DAY 8 IN OUR HAPPINESS CHALLENGE. ALMOST TO THE TOP

Day 8, you can almost see the top of the staircase now! If this is your first day joining us, a quick reminder we are starting from the bottom and climbing up the stairs. That would mean that today’s step to happiness is Take less, Give more. It is ironic that today’s lesson revolves around the effect that giving has on happiness. As happens every so often, this idea was actually in my head today before I knew I was going to write about it. It was a sunny and 90 degree day. If you know anything about me, this is just my kind of weather. I was riding around on the lawnmower and pondering material for my next book. It was then I began to muse on the thought of the power of altruism. Let us look a little deeper at that subject.


Altruism is loosely defined as doing something for others with no return for you. I do not believe such a situation exists. Here is why. Doing something kind for someone else has within it a reciprocal aspect. When you so something kind for another soul it makes both of you feel good. When I was at some of the lowest points in my life it was this very skill that brought me back up. Being able to give to others. If we spent an entire day doing nothing but trying to do nice and helpful things for others, there would be two guaranteed outcomes. First, we would feel great. Seeing the smiles on the faces, hearing the thank you and just knowing in our hearts that we did something good for someone else will have our vibrations high. Second, that good will come back to you. It may not come back in the same manner or even from the same people, but it will come back to you. It is the law of reciprocation. You put good out and good will return. It will do so at its own pace, but it will do so.

The next question that people often ask me is, “What can I give?” They may worry that they don’t have enough time, or as so often happens in the crazy world, enough time. There is one single thing that is not only one of the easiest to give, but also has the greatest impact – giving of yourself. I spoke of this is a not so distant post. What the world needs is people who are in living their passion. This can be difficult to do in the job market. I am still searching for that elusive talk show host job. Where it can be easy to do is in giving. Everyone is good at something. When you use the skills that come naturally to you, that is when you give the greatest. Some people are great listeners. That is something everyone needs these days. With everyone trying to be heard, having a friend to really listen is rare and a great gift. I happen to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. I am a good talker. When I give, I tend to do so by talking to the lonely and those left out. When I helped at the homeless shelter I was told my greatest gift was taking time to relate and talk with the people there.

What is your skill? How have you used it in the past? How can you use it more in the future? I can promise you from my own experience, the more that you give in life, the more that you will gain. Not only in a material sense, but your inner peace and joy will explode. I would love to hear your stories of when you gave and the effect it had on your life.

YOU DESERVE THIS

Happiness is a gift we all deserve. Whatever you are engaged in at the moment you are reading this, I encourage you to stop, take a minute and think of something that makes you happy. Maybe it is the pet you have waiting for you at home, or is sitting on your lap right now. A smile on the face of someone you love. A vacation you are looking forward to, or one you were recently on. The sunshine you felt on your face this morning or the beautiful moonlight you saw last night.

The truth is the world is full of little things that will make us happy if we just take the time to stop and notice them. Sure, there are lots of things on the opposite side of the spectrum and it is only human nature to think about…or worry about them. What does that ultimately do for us? It serves only to make us emotionally and, if left unchecked, often physically sick. Last post we talked about combating fear with hard work. Once we have done all we can do to address a situation that has us concerned, we should clearly shift our focus to something that will bring us joy.

If this seems difficult to do for you, or if you are looking for a straight-forward method to put this into action, here is what I suggest. Pick a time of day on which you can fairly rely. If you have a regularly scheduled lunch hour or perhaps right after you leave the office? You can do what I am about to suggest several times a day. In fact, the more you do it, the better it will be, but let us start out with at least one time. Now set an alarm on your phone. For five minutes devote your thoughts entirely to things that make you happy. Perhaps jot a few down as you are thinking of them. This would be good reference material for next time. Close your eyes and think about them. If you are thinking about sunshine, imagine how warm it feels on your skin. Try to engage as many senses as you can. How about the smell of freshbaked chocolate chip cookies? Imagine the feel of the warm cookie in your hand, or better yet melting in your mouth. When the alarm goes off in five minutes you may want to keep on with this. If that works for you go with it. If not, that’s ok too. Sometimes it is good to walk away wanting more. It will help us look forward to next time.

Giving yourself this amazing gift of 5 minutes of happiness will do wonders for you. It will bring a sense of peace and joy to your heart. It will allow you to deal with the inevitable stresses in life with a lot more ease. Feel free to share some of your happy thoughts and how this works for you in the comments below.

