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
Take a look at the above phrases. Which do you use most often? Try starting at the 0% “i won’t” and say each phrase out loud. Notice how each makes you feel. Does one make you feel like you have no control while another makes you feel strong? Notice if your posture changes as the phrases do.
Now, take this exercise one step further. Say them out loud again, but this time pick a goal you are aspiring to achieve and put it after each phrase. Note how you feel about your goal after each one.
This should show you the power of your inner dialog.
So how can we put this to use for us? Pick the phrase that makes you feel the most positive and powerful about your goal. Write it down. Now carry it with you and repeat it to yourself as often as you can. Try to do at least some of them out loud. Say it with conviction. It is very difficult to account for the often negative inner conversation we may have, but this goes a long way to counteract it. Try this for a week and notice how much better and in control you feel
I am a firm believer in the terrible effects of worry. Many things have been said about the practice of worry and I would like to share some with you now. Early on one of my favorite things I heard about worry is that it is like riding an exercise bike, you get really tired but do not go anywhere. Think of the productive aspect of worry, is there any? Another thing I have heard that I thought powerful was worry not only disturbs our present, but steals our future. It is true. If you spend your time in worry, you are taking time away from productive things you could be doing. The final two things I would like to share with you are this. According to Bob Marley, Complaining and worry are prayers to the devil. Also, worry is mentally rehearsing what we don’t want to happen. If you know anything about the law of attraction it is that thoughts become things, and if your thoughts are focused on that which you do not wish to happen you are giving that all of your energy.
Studies have proved that a full 90% of what we worry about are things we should not be. Things in the past that cannot be changed, useless petty worries and things of the like. So do yourself a favor, use worry to take all the action you can to prepare or address a situation and then let it go. You will lose that knot in your stomach. That feeling of dread and weight you carry around on your shoulders. Try to eliminate worry as much as you can this coming week and see how you feel.