This recording The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale, has been one of the 3 items that changed my life the most. I must have listened to it thousands of times. Inside it does reveal a great tool to help you live an amazing life. I highly recommend you check it out. (There is a free audio on YouTube)
Today’s post is not about Earl’s Strangest Secret, but yours. I want to know what is the item of knowledge that had the biggest positive impact on your life?
Here is a subject on which I feel I can speak with great authority. I say that for two very good reasons. One, I have a relationship, that although is far from perfect, it is amazing and we are working on making it better every day. The second reason is that I have screwed up so much in the past I have quite a few ideas of what doesn’t work in creating an amazing relationship. In this post we are going to unlock two insider secrets that if you put them into play, I promise will not only improve your relationships, but will improve your life. As an added bonus, it will also improve your most important relationship. That is the one with the person in the mirror.
In this blog we explore ways in which you can live a more amazing life. There is no greater area of your life that influences whether your life is amazing or not than your relationships. Although we are going to look at this from the point of an intimate relationship, you can apply these two secrets to any relationship from friend to coworker and watch them blossom into something very special. In fact, if you honestly give these two secrets I am about to share with you an honest try for 30 days, I promise you that your life will be better than it has ever been. One of these secrets will not only make you more popular, but will give you the appearance of having an almost supernatural power to make anyone feel special and appreciated. The other secret will not only take your relationships to a whole new level, but will have you happier, healthier and more full of inner peace than you thought was possible! Sound like a lot of hype? I promise you that it is not. Remember, I have been on both sides of the coin. I know what doesn’t work and have made most of the mistakes. (Sorry baby, but I am sure there are still some I am have yet to get to) and I have also used these tools, and continue to use them, to create some of the most rewarding and dynamic relationships I have even had. Are you ready to learn these simple yet powerful secrets so you can put them to use in your own life? Before we jump in to what they are and how to use them, a quick warning is needed. These secrets are deceptively simple. You may hear them and assume you already are using them. Let me assure you that odds are you are not. You may also assume that since they are so simple they will not work. Not only am I living proof, but the countless people I have shared these two secrets with can attest to their magical quality. Heed these two warning as you read on and I promise you that your life is about to transform.
The first amazing tool is to listen. Before you start telling me how you have been listening to your spouse complain for years, let me stop you. This is a different kind of listening. This type of listening will help you get inside your partners head. It is active listening, or as I like to call it, listening with a purpose. The picture above is of myself and my love Margie. Fear not, her tongue is not normally blue. I want to share a quick story about how listening changed my relationship with this beautiful young lady. Early in our relationship I found my self at the grocery store wanting to bring her home a little something to let her know I was thinking of her. The sad part was I did not know what she would like. What kind of cereal did she like? I didn’t know. What fruit might she enjoy? I was clueless. I made up my mind to focus on what she seemed to gravitate towards next time we were at the store together. When I did the information was overwhelming. As we walked and did our normal shopping I suddenly heard her tell me about her passion for black olives and why Lucky Charms should be considered a healthy cereal.
I was so happy and excited with all of my new found knowledge that I couldn’t wait to go to the grocery store again and be able to pick out something she would like. I must confess that I almost missed the true value of this. It does not just have to be limited to the grocery store. I began to listen to find our what made her happy. I watched as she seemed to brighten up around certain flowers. I learned that when she is stressed shopping at the craft store is good for her. Not so good for the bottom line, but I digress. If you listen to your partner to discover what they like and what they don’t, what makes them happy and what makes them mad. Recently, I recall hearing Margie mention she wanted a water bottle that broke down how much water she should drink by certain times of the day. Without saying I word I looked online and found one in colors she enjoys. The effect on your partner is the true reward here. They will not only be happy you are doing more of what makes them happy and less of what makes them mad, but they will feel listened to and valuable. For your benefit, you will now have the ability to bring joy and happiness to your relationship almost at will. The great thing about this is that the more you listen and learn, the better you will be at making your partner feel loved.
BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF
This secret I have only really come across recently. When things seem to be struggling in your relationship, focus on yourself. It may be true that your partner is treating you unfairly. It may be true times are just rough. What is a certain truth is you have no control over your partner nor outside circumstances. Trying to get and maintain control over either of those things will not only drive you crazy, you probably will end up a jerk as well. What you do have complete control over is yourself. Why is this important? If you are working on improving yourself, it is pretty hard not to win the admiration of your partner. If you work on getting in better shape and becoming healthier you will have more energy to bring to the relationship. Maybe you could work on expanding your knowledge base (Learning new things). That will provide more stimulating conversation in your relationship. How about working on your relationship skills in general? There are plenty of fun and amusing guides on how to become more romantic, adventurous, charming and whatever else you may wish to be.
