One of the first reasons I was brought into the world of self-improvement was the man above, Tony Robbins. Like millions of others, I saw his infomercial at 3a.m. and ordered the product “Get the Edge”. Those CDs transformed my life. Not only for the content and strategies contained within, but because they influenced and motivated me to share what I learned with others. Not only did I improve my life, but by becoming a blog writer, author and life coach, I was able to positively influence the lives of others. I am still a big fan of Tony Robbins. I refer back to some of his work as a good reminder of some of the core principles that began my journey.

Then there was my fitness journey. Still a very active, and often up and down, journey. One of the main influences to get me moving was the man above, Greg Plitt. Not so much for a desire to have a physique like him. Although, that would be a bonus. His knowledge of fitness, both the physical and mental aspects, were a great boost. In addition, he has great motivational videos that both reinforced what Mr. Robbins said, as well as introducing some new and powerful concepts. The more videos I watched, the more I learned. Then, I learned a very interesting fact – he was dead. He met an unfortunate demise while filming a video. I had been learning for months from a man that I did not even realize was no longer with us. I still watch some of his videos to get me into the gym and to educate on several fitness and nutrition aspects.

That leads us to this man. Probably, one of, if not thee, greatest influence on my writing and personal development career. His name is Earl Nightingale. His message, The Strangest Secret, is something I have listened to thousands of times. His strategies for success are straight forward and filled with common sense. He was one of only 100 survivors on the U.S.S. Arizona when it was bombed in Pearl Harbor. He owned his own insurance company. He had his own radio program. He earned the first gold record for a spoken word recording and went on to launch the self-improvement recording industry. The company named after him, Nightingale-Conant, has many great products to help you improve your life. He also reminds me a bit of my grandfather, but I digress. He passed away in 1989.

The point of this message today is that every day I learn from people who have passed away. The only reason that I can do so is that they shared their story before they did. That is why it is so vital to share the talent you have inside of you. Your greatest moment may come long after you are gone. Our lives on this planet are finite, our influence on it does not have to be. Read that last line again slowly. How many authors, artists, musicians and others were only truly appreciated after they were gone? There is a day that we are born, and a day that we will die. Most self-improvement is focused on the moments between. That is for good reason. I put forth that we should also think about the influence we will have after we are gone. What you leave behind could save the life of someone who is not born yet. What you leave behind could change the world for your great-grandchildren. Do not let your influence die with you. Share your story today. Whether that is a video on YouTube, writing a book, or sharing a blog. That could be recording your music, sharing your artwork or a million other ways to express yourself. Do not keep it inside you. Tomorrow is never promised.


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 recall the first time that I had the corona virus. I was one of the first people in my area to get it. I was on the news, I made YouTube videos and helped bring a little calm to a world gripped in fear. What I wasn’t prepared for, or I guess didn’t expect was the stigma that I received from some people. When I returned to work, after the designated period of time, people would go out of their way to avoid me. Even though at that point, I was the safest person to be around. I had natural immunity.

Throw in the fact that I have seasonal allergies and you can only imagine the fear that brought out. Every sneeze sent people running in all directions. It wasn’t just me. Anywhere in public, when people coughed they were glared at or moved away from. There are lots of reasons that one can have a tickle in their throat. Here in the colder part of the world, dry air from heat can make you cough. As mentioned before, allergies could do the same thing. You could simply have a cough. Still, none of that will ever be the same for some.

This got me thinking. What we focus on really dictates our state of being. After the pandemic, everyone is acutely aware of every cough, sniffle or sneeze. For many, this is a legitimate concern. Especially if they, or those they are close to, have health concerns. When it comes to focus, we often let outside circumstances dictate what we focus on. This can be one of the most costly mistakes we make on a daily basis. Those sources we come in contact with, do not always have our best interest at heart. Rarely do they. Their interest in the bottom line. What drives sales and increases the bottom line? Fear. The news, Social media, coworkers, even our well-meaning friends and family can share how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. That is what we are sold. We are told how the economy is out of control. every time the price of gas goes up, we say to ourselves, “Yep, there is proof that things are getting more expensive.” What to we tell ourselves when gas goes down? That it will go up again? That is still more expensive than it was 2 years ago?

