INTRODUCE YOURSELF! 👋🫂

As the year draws to a close and we look forward to 2023, I would invite you to do one thing. Introduce yourself. This blog is called Secret2anamazinglife. It is a place to both give and receive. We are followed in all but 8 countries in this amazing planet of ours. We are followed on all 7 continents. That means there are so many of you out there with secrets that help you live an amazing life. It would benefit us all to know them. That is why I would like to extend an invitation to introduce yourself. Tell us where you read these posts of inspiration and motivation. Let us know a little about yourself. What do you enjoy about what we share here? Most importantly, share your knowledge. What do you do to live an amazing life?

Each of our lives, whether that be our personal experiences, the country we live in, the people we know, the jobs we hold or the pets we have, hold secrets to living an amazing life that are worth sharing. I get regular feedback from my friends in Italy, Greece, and Lebanon. I would love to hear from people in every country we are followed in. By all of us sharing, we can help each other live a more amazing life. We have over 4000 followers in India alone. 1000 in South Africa. Each one of you is awesome and a great asset to this website. In the coming years, I hope to meet a lot more of you. Certainly, my followers in Fiji and the Maldives can host a book signing. I would be happy to come out and shake your hands. In regards to our friends in France, Peru, and Kenya, as well as everywhere in between, it would be wonderful to meet you at the very least virtually. Tell me what you would like to read more about. Tell me what you enjoy about this site and what is important to you. In what ways do you benefit from what we share? In what ways could we improve?

Lastly, I invite you to share this site. The more people we can reach, the more we can spread the positive, motivational and inspiring messages we share here. Share the posts you enjoy on your social media pages. Invite others you think could benefit from learning secrets to an amazing life to be a part of our family. That is what I consider all of you, a family. We all gather here to both discover and appreciate the true miracle we are all living. Let us introduce and meet each other. Share a little about yourself in the comments below and please continue to do so all year long. Your interaction only makes what we share here stronger. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

As a bonus, you are all invited to become a part of my new Podcast, Living the Dream with Neil Panosian. Here you will hear me read sections of my books and get the behind the scenes information as to what went in to creating them. You can also listen to inspirational messages as you drive in your car, go for a walk, workout at the gym or whatever else you may be doing. Just click on the link below to listen and subscribe. It is an opportunity to become part of another inspiring community of like-minded people.

CLICK HERE TO DISCOVER THE LIVING THE DREAM WITH NEIL PANOSIAN PODCAST 😀

WHY SOME PEOPLE MAY NOT LIKE YOU😜

On occasion, we can run into people who just don’t like us. This can be both frustrating and annoying. What we need to remember is that it usually has little to nothing to do with us. There is a saying “hurt people, hurt people”

I have found cynical and pessimistic people can often be irritated by my optimistic nature and desire to improve the world anyway I can. It is important for me to remember that these wonderful souls are who need positivity the most. Next time someone seems unjustly irritated by you, send them some good vibes and do not let it poison your soul.

SPREAD THE LOVE

Further proof you can find inspiration anywhere; here is a sign I saw in the men’s room while on a date with my beautiful Margie. Yes, I am always on the lookout for something beneficial I can share with all of you. Don’t worry, I did wash my hands.

In today’s world it can seem like there is a new tragedy everyday. We read about war, we see news coverages of mass shootings and rising crime. Here in the United States, we are having an election. That is a time when lots of people try to convince you how terrible the world is, and who is to blame. Here is a news flash for all of us – There is a lot of good and beauty in the world. It doesn’t get a lot of press. It doesn’t sell.

Here is another wonderful fact. Our world is not out of our control. There are very powerful forces that would like you to believe that, but it simply is not so. Sure, there are variables that can provide the unexpected challenge, but even our reaction to those are up to us. There is also a great deal we can do to positively influence the world around us. This sign is a great example. It is a simple and universal message that would leave to a better world. What other signs can you think of that would do the same? I encourage you to spend some time thinking of some. Here is another powerful idea – put these signs up where you can. The more messages of inspiration and motivation we put out there, the more we can change the negative narrative we are being fed. What would your sign say? Where would you put it?

EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS ONCE IN THEIR LIFE

This post could have been titled many different things. “My secret to happiness” and “23 years of training” were other considerations. Let’s talk about the title i did choose. “Everyone should do this once in their life. ” What should everyone do once in their life? I think everyone should work a job in retail at least once in their life. You should do this for several reasons.

The first reason is that you will have a lot more compassion for people who work in retail. When you may feel tempted to yell at a store clerk during the holidays or demand the coffee shop employee creates your beverage with a certain amount of ice cubes or anything that involves fractions, you will reconsider. You will personally know how it feels to be on the receiving end of that.

The other reason to work a job in retail is to expose yourself to as many different people and ideas as you can. Like anything in life, this can either drive you crazy or make you more open-minded and compassionate. It may be one of the best ways that I know to meet people in many different fields and with many different beliefs. You may discover things that you never knew you enjoyed about some of your fellow human beings. It is good training on managing your emotions when it comes to these same fellow human beings. It will also train you, if you use it for this purpose, on managing your own emotional well-being.

I was a bartender for 23 years. My next book will be my journey from that profession to self-improvement author, speaker and blog writer. In this profession, and just in life in general, one of the questions I get a lot is, “How can you be happy all of the time.” The short answer is that I am not. Margie can certainly attest to that. It also would make life pretty boring. We learn most when we go through challenges. That is where the growth comes from. The goal in life should not be to be happy 100% of the time. You will never achieve that and it may even increase the feelings of failure you have. The goal should be to reduce the frequency and intensity of the times you are not. You should also endeavor to learn from every situation you experience in life.

Learning from everything in life is what I do my best to do. I am always trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. When I think about what allows me to feel upbeat most of the time, a lot of things come to mind. First is gratitude. Developing a attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Surrounding yourself with what Les Brown calls OQP, or only quality people. These are the ones who will both encourage you and hold you accountable. Developing a routine of self-care is another thing that will pay dividends in the long run. I recommend all of these steps to each and every one of you reading this, but it was something I learned on my first day of bartending that made a huge difference.

Jimmy G was the man who trained me. He was one of the most respected bartenders in the city and taught me many things that I will never forget. I had the good fortune to work with and under several amazing men. One of the things Jimmy told me was “Nobody cares about your problems.” He went on to explain that you never want to walk into a bar with a depressed or even indifferent bartender. Whatever is happening in your life, for the time you are behind the bar you must put it behind you. “When you are done working you can go back to being sad, mad or whatever else you are dealing with. When you are behind the bar, you must act as if it is the greatest day of your life.” I used this same manner of thinking when it came to working the window area of the post office. Even if people dealt with me for a mere 60 seconds, I wanted it to be the best 60 seconds of their day.

What I learned by being ‘happy’ for an eight hour bartending shift, is that you can emotionally compartmentalize many emotions. I was forced to learn many methods and find the ones that worked for me. Doing this for the time I was working taught me that I could still have things crumbling down in my life and manage a positive outlook. In doing so, it allowed me to see opportunities and solutions I may have missed if I was in the whirlwind of negative emotion focused on what is wrong. This is a skill that has stuck with me. I am grateful for the chance to learn it. Having a positive outlook, even one that may be just ‘show’ for the public, can help us see ways in which to do so authentically.

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

Today’s world is filled with many acts of beauty and kindness. There are the numerous examples of nature we pass everyday. Birds flying by our windows, even squirrels stealing from the birdfeeders with their comical gestures. The trees in the park, sun dappled paths. There is the smile or a kind word from a stranger. A beautiful painting we can notice as we are sitting writing a blog in a coffee shop. All of these things can make our world so much more enjoyable to be in.

WARNING!!!! All of these things can be taken away from us if we are not careful. If you recall from a few posts ago, we spoke of seeds of knowledge taking root in our hearts and minds and blossoming at different times in our life. We also mentioned these seeds need to find fertile ground to land on. It is here where we can run into trouble. In addition to all of the things that I just mentioned, the world provides plenty of things that will harden our heart if we are not careful. We see news of conflicts near and far. We hear about how this group of people may not want our group of people to succeed. We can even hear less than inspiring lyrics on the radio. If you work in retail, or with the public, there are plenty of things that can leave you feeling less than inspired about people and the world in general.

