TAKE IT WITH YOU

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This is my coffee mug this morning, and my hand holding said mug. Notice the fun state fair logo? When I took this picture it was early in the morning, about 37 degrees, snowing and I was on my way to work. Most importantly, I was happy. Why, when I am not a fan of winter, or snow was I so sunny on the inside? There are several reasons, the people I surround myself with, my belief system which has taken years to come to fruition and little reminders and symbols I bring with me. I am a huge fan of the state fair here in Wisconsin. It is during the warm summer months, there is generally no snow in August here. For some reasons I also enjoy balloons. They tend to make me happy. This coffee mug has the state fair logo, a balloon and even a pig, which although this one looks slightly guilty of something, they are an animal I enjoy seeing at the state fair.

So what difference does this coffee mug make in the overall course of my day? It does two things, it holds my coffee, which is a very important job and it also serves as a small reminder of all these little things that make me smile. Why is that so important? If you are going to have a travel mug full of coffee to take with you anyway, why not have one that makes you smile? There are plenty of little things we come across throughout our day that can challenge our inner sunshine, so fill your day with as many symbols and reminders of joy as you can. You can put a smiley face on your dashboard, or picture of your loved one in your visor. Little flower on your desk at work? Whatever symbols mean joy and happiness to you. So take them with you. Leave them all over. Remind yourself of everything that makes you happy and everything you have to be grateful for in as many ways as you can.

Feel free to share this blog post with others and please feel free to share your symbols of happiness with us in the comments below.

TAKE THE LESSON

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Often in times we can feel defeated. This is a natural and not to thrilling part of life. There will always be pain. Pretty inspirational so far huh? This blog, and my work is not about denying reality, but rather learning to thrive in any circumstances. So what do you do when pain strikes? Sometimes a moment to yourself of quiet reflection is needed, as long as it does not turn into hiding from the world for days on end living in the pain. Sometimes it shows us that we may need to distance or eliminate certain people in our lives, but we must be careful not to start losing our faith and trust in everyone. Sometimes pain will have us evaluate situations we are in and determine if they are still in our best interests such as relationships, jobs and friendships. We must just guard against becoming bitter and resentful towards the world. In all of these we must remember to take the lesson. If it is a person causing us pain, we must decide if it is worth keeping them in our lives. If not, and we still do we will still have the pain. If it is a job that does not fulfill us we are quite literally committing spiritual suicide. If we go to the opposite side of the spectrum and decide because one relationship left us hurt that all relationships are hurtful we will be denying ourselves the love we deserve.

This reminds me a lot of working out. When you first start working out, or any new physical exercise the following day can leave you feeling like you played a game of chicken with a semi…and lost. If you stay too long in trying to wait until you feel back to normal to try again you will just get pain and have to start the cycle all over. That being said, if you just decide “this hurts and working out is painful and bad” you will never get healthy and shape the body you want. We must grow from the pain and not let it destroy us.

Please share this post with everyone you might know suffering from pain. thank you for helping me help others.

THE POWERFUL P WORD

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What if you could do something to guarantee you would not fail? How much would that be worth to you? Knowing going into any project or setting any goal that you would succeed. How good would that feel? How would it change your attitude when you start out? Well there is such a power. It is the power of persistence. It was Babe Ruth who said “It is hard to beat the man who never gives up”. He went on to set the record for home runs. There were days that he struck out, days he couldn’t seem to get a hit, but he just kept swinging.

So if this power is a guarantee why doesn’t everybody achieve all of their goals? The reason is this, although persistence is a sure fire way to succeed it is not easy. After all who wants to keep going after they “fail” at something. Who wants to get up and try again? Still, Edison did it 10,000 times while trying to perfect the light bulb. Who would keep asking after you hear “No” again and again? Still, Walt Disney did it after being told “no” by over 300 bankers when trying to money for Disneyland. Can you imagine life without those two things?

