ONE OF MY BELIEFS 

This picture sums up one of my firm beliefs. No matter what you believe spiritually, or even if you believe anything spiritually, you were put here for a reason. Even if you don’t agree with that much you cannot argue that your time here is limited. People ask me why I think happiness is so important. Why is it worth spending over a decade of my life studying? Why should everyone focus on it? If you go to my seminar I explain why in a lot more detail, but to give you the quick version what I tell people if you are not enjoying your life, you are wasting your life.

It is true in life there are challenges and there are obstacles that we have to tackle and solve. Why do we do that? Daily we face the world and do things because they make us feel good. Now I can hear a lot of you saying things like “going to work is for paying the bills, not to feel good”. In some ways this is true, but ultimately what does paying the bills get you? Less stress knowing that the lights will stay on? Happiness knowing you will be able to afford a good dinner and hopefully take yourself out every now and again. One of the main principles of this website as well as my books and seminars is this – happiness is not a destination, but a decision – read that line a few more times and let it sink in. It is the answer to how some people who seem to have everything can still be miserable, while people who seem to face every challenge show up daily with a smile on their face. They decide to. Sounds great, but it is easier said than done. How can we be someone who makes that decision?

Let us get a few things clear right away. Making this decision will not suddenly make life sunshine and rainbows. In fact it might just do the opposite in the short term. When you make a decision life usually decides to test you to see if you are serious. Ever decide to start eating healthier only to arrive at work and notice doughnuts sitting on the break room table? You need to be firm, know it will take some time and that you may experience setbacks. You also need a plan. I recommend fostering an attitude of gratitude. Look for the lesson and joy in every challenge. Water heater goes out and will cost money you don’t have to spend? Be grateful up until that day you have always had the option of hot water anytime you want. Know in the future, although it may be a financial drain, you will have it again. A large portion of the world has no hot water or even a place to live with running water. Happiness is largely a matter of perspective.

One last thing, by becoming a happy person and enjoying your life you are giving the world the greatest gift you can. How much better is your day when you encounter a happy giving soul in your daily journey? Be that gift for others and for the rest of the world. Even better, be that gift for yourself!

THE MAGIC KEY

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When I first saw this picture I thought “that is kind of redundant”. Actually it is quite profound. Seeing the best in the world, or the ‘glass half full’ is a good part of what keeps me happy. Does that mean denying the half of your glass that is empty? Not at all. It is merely focusing on the part that is full.

In my own life there have been countless situations that could certainly look terrible. If you need an example please see the previous post about the pigeon. I know that in life whatever you look for you will find. Stop and read that last line again, maybe even a third time. Let it sink in. This is really the key to both happiness and success in your life. If you are focused on what is working in your life and what there is to enjoy and be happy about you will find it. Truth is that it is there all along just waiting to be noticed.

My law of attraction friends will tell  you that whatever you focus on expands. I believe that, but I also believe this: the more you focus on something the better you get at finding it. It may seem like more of what you are focusing on is appearing, but I also think you are also noticing more of what is already there.

Why is this so important? Let’s recap. What you focus on both expands and you tend to notice that thing easier and more often. That means you get to choose what your life will be filled with! Want joy and prosperity? Start to look for all the opportunities for both joy and prosperity in your life. Now, before you say “Neil, I try but there are still problems” that is true, we need to focus on them only enough to develop and begin working on a solution. After that, switch to what you have to be grateful for.

If you are anything like me, you may still have some lingering doubts. That’s good, do not accept what I am saying without proving it to yourself. I have a little experiment for you. Try this for at least 3 days, more if you like. Pick a color you enjoy. Mine would be blue, but pick whatever color you like. As often as you can for the next couple of days try to notice all the things of that color when you enter a room. By about the end of the third day you should notice something. Things of your determined color seem to jump out at you. They seem to be all over the place. This experiment works easier because there is no emotion attached. Changing to a positive focus takes a little more work, but you can see how it will happen using this little activity. Do it with a friend. Compare your results and discuss them with each other. Share this post with others and get them involved as well. Remember you create your own life.

MEMORIAL DAY

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Memorial day is a day we honor fallen soldiers here in the United States. Sadly, war is usually the result of ego driven politicians inability to resolve conflict without resorting to violence and loss of life, which is seldom if ever their own. Still, in the midst of this world of darkness there are many things that evolve.

I have the honor of knowing a great many warriors as they are referred to in my culture. Still my favorite was my Grandfather. Listening to stories he shared during his time in the south pacific in World War two allowed me to appreciate what can come out of war. Without fail every former soldier I have spoken to has a greater appreciation of life and the value each life holds. It is with this knowledge they are able to love deeper, understand greater, and have more compassion then most people I know.

In this country, as well as others I have visited, there seems to be a glaring neglect for these men and women who risk their lives for the sake of their country. Let us understand for the most part these brave souls go willingly to follow the orders of leaders they may not even agree with, the cost of which may be their lives, just so the rest of us do not have to. When they return they have almost always been a part of something, and seen things most of us will not and could not ever understand. They are left with a view of the world we will never know. They are left with challenges of physical, mental and emotional aspect.

