ONLY 2 WAYS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE βœŒοΈ

I ended my third book with this quote. It is an interesting truth. Mr. Einstein was one of the smartest people to grace our planet and I have to admit he came up with a good one here. Going through my surgery and brief flirtation with death did give me a new perception on things. Leading up to the surgery, I think was even more profound. I am going to share this with you in hopes that you will not have to be sawed in two like I was to be able to see everything like a miracle.

How do we begin to see everything as a miracle? We take this bit of advice from another wise soul, Dr. Wayne Dyer. Changing the way we look at things is such a valuable tool that many of us do not use often enough. Let us start with a big one – life. In my book, The Beat Goes On, I share a story about being at the movies with Margie 2 months before my surgery. As we were watching superheroes rid the world of a host of evil villains, it occurred to me that I could be dead a mere 60 days from now. That may sound morbid, and a bit scary, to some of you. It wasn’t to me at the time. What it did serve to do was give me a swift kick in the rear end. Time was ticking. The sand was falling through the hourglass. I looked at Margie and realized that every second ticking by was one less I would have with her. If I only had 2 months, what did I want to tell her? What did I want to do together? How did I want to make her feel? Life had never felt so precious to me. If you want to hear more of this story, I highly suggest checking out my book.

It should be pretty obvious, but just in case it is not, I made it through. It would be tricky to be writing this if I didn’t. What I was left with was not only a really cool scar on my chest, but that sense of urgency. What I realized is that every day, every second is still one less that we get to spend with each other. Not just Margie and I, but everyone in my life. We never know how much sand is in the top of the hourglass, or how much time we have left. All we know is it is less than it was before. When you lay down and night, realize one more day on the planet has ticked by for you. Did you use it well? Were there some things you could have done better? Think of what did go right and the fact that you made it through. Give thanks for that. Really feel that sense of gratitude that your ticket was not punched that day.

When you wake up tomorrow, give a big stretch and be grateful that you made it to another day. Then, realize that the sand is still flowing through the hourglass. How are you going to make the most of this day? Are you going to do something to build your legacy? Are you going to take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature? You could explore the world of a new book. How about telling someone how much you truly love them? Time is ticking. Get every drop out of the juice of life. Live your life as if everything is a miracle, because it really is.

I DON’T HAVE TIME β°οΈ

Be prepared! This post will have some uncomfortable truths in it. We have reached the end of January. Those of us who have set goals for the new year are hopefully still committed to them. If we are not, why is that? One of the top excuses I hear about why people don’t commit to improving their lives is that they “Don’t have time.” Let me fill you in on a little bit about yours truly. With my daily commute, I work 55 hours a week at my day job. I DJ with my beautiful lady on Sunday night. We have had a daily blog for 210 days straight now. I am also working on my fourth book. While doing this, I make it to the gym at least 3 days a week. How can I get all of this done? Easy, it is important to me.

When people tell me they do not have time for things, or that they simply ‘can’t do it’. I answer, “No, you just haven’t made it a priority.” When people say that they can’t be a morning person, I ask them, “If I would give you $1000 every day you woke up at 6am, where would you be at 5:59?” Why could you get up early then? It was a priority. You knew you were going to gain something. Nobody is offering you $1000, but do you know what you could accomplish with an hour of focused activity first thing in the morning? It would be priceless. There is a great book called Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Great book. I highly recommend it. In this book, Hal outlines a great morning routine to transform your life.

I can tell you a few things that will change your life if you decide to make your life a priority. How about 15 minutes of reading something informative or inspirational? Multiple that by 260 days if you don’t do it on weekends, and that is a lot of learning. How about 15 minutes of some sort of stretching or exercise? Again, multiply that times 260 and you will definitely see a difference in your body. How about 15 minutes of repeating an empowering affirmation or looking at your vision board? Multiply that times 260 and it will be sure to affect your emotional well-being and state. How about sitting calmly and meditating for 15 minutes? Again, done for 260 days and you will have a great deal of inner peace, less stress, and be better able to handle life’s challenges. You could do all of those things in an hour, 5 days a week and your life would be dramatically improved. We know this to be true. Still, we don’t do it. We may say we are too busy or that we can’t get up early. If we are honest with ourselves, we are not making our life, and ourselves the priority it should be.

