ONE SECRET I USE EVERY DAY

Many people ask me my secrets to living a positive rewarding life. There really are no secrets, just putting in the work. This may put off some people looking for a life hack or secret that will transform their life with little to no effort. Usually, things like this do not have a lasting impact. The Secret, if you will, is developing habits that serve you and bring improvement to your life each day.

I’m going to share one of my habits that has the biggest positive impact in my life. This habit has done more for me than perhaps anything else I do. Before I reveal what this habit is, let me share some of the benefits I have received from using it. They may sound like magic, but I promise you they are 100% true.

By utilizing this habit I have been able to reduce my stress and learn new ways to do so. When I feel overwhelmed, it has helped me to not only put things in perspective, but stay motivated to keep going. Speaking of motivation, this habit has provided me motivation to do everything from write to workout. It is completely customizable. I can use it to relax, to energize or even to learn. It has taught me so many different things. I have learned success strategies, relaxation techniques and many other things. Here is the best thing about this tool for success – it requires very little effort. All you have to do is simply push a button.

What is this habit I literally use every single day? In case the pictures haven’t given it away, it is listening to inspirational and motivational things. These can be audiobooks, YouTube videos, speeches or even just some music that gets me pumped up. I compare it to pouring good stuff right into your brain. All that is required is to soak it up like a sponge!

You may be thinking to yourself, “Neil, I am far too busy to sit back and listen to things.” Trust me when I tell you that I can relate. I have 6 jobs, workout 4 to 5 days a week and still enjoy amazing nights with my lady. I get busy. This is when I utilize a method explained by Tony Robbins. He calls it N.E.T. time. That stands for NO EXTRA TIME. What does this mean? It means listening while you are doing other things. Listening to an audiobook on your morning commute and arriving at work motivated. Taking in some motivational speech while sweating at the gym.

The great thing is you can choose what you want to listen to. Want to learn? Pick a subject! Have someone that fires you up? I’m sure they have a video on YouTube. Great thing about YouTube, you can create a Playlist of videos you find valuable! Trust me when I tell you this habit is worth its weight in gold! Once you start mining all of the good that is out there, you will not want to stop! I would love for you to share who and what you like to listen to!

KEEP FIGHTING

Being Monday, I thought this quote was appropriate. Lately, it has been brought to my attention how much the trying times being to our lives. You never know who will stand by you in tough times until you go through… well.. tough times. There are gifts you can only experience in darkness.

When you find yourself going through tough times, remember that you have to go through some very tough times to receive some great gifts. Just keep fighting!

ONE THING TO ENJOY ALL WELL LONG

Just a reminder what a crucial role that water plays in so many functions. This week do your best to have at least 6 glasses of water every day. When you are drinking take a look at this chart and picture all the good you are doing for your body. Take a look online to see more benefits of drinking water. I would love to hear your favorite!

WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK

I APOLOGIZE FOR THE LACK OF POSTS. MANY OF YOU HAVE WROTE ME EXPRESSING YOUR DESIRE FOR CONTINUING INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION.

I HAVE BEEN BUSY WORKING ON MY UPCOMING BOOK CHRONICLING MY JOURNEY THROUGH OPEN HEART SURGERY. YOU WILL LEARN THE LESSONS I LEARNED, GAIN THE ENLIGHTENMENT I RECEIVED AND SHARE IN THE JOURNEY. I FULLY EXPECT THIS BOOK TO BE AVAILABLE BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY ON JULY 29TH.

IN THE MEANTIME, WE WILL DO OUR BEST NOT TO NEGLECT OUR SERVICES HERE. WE SUGGEST YOU SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG SO YOU WILL BE ALERTED AS SOON AS WONDERFUL NEW CONTENT IS POSTED. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT. ­čśÇ

LEARN FROM MY REFLECTIONS

TODAY MARKS 3 WEEKS SINCE MY CRAZY HEART SURGERY. MY PATIENCE WITH GETTING BACK IS WEARING THIN, BUT NOT MUCH I CAN DO. I USE A LOT OF TIME IN REFLECTION. AS WITH ANY CHALLENGE, I ASK MYSELF “HOW CAN I USE THIS?” THIS INCLUDES THINKING OF THE LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A FEW WITH YOU.

