WHAT IS YOUR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH? ðŸ†

When I first read this, I smiled to myself and thought, “That is a cute thought.” The more time I spent pondering it, the more the profound truth contained within came through.

Let us think about an awards ceremony. People are being honored and appreciated for something. This can range from a talent. Think of the Oscar’s or the Grammys. It can be an accomplishment such as in the world of sports or even the corporate world. It can be to honor someone’s charity works or their selfless giving to their fellow humans.

What happens next? The person being honored is asked to give a speech upon accepting their award. When they do, it usually filled with respect and gratitude for the people who played a role in why they are being honored. In recap, one person is being honored and return, they are expressing gratitude for all the people who played a part in the event. There is seldom bragging or self-centered behavior. What a great way to spend a day!

Wouldn’t it be great if everyday life were like that? Days spent giving accolades and expressing gratitude? Here is my powerful 2-word question to you – why not? Why can’t our lives be like that? I have a fun solution that I invite you all to be a part of.

Polish up your award giving talents. What do I mean? If you think about it, are there not many people who deserve an award in your life? I would give my mother an award for managing to always discover new ways to help others despite facing challenges in her own life. My beautiful Margie 😍 deserves an award for defying nature. She will work hard,sometimes sacrificing sleep all together, and as the years go by she seems to actually look younger! Our friend Sara is not only working to conquer the demon of addiction, but sharing her story to inspire others! Our other friend Sara not only stepped in to DJ with Margie when I had surgery, she was also kind enough to help us with our vacation!

This is just scratching the surface of the amazing people we have in our lives! I am not saying you have to present each person with a little trophy at a special dinner. Although how fun would that be? Even a simple card acknowledging their accomplishments or contributions would be amazing!

How many people do you know that deserve to be recognized? Many several times over! I think it is time we make honoring those people who play an important role in our life a regular activity. Try one person a week. How do you think your life would change in a year if you let 52 people know how important and valuable they are? Do you think your relationships would improve?

A quick side note. All too often, people can feel unappreciated or taken advantage of. Some people may be facing struggles we know nothing about. What impact would achieving a note of honor and appreciation do for them? Think about that. By letting others know how valuable they are, we all win.

HOW DO I DO IT?🤔

My schedule is one that is quite full. I spend roughly 46 hours commuting and working at my day job at the post office. On top of that, I spend about one to two hours at the gym three days a week. I record three podcast episodes a week. I am currently working on my fourth book. People are always asking me, “How can you still spend time doing blogs everyday?” This is compounded by the fact that they bring me very little, if any, financial gain. The picture above can help us answer that question. It is a partial list of countries that had logged on to read my blog during a particular week.

The last country on the list is Ukraine. This country is facing one of the toughest times in its history. People are being forced from their homes. If they are staying, they often have to do so without power, running water and under the threat of violence and destruction. To know that a person in this country took the time to log on to secret2anamazinglife.com, is not only a great honor, but a great responsibility. How many of us have thought to ourselves, “I sure wish I could say something encouraging to all of the people in the Ukraine.”? In this case, I get that chance. When you are living in a country that is at war, you need all of the inspiration you can get. It is difficult to keep your head above water, not to mention deal with all of the death and destruction. A voice of inspiration, encouragement and motivation from afar could be, at the very least, a welcome escape.

If you look a little further up on the list, you will see Puerto Rico. This view happened shortly after the island was devastated by a hurricane. There was almost no power on the entire island. Yet, someone still managed to log on to this blog to read what was written here. Very likely, their valuables were washed away. It is probable that their house was damaged in some form. They may have even lost some loved ones. These people came to read what I have written. Again, quite an honor, but an even greater responsibility. What could I possibly say to someone in that situation?

It does not have to be people in countries who are both ravaged by war and natural disasters. Take a look at any of the other countries. Any one of the people in Ecuador or Ethiopia could be facing one of the darkest days of their lives. Maybe they have lost a job. They could be experiencing the grief of losing a loved one. It is thoughts like this that are in my mind as I write these words. How can I write these blogs? To me the question is more accurately, “How could I not write these blogs?” If my words could improve the life of a neighbor down the street, or halfway across the globe, I owe it to them to share both the knowledge I know, as well as the love in my heart with them.

