WHAT PUTS YOU IN SPIRIT?

This idea came to me through my friend, Eduardo, in Italy. Some of the greatest ideas I have had came through conversations with others, whether that is at my seminars, my book signings or even as I DJ. This discussion started with selecting who would be in our mastermind group. He mentioned Angus Young from the band AC/DC. Not who many people might consider, but Eduardo made a great point. To be inspired is to be literally ‘in spirit’ and their music put him in the spirit to have a more positive outlook and be ready to tackle life. In other words, rock music is one of his secrets to an amazing life.

The Latin meaning of the word inspire translates to “Breathe into”. It has been defined as “fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially something creative.” Music is a great example of something that breathes into us a force or energy. I know at the gym my headphones are a key component to getting my work done. At home cleaning, it is music that often distracts me from my task at hand. Depending on the task at hand I listen to different things. Going for a tough workout, it might be some music from the band Sixx:A.M. (I will include a video at the end if you would like to add them to your workout list.) If I am on the way to walk in nature I may listen to the Native American rock band Red Thunder. If I want to be inspired to relax, it is classic jazz or the violin player Vanessa Mae. Can you think of different music you use to inspire you?

I believe the best way to inspire others is to be wholly, apologetically yourself. When you become the best version of yourself, even people who may not agree with you have to develop a degree of respect. When you are brave enough to show who you truly are you inspire others to do the same. What inspires you to be the best version of yourself? On the way to write this evening, I listened to The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. I must have listened to that hundreds, if not thousands of times. It is one of the most life-changing things you could listen to in my opinion. I just finished reading The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. It inspires me to renew my faith as well as keep my focus positive. When I go for a walk in nature it inspires me to feel connected in a way that is hard to relate.

Everywhere in life we look there are chances to both inspire and be inspired. In past posts, as well as my upcoming book, I advocate asking yourself the 2 questions “What can I find positive about this?” and “How can I use this?” They can turn almost any situation to your favor. I might add that adding the question “How can this inspire me?” might be a great secret to an amazing life. When Margie and I recently visited a coffee shop that employed mentally and physically challenged individuals in order to help them improve their place in the employment world, it was easy to feel inspired. When I am at the post office and I am in the presence of a coworker who seems to define what a negative mindset is, how can that inspire me? If you get in the habit of asking that in the face of challenging situations it can make a big difference.

In the not so hypothetical example of the post office, it has made a huge difference. I used to get upset and discouraged at our sunshine-challenged friend. Then I asked myself what she can inspire me to do. When I put it that way to myself, it changed my entire outlook in the situation. I was inspired to match her negative comments with positive ones. Not directed at her, but to share with those at the workplace who may have been affected by her negativity. Also, knowing that there exists such negativity motivates and inspires me to write and research more about the art of happiness. (The Art of Happiness is a great book by the Dalai Lama)

Another great way to be inspired is to surround yourself with inspiring people. This may sound like an obvious solution, but it is one we usually pay little attention to. How many people in your inner circle inspire you? As I mentioned at the start of this post, a wonderful person in Italy that I consider a friend, inspired the very words you are reading. My friend Shannon inspires me to read great books and increase my knowledge of nature. My friend Jon, who is both an amazing DJ and musician, inspires me to take care to use entertainment to bring joy to others. To, of course, my beautiful Margie. She inspires a lot of different things in me. Some of which are to learn new ways to express love and be romantic. She inspires me to become the best man I can be. Her beauty inspires me to workout so that she can have the most attractive man that she can be proud of. She inspires my drive to succeed at my career so I can whisk her away to beautiful exotic locations.

What inspires you? What music inspires you? What do you need inspiration to do? What do you think would change in your life if you started asking yourself the magical question, “How can I use this for inspiration?” Remember in life there are always opportunities to both inspire and be inspired. What are some of yours?

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY FAVORITE SONG BY SIXX AM

WE ALL BLOOM DIFFERENTLY

Another great example of a picture is worth 1000 words. I will do my best to expand on this picture and keep the word count below 1000. Everyone blooms in their own way reads the caption of the photo. Represented here is someone playing music, someone walking in nature, someone being greeted by a dog and lastly, it appears and adult holding a child. Each of these experiences are causing that person to bloom. What exactly does that mean? I interpret blooming to mean allowing more of themselves to show. Having the self-confidence or happiness to cause us to reveal more of our true nature to the world.

I particularly enjoy the last photo of the adult and the child. As you can see the love exchanged between them is causing both of them to bloom. I wonder if the same could be said of the dog, or the people hearing the music the person in the first photo is playing. Becoming more of ourselves is the greatest gift we can give the world. Living a life that feeds your soul is about the most important thing you can do, not only for yourself, but for others as well. What the world needs most is individuals whose souls are on fire.

