30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #25)

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.

This day of gratitude happens to fall on a Monday. That is actually perfect for us. As we read these words, think back to the week prior. What moments are you grateful for that happened the week proceeding this one? Sure there were ups and downs, but let us start this week by thinking about last week and what went right for us. There is no better way to start the week than to do it in a spirit of gratitude. In fact, that is the best cure for a case of the ‘Mondays’ I can think of.

What are your moments of gratitude from last week? Mine was being able to spend the new year at home with those I love for the first time in many years. Being a bartender and DJ, your services are usually in high demand this time of year. Especially if you are good at what you do. It is also one of the least enjoyable times to work in those professions. This year I was able to relax with some excellent food that Margie had cooked and enjoyed watching a great movie with her, my mother and her husband. I wook up the following day feeling well rested. It was great.

How about you? What in the previous week has brought joy to your heart? I look forward to hearing all about it.

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TIME TO REFLECT

Today is the first day of a new year and a new decade. I want to thank all of you for continuing to be a part of this online community to better ourselves. Together, sharing with each other we can change our world for the better. If we all continue to do this, the world as a whole will become a more beautiful place for us all. We just have to take care of our little corner of the world and we can be a part of a global change.

On a more personal level, I want to talk about something we all face. In the past year we may have lost someone close to us. Relationships end, people pass away. As the writer Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Despite the ends I have mentioned, our lives go on. The loss may not have happened even in the past year, but as the calendar turns we are reminded that we face another year without someone we wish was by our sides.

In this way, a time of fresh perspectives and possibilities can be veiled in sadness. How can we approach this? To remember a very obvious, but important fact – we are still here. Our very presence means two very important things. First, we have the ability to collect and create new and wonderful memories in the new year. Those we love that are still here can bless our lives in ways we cannot imagine. Something I have learned since my grandfather passed away, and with every loss since, is those who are gone can also continue to teach us even though they have not been with us physically for quite some time. I cannot count how many times I have thought of something my grandfather, or someone else I lost, has told me and I finally understand something they were trying to tell me so many years ago. It is for this very reason I am so grateful to have had so many people in my life that were amazing that I feel their loss to this very day. That may sound like a statement full of contradiction, but it is quite the contrary.

When you miss someone so greatly, it is because you loved just as great. They brought something special into your life. That could have been a supportive love. It could have been encouragement. It could have been the sharing of many happy moments spent together. That is something to be truly grateful for – having a person that is so special in your life, even if it is not as long as we would have desired. Those memories are gifts we can take with us into the new year as well. It is a way of keeping that person in our hearts as the years pass by.

That brings me to the second point that our presence means. This, by far, is the most important thought to carry into the new year. The fact that we are still hear means that we can bring joy and blessings to those who love us. One day we will return to the dust from which we came as well. Those that love us will be missing us and wishing we were there with them into the new year. The important thing to remember is that time is not now. We still have the responsiblity and the pleasure to share life and love with those we care about the most. Even with complete strangers. We have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of all of those we touch.

After my heart problem was brought to my attention, I realize now more than ever that every year, every day and even every moment is a blessing and more importantly an opportunity. In my condition I could be gone tomorrow. Armed with this knowledge I do my best to live each day with the fullest. That is my plan for the new year and one I want to share with all of you.

What are your secrets to living life to the fullest? Share with all of us so we all can make 2020 the most amazing year yet.

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

DO THIS INSTEAD OF A RESOLUTION!

The above stats reflect the growth of this website. In the top photo you can see we have grown pretty consistently in the number of viewers since inception in 2012. A good thing to also note is that we have come close to doubling our views in the last year! While I was pondering such statistics and looking forward to watching them grow in the future, an idea occurred to me in regards to personal development as well.

Today is New Year’s Eve. On this day for a good portion of us, our focus turns towards ‘New Year’s resolutions’. I am going to encourage you to do something different this year. If you find it ironic that a website dedicated to becoming the best version of yourself is encouraging you not to make resolutions for the new year, let me further explain myself. I would like us all to make a new kind of resolution for the coming year. Generally, resolutions consist of things we would like to do. Things such as ‘start going to the gym’ or ‘quit smoking’. While both of these are certainly admirable goals and ones I would encourage you to take, I would like to approach the new year in a different way.

Instead of focusing on what we would like to do in the coming year I would like us to change that focus. This year I would like us to focus on two different personal areas. The first being who we would like to become. After all, when it comes to improving our lives that is the ultimate goal, to become more. In the case of the above examples, quitting smoking and joining a gym, one could change that to ‘I will become a non-smoker this year’ and ‘I am going to be more fit and healthy’. Not only does this provide us a psychological change in identity, but can provide us both more options to our success and more motivation to do so. In the case of becoming a non-smoker we can avail ourselves to the many treatment options available to us. In the case of becoming healthy and fit, we could not only go to the gym, but walks after dinner, bike rides, play sports, start dancing or any other activity that gets you closer to your goal.

