have. If nothing uplifting has happened that day I may make mention of something I am grateful for. I also have made it a point to be friendly and even smile at complete strangers. To be honest it irritates a few and confuses a great many, but 90% of the time I am greeted with a smile in return. The point of all this? The strangest thing has happened since I’ve started doing this, people now make it a point to share their good news with me, and I have made quite a few new friends through my innocent smiles. So by attempting to be the change I wished to see in the world, my world has slowly changed. So I challenge you all, next time you are upset about something try to figure out what you could do to bring the opposite into being.