Even those of us who do our best to live a positive and rewarding life, can be, on occasion, overwhelmed by negative influences. Have you ever found yourself a victim of someone else’s creative driving? On top of that, this person who must have used a bribe to obtain their drivers license, waves at you…with one finger! Sometimes you are having a great day, but are witness to others that are not having such a great day. I recall stopping to write at my local coffee shop and listening to the person ahead of me berate the barista because, and I would not have believed this if I didn’t witness it myself, they had 5 ice cubes in their coffee instead of the 6 they asked for. If you open your coffee and count the ice cubes to look for something to be upset about, it may be time to reconsider some priorities. Maybe it is just turning on the news to witness people being attacked and harmed or even killed just because of what they look like or believe?

One of these events may not be overwhelming in themselves, but you experience a few of them together and it can really sour your disposition. It may be that you experience a few of them day after day. Your heart can begin to grow hard. Our opinion of the world and the people in it may begin to take a negative turn. We may begin to feel discouraged and lose the sense of hope that keeps a smile on our face and in our heart. We may not be so eager to let others in emotionally for fear of being hurt. These would all be understandable reactions. After all, I will be the first to admit there is much in the world that could use improving. That is why I write these blogs and go around speaking at different events.

The question then becomes “What can we do about this?” How do we prevent our hearts from growing hard? If they have, how can we soften them up again? The answer, in short, is in what you are reading. We cannot help many of the things I mentioned. We can’t teach people to drive with courtesy. We can’t teach people how to have respect when one less ice cube shows up in their hot coffee. We certainly can’t help what a foreign power does to their people. That is why filling our lives with as many positive influences and self-care is so vitally important. These are not things we should wait to employ until our life is going south. They are a good form of preventative medicine. If you fill your life with positive influences and practice a healthy amount of self-care and nothing goes wrong, you will just end up happier and that will spill over onto the way you treat others. If, however, you run into some of the negative examples above, you will be better equipped to understand this is only a small portion of the world, no matter how it may seem, and that there are plenty of other positive people and beauty to be enjoyed.

To put it another way, our emotional well-being is much like our physical well-being. If you just wait to think of your health until you are sick and then take medicine, you will be sick more often. The negative emotional experiences we are exposed to can be compared to the many germs and viruses our bodies are exposed to. Occasionally, they may get the best of us and we get physically overwhelmed and need to take a break or some medicine. What do we do to limit that? We strengthen our immune system. Incorporated emotional self-care and positive influences can strengthen our mental immune system. Think of positive influences and bouts of self-care you can put into your life and prevent your heart from hardening.

REPELLING CAN BE POSITIVE

This post kind of follows a little in the footsteps of our last discussion, only it is a little more proactive. One way to reduce, if not eliminate, most negative souls in your life all together is to become a light of positivity. When sunshine-challenged people, or those with a negative disposition, encounter a positive soul they do one of two things. They either decide right away that this is not a person they want to be around or they work to destroy and bring down the positivity. These two actions have a similar motivation behind them – fear. As unpleasant as living as they do may be, that is their comfort zone. Giving up that negativity and embracing a more positive outlook is not only uncomfortable, but can be downright scary. These thoughts are usually subconscious, but exist just the same.

Let us explore the first option and why it may happen. They decide to that you are not a person they want to surround themselves with. This can lead to individuals no longer wanting to be a part of your life, or in some strange cases, people you meet picking up on your positivity right away and deciding to remain distant. Again, this comes from fear. If you live your life from a standpoint of negativity and encounter a positive person, you face the prospect that they may shed light on what a poor choice living in a negative state can be. Suddenly, you would be faced with the realization that living more positively would lead to a stronger immune system, fewer aches and pains and a lot more friends. Who wouldn’t want that right? Unfortunately, to get there requires admitting that the decisions you have been making up to this point were the incorrect ones. It also requires challenging many of the established beliefs you have such as life being against you, everyone is out to get you, life not being fair, etc. This would leave you feeling lost and a little unstable. It will also be a lot of hard work. Of course the reward would be a much healthier and more fulfilling life than you are living now, but it would be a lot easier and safer to just find a circle of people who reinforce your negative beliefs.

