GO THERE NOW!๐ŸŒด๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆฉ

Above is a partial list of countries who viewed my blog yesterday. Circled, you will see one of the countries I long to visit. That is the Seychelles. Any relaxing tropical local works for me. It does my heart good to see those in such locations are enjoying my writing. Perhaps a book signing could be in the future?

Traveling to tropical destinations is something I do not get to do as often as I would like. The above picture, which graces the back of my second book, was taken in Runaway Bay Jamaica. Margie and I certainly enjoyed our time there.

If you can’t runaway to the islands like some rockstar or internet model, what is the next best thing? I have two suggestions. First, enjoy what is close to home. The above picture I took on a walk through the park with my mother. Getting out in nature brings peace to the soul.

What happens when the snow comes and the temperatures drop? Here comes my next suggestion. Go there in your mind! Take a little mental vacation. There are plenty of fun, free videos on YouTube. I even have one of those VR headsets that make you feel like you’re there. Grab some vacation brochures. Check out their websites! Take a little mental vacation. It will help recharge your mind and your spirit.

THE TIME TO PREPARE IS NOW!๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Above is a picture of the Mitchell Park Domes. They are 3 giant green houses, for lack of a better description. They are only a few miles from my house. They are an important part of today’s post. Before we get to what the 3 giant glass domes have to do with living an amazing life, let me share a personal fact with you. I strongly dislike the winters here in Wisconsin. It gets so cold some animals sleep through it, many leave the state entirely. Unfortunately, at this time, I am not an animal that fits into either category. Therefore, I must make certain adjustments. This post will focus around that. Just like a lot of what we learn here, it can be adapted to your situation.

The winters here also lack sunshine and things that are…well…alive. The trees look like dead sticks, all the plant life is brown and shriveled up. I don’t mean to sound negative, especially after last post about the power of positive thinking. These are facts and they can make it difficult for someone, like myself, that has Seasonal Affective Disorder. That is where the lack of sun and such throws your hormones all out of wack and can cause feelings of depression. This used to pose quite a challenge for someone who writes blogs and books about living an amazing life. Especially since winter seems to last roughly 9 months here. Then I began to put into action many of the things I learned and began to teach. I would love to share with you what I came up with for my situation, in hopes you can apply it to your own.

I realized one of the most dangerous things about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or any condition, is the feeling of hopelessness you can fall into. Although I am not able to move south for the winter just yet, I realized there are other things I can do. Plan a vacation to the sunny Bahamas with my beautiful Margie, like I am this winter. That helps. Let us face it a tropical vacation is not always in the cards. That is where The Domes, as they are locally known, fit into the picture. As you can see in the picture above, they have living plants all year! They must also have some kind of light that allows them to grow in the gloomy Wisconsin winter. Spending time in these places are like a mini vacation. We also have an amazing museum that has displays of places like Bali, Fiji and other tropical locations I would like to visit. I can at least escape mentally for the time I am inside the building.

Add to this things like coconut scented oils, shirts with the Jamaican flag, pictures of past vacations and many other ways to at least take me away mentally. I also was given a ‘Happy light’ that mimics the sun by Margie. I often use that when I write. Even a little time in front of it, helps my spirits stay up. Plus, I read and research on other things that might help. Taking Vitamin D, listening to ocean waves. There are many options to employ and more I am learning every day.

I encourage you to take the same approach to whatever life challenge you are facing. I realize that I am not able to change the weather and make the sunshine at will. What I can do is some of the things that I mentioned in the paragraphs above. I also use this ‘winter dread’ to motivate me to save for a vacation. Having things to look forward to makes challenges a lot more bearable. I would love to hear how you approach and prepare for the challenges you are facing. Oh, and if you happen to have more suggestions to make winter bearable for me, I am all ears!

PRESCRIBED DELUSIONS ๐Ÿคช

Delusions are usually something that is frowned upon. People who see things that “are not there” or see them differently than our reality deems them to be are often looked upon as if they are crazy. In fact, the word delusional is often used as an insult. People who live in a world of their own are often looked at as ‘mad’ such as the character in Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter. Which was attributed to the use of mercury in the making of hats back in the day. Mercury poison aside, there are many reasons people suffer delusions. Not all people suffer delusions. Some rather enjoy them. I recall another roll played by Johnny Depp, that in Don Juan DeMarco. It is one of my favorite movies. I will not ruin it for you, but in the movie Mr. Depp thinks he is the legendary Don Juan and is placed under the care of a psychiatrist, played by Marlon Brando. When asked why he thinks he is at a villa instead of a mental hospital, he responds by informing Mr. Brando that it is because he can see beyond what is.