To that end, my challenge for you is to find what causes you to bloom. Do more of that. How do you know what causes you to bloom? It is whatever makes your soul feel on fire. Ask yourself if you woke up tomorrow with no financial worries, what would you do? How about the next day? In my case, I love going out for coffee with friends, listening to some classic jazz, reading and learning things I can do to improve my life and those that I care about, and sharing what I have learned with all of you who follow this blog. At the end of each day what feeds my soul the most is laying next to the woman I love and falling asleep in each others arms.

One more important element to consider is what feeds the souls of those around you. Encourage them to not only discover that, but devote time to it as well. When those around you are living from a place of fulfillment and are fully in bloom you will certainly notice a difference. This is also another reason in a long list of reasons to be kind and encouraging to others. You never know what inspires them. If you see a local musician playing encourage and support them and their passion. See another person out enjoying nature? Pass on a smile and a quick hello. Let people pet your dog while you are out walking them. Also make sure to love not only your children, but everyone in your life. By doing so we will all bloom. Like a garden full of flowers in bloom, the earth will become a truly magical place.

FEELING OVERWHELMED AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN?

In today’s Covid-19 world things can feel like they are coming undone and it can happen quickly. Everywhere we turn there is news of death and the failing economy. This all happens while we are stuck in our homes left staring at the television for want of anything better to do. This can leave us feeling a multitude of ways. It can have us feeling drained, scared, angry, uncertain and ultimately depressed. Sometimes the news of, and thoughts of, this scary event in our worlds history can affect more people than the virus itself.

How do we turn this around. The picture above gives us our first solid piece of advice – turn off the news. I once heard Jack Canfield say something I found rather profound. He said, “You can be informed but you do not have to be inundated.” If you are thinking, “Neil, I have to know what is going on. I have to protect my job and my family.” I will be the last one to argue with you. What I am going to tell you is that first and foremost you have to protect your sanity. You can do little to secure your income if you find yourself depressed. It is also highly unlikely that your family will take their cues from the insane person in front of the television. If you really want to stay on top of the latest news, try looking at websites once a day. Just do not sit at the computer for a length of time.

Giving yourself a limit can be a big help. Saying “I am going to fill my head with all of this doom and gloom for an hour.” Then research to your hearts content for that time, but cut yourself off after. You may even want to set an alarm in case you are locked in to the latest study from Antarctica on the effect of heat on the coronavirus. If you can’t help yourself from wanting to watch oddly dressed scientists or politicians who think they are scientists on television, then choose your format and your time. Again, limiting yourself is key. Trust me when I tell you that you are not going to miss the next crucial development by not staying glued to the screen all night. If you do miss something, don’t worry someone will call, text or tell you on social media.

Ok, you have limited your exposure to the chicken little world of 2020. You pull yourself away from the television or computer. Sure, you’re not being exposed to any doom and gloom, but you are still feeling the effects of it. How do you shake that off? I recommend two crucial steps for this cure. They are what work for me. Please mention some of your own in the comments below as I am always open for and looking for suggestions to raise my vibration. My first suggestion is not only metaphorical, but also practical – take a shower. No, really. Taking a shower not only cleanses our skin and hair (a good practice to keep up during quarantine) but it also can be a symbolic cleansing. Try picturing all of the negative vibes and news you have been exposed to being washed down the drain. As you are scrubbing off the dirt, picture scrubbing off the negative feelings you have. This will serve you after all of this has passed as well. Have a tough day with the boss at the office? Take a shower. Spend hours during a holiday listening to your aunt describe, in detail, her medical maladies? Take a shower. Not only will you get a feeling of spiritually cleansing, you will smell a lot fresher and be more of a pleasure to be around.

This last suggestion is my favorite. I use it every single day. No exception. Not an exaggeration. Crank up your favorite music. If you listen to the late news you might want to use some headphones. Music has healing powers we do not often take advantage of. In my book A Happy Life for Busy People, I suggest creating a happy playlist. A list on YouTube or your MP3 player of songs that bring you joy or get you out of a funk. I have one on my cell phone (which I almost always seem to have with me) It started with 10 songs. It now stands at…let me look…192 songs. Each time I think of, or hear a new one I add it. Then when moments get me down, I put the headphones on and turn the volume up! Can you imagine how many times this has helped me? It may not fix a challenge you are facing, but it can change the state you are in when you deal with it. A personal suggestion is the new Huey Lewis and the News album, Weather, not a bad song on it. Some of the latest stuff Sammy Hagar is doing…great stuff. I have the entire Space Between album on my playlist. Obviously your list will speak to your individual interests.

There we have our first days suggestions for keeping a high vibration during low vibration times. Take a nice relaxing shower and scrub both dirt and negativity off your shoulders. Don’t forget to wash behind the ears in case any are hiding there. Crank up the music and dance like nobody is watching. (If you dance like me it helps if nobody actually is watching) and most importantly – STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN. Remember you can stay informed without being overwhelmed. PLEASE if you have any suggestions that bring joy to your heart share them with us in the comments. I might even write my next blog about your idea!