How about the second group of negative people? The ones who attack your positivity. They do it out of the same fear that their negative way of thinking may be incorrect. They also usually have a fair amount of jealousy. After all, you are happy and enjoying life despite often facing the same challenges they are feeling miserable about. They will often call you foolish. They will say you are wearing rose colored glasses or have your head in the sand. What should you do when attacked by such a person? Let them be. The more you respond to their attacks and negativity the more motivated they become. Being positive doesn’t mean not acknowledging the negative in life, it just means not focusing on it, or only focusing on it long enough to create a solution for dealing with it. Deflecting their negative criticisms with deflate their motivation for attacking you and they will search for someone who will be easier to tear down and join them in their world of negativity. There is a great deal of truth to misery loving company.

When it comes to negative people and their place in your life, take their breath away as the quote above says. Understand their desire to tear you down comes from a place of fear. Do your best to be a shining example of positivity. They will either decide that you will not allow their negativity to be an influence in your life and move along, or they may surprise you and seek to join you on the road to positivity. If this is the case, keep in mind all of the changes we discussed earlier this person will have to go through. Be patient and encouraging to them. They are trying to overcome a lifetime (or sometimes generations) of limiting beliefs and negativity. Just continue to be a shining example of the light of positivity. You will draw the ones who are ready to you and repel the ones that are not.

SHRED HATE

Further proof that self-improvement tips can come from places you do not expect, I give you the example above. A picture with a lot of great ideas. In these days and times it would seem hate and negativity are gaining a big foothold. These are simple steps in which we can turn the tide. I saw this picture on the Facebook page from an amazing DJ I enjoy from Trinidad and Tobago, DJ Ana. Her great Soca mixes are definitely worth checking out.

Let us look at a few of these and how we can put them to use. I like the idea of “Being kind in the comments.” It would seem that many people do not feel the need to engage unless it falls into the critical category. Sometimes, it is just to disagree with someone’s expressed opinion. Both of those are certainly valid comments, but how you say something can be even more important than what you are saying. I value people who offer me opinions that are different than mine or who have ways in which my writing or content can be improved. If, however, they say so in a harsh and confrontational manner I am less likely to be receptive. Being kind and encouraging in any and all situations can certainly help shred hate.

Spread positive content is another great one. A lot of us think that positivity and social media are opposites. That is a sad commentary in regards to most people’s social circle. When we are on social media, we choose who, and what we will follow. We also choose what we will share and bring to the lives of others. Do you really want to share that click bait negative headline just so people will check out your page? Wouldn’t it be better to introduce your friends and family to something that can help them reduce their stress, increase their joy and become the best version of themselves? Kind of like the post you are reading presently? We here at Secret2anamazinglife.com love it when our content is shared. Word of mouth is the best way to spread the word and help us reach the hearts and minds of those who really need us. Next time you are tempted to share that article about the celebrity failing their sobriety, do yourself and those you share with a favor and share something that will bring something positive to their lives instead. A picture of a monkey or baby bear wouldn’t hurt either.

Follow the good is our last category we are going to look at. This one should again be very simple, but might have been overlooked up until now. If you find something good, someone inspiring, or something useful – follow it. Whether that is a certain podcast you might sign up for, a YouTube channel to subscribe to, a Facebook page to like or group to join. Even this blog you are currently reading. If there is something that will add joy and positivity to your life, make sure to get it in your schedule and in your life right away. Be alerted when new content is posted. That way there is always a little bit of positivity showing up in your life when you need it. How do you know when you might need it? You don’t. That is exactly why it is so important to have it in front of you as often as you can. Find the good and follow it.

If we want to shred hate, I suggest using one of the many suggestions in the first picture. Bringing in as much positivity into our lives as we can is one way. Sharing as much positivity with others is certainly another. I would love to hear your suggestions for shredding hate. Please leave them in the comments below. Your idea could be explored in our next post!

