THE MAN (OR WOMAN) IN THE MIRROR

This week is all about areas that affect our lives in a major way. Today we are going to talk about the person looking back at us in the mirror. It is time to give them a fresh look. When you see yourself in the mirror, what do you see? More importantly, how did you come to that opinion? If you were asked to describe yourself, what would you say? What if you could change that description? Even change parts of you that you may think could never be changed?

It is amazing when I hear people tell me “I am a procrastinator.” or “I am just not a happy person.” My first question is “Really? When did you decide that?” They will either give me one of those looks people give you when you ask thought provoking questions they do not expect, or I receive answers that include the following, “I didn’t decide, that is just who I am.” “I don’t know I have always been that way.” Sometimes an especially introspective individual will share with me some event from their childhood, or maybe their last relationship that prompted this belief. I listen carefully and calmly tell them, “Actually you did choose to be that way and you did so this morning.” Again, more crazy looks.

Here is the uncomfortable truth a lot of us do not like to consider. We choose daily who we are. If you are a person who is always running late, when could you decide to change that? If you are a person who was hurt by an uncaring person in your last relationship, when can you begin to deal with and heal from those experiences? The answer is right now. Let me assure you, I am not trying to make light of anything you have been through. I know a lot of you have been through very painful experiences. Allowing them to continue to hurt you, or to force you to live your life stunted, not experiencing the fullness of joy and love that is available to you is a choice we must make, consciously or unconsciously, every morning when we wake up. It may take seeking professional help or just reaching a point where you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, but you are the one who must choose who looks back at you in the morning.

Some of us have even allowed others to tell us who we are. Les Brown, one of my favorite authors and motivational speakers was told throughout his childhood he was educable mental retarded. It took an embarrassing moment of having to tell the teacher he was too ‘dumb’ to solve a problem on the chalkboard to change his life. What the teacher told him not only changed his life, but can change ours as well. The teacher walked around the desk, looked right into his eyes and said, “Never let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.” Read that statement a few times. You may even want to print it out and hang it somewhere.

A lot of us were told by well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) teachers, parents and others growing up that we were not so good at this, or never will amount to that. I personally recall my senior year in high school my English teacher telling me, “I hope to God you never have a career in writing.” I have a website with about 800 posts and am about to publish my second book. More importantly, I have touched the lives of countless of people and will reach even more in the future. What if I listened to that teacher, and several classmates I might add, what would have happened? I never would have attempted to set up a website. I never would have believed I could write a book let alone more than one. All the lives I have helped? I never would have been able to reach them. Just thinking of that gives me a sadness in my heart.

Here is what I suggest. Take some quality time by yourself and think about who you would wish to be. Write down the ideas you come up with. It is vital you do NOT consider your current situation when coming up with this list. If I had done so back in my senior year, becoming a best-selling author and speaker would have never made the list. When you come up with your list take a good hard look at it. Then, take a look at that person in the mirror. Read this list to yourself every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed.

Next time you reach for that twinkie, think of your list. If ‘I am a healthy vibrant individual’ is on there, you might want to give that a second thought. If you choose to eat that twinkie, remember you have made that decision. If you need help, seek help. Remember you and only you should define the kind of person you wish to be. It is time to take control of the person we see in the mirror. Tomorrow we look at another way in which we can gain leverage on ourselves and help move us in the direction we are wishing to go.

BE YOURSELF

Here is a great reminder for the week ahead. Whatever you are, be a good one. We are so obsessed with being thinner, stronger, wealthier, or more popular we lose sight of something very special – us! There is nobody who is put together just the same way you are. Sure, you may desire some of the things we mentioned above, but if we all walked around with what we feel is the perfect ideal, life would be pretty boring.

Here is another wonderful thing to consider. Quite often, what we like least about ourselves can be what someone else likes the most. There are times when I am feeling so unattractive and I find my lady staring at me and then she says “I was just thinking how handsome you are.” I may shake my head in disbelief but it really feels good.

So, what about things we do? Same holds true here. I recall when writing my book A Happy Life for Busy People it took me forever to decide what to put in, and what to keep out. When it was published there were certain things I was thrilled with and certain things I thought people would just find silly, or not enjoy. Here is what happens, often things I write that I may not think are my best work tend to touch the most people and have the greatest impact. I have learned to just be myself and share what I am feeling.

Being genuine is something you just can’t fake. Let that sink in for a moment. Think about receiving compliments. If someone is complimenting you just to gain favor with you or because they feel obligated to do so, you can tell. If someone is genuine in their praise you can tell and it feels really good.

