BECOME A PART OF MY SUCCESS

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

A FISH, A RACING PIG AND ALBERT EINSTEIN

“Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” – Albert Einstein

This quote from Albert Einstein is one of my favorites. It demonstrates a very important fact that we all could benefit from remembering. We must remember that every person we meet is amazing a special in their own way. Every job is very important. I believe in was Mother Teresa who urged us to do small things with great love.

This point was brought to my attention as I indulged in 2 of my favorite past times. Watching a pig race while attending the Wisconsin State Fair. Pigs are some of my favorite animals. They almost always seem to be enjoying life to the fullest, are the consummate underdog, and are very intelligent. When you are at the fair you can see pigs in many different fashions. Some are in barns on display. These are usually checked out by animal lovers and looked at with distain by city folks sensitive to certain smells. They can be found smiling on many signs and shirts advertising a million different foods and products. A smiling pig is a hard thing for many people to resist. Speaking of food, you can also find pigs in some fashion on a breakfast sandwich, on a burger, or even on a stick.

These definitions are where most people classify pigs. A humble, yet adorable animal. If you put a racing sash on them such as the one above and have them race each other for Oreo cookies something else entirely different happens. Thousands of people pack bleachers to standing room only during the 11 day run of the fair. During their 5 performances a day one can hardly find a seat if you do not get there early. They yell, jump and cheer for their favorite pig to make it around the track first.

What happened? This is the same pig many of those very people would not even go into a barn to see because of the smell. In a different role, however, they became something to cheer for. Something to sit in the hot sun just to watch. People can even buy souvenirs after the race.

In life we all can be like the pigs. Sometimes it can seem the world is against us. It may seem like there is nobody in our corner cheering for us. If it is because we live in a place that resembles a barn and we have an unpleasant odor, the solution is fairly obvious. Most of us, however, are just living the wrong role. Investigate your strengths. think of what you do well. Know what gift you bring to the world and live that. Before long, you too may very well have people lining up to cheer for you.

SHHH….

Today is valentine’s day. Some call it a hallmark holiday and in many ways I do suppose it is. Much like Christmas,Easter and several other holidays the true meaning makes way for commercial interests. Just like the aforementioned holidays, we do not have to fall victim to this mentality and can focus on the meaning behind the day. 

In the case of today it is love. The cynical may say it is foolish and you should love everyday. This is one time I may be inclined to partially agree with the cynic. While it is true you should celebrate love each and every day (and I am sure that those of you that know my lady Margie and I realize we do) but having a day specifically set aside to remind us of the important role love plays in all of our lives can be very healthy. 

Above is a picture of the couple my lady and I are going to spend the evening with,  our friends Heidi and Bret. This couple, like all couples, have had their share of challenges. Still here they are back, and dare I say, better than they were a year ago. 

What is their secret to love? Well as we all know love is a very complex subject that has filled countless books and inspired even more movies and songs. To say there is one key to love would be selling ourselves short. 

However, because this is a blog and we should be brief i am going to share a secret Heidi and Bret, Margie and myself and countless other couples use to grow their love. Not in a relationship? That’s fine this one thing can unlock the secrets to capturing the heart of anyone you are interested in. 

These are all big claims but can all be achieved by doing one simple thing – listening. Before you dismiss this idea let’s take a look. The kind of listening I am talking about involves listening to learn. 

Let’s take a look at disagreements. When passions run high we can all too often listen just to contradict what our partner is saying. Come on, we have all done it. I know I have. Have you ever found yourself in this situation, you are arguing so intensely and for so long you actually forget what the argument is about? Even worse have you been in a disagreement only to discover you and the other party were totally disagreeing about two different things? These are all things that can happen when we don’t listen to understand what is upsetting our partner. 

When we actively listen which includes asking questions such as “what is truly upsetting you?” And “what can I do to make it better?” can shorten the duration and lessen the intensity of any disagreement. It will also show your partner you can and want to find a solution and not just who is to blame. 

Let’s not be all doom and gloom here. Listening has a very fun and exciting side. Don’t you wish you could always give the one you love the perfect gift or situation to light up their heart regardless of the funds you have available? Listening to the rescue! When I shop with Margie I listen closely  (ok most of the time). This has allowed me to learn what her favorite flowers are, what meat she likes the best, her taste in fashion. Even the conversations we have while doing the simplest things have given me clues as to what she likes and also what she dislikes. By paying attention and taking mental notes it has kept me in the first category. 

So this valentine’s day give your spouse the gift of truly listening to them. It can not only be a great gift for them  (who doesn’t enjoy really being heard and feeling important) and you (they will tell you lots of secrets if you pay attention) but also a great gift for your relationship (it will give you opportunities to grow love and limit upsets). 

*the author would also like to note listening will work in any relationship, friend coworker and clients. 

THE COMMON THREAD

This week we are going to look at inspiration from a few different spiritual beliefs. This page is not about telling you what to believe spiritually, i believe that is between you and your creator. This page is, however,  about living an amazing life. My life’s mission is to help people see the beauty in themselves, others and the world around them. It is the last two this week will be focused on. 