THINK ABOUT THIS

I know there are days when the sky looks cloudy and it feels as though the sun will never shine. I am not just speaking of the weather where I live, but more of an emotional forecast. A friend of mine posted this online and it really made me think. We have survived 100% of our worst days. If we didn’t, we couldn’t be reading this.

Just last night I found myself in a little of a funk. Wasn’t even sure why or where it came from. We all have those days to be sure. With the world in the crazy state that it is in, we may be having them more often. Lucky for me by spending years in the self-improvement field I have discovered ways to be able to find my way out of the emotional darkness. This includes having a list of people, places and things that bring joy to my life ready ahead of time. This is important because when you are in a depressed state, remembering these items can be just this side of impossible.

My list includes a tea called “cup of sunshine”, which I enjoyed. I also enjoy talking to friends who share an interest in self-improvement topics. One of the places that seems to lift my spirits is the grocery store. Not sure why this is, but it seems to be a relaxing sort of retail therapy for me. Last night I found myself pushing a cart down the aisles of a store called Fresh Thyme. It is a brightly lit and slightly overpriced store but the people were friendly and it is usually not too crowded. As I walked along and placed items in the cart I felt the funk slowly giving way. After checking out I came home and Margie and I watched a rather silly movie from the 80’s that helped push me back to a state of joy.

Not really Margie and me

Having inspiring sayings like the first picture in this post surrounding you makes a big difference too. I have a day-by-day calendar that keeps me inspired. The reasons to have these around you every day is that you never know when life will push the down button on the elevator of emotion. That is also why it is important to craft a list of people, places and things that bring you joy. Not only is it handy when you are feeling down, but it is fun to compile as you go along.

It has two bonus functions as well. It has your subconscious mind on the lookout for things to add to the list. In other words, things that make you happy. This leads to a far better life than focusing on the things that make you unhappy. Sounds like a ‘no brainer’ but you would be amazed at how many people get this backwards. Another wonderful side-effect of this activity is it fosters an attitude of gratitude. As you are compiling a list of movies that make you feel inspired or laugh until your side hurts, how can you not be grateful that we can watch them with a push of a button? As you think of people that you enjoy spending time with or talking to, how can you not feel grateful they are in your life? As you begin to list places that bring you peace and joy, how can you not be thankful to have that option? Lastly, as you watch your list of joyful items grow, how can you not feel grateful to have so many of these things in your life that you may not have taken the time to notice, and certainly not list, prior to this moment?

So list away my fabulous friends! You never know when this list will become an item of necessity. It will certainly become a fun activity to create and a great thing to add to. I suggest maybe keeping a little journal of these items and opening the pages to treat yourself to a few of them to help keep your spirits up and keep the funky feelings away! By doing this often enough we will create an amazing life.

STOP PLANTING A PARKING LOT

A good amount of my family in generations past were involved in farming. Being farmers they seemed to have a language that us city kids found both hard to understand and at the same time rather amusing. I recall my great uncle asking me, “Why are you wasting so much time planting parking lots?” Being a teenager from the city at the time my thought was something along the lines of, “What on earth are you talking about?” Of course, back then it was filled with the colorful language of a teenager. I was never fully able to grasp exactly the point he was trying to make. Roughly thirty years later it was made clear to me.

My great uncle Ray

This story comes to us from the friendly confines of the Oak Creek Post Office, which is where I can be found exchanging my time and labor for money Monday to Friday. Ever since I was hired by the United States Postal Service, I have found it a great opportunity to practice may many lessons in self-improvement and positivity. Today was such a day. While there are plenty of folks at the post office who could benefit from exploring the fields of self-improvement and positivity, there are often very few so inclined. Most words of encouragement are returned with cynical or sarcastic statements. It can seem as futile as…here it comes…planting seeds in a parking lot. Suddenly, my great uncle’s words came back to me and I understood what he meant. No matter how good your seeds (or words of encouragement in this case) are or how often you water them (share encouraging words to others, if they are laying on concrete or blacktop they will not grow.