What about all the faults you have? Like a quick temper? Maybe you are not as organized as you would like? Faults provide two important things. First, they allow others to often feel more comfortable around you. Knowing the person they are around is not perfect can often help people feel more comfortable about their own faults and opening up to you. Second, they give you a chance to show you are working on improving part of your life. If you read a blog like this one, I can only imagine you are looking to constantly improve yourself, even the things you are good at.

The takeaway from today’s post is this – fall in love with yourself. Sure there are things you can always work on. We all have those, embrace them. Become ‘constructively discontent’. Use anything you think you could improve on as motivation. Remember, it is what makes you, well…you. If there is one thing that nobody can do better than you it is being yourself. Now I just have to figure why the woman in the picture has the head of a goat.

IT WORKS! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

“Hello all. My name is John O’Brien. I came across the  book A Happy Life for Busy People quite happenstance. It was given to me as a gift by my girlfriend. In its pages I found quick and easy action steps anyone can choose to use to bolster the level of happiness in their life, no matter how busy. I have implemented several of these ideas in my life on a daily basis and find myself more and more eager to implement another and another. Neil Panosian truly has done a great deal to find what works, and for that, I am grateful…which, as he knows…makes me happy”

John O’Brein II – Milwaukee, WI

I have decided to share this testimonial with you for several reasons. First, it is proof trying the life-changing tips we share in here and in my book A Happy Life for Busy People work. They can increase your level of happiness. They are not only tools of my own creation, but the best I have uncovered in over two decades of research on how to improve the quality of our lives.

The second reason I wanted to share this testimonial is the insightful tips the author has shared. The first is his choice of the words “choose to use”. While my book is full of tips that can literally transform your life or the lives of those you share it with, the one disclaimer is they have to be put into action. The old axiom “knowledge is power” is really only partly true. Knowledge is potential power. If you know everything there is about planting a perfect garden, but never actually get dirty and put the seeds in the ground you will never see the results. In fact, doing leads to more knowledge than even learning I believe. John has taken the tools in my book, put them into action and tweaked them to what works for him.

The next thing Mr. O’Brein points out is that after putting some to use he is “more and more eager to implement another and another” This is momentum in action. Look, I get it, transforming your entire life seems like a giant task. What John has shown us is that by taking small steps you gain a power and momentum to continue that journey.  Life is going to continue to move along whether you choose to act or not. The years will pass by no matter how hard we try to slow them down. So five years from now will you find yourself five years better or simply five years older? There is a Chinese proverb that states “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

So, do what John has done. Make the brave decision to take action and change your life. Feel free to browse past articles in this website to get ideas, or better yet, click the link below to order my book today. Read it and put the tools to the test. Do not take John’s or my words for it. Prove these secrets work for yourself. When you see how much less stress and how much more joy will be in your life feel free to send me your picture and testimonial. Nothing makes what I do more worthwhile then hearing how much it has affected people’s lives.

Make the choice to improve the quality of your life and the lives of those you care about by clicking on the link below to order my book and begin your journey! I look forward to hearing your results.

 

CLICK THE LINK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY AND GET STARTED TODAY!

I DON’T NEED SELF HELP!

I really dislike the term self-help. To me it always sounded as if something was wrong with the person. Then again, the word ‘help’ has a bad reputation. Especially for men help seems to be associated with being weak. Personally I do not see it that way. One thing admitting you could use a little help in a certain area shows you trust the people you are sharing that information with. It also shows a true desire to better one’s self. Both of those I find to be admirable qualities.

Another aspect of working to improve yourself is that you are growing. Without growth we are left with a feeling of discontent. One of the best ways to be happy with yourself is to progress in respect to any goal you are working on. In short – progress equals happiness.

If there is a certain area you are not particularly strong in that does not mean you are weak as a person. On the contrary, recognizing the fact that there is an area you could improve on and working to do just that takes a great amount of courage. Looking for self-help, or as I prefer to say self-improvement does not mean you are bad at something it just means you are trying to get better.

As we are working at these goals it is also important to remember our strengths. Everybody is good at some things and not at others. My lady can create amazing cakes, I cannot. I have a better grasp of history than she. Does that make either one of us less than the other? Not at all. Last post I quoted the great scientist Albert Einstein. I am going to do so here again. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This quote may sound silly, but it is as true with humans as it is in fish.

