WORK ON YOUR SUPER POWER TODAY!๐Ÿฆธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿฆธโ€โ™€๏ธ

Do you ever find yourself getting discouraged at the state of the world today? I think we all can. With the wars, civil unrest, violence and general discord we see and hear about, it can be a bit difficult to remain positive. Yet, the more negative the world becomes, the easier it is for us to make a difference. Traits like love, kindness, compassion and encouragement become more special the less they appear. Some days, using them at all makes you a super power. Sharing a smile with a stranger is not only unexpected these days, it is shocking to many. A kind and encouraging word to someone working in a busy retail environment? Nothing short of a miracle!

You may be asking yourself how much of a difference you are really making. That is understandable. If we are putting forth effort to make everyone’s day a little brighter and we seem to be outnumbered by those who are determined to complain and bring everyone down, it can seem like we are not making a difference at all. The opposite is true. To illustrate how powerful being kind and loving to the world can be, please allow me to use an analogy. If you think of all the positivity you attempt to bring to the world as light, which is pretty close to accurate, this example will ring true with you. If you are in a bright room, or it is the middle of the day, and you turn on a lamp, how much of an impact does it have? Not much generally. Sometimes, you can’t even tell you turned a light on. Now, imagine being trapped in a cave, unless of course you are Closter phobic, then a dark bedroom would do. What happens if you even turn on a flashlight in that situation? It transforms the entire room! That is how kindness and compassion work in a negative world.

Next time you feel like your kindness is not making a difference, think of this example. When you feel like the world is becoming a very dark place, know that being a light will make an even greater impact. Here is one more thing to consider. How many dark rooms do you encounter? Meaning, how many negative environments do you find yourself in? It could be the gossip at work. It could be the stress of a busy retail location. How about a stressful situation at home? The darker the room, the greater impact your light will have. Kindness, love, compassion and encouragement are not only powerful, they are super powers! Develop yours today!

MAKE IT A PRIORITY THIS WEEKEND ๐Ÿ˜Š

It is the weekend and we deserve to relax. However, we also deserve to live a life where our dreams are accomplished. One way to make this happen is to realize that what we do is based on what we find important. Perhaps you are thinking that after working all week, you need your rest this weekend. Maybe your weekend is filled with plans with family and friends? Then getting up early could be the answer for reaching your goals. I can hear the responses now. “Get up early?” “On the weekend?” Most people say they are not morning people. If spending an hour a day could help you write that book you have always wanted to do, would you do it? What about starting that new business you dreamed of? If it is important to you, waking up early is not that difficult. If I were to tell you that you could have 5 million dollars if you met me at a coffee shop at 6am, where would you be at 5:59? Why? Because 5 million dollars would change your life.

What works even better is if you do take the weekends off. Schedule your hour first thing in the morning. That way everyone is still sleeping. You can make yourself a nice cup of coffee and focus on your goals. You might think it would not be worth it to wake up a whole hour before you actually have to. Let me give you some numbers. If you work one hour a day on your dreams and goals. If you only do it during the week and take the weekends off, how much time is that? That would be 260 extra hours a year. That is 32 and a half 8 hour days, or over 4 and a half working weeks dedicated to achieving whatever goal you are pursuing. How much further do you think you could get with that extra time?

I usually write for an hour after work as I already wake up at 4am. That still gives me the time we mentioned. In addition to the 55 hours I work at my day job, I have managed to write 2 books in the last year. I have also delivered blogs for the last 330 days straight. All from an hour a day. Try dedicating a focused hour of your day, only 5 days a week to your goals and see what happens. Do this for a month straight and see how much you can accomplish. You will be amazed!

SECRET TO MORE HAPPINESS ๐Ÿ˜Š

It is Friday. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to relax a little after a week of work? That is exactly what this post is not only about, but advising! The quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne above says it best. When you chase happiness, it always remains just beyond your grasp. Do you know why that is? It is because happiness is an inside job! When you chase happiness is some thing, or every someone, there are many times when you will end up disappointed. You are putting the key to your happiness in their pocket. Sometimes, they are too busy to take that key out of there pocket.