How about the attempt to divide us against one another? We are told that all of the evils of the world are the fault and responsibility of one group. We are told that we must vote a certain way or communities, countries and even the world will fall apart. Think again of the pandemic. How did it spread? Did a certain group get it all at once? No. It spread one person at a time. Day in and day out. Soon, it was an out of control spread. Soon, we were sensitive to every cough and sniffle.

What if we were able to apply that same sensitivity to words of encouragement? Acts of kindness? Opportunities to serve? What if we chose to spread a pandemic of kindness one person at a time? What if we did that day after day? We can see how it works in a biological virus. What we may not see if the ideological virus that is being spread the same way. One person at a time is convinced that the sky is falling. One person at a time is convinced that it is us against them. Before we know it, we have a pandemic of hate and divisiveness. Instead of droplets of saliva or mucus, it is spread through news stories and social media posts. We can’t protect ourselves from the fear and hate with a medical mask, but we can with masks of kindness, compassion and gratitude.

The virus taught me that the world can be made hyper-aware of many things. What happened if we decided, as a global community, to place that focus on the things that make the world a better place. I am not advocating becoming ignorant of the struggles we all face, but to question what we invest our focus, our energy and our time on. Tony Robbins once said, “What is wrong is always available, but so is what is right.”

Today, let us take the lessons we have learned from the pandemic, and apply them to create a pandemic of our own choosing. One of love, inclusion and working together. Let us grow the symptoms of kindness, compassion and mutual respect. As businesses begin to reopen, let us do the same with our hearts. Do not catch the ideological virus that many in power are trying to spread. Just like the Covid-19 virus changed the world one person at a time, we can do the same.


Looking back on this past year, there are things we wish we would have done differently. There are also things that we wish would have turned out differently. When we backtrack in our minds, let us not just be filled with frustration and regret, but look at the decisions we made that led up to those outcomes.

Tony Robbins says, “Our decisions determine our destiny.” I believe that to be true. You decide to work at a certain place and maybe that it where you meet the person who ends up being the love of your life. You decide to move to a certain neighborhood and that determines where you shop and the people you interact with.

It is not just these grand decisions that determine our destiny. In fact, to a greater degree, it is the small daily decisions that have the biggest impact on our lives. At every meal, what you decide to put in your mouth will determine the energy you have, the health of your body, the strength of your immune system, and your overall appearance. The people you surround yourself with has one of the greatest impact on your life. They say you are the culmination of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most.

One of the most powerful decisions we make is the words we use. Not only in our conversations with others, but also with ourselves. If you tell yourself, “I feel like I am on the verge of death.” When you have a cold, it will have you feeling one way. If you say, “I’m a little under the weather, but I’m getting better. ” will lend itself to a far different feeling. Some people have a hard time believing this is so. If you are one of those people, I ask you to do this little experiment. Spend some time with someone you know who is generally a melancholy individual. Really listen to how they speak and the words they use. Then, after you have given yourself some time to cleanse your ears, do the same with someone who always seems to be in a good mood. Notice the difference in how they speak.

Another important aspect to consider is the thoughts we frequently have, which are dictated by the things we say internally and externally, embed themselves in our subconscious mind. This is a whole conversation in itself. Just note when you frequently think and say the same thing, it becomes a habit and part of our reality. That holds true if it is positive or negative.

This year, let us focus on making better decisions and that will provide us better outcomes. This is a daily adventure. Thinking about what we put in our bodies. To the ever important, what we think and what we say. Surround yourself with positive, motivated people. It will not only help you improve your inner and outer dialog, but you may gain insight on some better decisions. I know I’m going to work on mine. Think of one positive and empowering phrase you can begin to use today. If you feel comfortable, please share it with the rest of us.


Anyone who knows me even a little, and most of you who read this, are aware that I do not like winter, the cold or anything associated with it. In my neck of the woods, everything looks dead and brown. As winter progresses, the snow turns grey and black with pollution and dirt. This means, everywhere you drive, you see dead brown trees. Dirty snow with brown grass underneath. These are not the most inspiring sights.