AS I MENTIONED, PATIENCE IS A LESSON I’M LEARNING. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS I CAN BE PATIENT WITH, BUT FEELING BETTER ISN’T ONE OF THEM. I USUALLY TRY EVERYTHING TO GET BETTER AND GO WITH WHAT WORKS. THIS CAN INCLUDE SUPPLEMENTS, DIET,EXERCISE AND A MILLION OTHER THINGS. WITH HEART SURGERY, ALL YOU CAN DO IS WAIT. PAINS COME AND GO, YOU CAN’T REALLY DO MUCH WITHOUT RUNNING OUT OF BREATH. THE DOCTORS TELL YOU “THAT IS NORMAL. IT WILL JUST TAKE TIME. ” PATIENCE…A LESSON I’M LEARNING.

ANOTHER ONE OF MY FAVORITE QUOTES. IT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE SOMETHING I WAS REMINDED OF. IN TODAY’S WORLD, A LOT OF US PUT OUR LIVES TO THE SIDE WHEN OUR JOB NEEDS US. YET, WE KNOW FULL WELL OUR JOB WILL REPLACE US IN A HEARTBEAT, BUT OUR LOSS TO OUR TRUE FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL BE FELT FOR A LONG TIME AFTER WE ARE GONE.

SPEAKING OF TRUE FRIENDS AND FAMILY, YOU LEARN THE PEOPLE THE CARE AND WOULD MISS YOU. I DO MY BEST TO ENCOURAGEME AND INSPIRE EVERYONE I COME IN CONTACT WITH. I FIGURE THE WORLD HAS ENOUGH CRITICS, IT COULD USE SOME MORE CHEERLEADERS. WHAT SHOCKED ME WAS WHO BECAME CHEERLEADERS FOR ME. THIS WAS BOTH GOOD AND BAD.

IN MY DAY JOB, I WORK WITH ROUGHLY 50 PEOPLE. I DO MY BEST TO BRING A LITTLE JOY AND LAUGHTER TO AS MANY AS I CAN THROUGHOUT THE DAY. THE NUMBER OF THEM WHO CHECKED ON ME? IT WAS GREATER THAN ZERO… BUT LESS THAN TWO. ONE OUT OF 50. YET, THERE WERE PEOPLE I HAVEN’T SEEN IN PERSON IN SOME TIME WHO FOLLOW MY WEBSITE OR YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND THEY REACHED OUT. FRIENDS I DON’T SPEAK TO REGULARLY, EVEN FRIENDS OF MARGIE’S OFFERED TO HELP OUT. A GREAT REMINDER TO GO WHERE YOU ARE CELEBRATED, NOT TOLERATED.

THERE ARE ALSO THE THINGS THAT FILL MY LIFE WITH JOY THAT HAVE BEEN REMOVED OR LIMITED WITH MY RECOVERY. I LOVE GOING FOR WALKS IN NATURE. I’M GOING TO TRY A SMALL ONE TODAY, BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP GOING CAN BE FRUSTRATING. I LOVE GOING TO THE GYM. GREAT STRESS RELEASE AND HELPS WITH MY SANITY. CAN’T LIFT MORE THAN 10 POUNDS FOR 3 MONTHS, SO THAT WILL HAVE TO WAIT.

THE END RESULT OF ALL OF THIS IS THAT THE GREATER THE CHALLENGE, THE MORE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED. THERE WERE AND ARE MANY MORE LESSONS THIS HAS TAUGHT ME. THE SECRET HERE IS TO BE ABLE TO SEE THEM AS GIFTS INSTEAD OF OBSTACLES. ANOTHER LESSON THERE…PERCEPTION GOES A LONG WAY TO DETERMINING YOUR REALITY. YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THAT LAST LINE AGAIN. I ENCOURAGE YOU ALL TO FIND THE GIFTS AND LESSONS IN YOUR CHALLENGES.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I DIED

I APOLOGIZE FOR LEAVING YOU GUYS WONDERING, BUT I MADE IT THROUGH THE OPEN HEART SURGERY! WELL, KIND OF. THERE WAS ACTUALLY A MOMENT COMING OUT OF IT THAT DID NOT GO SO WELL. ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS THAT WILL STICK WITH ME FOR QUITE SOME TIME.

I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON A BOOK THAT WILL DETAIL MY ENTIRE JOURNEY THROUGH THIS MEDICAL ADVENTURE, BUT I’M GOING TO SHARE THE PIVOTAL MOMENT WITH YOU HERE. THAT WOULD BE THE MOMENT I ALMOST DIDN’T MAKE IT BACK.