When you sit down in a calm and focused manner, happiness, much like the butterfly, will find you. This is shown in pictures of one on my mom’s shoulder and in the hair of my beautiful lady. The key is being calm and focused. What should you be focused on? What you can be happy about in the moment. It is easiest to try this on a good, or even neutral day. Another way of looking at this, is what you could be grateful or thankful for. Try this right now. You could feel joy that you have access to the internet on which to read this. The internet not only allows you to read this inspiring blog, but material on every other subject you choose. Think about this. You have access to more information that even the greatest leaders in the world had only 50 years ago. You can be grateful you have health, to whatever degree you do.

This works great to give ourselves a lift to brighten our day. This works good when things are going well, or even neutral, as we mentioned earlier. It can work even better when we are having a tough day. If you have practice doing this on the good days, which I cannot urge enough to do, then it will make it easier when times are tough. Just had a tough day at work? Be grateful you have a job. Furnace went out at home? You have a place to live. You got a flat tire? Well, you get the idea. Every bad situation could always be worse. Even losing someone we love, which to me is probably the worst situation to have happen, leaves us grateful for having love for that person while they were in our life. Many people live a life devoid of any real connection. It may be clichรฉ, but it is indeed better to have lost in love, than never to have loved at all.

Begin today to make a habit of sitting down and noticing what you can be happy for in your life. It only takes roughly 5 minutes of your time, but can transform your whole day. Not to mention, it puts control of your personal joy and inner peace right where in belongs – with you! I would love to hear what practices you have for developing a feeling of joy and gratitude and what you are thankful and happy for today.

YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜€

I would like to share two things with you in this quick post. I would like to begin by sharing something that makes me happy and that I am very grateful for. I will follow that by giving you a personal invitation.

I want to begin with something that really makes my heart soar and fills it with gratitude. This blog now has followers in over 200 countries. Some of you who are regular followers that stop by rather often. I consider you friends and companions on the road to living an amazing life. Eduardo in Italy, Elena in Romania, Grace in both Tanzania and Kenya. Thank you for not only reading what I write, but for also offering your amazing feedback and insight. I feel like I have a friend in almost every country around the world. The exceptions being ones who cannot access what we share here for political reasons, and Greenland for their own reasons. If you have a second after you read this post, I would love to meet all of you. Until I become a rich and famous author and can fly to you in person to shake your hand, it would mean a great deal if you would take just a few seconds to introduce yourself and say where you read this blog.

I love hearing stories from every corner of the globe. There is a gentleman in Lebanon who prints out posts to hang in his office to share with his coworkers. My good friend in Italy I mentioned earlier, shares them on his social media. To a woman who reads them to her Grandmother in Peru because she is not online. This I am so grateful for as well. I can hope to reach everyone, but without your help in sharing, I could not imagine succeeding. A big thank you to all of you who share our inspiring content.

Now for that personal invitation I promised you. I want to invite you, the wonderful individual who is reading this, to join our global community. You can subscribe to this blog at secret2anamazinglife.com, join the Facebook page of the same name, or even follow our podcast at Living the Dream with Neil Panosian. In any of those cases, you will be a part of a positive-minded community that spans over 200 nations. In our online family, there is every race, creed and culture. We encourage and inspire each other. When you do subscribe, you can drop in whenever you have a need for a little motivation and inspiration, or even better, when you have a little extra to share.

I want to again thank all of you in our global, online family. 200 nations strong and only growing. Every time you hit “like” or leave your feedback in the comments, you bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. Whenever you share our content, you do the same to so many across the globe. So, once again, I want to express my deepest gratitude and invite you to join us on our journey to live a more positive and rewarding life.

SECRET TO MY CALM ๐Ÿ˜Œ

When asked to describe me, I always find it interesting to hear what words people choose. I am always hoping for dashing, handsome, charming. Instead, I often hear words like calm, laid back and relaxed. Not the description of the gent on the cover of a romance novel, but not bad either. Usually, after giving such a review, I am asked the same question. It is usually some version of, “How do you remain that calm?” The answer is a simple one – I only give my emotions to that which is truly important to me. This is easy to understand, but to many, almost impossible to do.

This usually generates the follow up question, “How can you do that?” One of the ways I do that is to remind myself of how I used to be. Those who let other people and situations control them are putting control of their life at the mercy of others. You must ask yourself, “Do you want to control your life, or do you want others to?” If you are reading a blog dedicated to living an amazing life, my guess is you want to be in control over your own life. When we live in reaction, that is the opposite of what we are doing. I know. I used to live that way. It can leave you feeling like a ship in the ocean without a rudder. There is no way to steer your life and you are at the mercy of the wind and the waves.