Any indication these things are on the way tends to dim my enthusiasm. So, when on November 1st, I see people putting up Christmas decorations I mumble to myself as I am driving by. That is until I read this picture above. It made me think how much putting up decorations may improve the mood of those doing it. In addition, their efforts bring light and a sense of joy to the afore-mentioned dark and gloomy atmosphere. I always saw winter decorations as a sort of harbinger of doom. I know, not very cheery for a motivational author. Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder in a state with 9 months of winter will do that to you. Now, however, I see them in an entirely different light. Pun intended. These decorations, while alerting me to the frosty temps and snow about to come, add a splash of color and cheer to a bleak environment. Some of them are even rather humorous.

I once heard Tony Robbins list in his grateful journal going to the movies. Some people grumble at the price of a ticket, which could be understandable. He told us to focus on something else. There were people who spent days, months and often years, not to mention millions (sometimes hundreds of millions) of dollars to create 2 hours worth of entertainment for you. Actors studied and practiced their lines. They spent countless hours on set, in make up chairs and more. Directors searched and tried countless camera angles and dialogue. Make up artists worked to get looks just right. Set designers. People in the computer graphics department. Writers and story board creators. Audio people. Lawyers. There are so many people involved it is crazy. Sit through the credits once and look at the people involved. Those are just the ones listed. There are countless others whose names did not make it on the big screen. The janitors who cleaned up after. The security who guarded the set. All of this so we could laugh, cry, scream or be held in suspense for a few hours. I had my own television show for a while. Trust me when I tell you, there is so much more that goes into creating content than you can imagine.

The one thing that changed my whole experience with both of these situations, and thus my level of joy and happiness, was a change in perception. When it comes to living an amazing life, is not joy and happiness what matters? Wayne Dyer once said, “When we change the way we look at things; the things we look at change.” I think this is true in both of these occasions. Next time you see a feature film, or your neighbors Holiday decorations, send them a thought of gratitude for their efforts to bring you joy. They are making our world a better and brighter place.


Another post inspired by the late, great Jim Rohn. If you are not aware who he is, I would suggest you look him up. He was a speaker and coach who taught and inspired Tony Robbins, who, in turn, inspired yours truly. This is something I got out of listening to one of Mr. Rohn’s talks on how to master your life. In his example, it was television he spoke about. At the time of the talk, which was given in 1981 if memory serves, the average person was spending 6 hours of their day watching television. To me, this seemed a bit alarming. I cannot imagine sitting in front of the television for that long. After roughly 2 hours of watching a movie with Margie, I am ready to go to bed. That also has a great deal to do with Margie, but that is another post entirely.

Mr. Rohn would then ask people in the audience how expensive their television was. They would give various prices that made sense in the early 80’s. After listening patiently, he told them they were wrong. The television was far more expensive. The cost was the 6 hours of productivity they were losing by watching it. How much is 6 hours a day worth? What if you spent 6 hours a day working on pursuing your passion? Starting your own business? This got me thinking about how we have changed in the last 40 years? Surely we have learned from all of this lost productivity and the cost attached to it. Well…

Remember that 6 hours a day of television in 1981? Let us look at today’s equivalent of the television – the cell phone. According to a study done in 2022, globally, people average 6 hours and 58 minutes of screen time a day. Almost a full hour more than the television in 1981! That figure has increased an average of 50 minutes a day since 2013. At this rate, in another 5 years we will spend half of our day staring at the palm of our head. So much for the theory of evolution. In fact, in the so-called evolved countries, the problem is even worse. In 2022, the average person in the United States spent 7 hours and 4 minutes on their phone! I am as guilty of this as anyone. I often do research, and even write some of these blogs you are reading on my phone. (Fear not, this one was written on my laptop.) If you want some more amusing, but alarming, statistics on cell phone use, read the picture above.

My point here is not to demonize the cell phone. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, they do serve many useful purposes. You can use them for a GPS device to find your way around. You can find out what movie that was that had Will Smith and Kevin James in it and who the leading lady was. (So you don’t have to use your phone it was Hitch and Eva Mendes respectively) The point here is to think about what those 7 hours of your day staring at your hand are truly costing you. Those people who buy a new phone every year (Can’t imagine this myself) think they are spending on average $370 dollars a year ($555 in the U.S.) are underestimating that price significantly. We work 8 hours a day and demand a fair wage for doing so. Yet, we give away 7 hours of our day to a device that not only does not pay us, but cost us countless dollars in cell phone bills, the building of our dreams and memories we could be creating with our loved ones. I don’t know about you, but that is far too much to pay for a cell phone. It is time we make the cell phone cheaper. Not with our wallet, but with our habits.


