IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO PLAN A PARTY!

Confession time. I am really terrible when it comes to planning and hosting events. First, I rather enjoy my peace and quiet time. Margie and I have very social and interactive jobs. We are always dealing with groups of people. I am also very low maintenance. For reasons of party planning, I guess that is not always a good thing. That is another reason that Margie and I make such a great team. Let me give you an example. We are at the store and the love of my life is looking at dishes. “We have dishes.” I inform her. “We need a matching set of six.” She replies as if it is something I should know. In the confusion, I mention that at our house there are only 2 people, her and I. “What if we have company?” Still confused as to what the issue is I offer that if there are more than four people we could just use different plates or bowls. After all, they should be happy that we invited them over and they are getting delicious food. That is how I would feel I guess. By the shocked look of horror on the face of the woman I share my house with, I surmised that this was not the correct answer.

I never realized what goes into planning a party the right way. Margie showed me that. From cleaning, matching dishes, matching placemats (again, something I had no clue of) cleaning the house, finding what everyone likes to drink, decorations and a million other details that I can’t even remember. People go through a great deal of planning to throw the perfect party. Well, people other than me. If you look at the list in the picture above, you can see how much details and planning can go into a celebration. Planning over one month out? Sounds pretty crazy to me, but if you want an epic party that is what you have to do.

Why all the talk about planning a party? While my birthday is this month, I am not expecting any of my followers to throw me a birthday party. Unless of course you are reading this in the country of Fiji, I will stop by, we will have a great time. No, it is the subject of my upcoming third book, Life is a Party, Put Your Name on the Guest List. Does your life seem like a party? For most people it does not. Maybe it does on the weekends when we are not working. Maybe only 2 weeks a year when we are on vacation? What if our life could feel like a party as the general rule? Seem unlikely? I put forth life would be a lot more like a party if we planned it like one. Look at the list above. It is a lot smaller than our first example, but holds many clues as to how we could live our life more like a party. Let us take a look at just a few of them.

First up, guestlist. I find it how much time people will spend thinking of what people to invite to an event that may last a few hours or at most an entire day. Most of us, however, will not compose a guestlist of people we want in our life. If your life was a party, who would you invite? Ever have a party where there is someone who is a ‘Debby downer’ and brings down the entire party? Probably not a name that would be on top of the guestlist. What about people who are rude or insulting? Again, not the people who we would invite to a party, but somehow they show up in our lives!

How about decorations? Am I suggesting you fill your house with party decorations? Not exactly…but then again, kind of. Think of what the idea behind decorations at a party are? They are there to create an atmosphere. Either to go with a theme (Tiki party anyone?) or to just create a fun and festive atmosphere. What would make a good party to you? You may even just want a relaxing party of one. Maybe some nice spa colors and scents? Maybe a bath bomb or some bubble bath? Why not surround yourself with a fun and festive mood or even a theme you like? I have a friend who likes the ‘Day of the Dead’ decorations and has their house filled with things like that. Maybe you are a fan of a South Pacific look, or beach or lake. Whatever kind of party may work for you, try to include some decorations.

Food and Drinks. This is a good one. When people think of parties, they generally think of party food and alcohol. You can’t really spend every evening sitting at home having a personal party with a glass of rum in your hand, can you? When it comes to having a cocktail, pacing yourself is the idea. Nobody likes a drunk at a party, and you certainly do not want to be the drunk at your own party, but having a glass of wine or a nice coconut rum drink (or whatever you may like) while cranking up your favorite party soundtrack with some great friends can do a lot to fire up a Wednesday. Food is another interesting animal. If you want to feel like a you’re living life as a party, you don’t want to fill up on chips and dip or lay around feeling bloated. No, you want to dance, you want to laugh. Party food can be fun and fairly healthy. I am thinking some guacamole right now. Maybe a homemade taco night? Even trying new fun festive healthy foods can make it feel more like a party.

What other aspects of a party could you include in your life? What about a party soundtrack? Push play on that fun list on the way to work and you could spend the day thinking about Margaritaville or singing your favorite dance tracks before you notice the boss is in a bad mood again. If so, just don’t invite them to your personal party. How about dressing for a party? There are so many ways to approach this. You could dress like a formal party one day, a party at the club the next or just a fun party outfit the next! Think about how much the right outfit can change the way you feel about yourself. Life can be a party, we just have to plan for it!

LET US CELEBRATE EACH OTHER

Here is an idea that could both make your life one continuous party (minus the hangovers) as well as cause you to be a lot more popular with your friends and strengthen your relationships. Ready to hear the idea?