I am not Walt Disney or Edison you say. Obviously that is true as they have both passed away and you, my dear friend are alive and reading this. So how can we develop determination and persistence like those two? This is how, by using the P words we have learned so far. Discover your purpose. Then, list what you will lose by not achieving it and gain by doing so. In other words, give your self a dose of both pain and pleasure. Then increase your knowledge and why in the subject to fire up your passion. Then rest assured in the knowledge that if you persist you will not, in fact you cannot fail.

In case you are still having your doubts on your own abilities to do so, here are two more real life examples. The first is a question I will ask you. How long would you give a baby to learn to walk? One day? One week? One month? How long did it take you? Did your parents tell you “Sit down and stop trying to walk, you are just getting in the way and are going to hurt yourself”? Of course not. So how did you learn to walk? You learned to walk but trying, failing and trying again. How long did it take you? That answer differs for each one of us. We rarely apply this thinking as adults. If we try and fail we become discouraged. We look around and compare ourselves to others. “Well they made a fortune by the time they were 30, I must be behind” or “they have found true love and I never will”. What if a baby looked at another baby and said, “Well they learned to walk in 2 days I guess I will crawl the rest of my life”? I dare say the majority of us would not be on two feet. So you have already proven to yourself you can persist.

Here is one more example courtesy of the salesman. Have you ever had a salesman knock on your door when you were home? You ignore him but he keeps knocking. You look over at your spouse and say “can you believe this fool? He is still there?” More time goes by and more knocking. Finally you give in and yell “What do you want?!” A lot of us give up after one or two knocks. We here opportunity inside watching TV but we say to ourselves “Oh well opportunity must have slipped out the back door, I’ll just go home”. I am telling you, just keep knocking! Eventually life will give in and simply ask “What do you want?!” Remember the words of the Bronx Bomber, “It is hard to beat the man who won’t give up”. It is not only hard, it is impossible. You may fail several times, but you are only a failure if you give up.

Please share this post and give faith and hope to those who may be tempted to give up. Feel free to leave your favorite example of persistence in the comments below.

THE MOST EXCITING P WORD!

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What do you think of when you see the word passion? Is it time with the one you love? That certainly is one kind of passion, but not the one we are discussing here today. We are going to talk about the passion that drives you. The one you get out of bed for. The one that keeps you going when things get tough. You do have something like that in your life, right? Don’t worry if you had to answer no to that last question we are going to discuss how to fill your life with passion.

First let us ask ourselves the very important question “What is passion?”. Simply stated passion is your why behind what you do. Think of a subject that generally excites you. Now try to list why it excites you. What is so important to you about that subject. Same for goals you are trying to accomplish. Why are you trying to accomplish them? What makes it so important? You should be doing this with every goal you set. Creating passion gives us fuel and drive to stay focused and track. This holds true not only for our goals, but for our life as well. Begin to think of things you are passionate about and how you can include a few in your life at regular intervals. This gives you something to be excited about and something to look forward to.

So how does one develop passion? The first we touched on already, discover the why. You say you would like to be rich, but why? “So I wouldn’t have to work anymore” only drives us so far. Now, things like having the freedom to spend my time doing whatever I want, whenever I want to, or being able to support causes that are important to me and make the world a better place. Those create more passion. Another little known way to increase passion is to increase knowledge about anything. The more you know the easier it is to be excited about things. So spend some time learning about the things you are passionate about or about your goals and watch your passion soar.

Please feel free to share this post and let us create a world of people full of passion. Also feel free to share what you are passionate about below in the comments

THIS COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT P WORD OF ALL TIME

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Today’s ‘P’ word may not be that easy to guess by the picture. It may, however, be the most important word in your life. As I sit here typing in the local coffee shop I am debating how to fit all of the information about this word in a short blog. Know what you read here will be expanded upon in my upcoming book Living the Dream. Still this word will change your life. It will act as an internal compass giving your life direction. It will automatically give you a sense of what is right and wrong for you to do. It will even help you decide what is worth spending your time and energy on.