For a more personal and helpful example, I am going to reference someone who has been called delusional and crazy quite often – me! At my day job this week, I have been wearing some fun and colorful shirts that Margie bought for me. Everyone complimented me and told me it had them feeling like they were on vacation. That is the secret we are going to look at today. One of the great laws that we can used to beat stress is to remember that there is no law of biology or physics that says your mind and body have to be in the same place at the same time. We often use this in a negative way. When we should be enjoying the time we are spending with our family around the dinner table, our minds are preoccupied with some stress that happened at the office. We spend a good amount of our vacation worrying about our upcoming dentist appointment. We all too often take ourselves out of enjoyable situations and transport, at least our mental faculties, into one that is more stressful.

My suggestion, and one I use personally, is to flip this formula on its head. When you find yourself in a unpleasant situation, take your mind on a mental vacation! Like I told my coworkers who complimented my shirts, “Physically, I am here talking to you, but mentally I am on a beach drinking out of a coconut.” This is rather true. One of the ways that I am able to accomplish this is to utilize different items that remind me of vacation. I have pictures of Margie and I on vacation in my phone. I wore the tropical shirts I had. Even use a coconut air-freshener. I even have a ‘tropical playlist’ of music and ocean waves saved on my phone. Using these items allow me to escape mentally to the tropics any time that I want. This allows me to live on vacation!

Employing this formula for good can transform your life to one of being right where you want to be. Mentally, you can hang up a sign that says “Gone to the beach” (or mountains, or shopping or wherever else you would like to go) That way when you finally do make it there physically, your mind will be prepared and you can make the most of it. Think of escaping to Fiji while you are in the dentist chair or the sunny sands of Jamaica while in line at the grocery store. This may sound crazy, but the more you practice it, the more you will immerse yourself in a world of your own creation. Go ahead and create your own delusions! Go ahead and be crazy. Go ahead and be mad. Sometimes a delusion is just the prescription we need!

ENJOY MONDAY AGAIN!

I have written about this subject before in both my books and on this very website. It is one of the most powerful realizations that I use to change my life. Once I realized the truth of this axiom, I was not only able to withstand many of life’s greatest challenges a little better, but I was able to add a great deal of joy to my everyday life as well. This includes times when I am in less-than-ideal circumstances. These can vary from stuck in traffic to stuck in a very bad day at work. There are a million little challenges like these that life offers up for us. The key to handling these can be as simple as a shift in mindset. Notice the word I used there was simple and not easy. Although, once you develop the ability to utilize this shift, it only becomes easier. In my life, the shift is now nearly automatic!

What great revelation changed my life in just such a manner? I am going to share this point with you and trust me, it can do the same for your life once you master it. In fact, it will even start to do so while you are learning it! Enough of the build up! What is this truth that can turn around a dark day and make everyday life more enjoyable? The answer can be found in the two pictures above. It is this – there is no law of physics or biology that says your mind and body have to be in the same place at the same time. When I am having a tough day at the post office, I take a mental vacation. I think about when Margie and I were in Jamaica. Sometimes I imagine what it will be like when we visit Fiji or the Maldives. This little trick brings the stress level down several notches and gives my brain something positive to focus on.

In the beginning, and on particularly stressful days, this can be difficult to do. What I recommend is to have little things that help you. A picture of the tropical location, or any location that fits your idea of a get away. This is totally customizable. This activates your sense of vision. This can be powerful as it is the one we tend to use most often. I suggest incorporating as many of your senses as you can. In my example, I have several videos with sounds of waves crashing saved in my phone. I can always watch them or even just close my eyes and listen. One of the most powerful senses is the sense of smell, which actually utilizes an entire different area of the brain. I have coconut scented lotion that reminds me of suntan lotion. With essential oils and other fragrances, the possibilities are endless. You could even have a small bottle of the scent your significant other wears to remind you of the amazing person you can come home to.