I ALMOST FORGOT IT MADE ME HAPPY

This idea was given to me by my beautiful Margie. In these crazy times we all need to remind and use things to create a little sense of joy in our lives. In my book A Happy Life for Busy People, I encourage people to create what I call a “Happy Playlist”. Quite simply compile a list of songs that bring joyful memories to you. I put mine on my phone. I created a list on YouTube and add songs on a daily basis as they occur to me. Currently, it has a total of 187 songs. The great thing about this list is that anytime I find life giving me a hard time I ‘just push play’ and I am greeted by songs that bring back fond memories or transport me to someplace I would rather be. Some make me think of my friends and quite a few make me think of my lovely lady.

Music is a powerful way to transport your mental state quickly than anything else I know. Once you do the list of songs you may realize how powerful this is and want to add other mediums as well. Favorite movies that you love that make you laugh or put a special feeling in your heart. It is great to have a collection of books that can take your mind to a different world. At this moment when many of us have a little more time it is a good idea to put some of these together.

Why now? I often use the comparison to learning to swim. It is certainly a better idea to learn to swim when you are safely on shore than waiting until you are on a sinking ship. When we return to work we will face a lot of new challenges. Some of us may have to begin looking for new jobs. Life will take a lot of getting used to and having a things that could make us happy will really come in handy. Whether your happiness comes from music, books or even kittens (that is Margie’s contribution to today’s post) Let us all use the time we have to create some ideas of people, places and things that bring joy into our lives. When the world returns to normal, let us spend more time doing those very things.

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #26)

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.

Another one of those “I have never thought of that before.” moments. Form of expression? There are so many ways in which we can express ourselves. Vocally, literarily, musically, physically, artistically, through dance and a million different ways. With the advent of the internet we can express our thoughts and opinions to individuals halfway across the globe.

Personally, I am grateful to be able to express myself in the written word. Although not really introverted, it is a great way for individuals that may have difficulting expressing themselves publicly to still be able to share the important stories they have. Our friend Nicole expresses herself through drawing. Fortunately for me, I was able to employ that talent to provide Margie with an amazing and heartfelt gift. Speaking of my lovely Margie, she expresses herself in a million different ways. Through her cooking, painting, singing, the way she arranges her flowers, the way she decorates around the house and many other ways. I think the more you pay attention to someone, the more you will observe them expressing themselves in everything they do. This can be extremely helpful if you are relating to someone who may have reservations about expressing themselves openly. With a little extra effort, you will still be able to deduce their feelings and desires.

How about you? What is your favorite way to express yourself? Where do you channel your emotions and feelings?

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

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #21)

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.

For anyone who has read my books or followed this blog for any length of time, you know music is a very powerful tool for self-transformation. It is also a medium that conjures up a lot of emotion. When you are feeling down, listening to the right song can give you just the strength you need to carry on.

I have several playlists on my phone for different occasions. I have a list of songs that bring a little cheer to me. That was how I started. I also have a list of songs for working out to give me energy. These, along with a few other playlists are available to change my state at a touch of a button. There are many different artists and genres that I enjoy.

To the specific question as to what song I am grateful for, that could change daily. We will look at the ones I am grateful for as I write this. The song Lush Life performed by Nat King Cole is one of my favorites. Lately, I have been enjoying a lot of songs by Chris Janson including the appropriately titled Good Vibes. The song Born for Greatness by Papa Roach can always motivate me as well. If you ask me tomorrow, or maybe even later today, what songs I am grateful for, the list will probably be a little different.

All of that being said, I am grateful for songs that artists have taken the time to write and perform. Songs that I can relate to. Songs that make us happy, songs that make us think. Songs that make us fall in love. Songs that pick us up or motivate us. If you haven’t already, I suggest you take ful advantage of the benefits of great songs. Find a few that you are really grateful for and make a playlist.

I would love to hear some of yours as I am always looking for new songs to add to my own playlists.

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

30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #11)

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.

It is ironic I suppose that this post comes out on Friday the 13th. Not exactly a holiday, but a day people either fear or celebrate. What holidays are your favorite? My quick answer would be Thanksgiving. There is no other holiday that involves no gift exchanges, no rituals or dogma set in stone. Just a simple gathering for a meal and to celebrate all that we are thankful for. This year Margie and I had a small and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Here is another interesting fact, I love to learn about and celebrate holidays outside of the beliefs I grew up with. An example would be the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of the world and includes 10 days of introspection and repentance. Who among us couldn’t use some of that? Yom Kippur, also know as the Day of Atonement, where individuals are encouraged to make amends and ask for forgiveness. Once again, who couldn’t use a day like that in our lives? The Muslim holiday known as the Festival of Breaking the Fast, is a celebration of the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. It is celebrated with not only enjoying a good meal, but also giving zakat al-fitr or charity in the form of food. What a great tradition this is! There are certainly more to both of these holidays and I do not mean to not give them their full explanation here. Rather, my purpose is to introduce you to some amazing holidays you may not be familiar with.