WHILE HAVING MY HEART SLICED AND DICED, I OBVIOUSLY HAD TO BE ON A BREATHING TUBE. THE FIRST THING I REMEMBER POST SURGERY WAS A NURSE SCREAMING “YOU HAVE TO BREATHE NEIL!” I REMEMBER DOING SO WITH A TUBE STUCK DOWN MY THROAT WAS QUITE DIFFICULT. THIS VOICE CAME FROM MY RIGHT SIDE. FROM MY LEFT SIDE I HEARD A FEMALE VOICE SAY “JUST RELAX” THIS SEEMED MORE UP MY ALLEY.

AS SOON AS I STARTED TO RELAX THINGS WENT BLACK AND I FELT RELAXED. THIS WAS PROMPTLY INTERRUPTED BY THE NURSE ON MY RIGHT SCREAMING “WE NEED YOU TO BREATHE” IN WHICH CASE I COULD FEEL THE DISCOMFORT OF THE TUBE IN MY THROAT. THIS WENT BACK AND FORTH FOR SOME UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF TIME. FINALLY, THE NURSE ON THE RIGHT SAID “WE NEED YOU TO BREATHE DEEP IF YOU WANT THIS TUBE OUT!” NOW SHE WAS SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE.

I RECALL SUCKING ON AS THE TUBE SLID OUT. I THEN RECALL THE NURSE YELLING THEY NEEDED NARCAN. FADE TO BLACK.

I WOKE UP MOMENTS LATER BEING WHEELED DOWN A HALLWAY. “WHERE ARE WE GOING?” I ASKED. I WAS INFORMED I WAS GOING TO ICU TO RECOVER. THAT WAS PART TRUE. ICU – YES. RECOVERY- DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT. THE NARCAN THEY GAVE ME TO BRING ME BACK IN THE OPERATING ROOM, SHUT DOWN THE RECEPTORS TO OPOIDS IN MY BRAIN. GOOD FOR AN ADDICT, NOT SO GOOD FOR SOMEONE JUST OUT OF HEART SURGERY.

THE EVENING OF MY SURGERY I LAID IN BED WITH 2, 12″ TUBES IN MY CHEST, WIRES COMING OUT OF MY CHEST, A CATHETER (WHICH IS ALWAYS HUMBLING) AND NO PAIN MEDICINE. OH, THEY TRIED GIVING ME SOME WHICH CAUSED ME TO GET SICK ON 4 SEPARATE OCCASIONS. CONSIDERING IN THE 48 HOURS LEADING UP TO THAT I HAD JUST CONSUMED WATER, THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORSE. PLUS, GETTING SICK WITH TUBES IN YOUR CHEST AND JUST BEING STITCHED UP IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT ADVENTURE.

TALKING TO THE RESPIRATORY NURSE A FEW DAYS LATER, SHE INFORMED ME SHE WAS THE VOICE I HEARD YELLING ON MY RIGHT SIDE TO BREATHE AND THE ONE WHO REMOVED MY BREATHING TUBE. I THEN ASKED WHO WAS THE VOICE ON MY LEFT TELLING ME TO RELAX. I WAS INFORMED THERE WAS NO VOICE. YET, I RECALL HEARING IT CLEAR AS CAN BE. WHO THAT WAS WE WILL NEVER KNOW.

WHAT I WILL LEAVE FROM THIS EXPERIENCE IS THAT IF I CAN MAKE IT THROUGH OPEN HEART SURGERY WITHOUT PAIN PILLS, I CAN PRETTY MUCH DO ANYTHING. THANKS TO THE BRILLIANT WORK OF THE DOCTORS AND NURSES, I AM SO HERE AND EAGER TO BRING YOU EVERYTHING I CAN!

AS THE WEEK ENDS…

THE WEEK IS OVER. MOST OF US ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE WEEKEND.  THERE ARE PLENTY OF THINGS WE SHOULD CARRY INTO THE WEEK WITH US. WE SHOULD CHERISH THE GREAT MEMORIES WITH LOVED ONES. WE SHOULD REMEMBER AND FEEL ALL THAT WE HAVE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR. WE SHOULD ALSO MAKE GOOD USE OF THE LESSONS WE LEARNED. WHAT WE SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND IS ALL THE NEGATIVITY. WHY HANG ON TO SOMETHING THAT WILL END UP WEIGHING US DONE? LEAVE THAT IN THE PAST.