Pick one or several mental vacations you can go to when life seems upside down. Once you pick one, find items you can use to help take you there mentally. This can be a fun and creative exercise. I recommend trying this out as often as you can. Maybe give yourself an escape at the end of the day? I have coconut scented candles and bubble bath to go with a nice glass of coconut rum. You can do what works best for you. You do not need a stressful situation to take a mental vacation. The more you travel in this fashion, the easier it becomes. When you do go on vacation, make sure to be thinking of things you could take back with you. Also, do your best to be mindful when you are somewhere you enjoy. This could be vacation, or could be as simple as a walk in your favorite park. Do not just focus on how far or fast you can hike, but stop and smell the air, look around at the green of the grass and the bark of the trees. Smell the dampness in the soil or the scent of the pine tress. Take it all in and the when you need to escape, it will be right there waiting for you inside your mind. I would love to hear your perfect mental vacation and the items you use to help you go there.

WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE

This was one of those things on social media you post and people comment what they love most about you. I did it as a means to discover new and interesting views about how people see me. It was a good exercise for several reasons. What I left with was a profound and grateful feeling in my heart for the kind words that people shared as well as a greater appreciation for the friends that I have in them. It also served as a great indicator as to whether or not I was really fulfilling the vision of the man I strive to be. One thing that made me happy, was judging by the comments I read the answer to that was definitely in the affirmative. New friends, not so new friends and even soul friends let me know that I was indeed living up to my standards for the type of man I wish to be.

I formerly advocated to write your own eulogy as a means of gaining clarity as to the type of person you wish to be thought of at the end of your life as well as how far you have to go to reach that point. I still think that is a very powerful exercise. If you would like more information on doing so, you can watch the video with that title on my YouTube channel, Neil Panosian, or read that section in my first book, A Happy Life for Busy People. While that is helpful in discovering who you want to be and how far you have to go, putting something like this on your social media is a good way to get a snapshot of how you are being viewed currently. The answers will hopefully fill you with a sense of joy and a great deal of appreciation for those you share your life with, like it did for me.

My greeting for all of you today

My next thought about this activity was what a great addition to everyone’s day this probably was. How many of us are quick to post a snarky political post or some sarcastic meme? I hear people complain about social media as a negative influence more than anything else at my seminars. This still strikes me as odd because we, for the most part, control who and what we see on our social media pages. This got me thinking about something I teach in my books and when I speak live. The best, and often easiest, way to eliminate negativity from your life is to add positivity. This is easy to see on social media. Are you sick of all the negative political banter? Do not like seeing depressing news? Done with people who bring nothing but drama, yet you are hesitant to delete them because it will just cause…well…drama? Have no fear my friends! The solution is at hand. You add some positive material.

This doesn’t have to even be something in the self-improvement field or subscribing to the Secret2anamazinglife Facebook page, although you could certainly do worse. No, it can be anything that brings you a smile. If you were my lovely Margie it could be the unicorn and puppy cupcake eating page. If you happen to be a future best selling author and speaker, it could be the sipping Jamaican coffee while sitting on a beach in…say…Jamaica page. The formula here is as follows – even if the usual amount of negative nonsense would still be on your page, it would be coupled with unicorns and puppies eating cupcakes, or coffee and beaches, depending on who you are. Eventually, things would begin to shift towards the positive. If you share this formula with all of your friends and family (you can even share it with all of those people who continue with the political posts) and have them start doing it, that will lead to even MORE positive things showing up on your page! This brings us to our final point and challenge….

I would like to invite you to the Secret2anamazinglife positive social media challenge! For the rest of September, post at least one positive thing on social media every day. This can be many things. It could be a romantic and loving post about your significant other (I think you can guess the positive outcome that might have) It can be a picture of a person or animal that makes you smile. It can be an inspiring news story. It can even be a picture of a beautiful beach you would like to visit. One caveat here, it cannot be accompanied by a sarcastic caption or comment. You cannot post a getaway in Fiji and caption it “I would rather be relaxing here than working this stupid postal job” Nothing negative. Either just post the picture or add something like, “I can’t wait to be relaxing here one day” I am going to do this, and I invite all of you to do the same. Feel free to share some of the positive things you will share in the comments below. If we all do this for the rest of the month, we will bring a lot of smiles to those who see our social media, which in tru

LIVING THE DREAM HAS ARRIVED!!!

The last eight years have been one crazy journey. Eight years ago in December of 2013 my book A Happy Life for Busy People was released. I think back to where I was, and more to the point, who I was, back then and it seems like a different life entirely.

When I set out to write my first book it was to capture the feeling you have when you are on vacation. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of visiting an exotic tropical location, allow me to explain. When you step off the plane and make your way through the airport a change happens. Once you are on the bus headed for your resort, a different vibe and mindset over take you. Kenny Chesney explains it best in his song “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem” the islands change who you are. Life problems either cease to exist, or are greatly reduced in their importance. A sense of calm and inner peace take over. All of this before you have even had your first cocktail!

