DEATH MAKES YOU YOUNG

 

 

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This title may have you scratching your head and wondering if I have returned to drinking large amounts of rum. I can certainly understand if you were thinking both, but the reality is far more inspiring.

How can death make you younger? Truly, that sounds close to insanity. This touching and inspiring story is not mine, but was emotionally relayed to me by a gentleman at a show that my lovely lady and I were DJing this past Sunday. This man came in with a group of people and signed up to sing a song. Fairly straight forward at this point. In this group there was a gentleman who was a little older than the average person that comes to our shows. When he stepped up to the microphone he seemed to just exude not just happiness, but a true passion for simply being there. No matter what seemed to be going on around him, the smile never left his face.

A while later the younger gentleman came up to sign him up to sing again and what he told us was such an inspiring tale I implored him to let me share it with all of you. He was kind enough to agree, so for that I am grateful. The older man was his father. He had been in the hospital fighting some serious issues. A formerly healthy man had found himself down to 150 pounds and fighting for his life. In two separate instances, his wife, the young man’s mother, was asked if she wanted to ‘pull the plug’ and end his misery. She replied defiantly, explaining her husband was a fighter and she was sure he was not giving up so neither was she. The doctors were not as hopeful as she was and tried to ease her into accepting the inevitable. She knew the man she loved better than them and was having none of it. Sure enough with the love of his wife and son, as well as others this gentleman continued to fight and pulled through.

This truly was a great story, but what does it have to do with growing younger? Recall the way I described how the gentleman had approached singing that night. He never lost his smile and seemed to just radiate passion for simply being alive. After hearing his story it is easy to understand why that might be. As beautiful as his state of being was, it had an even greater aspect, it was contagious! As his son told his story, tears filled his eyes. “Look at him.” he said as he pointed to his father. “He is just so happy to be alive.” You could tell his son treasured each day with his father as what it was, a gift that almost taken away by illness.

It was not just this man and his son that was affected by his ordeal. Him and his wife were like teenage lovers. The whole evening they looked at each other with love in their eyes and joy in their hearts. You could tell this woman who made the ever so difficult choice of not pulling the plug when her husband was suffering so greatly, was truly living the dream. She now had more time with the man she loved and almost lost. I do not know what their relationship was prior to this, but I imagine like many others it might have fallen victim to the law of familiarity. There is a lot of love, but even subconsciously, we begin to take the person and even the love a little for granted. We assume they will be there tomorrow and the next week and next year. It seems only an experience such as the one this couple went through can move us out of this rut.

The takeaway today is this – let us not wait for a tragedy, or near tragedy of our own to begin to fall in love with our life and those inside of it. Hopefully, this story will do for you what it did for me, that is realize how quickly something, and someone can leave us. This year I have lost 3 people very close to me. One was in his 80’s, one was only in her 40’s and one was in between. As truly heartbreaking as these loses were, the end result was the same; I had the great urge to run home and wrap my arms around my lovely Margie and remind her how beautiful and loved she is. It inspired me to laugh more, to love deeper and to not take anything or anyone for granted.

It is often through our greatest loss, that our appreciation for what remains can be rekindled. Life has a way of blinding us to the beauty that surrounds us everyday. You could certainly think of those who have already crossed over and what we wish we could have shared with them, but let us not forget all those who are still in our lives and mean so much to us. Take a few moments and ponder how much your life would be turned upside down if you lost that job you always tread going to. Look into the eyes of those you love and ask yourself what if you lost them today? What would you most regret not telling them. Most importantly, tell them now. Realize it is never too early to let someone know how much you love them and never too late to fall in love with your own life.

On a side note, the young man told me something else that really touched me. His father read one book before he went into the hospital and again while he was recovering, my book.  A Happy Life for Busy People To be a part of such a heart-warming story means more to me than I can explain.

20 YEAR OVERNIGHT SUCCESS

I have been involved in the field of self-improvement for roughly two decades. In that time I have created the website secret2anamazinglife.com, wrote the book A Happy Life for Busy People started a YouTube channel under Neil Panosian, and have given live seminars. Still, on any given day getting my message out can be a struggle.

A few weeks ago while working my day job at the post office I began to feel a bit frustrated things were not coming along quicker. I expressed this feeling to a few people. The following Monday I received offers from 2 magazines requesting my contribution and 2 newspapers looking to interview me.