The other thing I would like to focus on is how we can give. All of us have so many gifts to share with the world, our focus in the coming year should be how to bring more of them to light. If you would want to live a life filled with passion, joy and vitality, you could make no better choice than to live your gifts. This doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your day job and running off to the tropics. Although I can appreciate that urge more than you can imagine. What it means is finding more ways in which you can bring what you love and what you are good at to the world. What if you are already living your gift? How about finding ways to share even more? Let us say your passion is riding your skateboard. Last year you made it a point to spend some time every week enjoying that passion. This year you may wish to start a blog about riding skateboards, or the skateboard life in general. Perhaps you could start a YouTube Channel showing how you do different tricks.

Let me share with you some of the goals I have for sharing my gift more in the coming year. First and foremost, my second book will be officially released early next year. I plan to continue the growth of this blog by exploring new avenues of sharing it as well as new partnerships with other blog writers. There will be a Secret2anamazinglife clothing line available by summer. We will accomplish our goal of reaching 1000 posts on this site. The YouTube channel Neil Panosian will reach 100 videos and look to expand its reach as well.

Think of who you would like to become in the new year and how you would like to give and share your gifts even more. Feel free to share with us in the comments below. We can all encourage each other in the next 12 months and stand a better chance of success.

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THAT TIME OF YEAR

As we wrap up our holiday celebrations and prepare for the coming new year, I feel it would be a great opportunity to pause for a moment of reflection. Think of what this past year has brought us. There have been stress and challenges for sure, but there have also been moments of joy and celebration. We must appreciate and grow from all of these.

When reflecting on the past year and preparing to make our New Year’s resolutions, or even just plans for what we would like to accomplish in the coming year, there can tend to be a feeling of despair as to how far from our goals of last year we came, or how quickly we gave up on them. That is ok. A little bit of that pain can serve us to be more motivated this coming year. Staying in a feeling of regret and anger at ourselves does not serve us. We need to grow from what happened.

This is what I suggest. As we sit down to ponder what the coming year has in store for us, let us grab a pen and a piece of paper. Writing down your goals and resolutions as we tend to call them this time of year, has great power in creating a mental/physical bond with them. If we notice some of those goals look a lot like the goals from the year before, this might not be that bad of a thing. As we write down those goals, we can also write down what transpired that prevented us from achieving them in the year prior. Then we can begin to think of ways in which we can move forward while preventing those same obstacles from stopping us this year. By doing just such a thing, we can move forward in the accomplishment of our goals.

Let us also think of the challenges we have faced in the last year. Write them down. It may not seem fun to relive moments of the past year that were less than pleasant, but they can serve us as well. How? If we then write down what we learned or gained by going through them. Was it a greater appreciation for those who stood by our side? Was it new skills we were forced to learn? Was it just learning how strong we could be when we had to? All of these things are items we can be grateful for.

Lastly, let us not forget the moments of joy we had. Remember the accomplishments we did make. Sure, you may not have followed that gym routine like you intended, but you did go for a couple of weeks…days…hours…maybe you just joined a gym. Knowing what we learned about the challenges we overcame from the steps above, let us celebrate the gains we did make by looking forward to an even greater success in the coming year. Now would be the time to give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back for all we did do. It might not have been perfect, or turn out exactly how we wanted, but let us remember all the good we did do this year.

In the coming year, this blog will continue to bring you thoughts and actions that will improve your life if you put them into action. I invite all of you to share this website with at least one other person you know who is doing their best to live a more inspired and positive life.

CANI

The title of this blog may seem like a mistake, but please allow me to explain. It actually stands for ‘Constant and never-ending improvement’. As you can see by the picture I have been writing this blog for 4 years now. It really does not seem that long, and I have to confess I enjoy every day that I do it. It is my sincerest hope that if you go back and read my blogs from years past my writing would sound more improved today.

The more we do something the better we get at it. That can’t really be avoided. We learn things we didn’t know before both about ourselves and our subject matter. This website is dedicated to helping all of us live a more amazing life. Not only do I hope it has helped some of you, but writing these thoughts down has helped me as well. Spending my times researching ways in which people improve their life has helped me with my own as well.

So as this year draws to a close and we look back on all we have done in the last 12 months we can often be left with feelings of failure and regret. I know there were several things I had personally hoped to accomplish that have not come into existence yet. We can use these feelings in several ways. First, feeling that pain of regret should motivate us to work harder in the future. Realize that what we are now feeling is in large part due to our own inaction, or lack of consistent action. This may not sound so inspiring, but if we are going to improve we need to be honest with ourselves. My goal was to have my latest book completed by the end of the year. It is nowhere near done and so in that sense I have failed. That being said, I am using this feeling to motivate myself to have a complete book by this time next year.