As we continue in the season of spring which is often associated with rebirth and renewal, allow yourself to be reborn. Grow your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. Ask for help when you need and don’t feel ashamed. Here is one more thing to keep in mind as you do ask for help. How do you feel when you are able to help someone? If you are a person who reads a blog like this, I imagine you feel quite good. When you don’t ask for help from someone who cares about you think of the good feeling you are depriving them of.

Feel free to share the ways you are working to improve yourself in the comments below. I wish you the greatest fortune in all your endeavors.

YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND

This post was influenced by my friend Heidi. You must decide to be your own best friend. If you have read my blog even a little you know I advocate taking care of yourself first. To some this may sound selfish, but it is only by bringing the best you to life that you can best help others. An empty pitcher can never fill anyone’s cup.

Most people know that my lady is my best friend. She is smart, talented, loving and always supports me. This being said, if I didn’t have a healthy self-love I wouldn’t be able to be the man worthy of all of this.

So how does one become their own best friend? There are a million little things that have been listed in this blog and I would invite you to go back and read a few, but today we are going to touch on the major way. The most important thing in life we must decide is where to spend our wealth. I am not talking about where to spend our hard earned dollars we earn 40 hours a week or more. Of course that is important, but I am talking about how we spend something even more valuable than our money – our time.

Think about this, you can lend your friend your car and they can crash it. You can buy another. They could watch your house and burn it down. You could buy another. Still, if you decide to give someone your time and they turn out to waste it with drama, or gossip about others you will never get that time back. So be careful who you spend your time with. What do they bring to your life? This is not to say friendships should come down to “What can you do for me?”. Friendships are give and take. They say you have two hands for a reason. One is to reach out for help when you need it, the other is to reach out to others to help them when they need it. It is the friends who only call when they are in need that you must be careful of.

Last post I wrote about everyone sharing their gifts. This is true in relationships. My friend Russ for example shares his gift of deep philosophical thinking with me. My lady shares her artistic and creative ability with me. I do my best to share my gifts with them. So be careful with who you spend your time with. Remember no matter how much money you have you cannot buy more time. Your time is valuable, treat it as such

A VIDEO EVERYONE SHOULD SEE…

My latest YouTube video is something everyone should watch.  I am so grateful for the inspiration. Please click the link below to watch and feel free to share if you too are inspired. 

WATCH THE LIFE CHANGING VIDEO HERE

A FUN ACTIVITY THAT MAKES YOU SMILE

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You are awesome!!! Yes you, right there reading this. Day to day we our heads and ears are filled with news of what we are doing wrong, of what we need to improve in our lives. These are all important things to know, but every story has two sides, and you my dear friend, are your greatest story!

Today we are going to pay ourselves back. This activity will need roughly 30 minutes of your time. So feel free to read through this and set it up for when that time is available. Give this gift to yourself.

Ok, ready? Here is what you will need, time and a pen and paper or other way of recording your thoughts. That is it. First step, title your paper “Things that rock about me” or “things that are great about me” Yes I know this sounds crazy, but stick with me I promise you it will be worth it. Now simply start to think about things you do well. If this seems tricky at first that is ok. We are taught to be humble. We are taught focusing on how great we are sounds arrogant. That is not at all what we are talking about here. We are talking about a balancing of the scales. We will be using this information to improve both our lives and the world around us.

Know this, a person who is aware of what is great about themselves, about what is beautiful about themselves can more easily put themselves in situations that allow them to shine and also bring them joy. What would your life and your future be like if you knew you would daily find yourself in situations where you would be using your talents to the fullest? Where you could accomplish great things and do so with ease? Life would be pretty great wouldn’t it? Well today and tomorrows posts will allow us to do that, so please take time to complete this.

Still staring at a blank page or computer document? Let me give you some ideas on my list.

Things that kick ass about Neil

  1. I enjoy talking to people and learning about them
  2. I love to read and learn new things
  3. I never allow myself to feel like a victim
  4. I work to empower others

Even if you can only come up with one or two for right now do not worry, you can always add to it. Now take your list and put it somewhere you see every day. Put it by the mirror, the coffee maker on your dashboard. Anywhere you will see it. That way when you hear your boss tell you what you lack in, you can know there is something great in you as well. When you see that commercial on TV about how you should be a size 2, you will know while you are working toward being the healthiest version of you that there is already greatness inside of you.

Ok, next post we are going to look at how to use this list to do more than just motivate you and have you feeling good.