By the end of next month there will be columns in the 2 papers on me and by the end of the week my article will be in the first magazine.

The point of this is this – never give up. We have all heard the saying “It is darkest before the dawn” personally that helps me very little when I am sitting in the dark. It is that slimmer of hope that my message can finally reach the masses and I could begin to make a difference on a grand scale that kept me going everyday for the last 20 years. Why? It is my passion, my purpose and I firmly believe what I offer can help lots of people.

Use my story as an example. If you seem to be working on your passion and there does not seem to be any progress, don’t give up! Keep working, knowing if your intentions and desires are strong enough the universe will work with you.

That being said, if anyone would like to help get my message out there I would be most grateful.

HOW DUTY IS JOY

Here is a reminder of how important finding our passion is and how it can make all the difference in our lives. A few posts ago I wrote about finding myself in a funk. I called that post ‘When it all goes wrong’. If you like it may help to go back and read it. In addition to the tools I used in that post one more powerful tool helped turn that day, and my life at that moment around – I wrote.

Some people may think that writing a post five days a week, while working on my next book in addition to working at the post office and as a DJ may be a bit overwhelming. Nothing could be further from the truth. Discovering and subsequently sharing information on how to live a more positive, rewarding life is my passion. Seeing and hearing about the positive difference I can make in the lives of others is not what feeds my ego, it is what feeds my soul. I want to truly leave the world a better place than I found it. In short, it is my passion.

So, the other day when I found myself feeling down as so many of us do, I wanted to share how I was feeling and what I was doing about it with all of you. Little did I know that doing so would make such a great difference in my own well-being. This I believe was accomplished for two reasons. I am going to share those two reasons with you and invite you to use them in your own life as well.

First, when you find yourself overwhelmed with your own problems one of the best things to do is to try to help others with theirs. There is something very healing about altruism. It may help you realize someone always has it worse than you, or even that you are not alone in having problems. By sharing my struggles and allowing others to see that I still struggle and what I do to overcome that challenge I hope will be very helpful.

Secondly, I was doing what I firmly believe I was put on earth to do. There is nothing that can compare to doing what your purpose is. When you do so time seems to disappear and so does your trouble. Whether your passion is painting, working on cars, being a great parent or anything else, living that passion is what truly brings us joy.

I want to leave you with a poem that captures today’s thought perfectly. It is from the poet Rabindranath Tagore, who won the 1913 Nobel Prize for literature.

“I slept and dreamed that life was joy,

I awoke and saw that life was duty,

I acted, and behold duty was joy.”

Doing your duty, or passion will bring you joy. If you are not sure what your purpose in life is, I recommend you spend some time to discover that. There are tools both on this blog and in my book A Happy Life for Busy People to help you do this.

I also invite you to share with other readers your experience of living your passion, or life purpose and how it makes you feel in the comments below

MAKE IT EASIER

 

All week we have been discussing ways to help us along the great journey we began with Monday’s post. Again, if you have not had a chance to take part of this amazing 7 day transformational event it is never too late. Feel free to click the link below to see how you can get started today!

I DARE YOU….

The last two days we have looked at ways in which we can remain positive and make this journey not only more powerful, but more fun. We mentioned finding the dessert in any situation on Tuesday. Yesterday we talked about making the most of happy moments and how to use them to also help us achieve our goals.

What is the best way to find the dessert in every situation and have as many special moments as possible? Surround yourself with people doing the same! If your life is filled with Debbie downer and Negative Nancy it will be extremely hard to remain optimistic about the realization of any goal you are focusing on. The best is when you can recruit your partner to join you on the journey to having an amazing life as I have. Even if you want to keep what you are doing to yourself, surrounding yourself with people who are not only positive, but want to make the best of themselves can make all the difference.

Above is a picture of my friend Russ and I. We have been friends for…well…let us just say a really long time. Russ and myself have many different viewpoints and have taken several different paths. What is the same is our end goal. To learn how to squeeze every last drop of passion and enjoyment out of life all while learning to be the best versions of ourselves.

Because, not in spite of, the fact that we are different can we help each other so well. Trying to read every book or try every method for self-improvement yourself is just not practical. There is just not enough days in one’s life. Having a friend, or friends, who look at life differently but have the same end goal can introduce you to a world of different options than you could ever discover yourself. In addition, having someone facing the same struggles and cheering you on can get you through the toughest times. So ‘pick your posse’ carefully. This, more than anything, can make all the difference in your journey to live an amazing life.