All these thoughts might explain the cover of the upcoming release as seen above. I asked myself “Why can’t you keep that feeling of “Living like your on vacation” as the lyric from a song by the band Kiss so eloquently states. That might be the first time someone used eloquent and the band Kiss in the same sentence. I was inspired by a friend of mine, Samantha. When asked how she was doing as she worked at a local restaurant, she would, with a large dose of sarcasm, respond, “Oh, you know, living the dream here at ________” You could fill in the blank with the name of whatever job you hold. My goal was to make that statement not mere sarcastic fodder, but reality.

Over the next eight years I read, researched and tested many tips, secrets, hacks and tools to discover what really made that difference. I even took a trip to Jamaica with my lovely Margie just to recalibrate how that emotion feels. The things I am willing to suffer in the name of writing a great book. I recorded things in notebooks, on my blog and at my live seminars. I tested them out both myself and with my friends and followers. We kept what worked, threw away what didn’t and tweaked what needed to be. As I began to incorporate each of these secrets in my own life, the result was nothing short of magic! I can safely say I am now living the dream. Do I still have challenges? Sure, but I face them with a smile, peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

Just to make sure that I had opportunity to test how effective these tools are and whether they would still work under the most trying of circumstances, life gave me just that. Over the course of two years, I lost several family and friends. In that same year I spoke at 5 different funerals. Not a record I care to try and beat or even repeat. What did get me through was the support and encouragement of countless individuals. When it comes to having people in my corner, I am truly blessed in abundance. From friendly people I meet at the coffee shops I write at, to family, soul friends and certainly my lovely and supportive lady. Who, just for good measure, had lots of struggles of her own as she was writing the foreword to this book. I am proud to say she persevered and did an amazing job. You will be able to see for yourself as that will be the first thing you read as you open the cover of this life-changing book. I was also blessed with several friends who were brave enough to share their stories and the tools they used to make it through some of the toughest trials anyone could imagine. The words of Stephen King above are so true. Writing is a very lonely job. It can take you away from friends and fun for countless nights on end. It does reveal the people who love you the most to be patient and understanding.

This book has taken a lot of my blood, sweat and tears as well as eight years of my life. I am so proud of the result and all of those who played a part in it coming to life. From December of 2013 to June of 2021, we have learned, shared and discovered so much here together, I think you will enjoy reading the end result in your copy of Living the Dream. It will be available by the end of the month. I will be happy to sign your copy should we meet in person! Just for fun I have included a video that Margie made as we pushed the button to make it official. It is short and silly. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing Living the Dream with all of you. I promise it will help take you from the life you have to the life you love!

THE VACATION YOU SHOULD PLAN NOW!

Ah.. vacation

Ah vacation. Who doesn’t love a good vacation? I have been longing to travel to a tropical destination to perfect different expressions of repose. With the current pandemic and travel restrictions, I find myself stuck in the less-than-tropical environment of Wisconsin where I live. In this post we are going to explore a different kind of vacation and how to prepare for it.

Fun in the islands

Before we get to that, let’s look at your typical vacation. 2 long years ago, Margie and I traveled to Jamaica. It was our first international vacation together and we had a blast! We met so many wonderful people and ate some delicious food.

I love the sun and the water. As you can see in the pictures above,there was plenty of both. To plan this vacation we took our time. We visited a local travel agency. We compared resorts. We looked at prices verses amenities. We organized our schedules to have time free from our many labors and Margie being Margie, we also did a lot of shopping for things we needed and even some we didn’t. All this planning and activity took longer than the actual vacation, but was certainly enjoyable.

You simply must purchase this album

Last post I mentioned during my employment as a telemarketer, I often listened to Bob Marley as a stress relief option. Fast forward 27 years, or so, and we find myself listening to Michael Franti for the same reason. Today I was listening to his latest release Work Hard and Be Nice to People.

There is a wonderful track called daycation that mentions taking a one daycation to get your head on right. How many of us have felt that way a time or 500? I know I have. (Did I mention I work for the Post Office?) How many of us have really acted on that thought? Not many I would venture a guess.

The question is, why not? Taking some time off can reduce stress and even increase productivity once you return. Is it a question of feeling guilty for not being at the office? Trust me they would feel no guilt in replacing you. That’s why you must take care of you first. Make sure your physical and mental health are doing great. It will help you be more productive at the office, but more importantly, it will help you enjoy your free time more and live longer to enjoy it. Don’t believe it? Look up scientific evidence for the benefits of vacation. Print one out for your boss too.