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate? Why do you enjoy celebrating it? Are there some fun traditions or rituals that make it special for you? Let us all learn and maybe incorporate some of your ideas into our holiday celebrations. 

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

1 MORE MOVIE SECRET TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Last post we discussed ways in which fashioning your life after a movie director would be beneficial. There was one item I left out that can go a long way in helping us out. It has been featured in my book A Happy Life for Busy People. That is creating a soundtrack for your life.

In my book I refer to it as a ‘happy playlist’. You can create one in a few simple steps. Compose a list of songs that bring joy to your life. Then just create a playlist on your MP3 player or other device. I have several in my cell phone thanks to YouTube. I have playlists for working out, meditation and motivation as well as of course being happy. It is amazing what a song that strikes a deep emotional chord with you can do to change your state. Why leave the soundtrack of your life up to the whim of the DJ on the local radio station?

In a movie, songs are chosen to give the film more dramatic flair and set the mood in various scenes. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do the same in your life? You can! Simply create a soundtrack for all areas of your life. You will be amazed at the difference it can make. What are some of the songs that will be on your soundtrack?

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

FROM SURVIVE TO THRIVE

I stole this wonderful picture off the Facebook page of my coworker Rachel. It grabbed my attention because I think it is something we all fall victim to once in a while. We can become so busy worrying about working and paying bills that we forget to worry about the big picture.

What do I mean by the big picture? It is changing our mind from simply surviving to thriving. The easiest example of this and the one that comes to the mind of most people is financial. When we focus on having enough to pay the bills, that will be all we ever seem to have. Why not find a bigger goal? Focus on having enough to go on that vacation or look for that new car. When you are trying to find ways to discover additional income your mind will be working on the problem even when you are asleep! Suddenly, ideas will pop into your head when you least expect them to. Opportunities you may have missed will suddenly come into focus.

Here is the even greater thing about this change in mentality, it work s for everything. Why is this important? Think of what it can do for your relationship. Is your relationship in survival mode? Are you just happily coexisting with your spouse? Why not be thriving? Find new ways to change the world. Find new ways to take the love you have for each other to exciting new heights! How about your health? Go from simply surviving and feeling dead at the end of the week or even the end of the day, to living a life of energy and vitality abundance!

One of the greatest areas to explore this change of mentality is in your emotional or spiritual well-being. Imagine living a life driven by purpose and gratitude rather than waking up uninspired every morning. Learn to apply the thrive mentality to every aspect of your life.

WHY IT WORKS: HAPPY PLAYLIST

In this picture is the lead singer of the rock band Jackyl and myself. You will notice that Margie has artfully cut her beautiful face out of the picture. I rather enjoy this band’s music and their live shows even more. Their music puts me in an energetic and fun frame of mind. Their lyrics may not be for everyone, but they work for me.

In my first book, A Happy Life for Busy People, as well as in my upcoming book, I strongly advocate putting together a ‘Happy Playlist’. This is exactly what it sounds like. Songs you enjoy that put you in a happy frame of mine. It just so happens my playlist includes several songs by the band Jackyl. In addition to their music bringing to mind enjoyable thoughts, they have also been fun and wonderful people every time that I have met them.

What does having a happy playlist accomplish? What it can do is facilitate a state change. An example is as follows. Let us imagine a position at your job opens up that will allow you to work more hours and earn more money. After coming back from a well-deserved vacation you discover your boss has decided that not only will you not have this job, they are going to do their best to eliminate it. This leaves you feeling not only under appreciated but disrespected as well.

Now, every time you come into work you know how little your boss values your contribution. This could leave you feeling less than motivated and rather dejected… I mean I would imagine that is how you feel. In order to approach your job and everything you need to accomplish you cannot come from that state or you will not do your best.

If you put on your headphones and turn up so 80’s hard rock (or whatever music does it for you) suddenly your mood shifts to something better. Will this change the fact that your boss is taking food off your table to make the situation more convenient for them? Of course it¬†doesn’t. What it¬†does¬†do is allow you to approach your job, and your coworkers in a more healthy and objective state. This will prevent your¬†bad mood and trying situation to grow like a snowball rolling downhill.

I suggest having a happy playlist stored in your phone, MP3 player or somewhere else handy.  The wonderful thing about this tool is that it works not only for unappreciative bosses, but for flat tires, traffic jams or anything else you face in life. It may not do much if anything to change the actual situation, but it will allow you to face that challenge in a much healthier state. That, my friends, can make all of the difference.