In my own life let me share with you what this word has done for me. It has eliminated the small stresses in life that used to bother me. It has given me an excitement for life that I didn’t have before. It has allowed me to feel like I am being a use to the world and to my fellow man. The negativity that surrounds my day job at the post office seem to become comical. Most importantly though for me is every day I wake up I have a drive and a direction to go in. It gives me a reason to get out of bed, and for those of you who know me that can be a challenge. We won’t even mention what I am like before my first cup of coffee.

Ok, what one word could possibly do all of this and how can you get in on it? Here is the good news, this word comes to you free and clear. The only requirement is a little bit of soul searching which ends up being pretty fun anyway. This word that can do all of that and more is PURPOSE. How can purpose do all that? Let me try to explain in brief. Here is my life purpose. To help others see the beauty in themselves and the world around them, including the people they share it with. Finding your sense of purpose can tell you if you are doing things that are a waste of your time and energy or not. Does it bring you closer to your purpose or not? For me if what I am doing does not help others see the beauty in themselves and the world around them than I am not using my time and energy correctly. It also helps me with my morals. If I were to do something that would go against people seeing the beauty in themselves or the world around them that would be defined as a sin in my world.

Here is a few things about purpose. You do not have to change jobs to live your passion, although you may find yourself heading down that path after a while. For example, my job at the post office puts me in touch with a lot of people and I do my best to make their days brighter and let them know good things about themselves. I also purchased a motivational calendar for the break room to help set a better mood. Still I find myself devoting a greater amount of time and energy to this blog, my next book and seminars. Which is how I found myself part of the Wisconsin author festival pictured above. Another thing about purpose is that it should be something bigger than yourself. It may very well include yourself as in the example above, but not exclusively.

So how does one go about discovering their passion? There are  many sites and books devoted to the topic and I would recommend exploring the ones that speak to you. Also creating a simple life mission statement like the one I had for my life earlier in this post goes a long way. There is a free tool to help you do so on http://www.nightingale.com Also think of things that interested you as a child. This can also leave clues as to what may be your life’s purpose. Hobbies are another great source that one can explore their purpose as well. Again this is just the tip of the iceberg when discussing this subject.

Please feel free to share your life’s purpose in the comments below as well as how knowing it has improved your life. PLEASE share this post anyway you can. If more people in this world find their life’s purpose the world will be a better place for all of us.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

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Last post we discussed the first of our ‘P’ words which was pain. We determined that we can use pain to serve us and that it can be a useful tool in living an amazing life. We also said reducing pain is one of the two reasons we do anything in life. At the risk of sounding too negative we are now going to look at the other reason we do everything in life that we do and that leads us to our second ‘P’ word – PLEASURE. If you think about it everything we are motivated to do in life is to either reduce the pain in our lives or increase the pleasure. While discussing this very principle with my lady this evening the subject of altruism, or helping others, came up. Even when we help others in a totally selfless way we are doing so because we feel it is the right thing to do. What does doing a good deed do? That’s right it makes us feel good. So really everything we do in life can be fit into one of these two categories, reducing pain or increasing pleasure.

Ok, now that we have established this fact how can we use this to create a more productive, healthy and happy life? This is what I suggest, pick a challenge or goal you are currently working on in your life. Last post we used the example of living a healthier life. Let us stick with that. We showed you how using pain, and noting what you will lose if you don’t accomplish that goal will help you stay motivated. On that same sheet of paper I recommend listing the pros or what you have to gain by accomplishing the same goal. In the case of being healthier your paper may look something like this

PAIN (or whatever word you choose)

More aches and pains, less energy, more doctor bills, less time for fun activities, more time spent feeling miserable, more money spent on medicine

PLEASURE (or again whatever word speaks to you)

more pain free movement, more energy, less sleep needed, be able to be around to see children grow up, better able to enjoy all the good things life has to offer, better resistance to colds and flu, improved mental state, better mood

What this does is use both pain and pleasure to drive us to succeed at our goal. Realizing what you stand to both lose and gain will give you twice the motivation and help you achieve your goals twice as quick. Now wouldn’t that put twice the smile on your face?