It is important to understand that the same holds true of your own emotions. When you let yourself react to life and those in it, you are a slave to your emotions. They own you. People often tell me things like, “Neil, I can’t help if that is how things/people make me feel.” I get it. Life, and the people in it, are often less than ideal. That is an eloquent way of saying they can sometimes suck. While they have the freedom to act as awful as they please, what they don’t have the power to do is to make you feel any way other than how you choose to let them. This may sound difficult, but it really isn’t. Controlling our emotions can be done by understanding how they are formulated in the first place. What you feel is determined primarily by 2 factors. What you focus on, and what you decide it means.

Yes that person may have called you a racial slur or some insulting name. Are you going to focus on their ignorance or your truth? What does it mean to you? Does it mean the world is full of hatred? Does it mean you are less than? Does it mean that you have an opportunity to demonstrate a positive example for your race and make this person look foolish? Does it mean this person is serving as an emotional trainer to help you strengthen your compassion for the less-enlightened? That is also an eloquent way of saying having pity for the ignorant and stupid. There is nothing that infuriates someone trying to upset you than not allowing it. Not to mention, not getting upset about that which does not matter greatly reduces your own stress.

You will certainly be faced with situations in which you need to be emotionally involved. There are situations that disrupt your spirit and upset you. I was once told that the most important decision in fighting a battle, is whether it is worth fighting in the first place. You must ask yourself the same thing when you find yourself at the mercy of your own emotions. It is a fool who wastes his time trying to master others. The true power is learning to master yourself and your own emotions. That is the secret to my calm. That is a secret to an amazing life.

EMERGE FROM THE DARKNESS ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ

A few posts back, we discussed the importance of self-care. If you missed it, I highly suggest giving it a quick read. One of the two reasons we gave for healing yourself was the ability to pass the knowledge of what worked onto others. This is priceless information. Often, when we are going through pain, we can compound the emotional struggle by feeling alone. It can seem as if nobody in recorded history has had the problem we are facing. We may know that is not true intellectually, but it can still feel that way from an emotional standpoint.

Imagine, if you will, how healing it would be to hear from someone who has faced similar challenges to what we are now facing? If they could share with us how they overcame it? How valuable would both of those things be? Speaking for myself, they could make all of the difference in whether or not I make it through a situation. I often wonder why more people do not realize the power of sharing not only their successes, but their struggles. On social media, it would seem everyone wants to appear perfect. Being imperfect is where it is at, if you ask me. It makes you more relatable. Who can relate to someone who has a perfect life? Certainly not me.

The most interesting thing happens when I tell people that they are a healer or a hero. Whether it is out of modesty or maybe even ignorance, they just blush and say, “Not me. I am nothing special.” That could not be further from the truth. Every struggle you have made it through and lived to fight another day is a victory. “It was messy and a screwed a lot of things up.” they say. Great! You don’t think someone hearing that despite doing seemingly everything wrong, you still overcame and later thrived could be valuable? “What if what worked for me doesn’t work for them?” they ask. That’s fine. Knowing something can work in that situation can give them courage to try their own solution.

Please understand that having a life that is not perfect does not make you less than. What it does make you is a healer and someone who could help and inspire others. As long as you had to suffer the pain, put it to good use helping others. You never know when your struggle could save someone else.

FIRST THOUGHT OF THE WEEK!๐Ÿ˜€

Yes, it’s Monday. That doesn’t mean all doom and gloom. What is to say that some of the best things of our life will not happen today? Some unexpected good news or fortune? Don’t fall into the trap of assuming it will not be a good day just because it is Monday!

People win the lottery on Monday. You could fall in love on a Monday. You could finally get that promotion you deserve. Your spouse, family or friends could surprise you with something fun. Maybe you could surprise them? Make Monday great for someone else.

Let us take back Monday! Let us make it the day to start a week of joy! Start by declaring the thought in the picture above and then go out and make it happen! Share your good Monday thoughts with us on the comments below ๐Ÿ˜€

TACOS. ๐ŸŒฎTHE SECRET TO HAPPINESS?