This post may hit a little close to home for many of us. Understand it is not coming from a place of judgement, but one of caring. We must make our lives, and ourselves a priority. We must do so now. Why? If we wait until we have a life emergency, it will be too late. Develop a routine to strengthen your life. When life’s challenges show up at your door, as they do for us all, you will be ready and better equipped to face them. It is my sincere desire that everyone develop a sense of urgency for making their life the best it can be.

CAN YOU SEE A YELLOW CAR πŸš•?

We have discussed this many times before. This is not only the key to the Law of Attraction, there is real science behind it. Using the part of the brain called the reticular activating system, which filters what the brain deems important, makes all of the difference in the world. Anecdotally, we see it when we buy a new car or outfit, and suddenly see many people with the same car or outfit. It is just what your brain decided was important.

If we know this happens with cars and outfits, why do we not take advantage of it for more important things? When I urge people to focus on what they have to be grateful for, or what is positive in their lives, this is the reason why. It is not being ignorant to what may not be going well. Indeed, we can use that to better clarify what it is we do want. What it does do for us is reveal more and more things that we have to be grateful for or that are a positive in our lives. It also works in reverse. Every have a bad day at work and when you come home you notice every little annoying thing that your spouse does? Normally, these wouldn’t even bother you. Perhaps you even snap at them when they don’t deserve it? How about if you have a disagreement with your spouse before work? How is the day at the office going to be that way? Productive? Singing kumbaya with your coworkers? I would imagine not.

Enough doom and gloom here. Let us practice thinking positive! What happens when your partner starts the day by showing you a loving gesture? You go into work and don’t even mind if the boss is yelling all day. You are just looking forward to coming home to more of that loving feeling. Maybe you have a great day and work and a relaxing drive home? Then if your spouse seems to be a little more sunshine challenged than you, it might bother you as much. You might even be able to lift them up as well. Why? You were feeling good.

Take having a good start to the day. Maybe you get a hug from that special someone? Maybe your dog snuggles up to you with a cute look on their face? Maybe you just had the perfect cup of coffee? Whatever it is, you leave the house with a smile on your face. You start to drive to work and notice songs you like on the radio. Oh, and what is that new little place to eat that you have never tried? Wow, the trees sure are a pretty shade of green. This may all sound a bit silly, but it is really how our brain works. The crazy thing is that we leave this up to chance most of the time. I did a video on my YouTube channel a few years ago called “Waking up in neutral” We need to act more in life, and react less. Set a determination to have a good day. Read something positive and inspiring. Recite some empowering affirmations. Have your happy playlist set to go. Whatever it takes. Start your day on a positive note and commit to staying focused on the positive. Life will feel like magic.

MARGIE AND I ARE NO LONGER LIVING TOGETHER! πŸ«¨

For roughly 9 years (we actually don’t know when we first got together) Margie and I have lived together. We went to bed together every night, we woke up in each others arms. She even once had a cute little thing to say about brushing our teeth in the same sink. She made her cakes in the kitchen, and on occasion, I wrote in the living room. We watched movies on the couch together. As our busy lives ticked away we always had the fact that we were living together to come back to at the end of the day. That is no longer the case.

In January of 2022, I had to undergo open-heart surgery. Most of you know this story. If you don’t, I wrote an entire book, The Beat Goes On, that chronicles my journey. This includes a brief flirtation with death. After all of that, my life, and consequently our life, was never the same. You would think this would happen all at once. That it may be one of those epiphany moments. It didn’t. There were small changes. Especially after writing the afore-mentioned book, realizations began to dawn on me. This began to create changes in my life. My writing took on a new sense of urgency. My humor became far more valuable. Of course, as the title of this post says, Margie and I stopped living together.

Why after years together and coming out of such a traumatic experience, would we choose to stop living together? Let me clarify. We are still under the same roof. We still look forward to collapsing in each other arms after a long hard day. We still watch movies on the couch. How can I say that we don’t live together? The reason I say that is there was a dramatic shift in how we perceive our relationship. When you are living with someone, you are just going through a day-by-day existence. What my medical adventure taught us is that we are actually dying together.

At first blush, this may sound a bit morbid. The thing that makes life so valuable is the fact that it ends. If it were not for the possibility of death, life would cease to have much meaning. What sounds scary, but it never-the-less true, is that every second we live, we are one second closer to death. It is that constant ticking of the clock that should make every second more and more valuable. When Margie and I realized that we were slowly dying together, everything became more precious. Moments we spend in the kitchen being silly. Nights that I read to her in bed. Trips to the grocery store. You never know when any of there could be the last of its kind.