You may be thinking to yourself, “That is great Neil, but I don’t have a blog.” It is not just the online community that needs our love and encouragement. In todays social media world, where many people can forget the power of their words, we must remember what a positive impact ours can have. It could be someone who is in our social media network. It could also be a coworker or even the guy sitting at Starbucks with no shoes on. That last one is a personal observation I made while writing this. Any of those people could be facing some of the challenges we mentioned earlier. You may never know the impact your positive words or actions may have, but know they do make a difference.

DON’T PUT THIS OFF!

How many of us have heard this saying before? Raise your hand if you have. Ok, now put your hand down because it would look funny if you continued reading with your arm in the air. Most of us, at some point in our lives, have heard this advice. It really rings true. Like most of the quotes attributed to Mr. Franklin, can help us with productivity and accomplishing our life goals. The quicker we do things, the quicker they will be done. Often, if we do put something off it can delay the accomplishment of our goals and dreams by months or even years. That sounds pretty important doesn’t it? We are going to apply this theory to something even more imporatant!

What could possibly be more important than the accomplishment of our goals and dreams? That determines the success of our entire life! This is true. Hard work and avoiding procrastination, which we are all guilty of to some degree, has a huge impact on our material success. Notice the word in italics. That is because if there is anything more important than our success on a material level, it is our success on an emotional and spiritual level. One of the most important ways in which we can develop a healthy emotion and spiritual life is to give kindness to others.

The quote from Emerson above highlights a what is perhaps the most important reason for not delaying our kindness – we never know when it may be too late. I am big into reading biographies of people I respect and admire. One of my favorite stories is the life of Louis Armstrong, the famous jazz musician. When he was young, a kind Jewish couple bought him a trumpet. He went on to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, trumpet players of all time. How different might his life, and consequently the world at large, been different without that act of kindness? There are so many people struggling with accomplishing goals and projects they are working on that a little kindness might keep them going. If they keep going, their accomplishments could go on to change the world.

Of course it is very important to give an act of kindness to keep people hope when they are engaged in pursuing their goals, but there is something even more vital to consider. The quote above is a big hint as to what that might be. What seems like a small act of kindness to us, could make a great amount of difference to the receiver. This kindness can be a matter of life and death. What makes life so valuable, is that we never know when it may be taken from us. We may think, “I’ll message that person tomorrow.” or “I really have to get around to telling that friend of mine how much I appreciate their presence in my life.” Tomorrow comes and that person may be gone from our lives forever. This may seem like a slightly morose thought, and I suppose it is, but it should inject a sense of urgency as well. If there is anything we should not delay in doing it is spreading kindness.

Something I cannot stress enough is the undeniable fact that we never know what battles and demons someone may be fighting inside of their mind. We may think we know someone inside and out but there is always something we don’t know. Margie and I are very open with each other, but she still never fails to surprise me. Your friend, coworker and yes, even your spouse, can seem perfectly happy and even tell you they are perfectly happy but can be waging a war in their minds. Your act of kindness may supply the little bit of hope they need to keep going. In my 46 years on this planet, I have known far too many people that have succumbed to the pressures of the world and took their own life. Most of them I had not a single clue they were suffering. When we lose someone it is too late to share that bit of kindness we may have bestowed. The worst feeling we can be left with after losing someone is not grief, but regret. In my own life, I have had too many “should have” and “could have”.

Procrastination always has a very high price, but none so much as procrastinating giving kindness. We are delaying a feeling of emotion and spiritual well-being and helping our fellow humans (or animals). We may also be depriving the world of some great accomplishment the receiving party could only achieve if only they had a little more kindness and encouragement. To, of course, the greatest cost of all time, a human life. Whether that is someone passing away unexpectedly, or worst of all, someone taking their own life. Our acts of kindness are far more valuable than we can possibly imagine. If there is any act of kindness you are even considering doing, I implore of you to do that act today. Do not wait. Do not delay. Kindness can never be given too soon, but it can certainly be given too late. Share with all of us what act of kindness you are going to act on today in the comments below.

MAYBE I CAN HELP

Today we are going to discuss something that touches the lives of everyone – anxiety. In these crazy days of political bickering, health worries due to the pandemic as, well as financial and job worries, it would seem you fit into one of two groups. You have some degree of anxiety or you know someone who does. It is not just the 3 big factors we mentioned either. Each one of us has a whole host of small worries and concerns that we become anxious about. Children and other family members, bosses and coworkers plus a million other issues that can creep up. Maybe even just reading that sentence caused a feeling of anxiousness in you. Trust me when I tell you the one thing you can be certain of is that you are not alone in feeling this way. In the United States alone, 40 million adults suffer from some form of anxiety. That is roughly 18% of the population. That is the bad news. The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Sadly, only about 37% of those affected receive treatment.

I am certainly not a doctor or psychologist. I recommend having an honest and open conversation with, at the very least, your general physician. As a certified life coach with over 2 decades of self-improvement experience, I am confident I can offer some tips that will help. As with any challenge in life, I recommend a multi-faceted approach to treatment. In the next few posts we are going to look at several of these starting today. The first thing is to recognize that having anxiety is not something to be embarrassed about. As we discussed you are in some very good company. With all that we experience, it is completely natural to reach a state where we are totally overwhelmed. The next thing that is important to know is that anxiety is treatable. With a proper plan, you can begin to regain control of your life.

Where did it come from?

One of the first steps in treating anxiety is understanding the source of that anxiety. It may be a single source, but oftentimes it comes from several different sources. Looking at the pictures above we can see several of them. Some come from genetic and family backgrounds. Some are organic in nature, meaning it can involve chemicals in the brain. Even these are treatable with proper medical care. A portion of anxiety can be onset by a tragic or very emotional life event. PTSD is a very serious and complex issue. It may involve several different methods of treatment, but can certainly be treated. In today’s world, there is also a good deal of social anxiety. This can come in the form of things like cyberbullying. It can also be an over exposure to negative and fear driven social media. Speaking of social media, we can even feel a good deal of anxiety viewing our friends social media pages. What people post on social media tends to be their best lives. We see the end result, but not very often the struggle that goes into it. That can leave us feeling like we are failing or falling behind. You see the couple that is always posting loving photos while you sit eating fast food for one.

Which brings us to our first major question, “How do I discover the source of my anxiety?” There are several paths to explore discovering your source of anxiety and you will have to discover what will work for you. I am going to look at 4 to get you started. Do not feel limited by these, but at least explore them. The first is the obvious one, talk to a trained medical professional. This can be a trip to your regular doctor who may have some answers or be able to steer you in the right direction. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your doctor or may be looking for something more specific or confidential, I suggest taking advantage of your workplace’s Employee Assistance Program or EAP as they are often known as. Most large companies have one. If you are not sure if that is something your workplace offers, check with your boss or human resources department.

Perhaps seeing someone in person is a little too uncomfortable for you. There are 2 other methods we are going to look at. There are doctors and professionals available in a virtual setting. You could speak to someone over the phone or even have an online session. With all that is happening in the world these resources are expanding at a tremendous rate. A simple Google search will offer you many options to get you started. Many are available for little or no cost to you.

If you do not feel comfortable sharing yet, there is one therapist that I use and recommend to everyone – a journal. It is private, it is extremely low-cost and can be a valuable tool in self-discovery and treatment. Often recording our feelings can result in a great deal of clarity. When we take the emotions and anxiety we are experiencing in our heads and put it on paper it can diffuse a lot of the emotion or offer us a clearer picture of what we are feeling. I relate it to taking a step back or taking a moment to breath. This makes a journal not only a great tool for discovering the source of anxiety, but can do a great deal to treat it as well. Journaling has some added bonuses too. Should you discover you may want to speak with someone in the future, having a record of your thoughts for the last few days/weeks/months can help them better understand and assist you. Not sure how to get started? It can be as simple as sitting down and beginning to write down how you are feeling and what comes to mind. Some moments, even getting started can be difficult. Do not worry, there are plenty of sites that offer free prompts to get you started such as the ones pictured above from our friends at journalBuddies.com.

Discovering the source of our anxiety can be a very liberating and helpful first step. I encourage everyone to take that step. Even those of us who feel we have a good handle on our anxiety can benefit from developing a relationship with someone, even if that is a journal, for when life overwhelms us. Discovering the source of our anxiety is just a first step. Next post we will begin to look at the three different methods for treating anxiety and which one may be right for you.

IT IS NOT WHERE YOU COME FROM…

I was talking to my good friend Ricky at Station 6, a quaint cocktail and craft beer establishment in West Allis where I live. I enjoy talking to this friend as he always offers a fresh perspective of life and how to look at it.

As I sipped my Allis old fashioned and he enjoyed his Irish coffee he shared with me some of the daunting things he had faced growing up as a young man. We all have had challenges in our childhood, but his was more than most.

What impresses me about Ricky, is his perseverance. Although many people could have used these as an excuse to give up, and it would be understandable, he has overcome. That is not to say he has not struggled with some demons, in fact he is conquering some as you read this, but he is fighting. It reminded me of the quote from Eric Thomas above It is not where you come from,it’s about heart.

Life can feel like a boxing match sometimes. As the character Rocky reminds us, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit,and keep moving forward…That’s how winning is done.”

Today people determine success by how much one has achieved or obtained. What many of fail to realize is that some of the greatest winners are the ones who have taken the hits and keep moving forward. To me these are the true winners, the true heroes in life.

You may see people who seem the picture of success, but when life punches them in the mouth, they fall like a house of cards. Then again, you may see people who are struggling, or even those who seem like ‘average’ people yet have overcome so much. These are the people who have taken, or in some cases are still taking, the hits from life and keep moving forward.

If this is you, if you have struggled or are continuing to struggle, know that we here at Secret2anamazinglife.com know and salute you as a winner in life. You may not feel like it. You may not have the awards and accolades. In fact, it may feel like you are still fighting. Know this, every day you keep moving forward you are a winner. Keep this in mind when meeting others who are struggling as well. Remind them of it. If you still need a little inspiration, click to watch the short video below.

CLICK HERE FOR A QUICK MOTIVATING VIDEO

WE CAN LEARN FROM OUR HERO’S MISTAKES

I once heard someone say “We have to learn from the mistakes of others because we can’t possibly make them all ourselves.” At the time I heard it, I thought that was one of the stupidest things. Who wants to make a mistake anyway? I am not going to try to make them all. In fact, I am going to try to make as few as I can. If I was going to study anything (I wasn’t really much for studying back then) I was going to study what people did that worked. I want to learn how to be successful, not to make mistakes.

That was when I was young and thought I knew everything. Now that I am old and realize I know hardly anything, it makes a lot more sense. A great example was the fellow pictured above. I always thought Michael Hutchence of the band INXS was the living definition of the word cool. He had a killer voice, a stylish yet dark look, an intriguing aura, he had a way of charming the ladies and he fronted a really great band. I thought to myself, “That is the guy I would like to be like!” There were a few things standing in my way such as not being Australian, not having curly hair and millions of dollars to be able to put together a great wardrobe and just grow my creativity. I did manage to front a band of amazing and talented musicians. I never stopped focusing on developing my creativity and learned all I could on how to be charming and witty.

On November 22, 1997 Michael Hutchence was found dead at the Ritz-Carlton in Double Bay, Sydney. He apparently died by suicide, hanging himself. Although there is some debate behind the motive, the result was tragically the same. The world had lost a great musician and I had lost a man who I believed to define what it meant to be on top.