THE SECRET TO A PASSIONATE LIFE

Everyone wants a life filled with joy and vitality. I believe the quickest way to accomplish that is to increase your passion. How do we do that? Find a ‘why’ to your life. What does that even mean? What it means is finding a reason you want to get up in the morning. Why going through all the tough times will be worth it.

I have asked a lot of my good friends what their ‘why’ is. When asked most of them don’t know. Some give me answers such as “If I don’t I will be fired”. That is not very motivating.  Ask yourself that very question. What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning. I must confess there are days not much will get me out of bed. Still most days I have a compelling reason to put both feet on the floor and begin moving. This blog is part of it.

We all need something that stirs our soul. Usually it is something bigger than just ourselves. I am not advocating you quit your job and move to the tropics, although I must admit that thought crosses my mind several times a day. No, you don’t even have to change your career. You may eventually want to, but you can always begin chasing a dream part time. Maybe begin writing that book you have always wanted to? Start your own YouTube channel doing videos on a topic that excites you. (Mine can be found by searching Neil Panosian). There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities. My mother recently retired and will begin volunteering at our local zoo.

The point is all of us, I don’t care who you are, were born to do more than just pay bills and die. We each have a unique gift and passion to share with the world. Nelson Mandela once said “Action without vision is only passing time, Vision without action is merely dreaming, but vision with action can change the world”. I don’t care if your passion is attending state fairs. Perhaps you can recommend ways in which they can be improved. Maybe write a book about your different experiences, or create a photo book? The point is no matter what your passion is, sharing it with the world will accomplish 2 great things. One, it will bring joy and fun to countless people who share your passion and most importantly it will set your soul on fire. These are two things the world desperately needs, people sharing their passions and people living their passions. Once you start, your life will never be the same!

GIVE UP GOOD TO GO FOR GREAT

Here is me behind the bar at the local club anything, the last place I worked as a bartender. I gave up bartending as of this past Saturday. I have been bartending off and on for 23 years now. That even sounds like a long time typing it. My grandfather and great uncle were also bartenders. The reason I started bartending was simple, I thought it looked like a cool profession and a great way to meet new people. I was right on both accounts. I took a break in 2002 to focus on my postal career.

After returning to bartending a lot of interesting things happened. I met the beautiful lady I now call my own, I met a bar owner I consider a good friend and I met a whole group of new people many of whom I consider as close as family. Bartending has brought me many financial rewards as well. The money was good, I had chances to affect people and learn about their life situations. Yes indeed, bartending has certainly brought a lot into my life.

So why leave? Why walk away from a job that I am told I am very good at, more so than any other I do? Why end doing something that brought me such personal and financial success? The reasons are simple and yet complicated.

In the case of this particular location, the people stopped showing up. Not really the way one wants to go out, but in business this happens. There was a bout of construction on the street in front of the establishment that I think ended the success we were starting to build there. My lady, who was the DJ that night, and I did everything we could to promote that night. 95% of the time we were the only ones doing so, but still it was tough at best.

More importantly, however, my heart is leading me in another direction. So even though my head would say to stick with a job that you are good at and can make a fair amount of coin at, my heart says it is time to move on. Throughout my years on this wonderful planet I have learned when your head and heart disagree it is often wise to pay attention to the latter. I often write about living your passion and that is what I am focused on doing. I am taking Monday to focus on my writing and speaking career. I am determined to make a difference in as many lives as I can in 2017. The money may not be as great, but in doing what I love I feel I can make the greatest difference in the world.

I want to take a moment to thank a few people who have made my journey in bartending special. First, Scott Bunker who gave me my first bartending opportunity. Also the 2 Jimmys, Jim Grossmeyer who was my first mentor who taught me the ABC’s of bartending and Jimmy (Pops) O’Leary who taught the spirit in bartending. Selena who talked me out of retirement for the last time. Danny Seiy who not only gave me a home for 3 years, but who also introduced me to the lady I love. Of course a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have ordered a drink from me in the last 23 years. It has been a pleasure to serve you and I look forward to seeing you at a book signing, seminar or some other event down the road.

CAN YOU MAKE IT THROUGH?