Knowing that everyone we are share our life with, we are actually slowly dying together may sound like one of the most dark ways of thinking, but it is the opposite. Could you really be mad at the driver who cut you off if you think about the fact that both of you are on earth dying together? Him, perhaps sooner if he continues to drive like a fool. How about the customer that is rude to you? Your life, and theirs, is continually growing shorter. Are you really going to waste any of it on anger? I think the realization that we are all on earth dying together fosters a sense of compassion for a stranger. You never know when their life, or yours, could end. Make every second the precious treasure it is.

As for the beautiful (and smart, she is not just beauty.) lady that I share my home with, we are no longer living together and we have never been happier or more in love.

THIS WEEKEND, EAT ONE BITE AT A TIME. πŸ΄

There is an old clichΓ© that asks, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. ” Meaning, if you have a large project, tackle it by doing one small aspect at a time. This is what I want us to ponder this weekend.

In my life coaching career, we look at where a person is currently and where they wish to go. Can you imagine what we do next? We set up smaller goals between those 2 points that would get them there.

I can’t think of many worthwhile goals where you go to bed one day, wake up the next and they are complete. At least not many worthwhile goals. This weekend write where you are on a piece of paper. On the bottom, write where you would like to be, or so you would like to become. Then, begin to ponder small steps you could take between those.

Make sure to celebrate 🍾 your small victories while staying focused on the big goal. This will allow you to use the power of momentum!

Important note – no elephants were harmed or eaten during the writing of this blog.

BE AS STRONG AS A HOUSE PLANT πŸͺ΄

There are lots of things that come to mind when you think of strength. A plant is usually not one, but I am here to set the record straight. House plants, and plants in general, are some of the most adaptive and strong organisms out there. They are able to do many things that are seemingly miraculous and could teach us a great many life lessons. What lessons could we possibly learn from a plant? I am going to answer that question, and you will never look at that potted neighbor of yours the same again.

The first lesson that plants can teach us is how to use just about everything that comes into our life. When the sun shines, the plants turn that sunlight into energy. Based on how I feel during the winter, I might do this as well. What about when it rains? Plants soak up that water and use that as well. They put both of them to work. Both the good and the seemingly bad. In everyone’s life there are moments when a little B.S. seems to come around. You lose a job. You have relationship challenges. Whatever it might be, these are like the manure of life. What do plants do when you cover them with the stuff? They find the good in it they can use and end up stronger for it. In fact, the more manure you cover a plant with, the better it grows! When life gives us a little ‘manure’ we can do the same thing. Find the good, or at least something we can use, and force ourselves to grow.

As I was pondering the amazing aspects of plants, another analogy came to mind. One of the wonderful things plants do for us is an exchange of gas. They take carbon dioxide, a gas that is considered waste, combines it with water and turns those two things into glucose and oxygen, respectively. I am, of course, simplifying the process greatly. In essence, they take a waste gas, do a little rearranging, and release something refreshing that helps other things live! They also use the glucose for fuel to help them survive. This reminded me of the negative gases we all face. I am not talking about being stuck in the elevator with a man who consumed too much Mexican food the night before. No, I am talking about the gossip we hear. It is the negative attitudes we encounter. The people always telling us the sky is falling. If we could take the ‘waste gas’ they expel, combine it with hope and the good that we know is the truth, we could emit something far more healthy. Words of encouragement and praise are like the oxygen for the soul. Being able to turn all of that negativity around and instead speak hope, love and encouragement will make us feel good as well. This is kind of like the glucose the plant uses to help itself grow.

Using both the sunshine and the rain of our lives is not easy. Taking those ‘manure moments’ and using them for growth, also not easy. How about absorbing all of that ‘waste gas’ of gossip, negativity, doom and gloom and tweaking it a little so that we end up releasing hope, love and encouragement? If you think that is easy, you must have never tried it. Here is the simple fact. All of these situations are possible to do. House plants do it all of the time. When they do it well, guess what happens? They grow a lot! When they stop doing them, even for a little while, they begin to die. We could be the same way. Let us put everything to work for us. Let us use it all. The sun, the rain, the manure and the waste gas of life. Let the plants of the world remind us that when you put your environment to work for you, instead of falling victim to it, you will experience a vast amount of growth.

