A HORSE THAT SWIMS!

Here are two things this author enjoys very much, swimming in tropical waters and learning new things. It is with this two things in mind I write this post. When you can combine things that you enjoy it gives you a whole new sense of enjoyment.

One of the things I look forward to seeing while I am either snorkeling or diving is the sea horse. The sea horse’s scientific name, hippocampus, comes from the Greek words meaning horse and sea monster. Anyone who has encountered these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat know that they are the furthest thing from sea monsters. To that end, I would like to include a few interesting facts about the sea horse.

They are technically fish, but have no scales. Instead they have skin stretched over boney plates. They swim upright and are not very good swimmers. The slowest swimming fish is the dwarf sea horse that swims at a speed of 5 feet an hour, or about the speed in which I move in the morning. They prefer to use they tails to hang out at spots of their choosing. The most amazing fact about sea horses for many is that the female deposits the eggs in the male who carries them around from 9 to 45 days until they emerge fully developed.

One of the things the sea horse does for me personally is shatter a lot of stereotypes. It is a fish, but has no scales. It swims, but does so upright. To, of course, the fact that the male carries the young.  Although the ladies out there reading this may feel it is unfair that finally a male has to carry the baby and it only has 45 days at the most instead of 9 months. Still, the sea horse can show us that we can never be too set in our opinions.

Reading this post again, it is worth note that is sounds better than most school papers I have ever written. If you want an example of how bad some were feel free to read the post we did two days ago on four letter words. This brings us to our next important point. Learning should not stop after school. When you find things that interest you as an adult it can be fun to learn more about them. With the internet, that research should take but a few minutes to accomplish. When you combine what you have learned with what you already know, say for example the life of a sea horse with self-improvement techniques, you can come up with a few new distinctions. As a added bonus, life-long learning keeps our minds sharp and helps us stave off age related mental illness.

I would invite you to share what you have recently learned and how you used that to come up with new distinctions in your own life. Feel free to share with us in the comments below.

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

LIVE LIKE YOU’RE ON VACATION

If you can belive it, this is me at work. Why on earth am I wearing a tropical shirt and hat from Jamaica? It was all inspired from a line in a song by the rock band Kiss. The line is this, Don’t need to wait for an invitation . You gotta live like you’re on vacation. This line was the beginning of a great quest for me. Personally I love tropical vacations. Literally I am transformed into a different person when I step off the plane. It is a different mindset. Anyone who has went on vacation knows exactly what I am talking about. Working on my upcoming book Living the Dream the question foremost in my mind was how can we take this mindset back with us like a valuable souvenir? How can we tolerate bosses who insult us or workplaces that are negative? One I have been working on lately. How can we tolerate freezing temperatures with no sun when we would much rather be at the beach?

While pondering this question for months on end I discovered a great and powerful secret. One I am going to share with you free of charge right here in this blog post. Those of you who will be able to wrap your head around this secret will at once understand the freedom it provides for anyone who uses it. I have personally used this secret everyday since I discovered it. Not only has it provided me a great sense of freedom, but it has made my life so much more enjoyable. Here is the great and powerful secret.

There is no law of physics that states your mind and body have to be in the same place at the same time.

I encourage you to read that statement again slowly. Ponder what that means for you. Cleaning the toilet? Why have your mind focused on the task at hand and all the not so pleasurable things that go with it. Working out? Think of how great you will feel with your new body on the beaches of Fiji. That is why a lot of us listen to music or other such things while we workout. I am in the gym 5 days a week and I can promise you that would not be possible without the encouragement of Tony Robbins, Eric Thomas or the music of Motley Crue and Shabba Ranks.

When we realize this power, it is important to note the two sides of it. When you are in a not so pleasant situation. Say working at the post office with a boss who walks the thin line between sane and insane, hypothetically. Then you can imagine being on the vacation that job allows you to save for. What beach will you go to? What will you see while snorkeling? Before you know it, the time clock will tell you it is time to go.