Before we get to the title of this post, let me give you the backstory. Life for a motivational author/blog writer/pod cast host is a 24/7 job. I cannot even go to the movies without my brain looking for what I can use to teach and inspire. This post, is another one of those examples.

The other morning, Margie and I found ourselves with some unexpected, and rare, free time. We both agreed going out for breakfast with each other would be fun. It is an activity we love. Something about sitting across the table from that adorable face early in the morning really makes me happy. We chose one of our favorite places, First Watch, to go eat. If you have one in your town, I suggest giving it a try. The have amazing choices and leave a pot of coffee on your table. Good stuff.

As we walked in, we were greeted with the smell of breakfast. You know what I am talking about. The smell of eggs frying, bacon sizzling and toast…well…toasting. As we sat down they gave us a menu of the specials. Some sounded really delicious and just like something Margie would enjoy. She looked at me and said, “I am getting the breakfast tacos. They make me happy.” As long as she is happy, I am happy. I began to think about how much breakfast with her makes me happy. In addition, the smell of toast. Just fills my mind with thoughts of fun breakfasts we have shared. The place is decorated fun and reminds us a little of vacation.

Then I thought again what Margie had said about the tacos and it hit me! An inspirational thought, not a taco. People spend years searching high and low for the secret of happiness and all they had to do is order some tacos. I can hear a large percentage of you nodding and shouting in agreement. More than delicious flavor, the tacos gave me, and now you, a great secret to adding more joy to our lives. Margie loves those tacos, so she looks forward to ordering them. We go to this place perhaps once a month. She knows that she can look forward to this delicious breakfast that adds joy to her life.

The secret that came to me will work even for those rare and strange souls who do not like tacos. The secret is this – find those little things that add joy to your life. That could be the smell of toast, like it was for me. It can be a walk in nature like it is for my mother. It can be a plate of delicious breakfast tacos like it is for the love of my life. Then, schedule those things into your life. Not too often where they become mundane, but often enough you can look forward to them. They work even better if you include some friends. Margarita night with the girls? Fishing trip with the guys? Even a trip to your favorite local breakfast place for some breakfast tacos with the love of your life. Give yourself that little joy to look forward too. It will make the rest of your life a lot easier to take.

SECRETS FROM A DUKE ๐Ÿคด

It is Friday. We are dealing with everything this past week has thrown at us. Sometimes we can feel like just giving up. I want to call to your attention the quote from Duke Ellington above. Let us consider the man for an example. He was a composer and amazing piano player. He wrote or collaborated on more than one thousands compositions. That is mind-blowing in itself. He did all of this during a period in American history when racism was not only present, but was rampant. Despite this, he wrote and recorded some of the most beautiful music in history.

Facing such social limitations I can only imagine would frustrate Mr. Ellington and, at least on occasion, make him feel like giving up. He did not and because of that, he was able to make a living doing what he loved. He also has schools, bridges and a host of other things named after him. How did he manage not to give up? I am not sure we can know all of his secrets, but one of them was pursuing what he was passionate about. When you are doing what you love, it can get you through some of the toughest times.

As this week draws to a close, spend some time doing what you love with those you love. Strengthen your ‘why’ and write down reasons why you should not give up. We may never face some of the challenges Duke Ellington did. We might face ones that seem even more difficult to overcome. What we can do is take his advice and never give up. By doing so we can leave our own legacy. One that says, “Here is someone who never gave up.”

IT IS WHO YOU ARE ๐Ÿค”

One of the best ways to develop your character is to treat people in ways that reflect it. If you want to be someone who is considered generous, make sure to be giving to others. This can be in many ways such as your time, your energy or your understanding. If you want to be someone known for their compassion, treat people not as they deserve, but better than they deserve. Try to understand why someone acts out of pain and frustration rather than just looking at their actions. All of these can be tricky, but remember how you act is a reflection of who you are.

One of the most important things to remember in life is that we cannot control what happens to us, but we have complete control to how we react. That is where our power is. If we are just a slave to our emotions, we give that power up. If that is where you find yourself currently, you can regain that power. It takes effort and practice, but it is worth it. Not allowing circumstances to determine our emotional state is one of the secrets to an amazing life. Just keep in mind that we should treat people how we are, not how they are or because of what they can get us. How do your actions and the way you treat people reflect who you are?