ENJOY THE BALANCE, USE THE BALANCE βš–️

With the last couple posts about being self-disciplined and driving for becoming a better version of yourself, many people may get the wrong idea. Wanting better for your life, your relationships, and the world we live in, does not mean you are in a constant state of wanting or unfulfillment. Quite the contrary. Gratitude is one of the most powerful motivators. Here is a secret to an amazing life – if you want more to be grateful for, work your butt off. It is a tricky balance. Like the photo above says, “Be happy with what you have, while working for what you want.” I would replace the word happy with the world grateful but the idea is the same. Are you grateful you have that special loving person in your life? Good. Feel grateful, but be self-disciplined enough to continue to work on making that relationship healthier and more loving and you will always have something to be grateful for. Are you happy your healthy? Good for you. Appreciate your health. It is one of the most underrated forms of wealth. Guess what happens if you don’t continue to push to maintain and improve your health? You lose it. The same holds true for your relationship, your job and any other area of your life.

Spend some time, first thing in the morning always works well, to feel and express gratitude for what you have in life. Spend the rest of the day working to make it better. There is nothing in our life that maintains if we do not continue to work on it. Our fitness, our mental health, our relationships and even the plants in my house. Do some soul searching. What in your life are you most grateful for or happiest with? What do you think would happen if you just ignored that area of your life? I can promise you it would not get any better and in all likelihood, it would begin to break down. While you are working on improving any area of your life, thinking of how grateful you are for it can be a great motivating factor as well. Imagine your life without it. That will keep you working to improve it. What areas of your life are you most grateful for? How do you plan to improve them?

1 SKILL THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE β˜οΈ

I have spent the better part of 2 decades in the field of self-improvement. I have been an author of self-improvement books for over ten. I have been doing this blog for over 10 years as well. I have been a life coach, keynote speaker, podcast guest and host on the subject of improving your life. I have been on several television shows and appeared in a few publications as well. I tell you this not to impress you, but to tell you that I would have to be a complete idiot at this point not to realize the patterns and tools that work to positively impact your life. There are certain skills that if developed, have major impacts on your life. Skills such as becoming a life-long learner, developing a personal health plan, reducing your stress or developing your skills in dealing with others. There is one skill that stands above all of the rest. With this skill, you can accomplish anything. Without this skill, life will be hard and you are unlikely to get very far in it.

That skill is discipline. More to the point, self-discipline. You can have the greatest fitness knowledge. You can even come in and knock out a great 2 hour workout. If you don’t come back several times that week, you are unlikely to see the results. You can know all there is to know about nutrition. You can know about macros and micros. If you eat a healthy plant-based meal on Monday, but down a burger or two the other 6 days of the week, you are not going to have a healthy physique. Doing the right things once in a while does not give us an amazing life. The secret to an amazing life is self-discipline. It is consistently doing the right thing, even when the mood to do so is not present. This is easy to say, but very difficult to accomplish.

If self-discipline is so difficult, why should we bother working on it? That depends, what kind of life do you want to have? If you do not have the self-discipline to get up on time, and get to work on time, you will never be able to keep a job. If you don’t have the discipline to control your emotions and constructively convey your feelings, you will find it very hard to maintain friendships or relationships. As we mentioned with diet and exercise, if you want to live a life full of health and vitality, you need self-discipline. You want to own your own business but can’t get up without hitting the snooze button 5 times? Good luck. Here is one thing people confuse about having self-discipline. They think they can be undisciplined is some areas of life, and still be disciplined in others. It seldom, if ever, works that way. To steal an analogy from our last post, these are ‘gazelle people’. Their motivation is driven by outside factors. “If they pay me enough and my boss is nice to me I will show up.” “If there is nothing good on television, then I will go to the gym.” These people live a life of excuses and not one of results.

You may have begun to understand how important self-discipline is, but how do you get it if you do not have it now? That is a great question. There are many books and suggestions on how to develop self-discipline. One of my favorites is Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink. There are also a host of videos on YouTube. One of my favorite speakers that propels me to be the most disciplined and best version of myself is Inky Johnson. I highly recommend you check out his story. There are also instructional videos with a host of ideas. Look up several and see what works for you. Developing your self-discipline is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

To get you started, I am going to recommend some of the same things we mentioned in the last post, along with one more. First, get a strong why. Know why becoming a self-disciplined person is so important. Think of everything you can gain by being so. Trust me when I tell you that everything you want is on the other side of self-discipline. I mean everything. You want to be a good parent? That takes self-discipline. You want to be the best lover and partner for your spouse? Yep. Self-discipline. I am a fan of using the carrot and the stick as they say. Use the power of both pleasure and pain. Think of what you will lose if you are not self-disciplined. In the long run, that is everything. You want to keep your job or have your business continue to succeed? You must be disciplined to consistently show up on time, work hard and bring good results or they will begin to look for someone who will. You want to keep your partner head over heals in love with you? You must be disciplined in your approach to that relationship. You want to keep people’s respect? You must be disciplined to show up on time and do what you say you will, even when you don’t feel like it.