Here is the other fun part of this. It can really benefit you to be fully present during the good times. Once my lady had a bath with scented bath salts, a few candles and a glass of wine waiting for me. (yes I do have one amazing lady and don’t I know it) Now I knew this was going to be a great experience so I tried to soak it in with all of my senses. I felt the warm water relax my muscles. I took a deep breath and enjoyed both the scent from the bath salts as well as the steam. I took time to really enjoy the taste of the wine, the glow of the candles. I hope you are getting the idea. Do this with every pleasure, big and small, that life gives you. How many times have we driven somewhere only to park and wonder who drove when we were the only person in the car? This can be good if we are fighting rush hour, but if we are taking a drive to the grocery store via the parkway, take time to enjoy the scenery. Enjoying a great meal? Take time to savor every bite. The smell, the taste, the texture of the food in your mouth. We are preparing to go on vacation to Jamaica in November and I am already excited to soak that all in.

Here is my advice to you. Be present when life is pleasurable. When it is not, send your mind on vacation. Go skiing, or camping. Think of an especially good memory you have or maybe something you really are looking forward to.

Remember, your mind and body do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE

Last post we looked at the practice of celebrating each other and turning our lives into one long party. Tomorrow we will look at how to never lose in life again (I recommend checking that out) so sandwiched in between is the secret to accomplishing these or any other goal you might be trying to reach.

So what is the secret to accomplishing goals? Think of the journey. What do I mean? Imagine your goal is to hypothetically travel from a cold northern climate to a warm and sunny tropical climate (Ok, this is really not hypothetical here) You cannot expect to take one step and go from your location to the one you desire. No, you have to cover the distance that lies between you are your destination. Just like you have to cover all the distance that lies between you and your goal. Now some means of travel are fast, like an airplane or  high speed train. Others are slower like a bicycle or walking. All of them get you closer to your goal if you keep going. Remember that most things take time. It is going to take you longer to make it to Jamaica than to the grocery store down the street. Unless of course you live in Jamaica and are going to the store down the street, in which case I would love to be your neighbor.

So my friends no that the journey is where the joy can be found. Knowing that no matter what pace you are going, each and every moment you are getting closer to your goal. Every day is a new adventure!

IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD TIME

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Here is a great secret to an amazing life,  enjoy it, all of it. Easier said than done right? What about a dentist appointment? What about a trip to the doctor? What about work Monday morning? I do understand that some things are easier than others, but there are a few simple things that we can all do to turn even a challenging experience into a fairly good one.

First of all, spend time with good people. Have you ever have had a great moment ruined by spending it with somebody who was not all that fun? I am sure we all have. I once was on vacation with a gentleman who found the thorn in every rose. We were at a tropical resort and he complained the food was not the right temperature or wasn’t seasoned right. Never mind it was all-inclusive and we could have whatever we wanted. He even complained when our taxi was 10 minutes late to go on a shopping trip. He made the vacation more stressful and less fun than had he stayed at home. On the opposite side of the spectrum my lady and I stayed in a hotel where we found the toilet didn’t work. We let the desk clerk know before we left for work. When we returned not only was it not fixed, they left us a plunger in case we wanted to give it a go ourselves. I ventured down to the front desk to express my discontent only to find a desk clerk who was in his mid 80’s and moved at a speed slightly faster than the speed at which grass grows in the winter. We left right away for the room and an hour later when he arrived he looked at the plunger and asked me “Have you tried this?”. I watched as this man who barely moved attempted to plunge our toilet. After what seemed to be something slightly less than eternity I inquired if they just had another room we may have. He said he wasn’t quite sure and didn’t know how to look up such things on those “New fangled computers”. Sensing there was not much we could do at this hour I thanked him and sent him back to his desk which hopefully he made before the sun came up. Do you know what happened the rest of the night? My lady and I talked, drank wine, watched movies and broke into moments of hysteria when we mentioned the man  or the toilet. Still do to this day. As for the bathroom, we ended up having to use the one in the hotel lobby. The point is even the worst situation can be made fun with the right person.

The second thing we can do if we happen to be all alone, or stuck with the first type of person I mentioned is what I mentioned at the end of the last story. Which is that very thing, know we are at least going to get a good story out of it. Then ask yourself, what is funny/good about this? In the beginning this may be a challenge, but after a while you will be amazed at the lemonade you can make with the lemons life hands you. Good luck and feel free to share this post and your stories below.