I saw this quote online and it really started me thinking. First, who brings a sharpie into a bathroom to write meaningful things on the tile. Second, and more to the point, how similar we are. Speaking of quotes, I once heard Tony Robbins say, “Money will only make you more of what you already are.” Meaning, if you are someone who cares, you will have more to care about. If you are a jerk, sadly, you will have more to be a jerk with.

It also brought to the light that at the end of the day, we are all still human. Most of us anyway. When we leave this world, it will not matter the amount of material possessions we have. It also doesn’t change who we are inside. If you are a miserable person who only focuses on what they lack, no amount of money will have you feeling rich. This is actually a good thing. What that means, is that if you develop an attitude of gratitude and appreciating everything you have, you will always feel wealthy. This is not to say you should not strive for more and better things. While you are doing so, being grateful for what you have will have you enjoying the process. As you do gain more and better things, you can be grateful for those as well. In this way, life will only continue to get better. When life does throw you a little setback, being grateful for what you still have will not only soften the blow, but allow you to regroup and start again.

Stay grateful. Stay humble. These are the secrets to living an amazing life. I would love to know some of the things you are grateful for today. I am grateful for a great day I had walking around the zoo and going out to lunch with my mother and the amazing night I am going to have with the love of my life.


I go to the gym roughly 3 to 5 days a week. I do so more for mental than physical reasons. I find working out to be one of the best stress relief tools. Breaking a sweat releases endorphins which make us feel good. I do my best to hit every area of the body, but I discovered I am missing some of the most important muscles.

This is CJ Fletcher, one of the fitness people I enjoy listening to. He, like myself, had open-heart surgery. He, like myself, died on the table. He did it 3 times, however! When he came back he was more determined than ever. He blends fitness with motivational and educational messages here.

This is Tony Robbins, the man who first got me interested in self-improvement over 20 years ago. CJ and Tony both mentioned working some muscles we don’t think of. When you work your arms, the more you do it, the stronger it becomes. When that happens, it can handle a bigger load. The same is true for your legs, your abs, your back and any other of the physical muscles. Most of us know this.

What we might not think of is the same holds true of our spiritual, mental and emotional muscles as well. The more we practice being patient, the better we become. The more patient we become, the bigger load our patience can handle. In our modern world, that’s a good thing. Before you run out to wait at the DMV, be aware there will be plenty of opportunities to workout this muscle presented to you. At the grocery store and the little old lady ahead of you has 50 coupons? You are working out. Waiting for your coffee and the person ahead of you has been arguing that they did not get 5.78 ice cubes? Yep, you’re working out.

It is not just patience that you can workout. Controlling your temper? That’s a good workout. Learning how to love your partner better? That’s a workout! There are so many muscles to be worked out that we might not think of. When life seems to be giving us a hard time, step back, take a breath and say, “thanks for the workout! I’ll be stronger next time!”


If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I am a fan of many different authors and speakers. Today’s post is courtesy of one such individual, David Goggins. David is a raw and real speaker that may be offensive in his language to some. He does, however, have a wealth of knowledge and great information. One of my favorite subjects he speaks on is the mindset of greatness. His best comparison is that of a job interview. When we are first interviewing for a job, what do we do days, weeks or even longer before? We make sure our clothes are ready, have our coffee cup out, a breakfast ready to be made. In short, we are preparing to make it as easy as possible to bring our best self to the interview. It usually works, and we get the job. What happens several months to a year down the line? We no longer put our clothes out the night before. Maybe our breakfast isn’t ready. Perhaps we are a few minutes late because we had to wait for the coffee to brew. We become comfortable. We have the job and so why spend the time doing all of the extras?

This can happen even sooner for some of us. It is a natural sort of progression. Should the company face the prospect of having to downsize, or we hear a rumor that we might lose our job, then we amp up our efforts once again. Of course, once that threat lessens or goes away entirely, we are back to going through the motions of going to work and coming home. Les Brown, another favorite speaker, once said we do enough at a job not to get fired, and they pay us just enough not to quit. That may very well be true. Another fact is that if you are looking to be promoted or to get a raise, all you need to do is to do more work than is required for you. Companies will not want to lose an employee with that mindset. They will do everything they can to hang on to someone who is willing to ‘go the extra mile’.