My quandary has always been how much can you really do in one day? The answer is plenty, if you plan it right. On my days off I am usually involved in a literary pursuit, doing a project at home or, like today, having my car repaired. It will not shock you to know this does not feel like a vacation.

What we should do is develop a plan for several one daycations. Whether that is a fancy dinner out followed by a trip to the spa or a day at the water park with friends followed by a nice hotel after. Maybe a picnic in the park with the one you love? The important part is to plan this. Write down your itinerary. This can be fun. Usually it helps to make it away from the house if possible. This way you will be free of the many distractions that await you there.

Taking several of these one daycations can help you unwind and recharge. It can help you return to be more productive at the office and at home!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SONG THAT INSPIRED THIS POST

TAKE A GETAWAY TODAY!!

On occasion, it would seem my ideas run in a rather odd streak. They either happen while I am in the shower with no way to record them, or they happen just a minute too late. The idea I wish to share with you seems to have fallen into the latter category. As you read this I will be enjoying my first day back at work after a well-deserved two week vacation. Normally, this vacation would have been spent enjoying a great deal of time at our local state fair. Sadly, due to the corona virus, this year that fabulous event has been canceled.

This marks the second straight time my vacation has been altered due to circumstances beyond my control. Last year Margie and I had planned to visit the lovely tropical destination of the Bahamas. As it happens, the resort and part of the island we were due to visit was destroyed by a hurricane that had settled over the island. We had planned to explore going in March, but then we both had Covid-19 and were in quarantine. I guess that would make three vacations that have been postponed or canceled all together.

You may guess that all of that postponement of pleasure would have me feeling rather frustrated and irritable and you would be right. Being the optimistic, solution-oriented person I am, there is always an attempt to find a creative solution. In the first 12 days of my vacation there was an amazing and brief getaway with the love of my life a few towns away. I was determined to enjoy the last few remaining days experimenting with different states of repose. My house is located next to an open field. I took out this wonderful zero gravity chair and decided to sit in the sun. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine that I was laying in the tropics. Although the sun felt warm, it was hard turning the sound of the passing cars into boats on the ocean. Then it occurred to me, I put in some earbuds and looked up beach/ocean sounds on YouTube. Before long I was whisked away with tropical birds and ocean waves. I swear I could even small the salt water.

After a few minutes of this blissful mental escape I took it to the next level. No longer was I relaxing at a posh resort in the islands. No, this time I was on the deck of my own house overlooking the ocean. One of my neighbors was unwittingly participating in my fantasy and happened to be grilling out. The scent of the food cooking on the grill had me imagining Margie, or the maid if she wasn’t feeling up to it, in the kitchen preparing a fun lunch for when I had my fill of sun. The following day I even sprayed some sun tan lotion on for the coconut smell. (For the record, this is something I do not usually use as it is not needed for me) There I was, actually in West Allis Wisconsin where I live. In my mind, however, I was laying on the beach in… Jamaica, Fiji, the Maldives or any other tropical location of my choice.

If you are in need of a vacation, do what I did. Recreate the experience as much as you can. This can be as simple as looking online at resorts you may want to stay in and watching videos on them. (This is something I do way too often) It works even better if you can involve more of your senses. I had the feel of the sun, the smell of the grill and the sun tan lotion, the sound of the waves and the sea gulls in my ears. The more senses you can involve, the more real the experience becomes. Next time I will try to work in the taste of the rum. (I recommend Blue Chair Bay toasted coconut white rum) I only wish I would have thought of this great idea on my first day of vacation. Right now we could all use a getaway, let us do our best to give it to ourselves.

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #5)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Sound, like smell we covered earlier can connect with such emotion. For the sake of clarity, I am going to separate sounds from music. One of my favorite sounds is birds chirping as I make my way to my car in the morning. A voice coming over an intercom saying, “Welcome to Montego Bay Jamaica.” is always a great sound to hear. I love to hear Margie laugh and say I love you. I love the noise she makes when she yawns and stretches. I love the sound of trains in the distance. I love the sounds of crickets on a summer night. There are so many sounds I am grateful for. Ocean waves are relaxing. People cheering as I hyperventilate my way through a 5K is always inspiring.

How about you? Do any of these sounds resonate with you? Do you have some other sounds that you are grateful for? I would love to hear all about them.ย 

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FULL OF IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING