DIET VS. HEALTH

This is a great comparison in different thinking. Although this is obviously written for physical health and weight-loss, the same can be said for going on a mental diet. Changing from a life filled with stress and pleasing others to one of inner peace and spreading love can be just like the diet verses health comparison.

The circled part of the two words is an important element to think about as well. When you go on a diet, what you are doing to both your body and your mind is stressful. You focus on things like ‘cheating’ on your diet. You think of all the food you are restricted and forbidden from eating. It becomes about suffering through this period so you can go back to eating the terrible way that got you this way in the first place. Focused on more healthy eating is entirely different. You don’t restrict yourself as much, you just think, “would this help my body or hurt my body?” If you have a day where you do not eat as healthy as you should, you focus on reducing them while increasing the amount of healthy meals. This in turn lowers your stress which can help you lose weight anyway.

When embarking on any lifestyle change, whether that is diet, exercise, attitude, gratitude or a host of others there is one thing you should keep in mind. It is not so much about a specific process as it is about progress. Working on being a little better than you were the day before. Print this picture out if you like or even just print out the two words circled as they are for a powerful reminder. 

YOU ARE YOUR PAST… BUT THEN AGAIN YOUR NOT

Boy this is a confusing title! Then again, trying to understand life can be a little confusing as well. How can you both be your past and yet not be your past? We are going to be taking a look at both of those. By the time we are done I have confidence you will be better prepared to make your life an amazing one.

Let us start by looking at how you are your past. I believe we touched on this a few posts ago but it bears repeating. One example is your physical body. Let us say you find yourself a few pounds north of ideal. Let us say you have also recently started a new workout program. You may look in the mirror after a few weeks and not see the results you expected or desired. That is because you are your past. Your present is that you have comitted to a workout routine and a healthier lifestyle. The past few years may have included way too many pizzas and Boston Creme doughnuts. Not only can I understand that, but I can empathize as well. Perhaps you are not that good with keeping up with your oral health and you end up with a cavity. You can start bushing and flossing like someone obsessed and you still will have the cavity.

Even more than your physical body is your emotional and mental state. Your thoughts go a long way to creating your reality. If you have been thinking your life is full of misfortune and your wallet is light while the number on the scale is not, those events will tend to come true. Negative thoughts equal a negative life. 

So you are your past? There is not much we can do to change that? Not so fast. While your present reality is a reflection of your past, your future will be a reflection of your present. If you hold firm to your resolution to live a healthier life, a year from now you will have a lot to smile about. If you maintain great oral health, your next visit to the dentist will be filled with less dread and a lot less pain. Your thoughts work the same. Begin to fill your mind with thoughts of positivity and gratitude and watch your life change as if by magic!

What it all comes down to is this, although you are a reflection of your past, you are not a slave to it. Perhaps an emotionally trying situation from years ago has left you scared and unable to move forward? You can begin to transform that situation into a motivational event and begin to move forward. If you need help you can begin to see a therapist. We do create our own futures, but we do so by creating our own past. Today’s prest is tomorrow’s past. As the saying goes, “Do something today your future self will thank you for.”

A SIMPLE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

A lot of people will see this quote and think that it is not so. Of course a lot of people live a life that is south of amazing. Whether you are studying the law of attraction, business or quantum physics, you undoubtedly understand what you focus on expands in your life. The average person looks for and anticipates problems that may exist in any situation. It is a survival mechanism and can be extremely helpful. If, however, you are not just looking to survive in life, but to thrive, I suggest taking a slightly different approach.

Looking for challenges that might pop up in life is smart and I do so myself. Looking for and preparing for challenges is far different than focusing on them. When you are focused on seeing something in your life you will find it. When you are not focused on something in your life you may miss it even though it is right in front of you. If you find this hard to believe, stay tuned we will have a fun and simple experiment that you can do to prove it to yourself in just a second. First let us digest the theory that you notice what you focus on and miss what you don’t. There are people who are constantly telling others how rough their life is. How they have the worst luck. Wouldn’t you know that tends to hold true. You look at their life and some crazy things happen to them that are not that pleasant. It is not the things that happen that lead to the attitude, but the attitude that can perpetuate the events.

Those who have this challenging life may be rebeling at the notion of this, but that does not make it any less real. When you are determined to see the challenges in your life that make it such a struggle they will stand out nice and tall. Meanwhile, any good fortune you may have will go under appreciated at best, or even unnoticed at worst. When you life has a run a good luck your subconscious mind will spring into action and say, “Well he keeps saying we have bad luck. Let us go find some!” Believe me when I tell you I had a hard time accepting how responsible I was for my own life at first too. To help all of us along I am going to share a quick experiment with you that you can do wherever you are to demonstrate how true this is.

 

THE EXPERIMENT

 

Wherever you are right now whether it is at your home office, driving in a car, on the job or anywhere else this will be fun. First, clear your mind the best you can. Next, look around you for anything you see that is red. Find red anything. Red signs, people wearing red clothes, a red stop sign or anything else red. Look for red. See red and note that thing. Now close your eyes for a second (unless you are doing this experiment driving) and think of something around you that is brown. Rather hard to do isn’t it? A million brown things could have been surrounding you but you would not have noticed them because you were looking for something that is red. In fact, when you were looking for things that were red did you notice things that were maybe a dark shade of pink or wine colored just so you could have another thing that was red?

This is a basic example of how our minds work. Imagine if you will, how our life would change if we would use this for gratitude, for example. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can feel. How great would our life be if we looked for everything we loved in a situation? Think of how life would be if when we are stuck in traffic next time we played this game and asked ourselves over and over, “What can I be grateful for in this situation?” or “What do I love about this situation?”

I can tell you this formula has worked miracles in my life. I am not exagerating, but do not take my word for it. Use this experiment yourself. Do it for 21 days randomly throughout the day. Start with times you are enjoying yourself. This is a little easier and helps the brain get into the habit. Next, try it when you are waiting in line at the store, stuck in traffic or dealing with a difficult customer. Every time you use it, you will get better and so will your life. Feel free to share your experiences with using this formula.

MAKE ‘QUALITY’ TIME FOR WHAT YOU LOVE

This is a picture of my beautiful, but silly, Margie and myself out for a late-night breakfast. It was from a while ago as you can see I still have long hair. It is worth noting that we work quite a bit and between that and our social obligations we rarely find time to escape just the two of us. For those of you who have followed my work for any length of time,  you know Margie is the thing I love most in my life. For those of you new to the game, now you know as well.

Today’s post is all about not just taking time for the things you love in life, but making sure that time is quality time. Spending time with those you love is a great example. If you are on a romantic date, keep your phone off the table and out of your hand. Look into each other’s eyes when you are speaking to one another. My writing is another thing that I am extremely passionate about and look forward to. When I am going to write I need to have my mind focused on writitng, I need to have a fair amount of time available. If I am bothered by a situation that is upseting me or know that I have to be to work shortly, the writitng will not only suffer, but the time spent doing it will be rushed and not enjoyable.

How do we make sure the time we spend doing the things we love with the people we love is of the best quality? That is a question that we should ask ourselves on a regular basis. Life is short and fleeting. Magical moments we have can happen only once in a lifetime. We owe it to ourselves to make sure that we make the most out of them. When you are about to spend time with someone you love or do something you love, take a few minutes ahead of time to ask yourself, “How can I fully enjoy and make the most out of what I am about to do?” The answers will vary from situation to situation, but just by focusing on the situation will increase your odds significantly.

In general there are two things I find that can help you get the most out of any situation. These are not by any means the only things you can do, but are a good foundation. The first thing I suggest is setting a goal for the time you spent. This may sound terribly unromantic and not spontaneous, but hear me out. When my friend Russ came up for a visit from Arizona we had a million things we would like to do. In an effort to accomplish a fraction of them we set goals of what we would like to accomplish. Certainly, we did not get them all done but did make the most of the time we spent together. Having a goal for the time you spend doesn’t mean you have to be regid or not spontaneous. When a long work week has kept Margie and I apart, I always think how much I want to spend quality time in her presence. Sometimes that includes an evening of snacks and a movie at home. Knowing I want to enjoy her more than the movie, I make sure to steal glances at her beautiful face. I appreciate her lovely eyes and enjoy all of her cute expressions as she watches the movie. As the movie progresses, I even enjoy the sound of her sleeping next to me.

Having a goal makes doing the next thing I recommend a little easier. Always do your best to be present in the moment. Let us say you are going for a nice stroll through the park with the one you love. (Something Margie and I are looking to do more often) Instead of spending all of the time on your phone, try looking for animals in the park together. Notice how beautiful the natural scenery is around you. Being present is more than just being physically present. Make sure you are also mentally present. This can be even more difficult, but is even more important. If you are spending time with family and friends but worried about a situation at the office you will fail to enjoy the break you have. Do your best to clear your mind. Often, that is when solutions can present themselves. Meditation exercises can help this.

I would love to hear what steps you take to make sure the time you spend is quality time. Let us share with each other and we can all begin to live amazing lives!

FALLING APART CAN BE OK….

This may seem like a silly picture and in some ways in certainly is. There is a grain of wisdom in this humor, however. Falling apart is something we all do from time to time. I do not care how strong you are, there are moments that can bring us to our knees. Loss of jobs and any way to support ourselves and our families. Loss of those we love and the prospect of having to live the rest of our lives without them. Even just getting to the point of feeling overwhelmed with the day-to-day stress we all go through can leave us at a breaking point.

We can end up staying in bed with all of the lights off and the covers pulled up over our heads. We can call into work and spend the day on the couch watching sapping movies while inhaling a tub of our favorite flavor of ice cream. It could leave us irritable and snapping at those who have nothing to do with our depressed state. Having days like this do not make us a bad person. Feeling that way can only add to the depressing feelings we are already having. “Why did I eat that whole tub of rocky road while binge watching I Love Lucy for 3 hours?” or “Why did I just yell at my coworker for moving my coffee cup 2 inches to the left?” can leave us beating ourselves us for even longer.

What are we to do then? There are two thoughts that may help us not only survive these moments but allow us to thrive using what they teach us. The first thought to keep in mind is that it is ok to have the occasional meltdown. In fact, doing so not only shows you are an emotional and normal human being, but denying yourself expression to your feelings of overwhelm can lead to an even bigger disaster. Without healthy, and an occasional unhealthy, expression of negative feelings they can eat away at us mentally, emotionally and physically. This can cause permanant damage that make take years to undo.

The second thought to keep in mind is like that of the taco – just because you fall apart does not mean you aren’t still loveable. As the funny picture above mentions, tacos fall apart and we still love them. What do you do when your taco falls apart? Personally, I pick up the pieces and have an impromptu taco salad or nachos. Sure, I may have wanted the experience of a taco that day, but I still have all of the ingredients and flavor, just in a different form. Life is like that too. We certainly didn’t want whatever challenge caused us to feel the way we were, but we can pick up the pieces and still make something great out of it. Picking up the pieces may require going for a walk or spending a little extra time at the gym to work off the calories we consumed in our depressed state or taking a moment to apologize to those we may have caught off guard with our momentary quick temper. Not only will you find people both understanding of your situation, but after a sincere apology, they may even offer to help in whatever way they can.

Next time you have a meltdown, just think of a taco and know everything will be ok. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow but eventually things will be ok. If a taco can fall apart and still be loved, so can you.

SEE THE ‘I LOVE YOU’ ALL AROUND YOU

One of my favorite books for improving relationships is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. In this book Mr. Chapman explores the different ways in which people both show and receive love. A quick example can be where one person enjoys the physical intimacy of touch, while another needs verbal appreciation. This can challenging when two people in a relationship express love in different ways. It can seem at times they are speaking two different languages. In essence, they really are.

While this can present a host of unique challenges, it can also present plenty of great opportunities. We may be missing plenty of expressions of love that surround us every day. People today, men especially it would seem, tend to be indirect in their appreciation. What do I mean by that? It would be most unlikely that someone may call or email you and say directly, “I just wanted to contact you and tell you how much I appreciate you.” They may, however, tell you how much they enjoyed your company the other night at dinner or even how much they enjoy your company in general.

A fair amount of time, things may not even be that direct. Your husband may help put away the dishes. Your wife may sit down and watch a show that you know she has no interest in just to be next to you. When you are having cocktails at your local watering hole and the bartender politely suggests you also enjoy a glass of water, they are showing they care about your well-being. When you drop your friend off after a fun night out and they tell you, “Text me when you get home.” It is a way of saying “I love and care about you and your safety. I will be a lot more at peace when I know you have arrived at your desitination unharmed.” I am going to venture a guess all of that thought will not have went into their statement and may not have crossed their mind in exactly that way, but that is the sentiment behind it.

Whether it is parents offering you food when you stop by to visit, or a small child giving you a craft item they have made, these are statements of love. In their own way they are saying, “This is what I have to offer. Please take it because you are special to me and I want you to feel that.” Again, these thoughts may not play out in such a complete fashion, but if you were to break it down, that is what would be conveyed.

What is the point of all of this? Simply this, we live in a world where love is all around us. Quite often negativity and hate get all the headlines, but stopping to notice and appreciate all of the love is esential to living an amazing life. In these examples, as well as countless others, love can often live in disguise. By noticing all of the subtle ways in which people tell us we are loved, we can realize that there is more goodness in this world than we often appreciate. As a side effect, we will realize how many people feel and show us love on a daily basis. Even though that is not what they may call it directly. Feeling all of this love can go a long way to helping us deal with the constant stream of challenges we face. 

ONE OF OUR GREATEST PROBLEMS

There are lots of crazy things I do from day to day. Often when going into a public restroom I never think to make sure I locked the door until after I am indisposed. Forgetting to make sure there is toilet paper is quite another. Still, one of the worst habits any of us can get into is talking about our problems. For many of us it has become an addiction. Like any addiction it can be extremely hard to break. Why is it important to break this habit? We are going to look at two very good reasons why we should switch from being addicted to discussing our problems to being addicted to discussing our dreams and joys.

First, there is the obvious reason – it feels terrible. Talking about and thinking about your problems can be exhausting phyisically, mentally and emotionally. The goal in our lives should be to live where we feel fulfilled in all of these areas of our lives. Talking about our problems ad nausem will not leave us feeling fulfilled in any way. When we feel down and drained emotionally and spiritually, our energy levels and immune system usually follow closely behind. This can not only make our existing problems worse, but add additional problems of sickness and lack of prodcutivity. Not only do they leave us feeling this way, but they can also bring down those we are talking to. Would you enjoy being around someone who is endlessly discussing everything that is wrong in their lives? I know I wouldn’t. Thus, you may find yourself starting to be very unpopular.

A second reason is slightly more metaphysical. Anyone who knows the slightlest thing about the law of attraction knows the saying “Where focus goes, energy flows”. In other words, what you focus on becomes more a part of your world. This has much to do with a part of your brain called the reticular activating system. This is discussed in more detail in my upcoming book, Living the Dream. As an example, have you ever bought a new car or even a new outfit and started to see it everywhere? Do you think many of the people in the world just started buying the same thing you did? Of course not. What happened was it became something of consequence to your brain. The RAS acts as a filter of sorts. It brings to our attention and into our realm things that we focus on and that our important to us. If you are focused on your goals and what makes you happy, you will tend to see opportunities and reasons for joy. If we are constantly talking about and focused on our problems we will not only notice more of them, we will receive more of them.

The reason talking about problems can be an addiction is because a lot of people tend to do it. Stop and listen to a conversation at work. Read posts on social media. Watch the nightly news. They are a constant stream of problems, problems, problems. If you hear someone start to say things like, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “I always have the worst luck.” You might want to consider walking in the other direction. Get into the habit of discussing your joys. What makes you happy? This may seem difficult or even awkward at first, but stick with it and notice how much better you feel. After you become a ‘joy discussion expert’ you will notice people will want to talk with you. Maybe even new social opportuinites will present themselves to you. As a bonus, you will feel better and begin to attact even more of what makes you joyful! Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

WHY I DO WHAT I DO


What you are looking at is a picture of a cup of coffee (in the background is my new laptop) Earlier today I was focused on the why of what I do. If you have read any self-improvement material, my own books included, you will know how important a why is. When your outside motivation is no longer present you why is the inner fire that keeps you going.

As I was pondering my reason for writing, something that was obvious became a strong why. I write to insipre others. On the surface that does not seem so extreme or complex. I write a motivational blog. I write self-improvement books. I teach seminars. I have an inspirational YouTube channel (just search Neil Panosian) With all of these resources it should be apparent that I enjoy and am passionate about motivating and encouraging others. Still the question remained in my mind, “Why do I enjoy doing this?” I am going to answer that question as well as why we started this post with the picture of a cup of coffee.

When I think about the cup of coffee I am drinking a lot of people are involved in making this situation possible. There is the obviously the Barista who crafted this coffee. There are the managers that keep the coffee shop running. There are the delivery drivers who transport the coffee. Of course the coffee growers who grow the product. If we look closer there are endless others involved as well. Who invented those crazy cardboard sleeves that keep your hands from being burned while holding your cup of caffeinated goodness? There are those who were involved in the production of the cup. How about the lid? Design with the vent hole and everything.

Ok, we get the picture. There are a lot of people involved in the creation of my cup of coffee. What does that have to do with writing and inspiring others? A great deal. If just one of these people were absent from the equation it may very well fall apart. What we do in our daily lives affects a great deal of others whether we know it or not. Everyone struggles. Everyone could use a little reassurance from time to time.

I never know who my words reach. I have been in contact with people in Italy, the Middle East and countless other locations. I know each one of these people, including you reading this, can accomplish great things. Perhaps all that is needed is a bit of motivation and inspiration.

Kindness and encouragement are gifts that are easy to share with others. We never know what their impact will be. I have done some work with the American Federation of Suicide Prevention. The statistics are frightening. In 2015, suicide and self-injury cost the US $69 billion. In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide. What is even worse is that there were 1,400,000 attempts that same year. In fact, in the U.S. suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. If we talk veterans the numbers skyrocket. A big part of my why is to help these numbers plumet.

Whether it is inspiring someone directly or providing others the tools they need to help those they care about. This why keeps me writing no matter how the stats are going or how many likes or comments I get. Find your why and use it to drive you. As you do, remember to be kind to each other. You never know what demons we are all facing.

GOODBYE TO A DEAR WRITING COMPANION

It is with great sadness I have to announce the passing of a close writing companion… my laptop. A good portion of these blog posts as well as my second book was composed on this fine machine. Sadly, one day we discovered my companion and I have different tolerances for heat. Since then this computer has went to the great computer store in the sky. As we wait for the replacement to arrive (a switch from HP to Lenovo) there may be a slight delay in our daily motivational material. I look forward to returning to you once again and appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

ARE YOU A KING OR QUEEN?


These days on social media people have pictures of lions and phrases “I am a king” or “I am a queen” At the gym there are t-shirts with phrases like “train like a beast”

Everyone wants to seem like a ruler and conqueror. It is powerful to conquer fitness and weights, or maybe even your business. The most difficult struggle and yet the most essential is to control one’s emotions. Being able to conquer your mind and control your loss focus allows you to do everything else better.

If you are trying to seem powerful, I suggest working to gain control of the man in the mirror. It may be one of the most difficult yet rewarding challenges you’ll ever face.