In life, there are certain things that we all go through. One of those things is change. We all face it in many areas of our life. When things are going great and we are happy, change can seem like a terrible thing. When we are struggling, change can seem to never come. Yet, come it will. No matter how certain things may seem, change will come. If the pandemic and the last few years of chaos have taught us anything, it is that things can change when we least expect it and do so quickly.

I hear a lot of people tell me, “Neil, I just don’t like change.” For anyone, that is only half true. You do not like change to things you know, like and are comfortable with. If there was something that caused you pain or inconvenience, you would not mind that changing at all. That is the first thing we must consider. Without change, none of the things we dislike would ever improve. That wouldn’t be too much fun would it? How about never getting a raise? We wouldn’t want our salary to change now would we? Never getting a new car? Wouldn’t want to change what we are driving. I think you get the point.

What about when it is something we like and are familiar with? We know how to do our job and do it well until some bigshot decides it should be done differently. Maybe that bigshot decides they don’t even need us doing the job anymore? Then we find ourselves out of the street. Not the type of change we enjoy. How about the change of someone we love passing? Probably the most painful change we have to endure. What do we do then? It takes a realization and a change in perception to deal with these changes. First, we must realize that change, like the law of gravity, doesn’t care if we like it or not. If we hate the law of gravity and throw a ball off of the roof, it will still go down, no matter how much we complain about the law of gravity. Same with change. It will always come, so complaining and getting upset will only cause us undue stress and wasted energy.

If change is not going to stop, and some of it really sucks, how can we still live an amazing life? Think of ourselves as a sailboat. What?! Yes, a sailboat. When a sailboat is trying to get from point A to point B and the wind changes, what does it do? Does it complain about the wind and say, “Well, I guess I am going in this other direction now.” I think you know the answer to that is no. What does it do? It adjusts the sails. Ah, there is the key to using change in our own life. Let us say, hypothetically of course, you are an author who wrote a book you hope will inspire a lot of people. You sell many copies and wait for the reviews to come in. Then you wait and wait some more. None come. Do you just say, “Well I guess that was a failure.” You could, or you can hire a PR firm and do your best to get yourself out there. You must adjust your sail. Maybe you have a job you thought you would retire from and the company goes out of business. You could complain about the change and tell everyone how it wasn’t your fault. Keep doing this and they will come and take your house away. You could also maybe go back to school, look for a job in a field you would enjoy more or find a job that better aligns with your purpose. Adjust your sail.

Change is constant for everyone. The better we learn to work with change instead of complaining about it, the more successful we will become. Think of your life as that sailboat. You are the captain. When the winds of life change, what are you going to do? Are you going to let your boat get tossed in the ocean of life, or are you going to grab hold of the helm and adjust your sail?


Have you ever found yourself in the middle of the storms of life? You look around and feel like it is all crashing in around you. I think we have all felt that way at some point in time. It feels overwhelming. Almost impossible at the time. What do you do?

We will start with what you don’t do. You don’t sit still and dwell in your feelings. You can take a second to fully experience them, but don’t live in them. The antidote to the overwhelm in life can be summed up in one word – action. You can look at the quote from Winston Churchill above, or think about this one from Tony Robbins, “Happiness equals progress.”

Many of you might be asking, “What if I don’t know what action to take? I don’t want to take the wrong action. ” There are 2 solutions to this issue. First, any action will help. If it tends not to be beneficial, you will find out sooner by acting than sitting still. Second, the outside world, and maybe somebody that could help, will see you are not a quitter. Knowing you’re the type of person to fight through the storms of life will not only speak to your character, but give you a boost of self-confidence.

Still not sure if you can take action? Here is something that always works. Take action to help someone else. While you are helping someone else with one of their challenges, it may often make your own pale in comparison. Not to mention, the confidence you get helping them you can use on your own problem. In selfish terms, by helping others do you think they will be more likely to help you? Of course they will!

This week, or anytime in life, follow Winston’s advice. If you are going through hell, just keep going!


I was listening to Les Brown, one of my favorite speakers today. He said something I think we can all relate to. He said, “In life, you are either going into a storm, in the middle of a storm or just came out of a storm.” That may sound a bit negative, but that does not make it any less true. It seems the storms of life seem to come one right after another. There are moments of sunshine between them for sure, but another one is always around the corner if we wait long enough.

Much like the meteorological storms, we also try to predict the storms in our life. Just like they do on the weather channel, we gather information. We look at patterns and past performances. Much like the conclusions on the weather channel, they are right…some of the time. We might be able to predict the storm, but that does little, if anything, to change the fact the storm is coming. They never try to change the weather on the weather channel. You never hear them say, “Everyone point your fan in one direction so we can pull up warmer air.” Trust me, I have thought of this. Why, in life, do we try to change the weather? We fight against the storms with other people. We fight against change itself. As if we can stop these things from happening.

We can spend an entire life doing our best to avoid or run from the storms in the ocean of life. They will find us or catch up to us at some point. That time would be much better spent learning to swim. What do I mean from that? If you know that eventually you will be in a storm, you really have two options. You can hope that the storm is easy, or that it passes you over entirely. Hope is a redeeming quality, but seldom a good strategy. Your other option is to learn skills that can help you not only survive the storm, but thrive in it. In other words, you can learn to swim.

Many of you might be thinking, “Ok, that makes sense. Next time that I see a storm coming, I will work on the skills that will help me make it through.” Let us return to our analogy of the weather. Does mother nature ever call you to ask, “I plan on raining this week. When would be good for you?” I am not sure how it works in your life, but mother nature must think the time I enjoy rain is when I have an outdoor activity planned. Just like the weather, the storms of life can pop up unexpectedly, at any time.

While being interviewed for the show Positively Milwaukee, I asked the question, “When is the best time to learn how to swim? When you are on the shore or when the boat is sinking?” Little did I know, only a year later I would benefit from my own advice. I had to undergo emergency open-heart surgery. The healthy lifestyle I had been living went a long way in helping me make it through that. Had I waited until I was told that I needed surgery to start living a healthy lifestyle, it would have been too late. The same is true in any challenge of life. The longer you wait to start preparing for the storms of life, the chance it will be too late increases. Start developing your skills today. The storm could come tomorrow. Take that swimming lesson today.