A VITAL EQUATION

This will be a rather direct and to the point post. The equation above is one of the secrets to living an amazing life. I have personally used it a lot in the last few years to reduce the amount of stress I have and to help me better focus my energy. The equation is simple. If it doesn’t EVOLVE me, then is doesn’t INVOLVE me. Simply put if something does not help you be a better person by facilitating personal growth, adding joy or providing an opportunity to help others, it is not worth our time and energy.

Those of us striving to live a more enlightened and amazing life realize you can turn almost any situation to our advantage. This can be both a blessing and a curse in this situation. We can justify getting involved in one of those he said/she said conversations as a chance to help others evolve, but if we are honest with ourselves, our energy would be far better served elsewhere. Maybe we think enlightening our boss Rachel on how unappreciated she makes her employees feel would help our work environment, but we really just know it is only helping us vent some frustration…I mean…hypothetically.

Removing ourselves from situations that do not add to our lives or give us an opportunity to grow and evolve is a great way of reducing stress. This allows us to have more energy and more time to pursue our goals, read that helpful book, practice some self-care or a million other positive options. Not to mention we will feel a lot more amazing and our life will become more amazing!

So remember my good friends, If it doesn’t EVOLVE you, then it shouldn’t INVOLVE you.

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING!! 🙂

THE 2 REALMS OF EXISTENCE, WHEN AND WHERE TO USE EACH ONE


I would like to begin this post with a mea culpa of sorts. In my books I advocate using the separation of mind and body to our advantage, especially in stressful situations. In fact, I have been quoted as saying “There is no law that says your mind and body have to be in the same place at the same time.” This is indeed true and can be helpful when you are in a stressful situation. It can also be used for motivation. Please allow me to explain both.

Let us say your boss is pressuring you for a deadline, or just being the pain bosses can be on occasion. As you practice patience and compassion in an effort to remain employed, you can go somewhere else in your mind. I transport myself to a beautiful beach in Jamaica sipping out of a coconut. It also reminds me that the job I am working will help me get to that destination. When I am working out at the gym feeling like I am going to have to start breathing through a brown paper bag and wondering if I wouldn’t be better off at home laying on the couch eating a pizza, I think of that same beach. This time I imagine how I would look sitting on the beach in my current shape. Usually, that is enough to help me power through the remainder of my workout.

So far this all sounds pretty good doesn’t it? There is one word of caution. In using this I have become a little too good at it. What do I mean by that? There are times when it serves us to have our mind at body in the exact same place and time. For sake of continuity and because I love writing about the tropics when it is below freezing here in Wisconsin where I live, we will stick with the Jamaican beach example. Let us say you finally reach that fabulous vacation you have been saving for. Now you are on the beach with the one you love enjoying the sun and frigate birds. It would serve you well to be both physically and mentally present in the moment. Paying attention to all that is transpiring and soaking in the ocean water and the memories. You should make an effort to not only remember, but relish in the sun on your skin and the joy in your heart.

What do we as humans tend to do? We do the exact opposite. When the boss is yelling, everything is in chaos and you have only been at work for an hour, what do we think about? How little your pay seems to match what you have to put up with? How many hours you have yet to struggle through? Wait….is that clock actually going backwards? Why are there not more windows in this office? When we finally make it to vacation or even just home from the office do we focus on all of the great things we finally have in our grasp? Often, the answer is ‘no’. We then think of how much the vacation is costing. We worry about the pet we left back at home. Or worse yet, we begin to have thoughts of having to go back to the office.

We can do a lot to correct this lack of being present with exercises to take control of our mind. A daily practice of meditation, even 5 minutes a day to start, can be very helpful. If you are unsure or just not familiar with meditation there are several CDs you can purchase (Brain sync is one of my favorite companies) or even just look at guided meditation on YouTube. Then you just pop on some headphones, sit back, relax and follow along.

Even more simple is taking time to be fully in the moment. As I write this I am sitting at a coffee shop. I can pause and notice the mingling of music and the blend of voices. I can feel the fabric of the chair I am sitting on. I can smell the aroma of fresh ground coffee beans. I can even pause, take a sip of my coffee…feel the texture of the cup against my lips, notice the temperature, smell the scent of the coffee and taste the mix of the slight bitterness of the coffee mixed with the mellow flavor of coconut milk I added.