Sadly, the governments who seem to be so willing to put these men and women in harms way tend to drop the ball when it comes for caring for them when they return. Now this blog is not political, and I do not wish to engage in a discussion about the current state of the Veterans Administration. That being said, my point is this, on a day we remember all of those who served let us work together as a people to give what our governments have not – let us all do something to honor and serve those who have honored and served their country and all of us. What can we do? If you know a veteran, thank them for their service. Let me take this opportunity to thank all of the active and retired service men and women from the bottom of my heart. Even if you don’t, stop by your local VA there are many needs you can fill. Volunteer to read to veterans, or offer your skills in whatever you do. See if there is anything you could donate. Write a letter to a soldier who may not have anyone to share with them. Donate to a care package drive.

Most importantly, Memorial day is about those soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. What could we do for them? There are few things. First learn the stories of fallen heros. What they went through, where they came from and who and what they left behind. That brings us to the other thing we can do. Understand each fallen soldier leaves behind family and friends who need our support and compassion. There is obviously emotional hurt and loss, but that is often accompanied by economic and social challenges as well. So let us not forget the sacrifice made by the family and friends of those who have lost someone in battle.

Let us understand even if we do not support conflict or the governments who engage in it, let us support the people who sacrifice their time, physical and emotional well-being and all to often their lives so we do not have to. Once more a heart-felt thank you from myself and everyone here at Secret2anamazinglife.com to all of the veterans past and present for all you have given so the rest of us do not have to. Please help honor them all by sharing this.

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 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.

 

MAKE SURE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT THING

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This is something that may be difficult for a lot of people. In fact, when you are under emotional distress it can be difficult for just about anyone, including an author/blog writer/postal worker. When you are having a disagreement the natural urge is to discover who is the one to blame for the upset. I have been guilty of this myself, if you don’t believe me I am sure my beautiful lady would back me up. Here is what I learned, Most of the time the fault is usually shared. Here is something else I have learned, finding out whose fault it is does little or nothing to fix the issue at hand.

So what should you be looking for? A solution, or as the picture above says, a remedy. Ask yourself this question, what would be the ultimate outcome? Let us say your spouse said something that really embarassed you in public. First of all, chances are they did not intend to do so, and if they did you may wish to question your choice of spouse. Now if you argue about whether it was their fault for saying it, or yours for not letting you know that won’t solve you feeling foolish. The ultimate goal here is to have your spouse know what bothers you and to hopefully have the situation not happen in the future.

This takes practice and trust me if you can try it first on an issue that is not so heated it works a lot better. Ask yourself what you would like to happen, what is your goal going forward? Then, ask yourself how you can best recruit your partners help in that matter. Here is a clue, saying “It is your fault” does not often lead to a feeling of cooperation. Rather let them know that you understand they did not mean to upset you and that you both would like to avoid that in the future. Then ask for their help in coming up with a solution. Having them involved creates a feeling of working together. Whether it is an intimate relationship, a friendship or even a coworker you are in this together and things work a lot better if you work together.
This works even better if you can begin by admitting your share of the fault to begin with. That takes the pressure off of everyone. It may also take the fire out of the arguement to some extent. It works even better if you are to follow it up with something like “I would like to work together to make sure we don’t have this problem in the future. What can I do on my end to help that?” To often we like to tell people what they should do, but in reality whether or not that will happen is up to them. Showing that you are willing to work on things on your side demonstrates good faith and a desire to clear up conflict.

So in the 2016 let us work to find remedies, not fault.

PICK YOUR SPOT…OR SPOTS

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As i have mentioned throughout the last couple days, i have spent a great deal of time at our state fair. This picture was taken at a bird show. Notice the wing on the right side of the picture. What is the point of all this? The State Fair is a place I go because it makes me happy. I suggest you start to find a place that just makes you feel good. I suggest making it somewhere you can get to in less than a day. I personally like a few different places for a few different reasons. As mentioned I go to the fair for a boost of positivity. Even when the fair itself is not going on you can find me roaming the grounds reflecting and soaking up the vibes of the place. I also suggest having a place you can be alone. Personally there is a small clearing in a park not far from my house that I go to. When I am there especially when the bugs are not to bad, I can meditate or just be alone with my thoughts. There is a specific coffee shop I go to write as well.

Why have all of these different spots? What is the purpose? Before I answer that let me state you do need to be flexible. I write at home and other locations as well. You can often find me meditating while I am stuck in line somewhere or having to wait. It is putting that time to good use. Still I use the above places for most of the reasons I described. Here is the benefit. When you are in the same surroundings doing the same activities it can make it easier for your brain to get into the state it needs. As I write this I am in the usual coffee shop. My brain just goes into creative writing mood. I know another author who uses the same pen for notes on an entire book. Somehow his mind connects with the pen.

Try it out today. What places make you happy? Is it window shopping at the mall? A hiking trail outside your house? Whatever place that is make it your own. There are no steadfast rules either. If you feel more comfortable meditating in a room filled with people than do that. I have a friend who is cheered up walking through the cemetery by his house. If it feels right for you and doesn’t break any laws, then by all means do that. Find your sacred space today. Feel free to share your ideas as well.