What if you do all of this and your relationship still falls apart? Believe it or not, this is the best part about using this tool. If you truly work to become the best version of yourself and things do not work out, you can be confident in two very important things. First, if the relationship did not work when you were the best version of yourself, than it would not have worked at all. The worst thing about the end of a relationship is saying the ‘should of’ and ‘what if’. If you did the best you could, you should have no regrets. The second thing is even better. If you continue to work on yourself to improve every day and things do not work out with your partner, you are going to be in a far better position to start your next relationship. I enjoy learning new ways to make my love smile. Everyday at the gym I know I am working to be a healthier and happier version of myself. On the days I do screw things up, I am always eager to learn something new about improving myself and what I bring to our relationship.
In the end, becoming someone who can listen with a purpose and constantly improving ourselves will not only benefit our relationship, it will make us better and more powerful people. Being able to listen to someone, not to reply, but to learn and understand is so rare it could be considered a super power. Developing the drive to work on ourselves everyday will not only set us up to have our partner falling in love with us all over again, but at the end of the day we will be a better person. Practice these two relationship tools. They really are the secret to an amazing life.
Last post we spoke about a relationship secret. That secret was treating each relationship the way you did in the beginning so that there will not be an end. This post focuses on one aspect of doing that. It is one of the biggest mistakes couples can do that will lead to you waking up years from now next to your good friend and roommate instead of your passionate lover.
How do you keep that passion alive? How, after years of seeing each other day in and day out can you not fall prey to the law of familiarity? When you are around someone enough isn’t natural not only to become immune to their charms, but take them a little for granted as well? It may be natural. It may very well be what happens to most of the couples out there. If you are reading this post on a website called Secret2anamazinglife I would trust you want a relationship that is better than the average couple.
Would you like to wake up just as passionate for your partner in year 20 as you were in day 20? There are several things you can do to accomplish that and we are going to touch on one of them today. In fact, that word ‘touch’ is what this is all about. One of the first things to fall victim to time in a relationship is romance and flirting. It is very important to maintain those displays of affection.
One of the best ways to fan your partner’s flames of desire for you is to make sure they know you still find them attractive. We are talking about more than a simple hug here. I have a friend I was discussing this with the other day who told me him and his wife do not kiss on the mouth anymore. When I asked him why not, he informed me that “It just feels kind of awkward now.” This is a sure sign you have moved from lovers to friends. In an intimate relationship the only thing that truly differentiates them from platonic friendships is physical intimacy. Sneak in a passionate kiss when they least expect it. Grab your partners butt. If you follow these actions up with genuine words like “I just want you to know I am as hot for you as ever.” I promise you that you will leave your partner speechless.
Be warned, however, that people outside your relationship may grow tired of the two of you showing each other affection. You may hear things such as “Don’t you two get enough of each other?” or the ever popular “Get a room!” Do not let these Debby downers prevent your show of love to your partner. They have more than likely fallen for the lie that affection should fade with the years a couple is together. Their relationship may very well be headed to the ‘friends and roommates’ category. Do them a favor and suggest they show the person they love some affection as well.
Another way to keep affection alive and well in a relationship is to always be open to new adventures. I can’t tell you all the fun things that Margie and myself have attempted together with love and an open mind. Even if it turns out you did not enjoy the experience you have a bit more knowledge about your relationship and on occasion a memory you can both laugh at.
Giving your partner something exciting to look forward to can make all the difference in the world. Plan romantic and sensual evening together and then send fun and teasing messages to each other leading up to the event. Maybe a text in the middle of the day, a note put in a lunch taken to work. Be creative. Use these and other fun items to keep the naughty side of your love alive. It just may very well save your relationship as well. Feel free to share any ideas you and your partner use to keep the passion alive in the comments below.
There are things we do as children we could stand to do more as adults. Playing outside, using our imaginations to solve problems come to mind. I am going to share another one with you today. Once again I am going to use the two people in the picture above as an example. That would be Margie and myself. Before we get into the idea I want to share with you, allow me to give you the all important back story. When Margie and I met and after we started dating we initially saw each other at work. Work in those days saw Margie behind the DJ booth and myself behind the bar. It was at a place called The Hideout. It was a small corner bar but between the two of us we packed the place most nights. This was great for business and for our pocketbooks, but not so great for being able to love each other.