Try doing this while engaged in a host of different events. You could try it while you are at a stop light. Notice the feel of the steering wheel in your hands. Smell the air in your car. Do you have the windows open? Can you smell fresh air? Can you feel a breeze? Maybe you are in a cold climate like me and can feel the heat coming out of the vents? Notice the sound of the engine, the passing cars, the birds chirping outside. Just make sure you notice when the light turns green again or you might also be able to notice the sound of the horn of the driver behind you.

Start practicing the separation of mind and body at the appropriate times. When you work, work hard. When you play, play hard too. Soak in the joy when it is there and escape back to it when it is not.

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

RAISE YOUR VIBRATION


Those of you well-versed in the Law of Attraction know how important it is to raise your vibration and keep it high. It serves us well for manifesting what our hearts desire. For those of you who may not be that well-versed in the Law of Attraction, raising your vibration means raising the state of how you feel. Simply put, the higher your vibration, the better you feel.
When we feel good all sorts of things open up to us. We are more likely to try new things and talk to new people. Both of these can lead to wonderful new adventures. We take better care of ourselves and those we love. We are more likely to wear a smile and spread joy to others. To, of course, the obvious – life is a lot more fun. After all, that is what living an amazing life is all about, feeling good.
If you are thinking there is more to life that just feeling good, I challenge you on that statement. It is important to help others, yes. When we help others how do we feel? We feel good. It is important to do good for the world around us. When we do so how does that leave us feeling? It leaves us feeling good. When you are enjoying life you are far more productive and pleasant to be around. Who wants to sit next to a ‘Debbie downer’? Not me, and I would venture a guess not you either.
Do yourself a favor and try to fit in as many things as you can in the first list while limiting or eliminating as many things as you can from the second list. Do not stress about it for that would defeat the purpose. Work to raise your vibration, or feel as good as you can for the next 21 days. Make it a focus and watch the miracles begin to unfold in your life!

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH MORE IDEAS FOR MAKING YOUR LIFE AMAZING!!!

A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

A lot of people will see this quote and think that it is not so. Of course a lot of people live a life that is south of amazing. Whether you are studying the law of attraction, business or quantum physics, you undoubtedly understand what you focus on expands in your life. The average person looks for and anticipates problems that may exist in any situation. It is a survival mechanism and can be extremely helpful. If, however, you are not just looking to survive in life, but to thrive, I suggest taking a slightly different approach.

Looking for challenges that might pop up in life is smart and I do so myself. Looking for and preparing for challenges is far different than focusing on them. When you are focused on seeing something in your life you will find it. When you are not focused on something in your life you may miss it even though it is right in front of you. If you find this hard to believe, stay tuned we will have a fun and simple experiment that you can do to prove it to yourself in just a second. First let us digest the theory that you notice what you focus on and miss what you don’t. There are people who are constantly telling others how rough their life is. How they have the worst luck. Wouldn’t you know that tends to hold true. You look at their life and some crazy things happen to them that are not that pleasant. It is not the things that happen that lead to the attitude, but the attitude that can perpetuate the events.

Those who have this challenging life may be rebeling at the notion of this, but that does not make it any less real. When you are determined to see the challenges in your life that make it such a struggle they will stand out nice and tall. Meanwhile, any good fortune you may have will go under appreciated at best, or even unnoticed at worst. When you life has a run a good luck your subconscious mind will spring into action and say, “Well he keeps saying we have bad luck. Let us go find some!” Believe me when I tell you I had a hard time accepting how responsible I was for my own life at first too. To help all of us along I am going to share a quick experiment with you that you can do wherever you are to demonstrate how true this is.

 

THE EXPERIMENT

 

Wherever you are right now whether it is at your home office, driving in a car, on the job or anywhere else this will be fun. First, clear your mind the best you can. Next, look around you for anything you see that is red. Find red anything. Red signs, people wearing red clothes, a red stop sign or anything else red. Look for red. See red and note that thing. Now close your eyes for a second (unless you are doing this experiment driving) and think of something around you that is brown. Rather hard to do isn’t it? A million brown things could have been surrounding you but you would not have noticed them because you were looking for something that is red. In fact, when you were looking for things that were red did you notice things that were maybe a dark shade of pink or wine colored just so you could have another thing that was red?