As always I encourage you to leave your stories about how you use both pain and pleasure to achieve your goals. I also encourage you to like/comment and share this post. Help your friends and those you care about live a more rewarding life as well. Thank you.

 

THE FIRST OF MANY

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This will be a week devoted to words that shape our lives and begin with the letter ‘P’. Not only is it the first letter of my last name, but as you will see when the week progresses there are a lot of words that fall into this category.

First word up, ‘Pain’. It may seem odd for a blog on living an amazing life to feature pain as its first word of the week, but that is only because we often think of pain as a negative. What do I mean pain as a negative? Who doesn’t think of pain as a negative right? If you ask anyone “would you like some pain?” chances are the answer will be a resounding no. Here is the bad news, pain will always be a part of our lives. Here is the good news, that doesn’t have to be the bad news. Pain can be our servant and not our master. We can learn to use pain and not let it use us.

So How can pain be a good thing in our lives? First of all let us understand one thing, in many ways it already has been. As a child if you touch a hot stove your body gives you pain. In most cases we remember that and never touch a hot stove again. Thus, we save ourselves bodily harm that could cause us severe damage. Let us look at emotional pain. Someone does something and our heart gives us a dose of pain. Often this can be worse than touching the hot stove. So how on earth is this good? It can be if we understand it is showing us something about both ourselves and the other person. Maybe we did not communicate to the other person our standards and what hurts our feelings? Maybe we need to be a little more cautious with how much we open ourselves to this person. In some cases the pain may even mean we need to limit and maybe even remove this person from our lives.

One final way we can use pain to serve us is in the accomplishment of goals. In life we do things for two reasons. One of which is to reduce and eliminate pain. The other we will discuss tomorrow. So how can we use this to improve our lives? Let us say our goal is to live a healthier life. Try taking yourself for a run and see how far you can get. Find a full length mirror and get undressed in front of it. These things may seem very unmotivating, but when we understand that personal dissatisfaction can be a tremendous driving force we can understand giving ourselves small doses of pain can push us in ways we may very well need. How many times have you heard someone say “I’m sick of feeling/looking this way!”? If their pain is great enough they will change it. Same with motivating us to help others. I am a firm believer in helping the abused be it adults, children or animals. When I see the commercials with the starving children or abused animals I want to reach right out and help. I want to eliminate their suffering.

The one caution is we must not let ourselves be consumed by pain. As powerful as pain is, it is only one side of the equation. Next post we will look at the other half of this powerful life-changing tandem. So please read both and understand life is a balance.

As always feel free to share this post with anyone and everyone you think it may help.

YOU DECIDE WHAT IT MEANS!!!

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I’m VERY excited to be writing this post. This is a picture that my lady posted on Facebook. I fell in love with it right away, much like I did with her. Here is the powerful thing about this, it points out a very important thing that many of us do not utilize. We can control what things in life mean to us. What it is often perceived as a negative experience can often be the greatest of all lessons and motivate us further. If you look at words they have a powerful impact on how we feel. When someone says you ‘FAIL’ it makes us feel bad, but if you ask any successful person they suggest you should embrace failure. Why? because when you fail, you are getting one step closer to succeeding. In fact, if we never fail, we would never learn anything. We would never grow. If we change our definition to “first attempt at learning” we can better understand how it can help us grow.

‘END’ is another word that can make us feel down. A job comes to an end, we can feel like we did something wrong. Only if we give up. If we change our definition to “effort never dies” it encourages us to keep going. So next time we are told we have come to an end, let us not accept that. If that door closes, let us go on looking for another which may very well open up into a room full of new opportunities that we may never have encountered.