Yes, self-discipline is hard. It is also the golden key to accomplish anything you want in life. Nothing can withstand disciplined consistent action. It is like the water that slowly wears away the rock. If it flowed for a day and said, “This is not having any effect.” nothing would happen. By flowing over that rock, day after day, after some time, it will completely wear the rock away. I suggest starting with something small. Prove to yourself that you can be disciplined. One of the best is to start waking up early. If you can beat the snooze temptation, you already start your day with a win. What do you really lose anyway? 5 or 10 minutes of low quality sleep…if you are lucky. What happens if you decide to wake up without hitting snooze and you fail? The pillow or the sexy person, or warm dog next to you is too tempting? This shouldn’t be too shocking of an answer. You stay disciplined. You go after again the next day. What if you fail again? You guessed it. You stay disciplined. You commit to doing it again the next day. Once you implement discipline into your life, you will wonder how you got anything done without it.

INSIDE OR OUTSIDE?🦁🦌

I have written several times about the story of the lion and the gazelle. How every morning if Africa a lion and a gazelle both wake up. If the gazelle doesn’t run fast, the lion will eat it. If the lion doesn’t run fast enough to catch the gazelle, it will starve. Either way, they both have to run. On the surface, you would say they are both motivated by the will to live. There is one difference I noted. The gazelle’s motivation comes from an external source – the lion. If there was no lion present, the gazelle would just relax and watch Netflix, or whatever gazelles do in their free time. It is like the coworker who only seems to be busy when the boss is watching. Otherwise they might be in the breakroom…watching Netflix. Their motivation is based on an outside source.

The lion, on the other hand, has inner motivation – his hunger. If there is no gazelle present he will look for one or hunt something else. He has to eat. Here is an employee who has the work ethic to do a good job even when the boss is on vacation. They often come to work early or stay late. Their motivation is driven by a desire to do a good job, whether anyone will ever know.

How about you? Are you a lion or are you a gazelle? Do you need outside motivation to chase your dreams and goals? Are you running from and responding to every situation in life or are you laser-focused and running after your dreams? Does your realization that you are not quite the person you wish to be drive you to push to get better? If not, how could you develop this lion mentality? Can you only go “Beast Mode” in the gym, when you have got enough sleep, the sun is shinning and everyone in your household is getting along, or do you workout because it is Tuesday and that is what you do? Are you working out to impress everyone else, or because you want to be the strongest healthiest version of yourself?

One of the best ways to develop that inner motivation is to get clear on your ‘why’. What are the reasons you are chasing a goal? What makes is so important to you? What would you gain if you achieved it? What would you lose if you did not? Get clear on that and you will become a lion and pursue your goals and dreams with the ferocity of a lion on the hunt.

ARE YOU TIRED OF IT?🀬

I am all about positive self-talk. I believe we need more of that. The world, and advertisers make a living telling us that we are not good enough. Sometimes, the only person cheering for you, might be you!

What we must remember, is to be honest with ourselves. We need to call ourselves out once in a while. This does not mean putting ourselves down. That is important to note. That being said, we need to stop making excuses for ourselves.

Getting frustrated and fed up with the person in the mirror can be one of the most productive things we can do. When I feel my writing is not going how I would like and I get frustrated, it usually pushes me to do something new and uncomfortable. This often results in some kind of forward progress.

This weekend, ask yourself if there is anything you are making excuses for in your own life? Is it not forgiving someone? Is it talking negatively to yourself? Is it not giving back as much as you should?

Eric Thomas, one of my favorite speakers, compares this to what you would do if a product from a store did not live up to what it said it would. Would you go back to the store with a receipt and demand a refund? It is time you demand the same from yourself. Hold yourself accountable and make some positive changes. To assist you in that, I’m going to share a link to the video that I just mentioned. It is a 7 minute video. Make sure you watch until the end. I promise you that you will get a great boost of motivation.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ERIC THOMAS VIDEO 🫑