This is a basic example of how our minds work. Imagine if you will, how our life would change if we would use this for gratitude, for example. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel. How great would our life be if we looked for everything we loved in a situation? Think of how life would be if when we are stuck in traffic next time we played this game and asked ourselves over and over, “What can I be grateful for in this situation?” or “What do I love about this situation?”

I can tell you this formula has worked miracles in my life. I am not exagerating, but do not take my word for it. Use this experiment yourself. Do it for 21 days randomly throughout the day. Start with times you are enjoying yourself. This is a little easier and helps the brain get into the habit. Next, try it when you are waiting in line at the store, stuck in traffic or dealing with a difficult customer. Every time you use it, you will get better and so will your life. Feel free to share your experiences with using this formula.

NEWS FLASH!!!


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.

ONE OF OUR GREATEST PROBLEMS

There are lots of crazy things I do from day to day. Often when going into a public restroom I never think to make sure I locked the door until after I am indisposed. Forgetting to make sure there is toilet paper is quite another. Still, one of the worst habits any of us can get into is talking about our problems. For many of us it has become an addiction. Like any addiction it can be extremely hard to break. Why is it important to break this habit? We are going to look at two very good reasons why we should switch from being addicted to discussing our problems to being addicted to discussing our dreams and joys.

First, there is the obvious reason – it feels terrible. Talking about and thinking about your problems can be exhausting phyisically, mentally and emotionally. The goal in our lives should be to live where we feel fulfilled in all of these areas of our lives. Talking about our problems ad nausem will not leave us feeling fulfilled in any way. When we feel down and drained emotionally and spiritually, our energy levels and immune system usually follow closely behind. This can not only make our existing problems worse, but add additional problems of sickness and lack of prodcutivity. Not only do they leave us feeling this way, but they can also bring down those we are talking to. Would you enjoy being around someone who is endlessly discussing everything that is wrong in their lives? I know I wouldn’t. Thus, you may find yourself starting to be very unpopular.

A second reason is slightly more metaphysical. Anyone who knows the slightlest thing about the law of attraction knows the saying “Where focus goes, energy flows”. In other words, what you focus on becomes more a part of your world. This has much to do with a part of your brain called the reticular activating system. This is discussed in more detail in my upcoming book, Living the Dream. As an example, have you ever bought a new car or even a new outfit and started to see it everywhere? Do you think many of the people in the world just started buying the same thing you did? Of course not. What happened was it became something of consequence to your brain. The RAS acts as a filter of sorts. It brings to our attention and into our realm things that we focus on and that our important to us. If you are focused on your goals and what makes you happy, you will tend to see opportunities and reasons for joy. If we are constantly talking about and focused on our problems we will not only notice more of them, we will receive more of them.

The reason talking about problems can be an addiction is because a lot of people tend to do it. Stop and listen to a conversation at work. Read posts on social media. Watch the nightly news. They are a constant stream of problems, problems, problems. If you hear someone start to say things like, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “I always have the worst luck.” You might want to consider walking in the other direction. Get into the habit of discussing your joys. What makes you happy? This may seem difficult or even awkward at first, but stick with it and notice how much better you feel. After you become a ‘joy discussion expert’ you will notice people will want to talk with you. Maybe even new social opportuinites will present themselves to you. As a bonus, you will feel better and begin to attact even more of what makes you joyful! Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

LOOK FOR THE SIGNS.

Today will be a quick but powerful idea. Pick an emotion in your life you would like to increase. This could be love, peace or happiness. Then think of a symbol that represents that emotion. This could be a heart for love, a sun for peace or a smiley face for joy. These are just basic examples. Choose whatever symbol makes sense to you. Nobody but you will know what you’re doing. Unless of course you want to involve friends, family members or your spouse. This could be fun, but it not necessary.

Everytime you see that symbol think of and practice that emotion. You may even wish to write down when you come across them and where. It is imploring the universe to help you remember to include that emotion in your day. Try this new routine for at least 21 straight days.

I suggest keeping a journal of this activity for two reasons. One, it makes the sightings more powerful and easier to remember. Two, at the end of the 21 days it is a great way to see your progress!

Feel free to share your symbol and/or the results of your experiment! What emotion are you looking to capture more of in your life?