There are always differences between people and normally that is not a big deal. This person had long hair, this person has short hair. This person is tall and that person is short.  So why when it comes to religion and politics do differences have to divide us so? This week we are going to look at various quotes from sources in several different beliefs and what we can learn from them. We ate going to end this week with something that may surprise some of you, so check back at the end of the week for that. 

For the rest of today begin to look at the common thread that ties all of us together no matter where or how we pray. 

WHY SHARING IS CARING 

I recall the phrase ‘sharing is caring’ from a children’s program I used to watch when i was young. It is a very good motto that still holds true. 

The problem with many adults is that we feel we have nothing to share. Often I hear people say “I would love to help more but i don’t have the time/money/resources”. There is one thing each and every one of us has that can make a huge difference – our story -.

As an author I am often asked for advice and told by people “I have always wanted to write a book”. My advice? Just do it! Again, it is at this point most people assume they have nothing to offer. Let me assure you that no matter what your story is, it will help more people than you know. 

Here are a few examples.  I have a friend is a Jewish woman who won her battle with weight loss and has a passion for health and fitness and took care of her sick mother. 

There is my friend Kelly, who is a widow and belongs to a community of people who have been through the same. She is always quick to share a smile and encouraging word with everyone she meets. How many people do you think these two people could help by sharing their story?

Now you may thinking to yourself “I don’t have such a compelling story”. That’s where i have to disagree. Maybe you have done everything wrong in life. Maybe you find yourself a slave to some addiction. Your story could serve as a warning and save the lives of countless others. 

Once a woman told me “All i have been is a mom for the last 10 years”. I was kind of taken aback. Being a good parent required lots of knowledge and learning along the way. 

Sometimes just sharing our story with people who are going through the same thing provides a feeling of comfort. I know when i am going through something challenging it feels so much better to know someone else has been through it or is going through it. 

So please, wherever you are share your story. Even if it doesn’t come out in book form (although publishing an ebook today is easier than ever). You never know who you will inspire, comfort or help heal. Everyone of us is important and everyone of us has a story that needs to be shared

A NEW YOU!

This time of year there is always a lot of talk about changing who we are for the better. About how we can improve on this and do better on that. Here is a better idea – try loving yourself more-.

If that sounds a bit silly or a little too ‘new age-ish” for you stop and think about what we tell ourselves. Last post we talked about what we can do when we make a mistake and how beating ourselves up doesn’t not serve us or anyone else around us. We don’t really seem to talk to ourselves much unless it is criticism. 

Let’s be honest, if you are reading a blog like this chances are on a daily basis you do more right than you do wrong. On some days maybe this isn’t true, but as a person you do the best you can to do what is right. If it doesn’t feel like that sometimes it might be because we don’t congratulate ourselves as much as we admonish ourselves. 

This weekend try doing two things for yourself. First, try to notice and congratulate yourself when you do something nice. You held the door for someone, you threw your trash away instead of leaving it for someone else to do. Maybe it is that you went to work even though it was cold and you didn’t want to. Take a moment and say to yourself, or out loud if you’re that confident, “hey me (i recommend using your name it’s ok to refer to yourself in the third person just this once) i did a good job right here”. 

Second, when you do make a mistake find a good. Yes, i did slip up and have a cigarette, but i haven’t had one for 7 days before that and next time I’ll go even longer!

Try this for a few days and you will notice you feel better over all and you won’t get so down when you make a mistake. After all, you’re amazing just the way you are!

GO BIG OR GO HOME!

There is a quote by Nelson Mandela that reads,

“You’re playing small does not serve the world.  Who are you not to be great”

This statement could not ring more true. How many of us know people who have enormous amount of talent, but fail to act on it out of fear of failure or even fear of success. 

I recall a recent conversation i had with a young man who was just finding his way in the world. He approached me and inquired as follows,  “being a life coach, what do you think i should do with my life?”. For years i asked myself the same question. The answer I believe has two parts to it.  

First, what can you do to bring the most to the world. Our world is always in need of help in many different areas. A sense of Contribution is one of the basic human spiritual needs. If you feel what you are doing does not matter you face two challenges. One, the ability to get up and do it when the weather is too cold, or too hot, or too wet. Perhaps when you have had too much the night before, or not enough. Two, if you feel what you do does not make a difference you lose your feeling of self worth. Your spirit begins to die. The “who cares if i don’t show up anyway”.

The second question we should ask ourselves when deciding our lot in life is what do we enjoy. If you are going to do something 40 hours a week (or more) it should be something you enjoy. Something that stirs our soul. When we are doing something we enjoy we tend to work harder and do a better job. 

When I tell people this they often find these two in conflict. I knew a man who really liked to paint. He told me painting brings me a sense of fulfillment, but i don’t think my paintings contribute anything to the world. What the world needs is people living their dreams. People of passion who are full of love for life. These people tend to be kinder and contribute more than those who are doing a job that they think is important but doesn’t speak to their soul. 

Ok, but what about making a living? Obviously that is important. I advise people to break down what needs their passion fills. In the case of the painter he should pursue a job that fuels his creativity while he markets his paintings. Sometimes we must begin our dreams as hobbies. 

So ask yourself those two questions. “What can i contribute?” And “what do i enjoy?”. Often what you enjoy will be the area on which can contribute the most.