That leads us to our next action we can take. Use the final month of the year to set yourself up for victory in the coming year. Sit down with a pad of paper and a pen. List things you feel you did not succeed at this year. Now think of and write down actions you can take, plans you can put in place, or other things you can do to assure success next year. Use the final month of the year to make a commitment to yourself. Use it as a practice month for what you are going to do next year.

One final note going back to the beginning of this post. No matter what you feel you did not accomplish this year know one thing, just by going through what you did you are a more complete person that you were 12 months ago. You have made it through all of your trials and challenges and as New Years day approaches you should feel good about that. Do not let it dull your drive, but do know as long as you are still in the game victory is right around the corner.

GIVE IT UP ALREADY!

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The year has come to an end. This is the time a lot of us start thinking about resolutions. Personally I am not a fan of them. I find them to be weak and most of them don’t last. That is why the parking lot at the gym is always less crowded in March than at the beginning of the year. So why do resolutions not last? I mentioned them being weak, that is because they seldom have purpose and a reason, or strong ‘why’ behind them. If you are ready, this year let us try something different.

Here is the idea, instead of writing things you want to do in the new year, sit down and write who you would like to become in the new year and why. Would you like to be healthier? Why is that important? Would you like to be less stressed? What benefits will that bring you? Sit down and write this out. A complete description of who you are committed to becoming and the reasons or why for that.

Now look at the picture above this blog. It is a list of things to give up to improve your life. It is a good list, offers reasons why, but I want you to create your own. Look at the person you are committed to becoming in 2016. Now think about what things in your life currently do not belong in a person like that. Write them down. This is your list of things to limit or remove from your life. Much like the list above you might want to include a why as well.

Now understand as you go through the year, especially at first, you may slip up and do, say or be some of those things. That’s ok. The goal is to do them less until you can finally cleanse your life of any behavior that does not work in your new self. If you can quit them right away, congratulations. If not, do not worry. Old habits die hard and as long as you keep at it you will triumph. Do not get down on yourself, become your own cheerleader. If you notice yourself faltering, instead of judging yourself, just notice how less you are doing it and be determined to go even longer the next time.

On a personal level, however you celebrate the new year, do so safely. I value all of you and look forward to teaching and learning from each other in 2016.

LOVE THEM ALL

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Yesterday we spoke of change and how important it was to embrace it. Here is another subject we should consider going into the next year, diversity. I know that can be a buzz word around the office and for HR purposes, but I am talking about personal diversity.

What do I mean by personal diversity? Imagine being surrounded by people exactly the same as yourself. Dating someone exactly like yourself, talking to people who think just like you do, watch the same shows, go to the same places. Life would not be very exciting. You would never learn about great new places to explore, new foods to try and new experiences to have. So in the coming year we should make a point to expand our personal social circle. Find people who can teach you, who can inspire you and who can bring something new to your life experience. It will be one of the best gifts you can give yourself in the new year!

JUST DON’T FIGHT IT

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As the old year starts to wind down and we prepare for the upcoming year there is one thing that is certain, it will not be the same. It is even hard to imagine a year being exactly the same as the last. Can you imagine eating the same things next December 28th that you ate this morning? Going to work and having the same things happen? Can you imagine having to wear the same clothes that you did on that day the year before? If all of this sounds absurd, ask yourself why. Is eating the same thing really depend on who you are with and what you can afford? Does wearing the same things depend on the weather?

The point of this is some people cannot accept, or at the very least have a hard time realizing things change. Fighting change is like trying to stop the sun from rising, it is just not going to happen. Of course there are great things in our life that we would like to never end. I have had a few of those myself, but time marches on and certainly everything from that fabulous party you were attending to a friendship, relationship or even the life of someone you care about must all come to an end. Change is the natural progression of things. If this were not the case a seed would never become a plant and we would not have food. Medicine would never be developed, houses would not be built we would never have the chance to see our children grow and develop.

So what can we do when something that gives us a great sense of joy changes? I was faced with this in the most odd circumstances just the other day. There is a building that has stood close to where I grew up. It was a car dealership at one point, a carpet store and probably some other things I forgot. I never spent a good amount of time inside of this place, but I must have walked by it a thousand or more times. It was a very unique building and I always thought it would make a great coffee shop. The other day I drove by and found it mostly demolished. For some reason I am not totally clear on it affected me more than I thought it should. I struggled with it for a while and was talking with a friend who pointed out that I can celebrate whatever the new building may be. I realized I had been living in the past and although the old building had some great memories perhaps there were even better ones to be made with the new one.

Everything is not this easy. When a relationship ends or a loved one dies we can’t, and shouldn’t just move on. Keeping the treasured memories and finding a way to honor them is one way to keep them alive in our hearts. Much like the seed having to crack open and fade away for the plant to develop sometimes the same is true in our life. Without the seed there would have been no plant, but in order for the plant to come to life the seed must have had to go away. As one of my favorite speakers Les Brown says, “sometimes it is hard to see the picture when you are in the frame”. So just know change will come and we must look for the good in the new while keeping the great memories of the past close to our heart.