AS FOR GOING BEAST MODE WHEN IT COMES TO HAPPINESS, IT CAN OFTEN TAKE THAT AMOUNT OF EFFORT TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. DON’T BELIEVE ME? TRY TO GO 24 HOURS WITHOUT A SINGLE NEGATIVE THOUGHT. HOW FAR DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD GET? SOMETIMES THE EFFORT HAS TO COME BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR OWN MIND.

THIS WEEKEND, SEARCH FOR THE LIGHT AND LEAVE THE DARKNESS BEHIND!! GO BEAST MODE AND SHOW THE WORLD, AND YOURSELF THAT YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!

NEW YEAR – NEW HABITS

HERE IS AN IDEA OF A FEW HABITS WE CAN SWAP OUT. I WOULDN’T APPROACH THIS AS “SACRIFICING SOMETHING”, MORE LIKE ADDING SOMETHING DIFFERENT. NEXT TIME YOU’RE TEMPTED TO PICK UP A QUICK BURGER ON THE WAY HOME, KEEP DRIVING AND MAKE YOURSELF A LITTLE SOMETHING HEALTHIER AT HOME. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS ALL THE TIME, BUT TRY IT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.

SO MANY OF OUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES ARE DOWN TO HABIT. IF WE CAN START NEW GOOD ONES, WE WILL AUTOMATICALLY HAVE LESS TIME FOR THE OLD BAD ONES.

THE MAGIC PHRASE

THERE ARE SO MANY PHRASES WE USE DAILY. WE TELL OUR SPOUSE AND THOSE WE CARE ABOUT THAT WE LOVE THEM. WE WISH OUR NEIGHBORS “GOOD MORNING” TO SHOW AND EXPRESS THAT WE WISH THEM WELL. WE SAY “THANK YOU” TO THOSE WHO HAVE ASSISTED US IN SOME FASHION. HOPEFULLY, WE DON’T RESPOND “OF COURSE” TO THOSE WHO THANK US, BUT THAT IS A STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY.

WOULDN’T IT BE GREAT IF THERE WERE A MAGIC PHRASE THAT WE COULD USE? A PHRASE THAT COULD BE USED WITH MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, IN MANY DIFFERENT SITUATIONS. TO BE A TRULY MAGICAL PHRASE, IT WOULD ALSO HAVE TO FILL THEM WITH A FEELING OF JOY, SIGNIFICANCE┬á AND RESPECT AND ADMIRATION NOT ONLY FOR THE PERSON SAYING IT TO THEM, BUT FOR THEMSELVES AS WELL?

WELL THERE IS SUCH A MAGIC PHRASE AND I AM GOING TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. FEAR NOT, YOU DO NOT NEED A TOP HAT OR WAND TO USE THIS. WHEN YOU DO USE THIS PHRASE, MAGIC WILL BEGIN TO HAPPEN. YOU WILL FIND YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WILL GROW CLOSER. YOU WILL FIND PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO YOU AND GENUINELY WANT TO BE AROUND YOU. YOU MAY EVEN FIND YOURSELF RECEIVING BETTER SERVICE.

WHAT IS THIS MAGIC PHRASE? THREE SIMPLE WORDS – “I APPRECIATE YOU” THINK OF WHAT THAT PHRASE MEANS. TO BE APPRECIATED MEANS THAT SOMEONE RECOGNIZES THE VALUE IN US AS A PERSON. IT MEANS THEY VALUE NOT ONLY WHAT WE BRING TO THE WORLD, BUT WHO WE ARE. SAY THIS GENUINELY TO YOUR SPOUSE WHEN YOU GET HOME. SIT ACROSS FROM THEM, LOOK THEM IN THE EYES AND SAY “I APPRECIATE YOU” TRY TO THINK OF THE THINGS YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT THEM BEFORE AND DURING THE ACT. WATCH THE EFFECT IT HAS. TRY IT ON YOUR FRIENDS, THE PERSON WHO HELPS YOU AT THE COFFEE SHOP AND ANYONE ELSE YOU APPRECIATE. YOU DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY, JUST TELL THEM THEY ARE APPRECIATED. I GUARANTEE YOUR LIFE WILL BE FILLED WITH MAGIC.