The dilemma we faced was the only time we really got to see each other was when we were both so busy it was hard to even say ‘hello’ to each other. Both being creative souls, we came up with a unique solution – a secret language. Something you may have used as a child when playing games or forming secret clubs. Margie and I came up with hand gestures that we could use with each other across the bar to say simple things like “I love you” or “I’m missing you”. We continue to develop our secret vocabulary to this day. Thankfully, we no longer work separately. We DJ sitting right next to each other. Although still working in the bar industry which is a challenge to even the best relationships, we have moments where we cannot hear each other or may have to be away from each other. There are also moments when we are out with friends, or at social events where we may be across the room wanting to let the other know we are thinking about them.
Developing this unique form of communicating allows us to keep loving when it may otherwise be a struggle. It is also a fun way to be creative in our relationship. Having something that is uniquely between us also creates a special bond. Create signs that can communicate with your loved one. It is fun, creative and can really come in handy at certain times.
The man on the far right, with the megaphone, is the mayor of my fine city. Every year he holds a 30-day challenge to have members of the community be active for 30 minutes a day. This year the challenge was kicked off with a one mile walk that the mayor led. In politics there is too often examples of “Do as I say, not as I do.” It is refreshing to see a leader who leads by example.
Not only was this an example of a leader walking the walk, but of one who truly cares about the city he leads. Wanting the people who live in the city to be both healthy and happy is an extra step that most officials would not take. The position of mayor is filled with lots of obligations and responsibilities. Arranging both a walk and a 30-day fitness challenge creates a lot of extra work. Including, but not limited to, setting up police presence to make sure the course is safe. Working with sponsors and allocating prizes to be given away, t-shirts printed and what is sure to be countless other details I am forgetting.
Sure, setting up such an event can help you during reelection, but so could just being a great mayor. Why take all of the extra steps? That answer was made clear as we walked along. The mayor did not discuss politics, or as some national politicians are wanting to do, discuss how great of a mayor he was. No, today as we walked along he discussed his son’s love for sports, his family’s like for vacations in northern Wisconsin and an eventful trip they had made to Disney world. Most importantly, the mayor listened. Another sign of a great leader. He listened patiently as people voiced their concerns about aspects of the city, but also when they shared stories of their families as well.
After the walk had concluded, there was a small gathering where water, yogurt and prizes were handed out. Sadly, I did not win any of the State Fair tickets that were up for grabs. I did win, however, by being part of this great community.
I had the great pleasure of talking to wonderful neighbors like Jon and Robin who are also working diligently to foster a sense of community. Even though she wasn’t able to attend, there were plenty of discussions about my amazing neighbor Linda and what a caring neighbor she is. To make the day even better I was able to finally meet several neighbors I had only previously interacted with online including Denise and her fabulous husband. I look forward to chatting more with all of them as we work together to foster a greater sense of togetherness in West Allis Wisconsin.
If your community offers programs such as this I encourage you to join. If they do not, work with leaders to begin some. They not only do a great deal to reduce crime and increase a sense of community, but bring people together for positive and healthy reasons. Leaders, take mayor Dan Devine’s example. Caring about your constituents runs deeper than success at the polls and does not go unnoticed.
In reflection it has come to my attention how many moments that seemed insignificant at the time ended up being life-changing. Here is what I mean. When a friend suggested in 2006 I see the movie ‘The Secret’ I thought it would be just another movie. It turned out to change the way I look at the world. When I ordered my first Tony Robbins product off an infomercial I thought it would end up on a shelf collecting dust. Now I practice a lot of what I learned from that. In addition I have made my life’s mission to help others learn how to better their lives and the world around them. When I started this blog which is going on 500 posts ago, I thought it would merely be an outlet for my philosophical musings. It has turned into a book A Happy Life for Busy People as well as several speaking engagements.
Even when my boss at the time told me that my hours at the post office were going to be cut from 45 a week to 10 due to down-sizing I thought that was going to be a major negative moment. It was that event that pushed me into the self-improvement field. So never underestimate the effect that things can have on you. Keep your ears and mind open. Also stay present in the moment to be able to take from life what you can. Each moment presents its own lessons and its own opportunities. Make sure to grab them all.