How about when we have been pushing and doing our best and someone tells us ‘NO’? We must not accept that as a final word. In my own life I have faced many ‘NOs’. Each one has had me feel let down. From now on, thanks to my beautiful Margie, I will understand that is just means “Next opportunity”. In my professional career I have been pushed to new jobs, new people and new gifts and talents I would not have discovered had I not lost the position that I had previously. In my personal life, a lot of ‘FAIL’ ‘END’ and ‘NO’ has changed my life for the better more than anything else.

If you like this as much as I did, thank Margie and feel free to like/comment/share with others!

CHANGE…IT’S A GOOD THING!

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I hear a lot of people complaining about change.  Last post we talked about the importance of learning.  Today we are going to discuss why you need to keep changing and why that is a good thing. When I hear people who say they dislike change or who are even afraid of change I feel compelled to ask them why. The answers fall into a category something like “I just wish everything would stay like it was” or they tend to focus on things in the world that have changed for the worse.

I will tackle the first argument this way. Ok, if things never changed I would love for you to ride a horse to work today. When you get there try using a computer that would only store so much data before you had to remove one of those floppy disks and start over. I even remember having to wait for nights and weekends because they were cheaper to use on my cell phone. Medical treatments have certainly become more advanced. I don’t think any of us would want to check into a hospital where they are using medical practices from the dark ages.

So what about the second point that change can often bring about negative results? That is always true to some extent. We mentioned the medical field before. While new knowledge there has saved countless lives I think the new ‘pill pushing’ paradigm is the wrong way to go. Still I wouldn’t sacrifice the knowledge gained. This was brought home by a conversation I had with a coworker at my job at the post office. “I don’t use the internet. All they have on there is porn and other garbage. I have lived this long without it, I don’t need it now”. On one had he is right. There is a lot of garbage on the internet and a fair amount of adult entertainment, or at least that is what I heard. Still this man is an avid bicyclist and could learn a great deal about that. There are also search engines for any questions you may have. YouTube videos that show you everything from preparing your dish, to secrets to improving your life. The latter of which can be found on my channel under “Neil Panosian”. My point here is this, if we look at the negative side of change it becomes something to fear at the most extreme or at the very least something unpleasant at best. If we focus on everything we gain from change it becomes something far more encouraging.

If you know someone who fears change feel free to share this with them. In fact, feel free to share this post with anyone and everyone. If there is any issue you would like addressed in this blog feel free to list your question in the comments and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO

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One question I get a lot is why do you keep studying. Why do you keep reading books on improving yourself and motivation when that is what you write/teach? In fact, I had a person that was very close to me ask me, “Why do you read books on relating to people when you do that so well? Why do you listen to how to start a conversation, when you are the best at talking to people?”. The answer is in the question itself. They actually had it backwards. I can talk and relate to people because I do study material. I am only good at what I do because I never stop learning. So if I have found things that work, why am I still looking for other things that work? Very good question. Here is the answer. Upgrade. What do I mean by upgrade? There are always secrets and tools I do not know about. I am continually facing new struggles and there are people who may have faced them before that could offer a unique insight.

So here is what I suggest to you. Whatever your passion is, whatever you are working on, read about it. Study like you are new. Get around people in the same field. I routinely chat with a fellow who also has a blog on positivity as well as a fellow who just started a motivational Facebook page. Treezy and Nick have taught me a lot and have both given me fresh perspectives. Even talking with people who are not necessarily in your field can pay off. My lovely lady Margie designs cakes, I do not. My cakes resemble a young child’s art project. Still, I can ask my lady what she does to stay motivated and keep to her high standards. I can then use that to apply to my work in the self-improvement/motivation field. Winners are winners no matter what their chosen field and all of them use certain practices whether they know it or not.

One more reason I keep learning and working. I want to reach as many people as possible. The more ways I learn to do so and the more I put myself out there the more people I will reach. I know myself I can hear the same message several times and it finally clicks if it is said in just the right way, or maybe it is just the right time for me to hear it. So I shall continue to keep working and learning. I welcome you to do the same. You never know what you will discover.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to like/share and tell others about it. If there is any questions you would like addressed, please feel free to leave them in the comments.