I do not recall how much I read or investigated after his death. Recently, I listened to some documentaries on his life, career and of course his death. I learned that he was a shy and reserved individual who turned into another person all together on stage. I learned that to deal with the pressure of fame, he often used drugs or alcohol to dull the pain. There were many failed relationships and heartache along the way. There was a terrible injury he sustained while having a drunken fight with a cab driver. This resulted in brain damage that caused a diminished sense of taste and smell. Although he found a woman he loved and had a child that he said caused him to be unselfish for the first time in his life, there were struggles there too. She was still involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle over the 2 children she had previously. This often left Michael unable to see his own child on holidays and special occasions. All of this stress coupled with the prescription drugs and illegal drugs he was taking took their final toll that day in November.

Listening to these stories and learning all of this really made me think of what I thought was cool then, and what I think is cool now. I certainly had my days of partying with bands and as a bartender. I have had failed relationships. What I did was learn from them. I valued my creativity throughout everything. Michael Hutchence died at the age of 37. Here I sit at the age of 44, almost 45. I learned that dulling the pain is not as healthy as taking steps to heal the pain. I learned having the ability to be loving and charming to one woman and deepen that love is far more fulfilling than anything else I can think of. Right now I am still friends with some of my old band mates. I am able to use and grow my creativity daily. Best of all I have the most beautiful woman in the world to share it all with. As I look back, I believe Michael Hutchence might look at that and think to himself, “That is one cool mate.”

Think of your heroes. Look at the mistakes they made. It can really teach you a lot.

VULNERABLE = STRONG

I am always interested in highlighting some of the great people in the city of West Allis Wisconsin, where I live. The gentleman on the left is Curtis. Together with his wife Danie, they run the local coffee shop/café called Urban Joe’s. From the first moment I met both of these amazing people one thing became apparent – they get it. What I mean by that is that they truly understand what is important not only in business, but in life. When you dine or just enjoy an amazing coffee or cocktail at Urban Joe’s you will be treated to more than just great food and beverages. You will be treated to some of the best customer service in the city. This is not by accident. Curtis and his wife understand the value of a customer and of a person.

It is the second part of that last statement, knowing the value of a person, that I would like to expand on today. After just a few visits to Urban Joe’s it became apparent to me that Curtis also understood the importance of introspection and quality conversation. He is one of the people who are not only easy to talk to, but really listens and gives thought to what you are saying. Between the two of us there is never a shortage of topics. Through the years we have discussed everything from our visits to the gym, my writting and most recently my interesting adventures in purchasing a new vehicle.

It was during the discussion about my vehicle purchasing that Curtis brought up some poignant matters I would like to share with you. As he offered his outrage with some of the customer service I had experienced in my quest for a new form of transportation, he mentioned the struggles he faced while looking to hire a new member of their staff. We discussed how difficult it is to find individuals who have a sense of ownership over the job they do. Some of the challenges were making your job a priorty, realizing the workplace is not a platform to express one’s political or social beliefs, to the ability to interact and value the customer not only as a source of revenue but as a person. Something he and his wife are not only good at, but take pride instilling in their employees.

It is important to note that while I was enjoying this coversation with Curtis, we were also joined by my mother. We all came to the conclusion that there may not be enough importance placed on physical human interaction. A great deal of our social interaction comes in the form of social media and other digital platforms. Sadly, this can often be a place where manners and common courtesy are sacrificed in the name of social stature or even convincing someone your political opinion is the correct one. Curtis lamented the fact there were not more people who met ‘over a cup of coffee’. Not only would this be good for business but it would strengthen our human connection.

Why is a strong human connection so important? It is so important it can be a matter of life and death. When we form strong bonds it allows the opportunity to be vulnerable. On social media, and now often in the real world, people are afraid to ask for help. It would appear we are more worried about appearances than what is healthy for us. Without fostering deep personal relationships we can be left feeling things like hopeless, alone and depressed. We fear that asking for help can make us appear weak. The opposite is actually true. Being able to admit a situation, or sometimes life in general, has gotten the better of us takes a great deal more strength than pretending everything is ok. We can look to many people such as Robin Williams and Kate Spade who seemed to have it all but lacked the ability or resources to ask for help.