DO NOT DOUBT YOURSELF

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This is one of my favorite quotes. Here is why, it is something that I used to be victim to quite often. As someone who takes great pride in his knowledge and always strives to learn new things, there is one thing I really dislike. The one thing that I try my best to avoid is looking foolish. I suppose on the surface that may not really be a bad thing. After all who wants to look foolish right? This is true to a point. My fear of looking foolish stemmed from doubting myself. What happened then?

Here is what the fear of looking foolish, and doubting myself did for me. Often times it kept me from trying something new. Everything we learn to do we go through a period where we are not yet skilled. Think of the job you work at right now. Recall your first day there, did you know everything you know now? Of course not. Even things like finding your way around, or knowing where the bathroom is. One cannot expect to start something new and know it all. Intellectually I knew this, yet emotionally that is what I did to myself. If what I was thinking of trying included a period of looking foolish before you got it right I would do one of two things. Either I would wait to try it until few or nobody was around, or worse yet I would skip trying it at all. Some of you may feel that same way.

So how does one face this fear and more importantly overcome it? Begin to look at things in two ways. One, think of all you will miss by not doing what you fear and two, think of all you will gain by doing it. It also wouldn’t hurt to consider other things in your life you might have overcome the new/learning period to become capable or even quite good at. One of my favorite examples is snorkeling. I love the tropics and love the ocean. I also happen to enjoy rum. So while on vacation I always saw snorkeling available. All my mind focused on was not knowing a thing about it from what equipment is good, to how to not drown while learning. That kept me from ever trying it. That is until one day when a nice young man by the name of captain Morgan whispered in my ear that I should give it a try. The first trip out took some getting used to, but by the end of that trip I learned how to dive under water with a snorkel, how best to swim and a million other things. Now when I go to the tropics about 8 hours of my day is spent in the ocean, a lot of that with a snorkel on. I could kick myself for all the fun I missed before all because I was afraid to try.

So think about your doubts, what are they keeping you from trying? You may discover a new passion, some new friends or a new skill you never knew you had. Now if you will excuse me I am going to put on my snorkel, get in the bathtub and dream of Jamaica.

FROM A LITTLE BABY…

“A man is what he is from the time he is a little baby. It is just how long it take him to discover what that is”

-Bob Marley when asked how long he had been a Rastafarian

This is one of my favorite quotes from Mr. Marley. So how we discover what we truly are and why we are here? Certainly knowing those to facts can add great joy and power to your life. Does it involve hours of meditation and introspective contemplation? I sure hope not because I find it hard to sit still on a three-hour flight to Las Vegas. Actually it is a lot easier than one might think. A great way to get the answers to both of these life-altering questions is to pay attention to how you feel. When you are doing things that make you feel good you are accessing a part of you that is in some way a part of who your true self is. When a certain activity makes you feel good and you generally excel at it, that is a large indication that you are living some aspect of your life’s purpose. Again allow you to give me an example from my own life. At the post office when I helping people discover the best way to send that surprise romantic gift to their husband or wife I share in their excitement and feel good. When I am in back plugging in numbers to some report to record mail volume…not so much. When I am at the bar decorating for some event I am fairly excited, but when I am behind the bar and people are toasting each other, the music is making everybody dance I am far more excited! If the people in the bar happen to be lovely ladies I am even more…ok well you get the idea. What does that tell me? I probably would make a terrible accountant, but a pretty good entertainer of some fashion. It also speaks volumes to my appreciation for the beauty of the fairer sex, but again a topic for a different day. Even different aspects of something that gives me joy over all can tell me something. When I am writing a book designed to assist others in discovering the beauty and joy in their own lives I am excited and can’t wait to share it. When I am actually out there talking to people and hearing how some bit of information I am thrilled beyond belief. That tells me I enjoy personal interaction even more than the interaction of the written word, which I also enjoy. So this week try this same experiment on yourself. Take note of things you do in your life that bring joy and things that do not. Ask yourself what this is telling you about yourself. By the time you are done, you will be able to connect with that voice inside each one of us that is trying desperately to point us in the right direction to go with our lives! May all of your discoveries bring you joy and light my friends!