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Are you a passionate dreamer? Are you someone who has a clear vision of who you want to become? Do you have big dreams and great ambitions? If so this picture is for you. I was immediately drawn to it because it shows what we all must go through.

First, let me tell you this, if you are not pursuing a great passion in life, you are wasting your time. That is a pretty bold statement so let me offer you some reasons I am so passionate about it. What is your reason you wake up in the morning? Before you start saying things like “I have to go to work” or “I have to take care of the kids.”. Let me explain  I did not ask what your obligations were, I asked what your reason was. 85% of people are going to jobs daily that do not give them a sense of fulfillment. So if your reason to get up in the morning is to go to work so you can pay the bills you are wasting your life.

So what am I suggesting you do? Quit your job and move to the islands to live a life of leisure? Not exactly, but then again I am not telling you to not do that either. I have been tempted to do such a thing myself on occasion. Here is what I AM telling you to do, live your dream. What do I mean by that? Find what drives you and pursue that. It doesn’t even mean quitting your job, or even changing your job. Start it as a hobby. Do it part time on the side. Whatever you do, live your dream. My dream is to be a best-selling author and motivational speaker changing people’s lives and making the world a better place for everyone. I do this all between working for the post office, bartending and being a DJ. Is your passion trains? Start a train newsletter on the side. Perhaps you could take yearly trips to different train museums. Maybe you could research and write a book about trains. You could build and display model trains. There are a million different ways to live whatever you are passionate for.

Now here is where the magic comes in and life changes its meaning. Did you know in the industrialized world statistically you are more likely to suffer a heart attack between 8-9am on Monday morning than any other time? It’s true. We go back to the fact that 85% of people are going to jobs they do not like. So if quitting your job and moving along is not the answer what is? Here is the magic, I share this with people at my seminars. The very best way to reduce the effect of stress and negativity in your life is by increasing the positivity. That sounds good on paper, but what does it actually mean? Think of how you are right before you are about to go on vacation. Something bad happens and you think, “that’s ok, I am almost on vacation”. Perhaps you are someone who works outside and you wake up to a cold and raining day. If you know in a few days you will be on a tropical beach and it will be 80 degrees it is a lot easier to make it through that day.

Still that only works the one or two times you are taking vacation. How can capture that feeling daily? Let us take the idea of a train newsletter. Say you are a postal worker whose passion  is trains. You wake up to head to deliver mail, it is cold and raining and you know it will be a long day. Still you also know when you get home you can work on your train newsletter. As you drive to work through the rain and deliver mail as the water leaks through your weatherproof uniform you are thinking of what information you are going to share in your newsletter when you get home. Before you know it you are finishing delivering your mail route and it is almost time to go home. On the drive home as you listen to the same five songs on the radio you perfect how you are going to tell the world about the newest trains and how great they are. Normally coming home tired and wet you would just want a hot shower and to collapse, but today that shower will only provide more time to think about that article for your newsletter.

Does having a passion in life really work this way? I can tell you yes it most certainly does. So why doesn’t everybody pursue their passions at least part time. Here is the funny thing, when you choose to start chasing and more to the point, living your dream there are a million people telling you no. When I began to tell my customers that I was going to write a book and become an author I had no shortage of well-meaning people telling me things like “Do you realize how few authors succeed?” or one I will never forget “My cousin wrote a book, but only sold a couple of copies so don’t get your hopes up”. A lot of these people were just trying to protect me from hurt feelings or ‘wasting my time’. What they didn’t realize, and what you may not realize yet is that doing anything you are passionate about is never a waste of time. Even if you do not succeed at first, you will learn and be able to do it better the next time. If you are truly passionate nothing will keep you from your goal. Not to mention a very important thing, it will be fun. Life will regain that childhood wonder we seem to have sucked out of us. So decide on what you are passionate about and how you can incorporate that into your life. Even this doesn’t have to be perfect. You may very well start by writing a train newsletter and it turns into a book. Perhaps it turns into a newsletter about the train loving community. The important part is to get started. If you recall the statistics we cited earlier, 85% of people going to jobs they don’t like and being most likely to have a heart attack between 8 and 9am on Monday morning due to stress. Having something you are passionate about may just save your life.

Feel free to share this with anyone and everyone. A world full of people living their dreams would be an amazing world. Also feel free to share how you live your passion if you are doing so in the comments below. You just might inspire our other readers. Thank you.