Lastly, some moments may not become important until long after they have passed. My grandfather was a very important figure in my life and taught me many things. Some of which I thought were crazy or even disagreed with at the time. He passed away years ago, but often I find myself thinking of things he said and appreciating them in a whole different level. He is still teaching me long after he is gone. Sometimes there are things you have to experience, or a place in life you have to be before the lesson can be fully appreciated.
The takeaway here is to soak up everything in life. It may seem insignificant at the time, but you never know when it may be just want you need!
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.
In my books as well as my seminars gratitude is first and foremost on my list of tools that can change your life for the better. Still developing a grateful mindset can prove to be far more difficult than it sounds. In todays world a lot of the sources we are exposed to point out what is wrong, or even what could go wrong. So focusing on what we have, and what we can be grateful for can prove to be a good challenge.
I recommend people keep a gratitude journal. Simply write down at least five things you are grateful for that day and why. Do this right before bed and read them again upon waking. It has your mind focusing on what is working both as you drift off to sleep and as you start your day. This also happens to be the two times the mind is most available to suggestion. This is a great practice and can change your life in a very short period of time. I know because I use it myself and have experienced the difference.
Still there are days when you find yourself looking for things to be grateful for. Sometimes I look at my list and my mind goes blank. I know I have had a great day. I know there were things that happened that I could be grateful for, but what they are slips my mind. Sometimes I find myself repeating things on my list every couple days, which is not bad in itself, but truly each day presents its own gifts.
In this picture above I have found what I believe to be a great solution. Each day has a little prompt to help you think of what to be grateful for. This is good for both people who are trying to begin to develop a grateful mind and those of us who could use a little refresher. So today is the first of the month, I suggest grabbing the first question and answering it. You could print this out if you like or just refer back to this post. I suggest keeping your answers in a notebook where you can add a ‘why’ to each of your answers. Knowing why we are grateful for something makes it that much more powerful for us. So try this for 30 days and please feel free to leave your results, or suggestions for making this even more fun and productive in the comments below. Also feel free to share this with friends. Having a group of people all writing what they are grateful for can be far more fun than doing it alone.
This is Mr Pig. The mascot of Piggly Wiggly grocery stores. What does a grocery store have to do with living an amazing life? Two things really. First of all, what do most of us bring with us to the grocery store? If you said shopping list you are right. Why do we bring a shopping list? So we remember what we are there for and can get it in an efficient manner. What happens if we forget? We have to go all the way back to the store, or worse yet make something else for dinner. It is no wonder grocery lists are as important as they are. It gives us focus and reminds us what we are there for. What does all of this have to do with life? The same people who never forget their grocery lists are the same people who tell me they are too busy or do not need to write down their goals in life. So to recap making sure we pick up apples is more important than reminding us what our main goal in life is? We all need reminders in black and white of where we want to take our lives and why. It keeps us focused and on track. So I encourage you to write down the ingredients you need to live the life you want.
The second thing we can take away from the grocery store is this, pay as much attention to what you put in your head as you do your body. Diet and nutrition are a multi billion dollar a year industry. There are new diets popping up daily. Yet people who are so vigilant about not eating anything they deem bad for them still watch the news, or violent things on TV. They are not careful at all about what they put in their heads. What is the use of a healthy body if you are sad or depressed? The mind and the body are connected. I admire people who take care of themselves physically, but let us not forget about a mental diet as well. So next time you find yourself debating about buying organic, think about what you choose to put in your mind as well.
Please feel free to share this post with others and remember “Savings are big when you shop the pig”
I am always on the lookout for secrets to building an amazing life, thus the name of this blog. So i study some of the greatest achievers of all time. Learn what they did. How did they accomplish their dreams. One such man was John wooden. Men’s basketball coach at ucla. Coach wooden won 10 ncaa championships, including an unheard of 6 on a row! How did he do it? In college you have a whole new team every 4 years. So how did he consistently get his players to win? The answer may surprise you. He never talked about winning to his players. At least not in terms of the score. This is what he told them, if you give your all on that court and still are outscored by a more talented team you won. If you do not give your all but still beat an inferior team, you did not win.
Coach wooden understood winning is an inside job. Ask yourself are you giving your best? Whether it is at your job, as a parent, or as a spouse or even a friend. If you give your best and things don’t work out you are still a winner. If you are not giving your best and things are still going ok you at not a winner. So how does this thinking affect your life? If John Wooden’s teams are any indication, focusing on effort instead of score will bring you more victories