Our job is not the only place this thinking shows up. One of the places were we tend to do this the most is in our intimate relationships. When we are trying to win someone’s affection, or shortly after we do so, we act a certain way. We send flowers for no reason. We are more likely to do things for that person without complaint. Fast forward being together for years and what happens? We, almost subconsciously, take the relationship, if not the person, for granted. We think to ourselves that area of our life is ‘handled’ and we can place our energy elsewhere. We start to compliment them less. Maybe we show less affection. When they ask us to do something, it feels more like a chore.

Much like our job, if a challenge arises, so do our efforts. If the person we are with suddenly has an attractive new coworker, or maybe they do something that indicates they might be thinking of moving on, then we begin to put more effort into our relationship with them. Maybe we come home with some flowers. We might take time out of our work day to send them a loving text or perhaps a quick call. Once we become comfortable again, our efforts may start to dwindle. If you want a more amazing and deeper relationship, the steps are the same as getting a promotion or raise at work. All we have to do to take our relationships to the next level is go the extra mile. In short, do all of the amazing things we did when we were trying to win them and we will only serve to strengthen and deepen the relationship we have.

A good bonus of this thinking is that there should be more ideas the longer you are together. In the years Margie and I have been together, I have learned many new things that make her happy and feel loved. In some cases, I have been there when she discovered them for herself. I was able to do so by active listening. This means every day I am consciously on the lookout for those things that bring joy to the heart and a smile to the face of the woman I love. This took some effort and reminding myself in the beginning, but now it is second nature to me. The rewards of this have been worth their weight in gold. At any time I have a growing list of things I can do, say or make happen that will not only make her happier, but strengthen and deepen her love for me. I confess, I should probably be doing this more often, but as our love continues to grow so does the opportunities to make it grow.

Don’t worry if you have been guilty of falling into these ruts. We all do so to some degree. The secret is being able to recognize that and to pull ourselves out of them. Another way to look at this – the longer you have been in this rut and the deeper you are, the greater the opportunity for improvement! When you begin to look for and do the little extras, your life, your job and your relationships, both intimate and others, will transform before your eyes! I would love to hear what other areas of your life you feel this could come in handy.


Many people ask me my secrets to living a positive rewarding life. There really are no secrets, just putting in the work. This may put off some people looking for a life hack or secret that will transform their life with little to no effort. Usually, things like this do not have a lasting impact. The Secret, if you will, is developing habits that serve you and bring improvement to your life each day.

I’m going to share one of my habits that has the biggest positive impact in my life. This habit has done more for me than perhaps anything else I do. Before I reveal what this habit is, let me share some of the benefits I have received from using it. They may sound like magic, but I promise you they are 100% true.

By utilizing this habit I have been able to reduce my stress and learn new ways to do so. When I feel overwhelmed, it has helped me to not only put things in perspective, but stay motivated to keep going. Speaking of motivation, this habit has provided me motivation to do everything from write to workout. It is completely customizable. I can use it to relax, to energize or even to learn. It has taught me so many different things. I have learned success strategies, relaxation techniques and many other things. Here is the best thing about this tool for success – it requires very little effort. All you have to do is simply push a button.

What is this habit I literally use every single day? In case the pictures haven’t given it away, it is listening to inspirational and motivational things. These can be audiobooks, YouTube videos, speeches or even just some music that gets me pumped up. I compare it to pouring good stuff right into your brain. All that is required is to soak it up like a sponge!

You may be thinking to yourself, “Neil, I am far too busy to sit back and listen to things.” Trust me when I tell you that I can relate. I have 6 jobs, workout 4 to 5 days a week and still enjoy amazing nights with my lady. I get busy. This is when I utilize a method explained by Tony Robbins. He calls it N.E.T. time. That stands for NO EXTRA TIME. What does this mean? It means listening while you are doing other things. Listening to an audiobook on your morning commute and arriving at work motivated. Taking in some motivational speech while sweating at the gym.

The great thing is you can choose what you want to listen to. Want to learn? Pick a subject! Have someone that fires you up? I’m sure they have a video on YouTube. Great thing about YouTube, you can create a Playlist of videos you find valuable! Trust me when I tell you this habit is worth its weight in gold! Once you start mining all of the good that is out there, you will not want to stop! I would love for you to share who and what you like to listen to!