It is for these and many other important reasons that we should “Put down the phone and pick up a coffee cup.” as Curtis mentioned. Developing deep personal relationships can help us notice when something might not seem right with someone closest to us. Allowing people to share their emotions, fears and concerns over a lunch or a nice cup of coffee may be life-saving. It what can often be a digital and pharmaceutical world, we must remember the importance of developing and maintaining close personal relationships. It will benefit us. It will benefit the lives of those we love and care about.

I want to thank Curtis for this great reminder and the great conversation we shared. I want to thank the entire Urban Joe’s staff for being an example of what caring and wonderful people are like. If you need a reminder of what it takes to develop great relationships, you want to enjoy some great conversation filled with wit and wisdom or you just want a great cup of coffee, you owe it to yourself to stop in to Urban Joe’s today and ask for Curtis or Danie.

ASSUMING A SMILE

Today’s motivational thought come courtesy of my dear friend Kurt. That is him and his words in the picture above. When I read what he had to say it brought a very important reminder to light.

When we think of bringing joy to and helping others we usually focus our efforts on those in what we might view as compromising situations. That is important because those are the people who need it the most. Helping at a meal program, bringing items to the hopeless or reaching out to those who seem to be in pain are some of the most noble acts we can do.

Limiting our actions to just those people can be a mistake. Some of those who need our help the most can hide it the best. I recall a gentleman I worked with in the post office. This gentleman came to work every day with a smile and a joke. There were three of us who often worked together in this small office. We would share stories and on occasion we would all share a cocktail after work. One of the funniest men I have ever worked with. After being transfered for several months, I stopped back to help one day and noticed that gentleman was not there. I inquired as to whether he retired or simply had the day off. I was informed the found him in his basement. He had hung himself and left behind several children.

Never would I have imagined this man would have been suffering so greatly on the inside. Very few coworkers have ever made me laugh so hard and so often. The effect on the other gentleman we worked with was devastating. They had worked together more often and were far closer. I am sure that man felt that he should have known something was wrong. The truth is you would have never guessed.

This is the story of more people than we would dare to imagine. Although they may not be to the point of taking their own lives, their smile could be hiding a great deal of pain. That is why it is important to remember to treat everyone with respect and compassion. Let even the happiest of your friends know that you are there for them and that they have a safe place to vent with you. It may mean more than you know. I may just save someone’s life. 

CLICK HERE TO GET NEIL’S BOOK FILLED WITH IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE AMAZING 🙂

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.

YOU ARE MY HERO

In today’s world it seems a different superhero movie comes out every week. Add to that the countless sports that seem to hold championships. Recently I even saw a video game championship played out in front of a completely filled stadium! I’ve always questioned watching people play poker on television, I can’t bring myself to watch other people play video games on TV, much less stand in a packed stadium to do so.

It would seem the world is in great need of heroes. Guess who my hero is? It is you! The irony of all the hero worship I see is that heroes surround us everywhere and every day. You are one of these heroes!

How can I say you are a hero when I haven’t met a lot of you? I know you’re a hero because we are all struggling to get through this life. You might be a kid in the West Bank trying to get a great education while your country is being torn apartby civil strife. It may be you are a farmer in the Congo trying to make a living. Perhaps you are a single mother working three jobs just trying to support your family.

It is not always life challenges that make you a hero. Maybe from the outside your life looks great, but inside you are battling depression. Today might be another day you gave in to an addiction and you are trying not to lose hope. There are health challenges, financial challenges, social challenges and a mmillion other issues we are all doing our best to make it through.

When you see the employee at Starbucks keep their smile as a customer screams at them because their coffee has 2 ice cubes instead of three. That takes patience and they are my hero.

Whether you are working on keeping your faith or healing a broken heart, keep going because you are my superhero. Remember everyone we meet is working to overcome something. Treat them as the hero they are. That includes you.