Before we get to what this amazing and fun idea is, I should warn you of the side effects that is comes with. First, it will help you realize your goals a lot quicker. Second whenever you reach a goal, or something good happens to you suddenly you will find yourself surrounded by a lot more people celebrating with you. Finally, even when times are dark or challenging you will find you have a lot more cheerleaders and encouragers. Plus, there will still be things to celebrate when life is throwing you a curve ball.

Here is the simple thing we can do that can accomplish all of this. We can learn to celebrate good that comes to as many as others as we can. Once you start this you will be amazed at what happens. First, when you genuinely are as happy for the success of others as you are for your own people pick up on that. Have you ever had something really amazing happen to you and couldn’t wait to share it with someone and when you do they really seem not to care? It is a bit of downer isn’t it? The next time that you get a piece of good fortune you are not likely to share it with that person. Now on the opposite side of things when you have friends who take pride in your accomplishments, as we should it makes everything more amazing and makes you feel good about sharing with those people.

So we can see how it helps the person celebrating but what about those celebrating for someone else? First of all you notice that people celebrate different things. If you have a friend who just got out of the hospital after a trying ordeal that is worth celebrating. It may even cause you to take a look at things you may not be celebrating in your own life. Like your health or the fact you did not have to be in the hospital. Also celebrating feels good, whether it is you or another person. So it is a great way to add additional joy into your life. Also having pride in your friends accomplishments will encourage them to have pride in yours. If your friend Johnny celebrated with you when you finally stopped smoking and was genuinely happy for you and then Johnny calls you up to tell you he has finally met his weight loss goals wouldn’t you want to return the favor? Same with people who are struggling. If you have somebody sticking by your side when the going gets tough, you are certainly going to be there for them when they need it.

As you can see doing this can really go a long way to cementing good relationships. It can also help you accomplish your goals and give you more to celebrate. How? By activating a part of your brain called the reticulating activating system or RAS. Have you ever bought a particular outfit and then seen the outfit everywhere? Let me ask you did everyone just buy the outfit the same time you did? Of course not. Then what happened? The outfit was always there, but now that you bought it your brain recognized it as something worth noting. The same thing happens when we start celebrating things. Your brain then begins to look for, and here is the real bonus, create things worth celebrating. A good way to begin this is by asking yourself a question I learned from Michael Beckwith. Ask yourself every morning “What can I celebrate today?”. Eventually you will see a bit of good news, or your friend will share some or something will happen to you worth celebrating. Plus you will begin to feel like everyday is a party. This is actually how life should feel.

So start celebrating with me today! Feel free to share something you are celebrating for yourself or someone else in the comments below!

LISTENING CAN BE YOUR SECRET WEAPON

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Recently my amazing lady outdid herself by throwing me what you can see was one fun surprise birthday party. That by itself is sweet and impressive. In addition to writing this blog to express my sincere gratitude for her doing so, there is another reason. I am sure many of you have had parties thrown for you in your life and if not I sure hope you do. It is a great way to show those in your life that you care. Here is what I feel makes the lady in my life even more impressive. This party was thrown for me at my favorite place, the Wisconsin state fair. It actually happened while the fair was going on. She managed to speak to the owner of my favorite stand there which has a tropical theme with sand and a reggae band and rum. She even managed to get a hold of a lot of my close friends and family as you can see. She managed to go there and decorate without me knowing. This is hard to do because I am there every day. She did all of this without me knowing. Which, both of us working in the bar business is extremely hard to do.

Other than informing you what an amazing lady I have, what does any of this have to do with you? What is the lesson we can take away from all of this and apply to our lives? That is a great question. Here is what really impressed me about my lady and this party. She listened. She knew I loved the fair, which is not a great secret, but she also learned where my favorite place was at the fair. She listened to people I spoke about that I considered friends and made sure they received an invite. She put all of what she learned into action by reserving the both and decorating and even making very delicious cupcakes. All of these things made this a lifetime memory.

So here is my suggestion. If you want to have an amazing life, and if you want to blow your spouse, friends, boss or anyone else in your life away; listen. Not just before the event, but all of the time. That is what my wonderful woman did. She listens whenever I talk. Anyone who knows me can understand that is a lot of listening. By doing so she was able to discern a lot of information and used that to make me feel very special. So listen to everyone you come in contact with. You never know what you can learn and how you can use it to help them or make them feel good.

Once more, thank you Margie my love for an amazing party and a memory that will last a lifetime.