It is, I imagine, a charming way of saying you should stop wasting your time on activities that stand very little chance of success. If you had words that could make someone’s heart take flight, it may be best to share them with someone whose heart is not weighted down with layers of cynical thinking and pessimism.

Just when I began to think of myself as having discovered a person epiphany and was giving thought to saving my kind words of encouragement for an area they may be better served, a caveat to this way of thinking was served to me. This enlightenment came from my coworker Sharon. Normally one to supply her healthy dose of cynicism, this time she brought up a very good point. “You never know when that seed might bring the smile someone needed.” she told me. I thought about that for a while. Even parking lots have cracks I suppose. If one of your seeds (words of encouragement) happens to find one of those cracks in the parking lot (the rare open-hearted soul in a sarcastic world) it might resonate even more for its rarity in the situation. Proving, even in great farming wisdom, there are two sides to every story.

These are both good lessons to carry with us through our lives. We should check to make sure we are not spending undo time planting parking lots. That is spending our time and efforts on whatever goal we are aspiring to, in a situation in which it is unlikely to succeed. That being said, however, we should remember that a small light may not seem like much in the darkness, but it stands out a lot more than it would in a well-lit room. We also must remember that a little light may be exactly what someone needs.

USE YOUR EYES AND YOUR MOUTH!

Last post we looked at how our focus determines a great deal of how we see the world. That goes with the first half of the quote above, keeping our eyes positive. Seeing the possibilities and not just the obstacles. Seeing what is working while working on what could use some fixing. Looking at the good in a situation and just the bad. Changing how we look at the world will change the world we look at a great deal whether that is positively or negatively. That is why it is so important to keep our eyes positive.

Let us now look at the second half of that statement. Keeping our tongue positive will have the world loving us. Some of you may say “I don’t care how the world sees me!” or “The only person’s opinion that matters in mine!” To that I would say you probably have yourself fooled about other things as well. It is true that we should not live our life predicated on what other people think of us and what we are doing. That being said, if your friends, your family and your spouse go to bed thinking what a jerk you are every night, that is going to weigh on you no matter how self-centered of an individual you may be.

Considering you are reading a blog called Secret2anamazinglife, I assume you have a good deal of affection for your fellow humans. Not to mention, it always feels good to hear a kind and encouraging word throughout the day. Think of how you feel after you have been the recipient of some love and praise. Perhaps you feel energized? A little more confident. You feel believed in and supported. How would this affect your productivity? Would this affect the way you treat others you come in contact with? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone came from a place of feeling energized, loved, believed in and supported? Wouldn’t it be great if you came from that place…daily?

The truth is your world can be this way. Those you meet can, eventually, come from a place of love, appreciation and positive energy. You can come from this place and you can do so on a regular basis. Not only can this happen, but it is easier than you may think and all it takes is one decision from you. This is not some self-improvement hype or positive thinking theory I am giving you. It is the truth.

All we have to do is to decide to use our tongue to spread positivity. Let us look at how this will play out. First of all, if you know someone is walking up to you and, through past conversations you know the conversation is likely to be a positive one, how will you treat them? Chances are you would greet them with a smile, and genuinely welcome their company. When you share positive conversation with others it will make them feel loved and appreciated. That will positively impact their lives and in turn will positively impact how they act in association with you. Can you imagine if you did this with everyone in your life? Would that mean everyone in your life would be positive? Not exactly. We would be fooling ourselves if we didn’t admit that we share the world with people that see the rain in every rainbow. I know a person that if I gave them a golden goose would complain it poops on the sidewalk. Still, these people would certainly be the exception and not the rule.

This may sound like a fantasy world, but it is not. It is a simple mathematical equation. If people are exposed to positivity and encouragement, they tend to be more positive and encouraging. Not every day. We all have times when life gets the best of us. The more you spread positivity, however, the more likely you are to receive it as well. Here is the great bonus in all of this. The more you receive this positivity in return, the easier it is to go on spreading the positivity. It continues to grow in both frequency and intensity the more this equation is put into place. The exciting part is it is all up to us to start it. Use your tongue to spread positivity today and watch your life change in the days to come.