WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM SAD EVENTS

Many of you may know that the lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, committed suicide on July 20th. There is a very important lesson we can take from this. By all accounts Chester can be considered a man who had it all, at least how it is defined in modern society. He was a famous front man of a popular band who had sold millions of records. He had a large bank account which allowed him access to almost any material thing he could desire. He had millions of adoring fans. He had a family.

If a man who seemingly has it all can find himself in a place where he feels ending his life is his best option, what about the rest of us? What about the man who just lost his job? The woman who has been the victim of sexual assault? A category that really stands out is Veterans. After seeing the horrible things that man can do to each other in the name of war, and maybe even having to do some of them as well, how can they deal with the reality of that?

In case you have not been personally touched by suicide or think it is something that just happens to somebody else, please allow me to share a few statistics from the American foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp) According to their website

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
  • each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide
  • for every suicide there are 25 attempts.

If you multiply the last 2 stats that means over one million people were at a place emotionally that they tried to take their own lives. Although I am certainly filled with love and compassion for those individuals, I am also often frustrated that we lose so many amazing souls each and every day. This blog is all about living an amazing life, so to see so many losing theirs breaks my heart.

Being a solution oriented person, the question that screams in my mind loud as can be is this, “What can we do to help?” This is both a complicated and simple question. The reasons for suicide are as diverse as the people affected by it. Even a quick glance at the statistics page on the AFSP website can shine a light on some ways to help. Native Americans have the highest rate of suicide, the rate of suicide is highest in middle age, and many more insights. I highly recommend visiting their website, a link will be listed at the end of this blog. There you can find ways to help including, but not limited to, joining your local chapter of AFSP, knowing the warning signs, walks to bring awareness and a host of other valuable information.

On a personal level I encourage you to do 2 more simple things that can make a big difference. First, occasionally inquire with all of your friends, whether they are seemingly doing well or not. If the death of Mr. Bennington taught us anything is that someone who seems to be doing quite well can be silently suffering. When you do ask, take time to really listen. That is what can truly make a difference. Second, and I find this to be fun, genuinely compliment everyone you know. I am not talking about some silly flattery, but letting them know how much they mean to both you and the world. Do they make you laugh? Have they given you a good memory that helps you through the tough times? Imagine what a difference you could make in their life no matter where they are emotionally. Being genuinely appreciated is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another.

LINK FOR THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

BE A WORLD CHANGER

If there is one thing I have learned in my two plus decades of talking to people in all different walks of life, it is this – people want to feel significant. This does not always mean being the ‘coolest kid on the block’, but just loved and valuable. Some people like to be the ones who make the biggest impact in the lives of others, some just want to make the biggest impact in one person’s life.

When helping people find their passion in life one of the questions I often ask is “If you had a billion dollars to pursue whatever vocation you want, what would it be?” Lately I have asked individuals to think what change they would like to make that would affect a billion people. I have heard a lot of different answers. I have heard everything from ending hunger, supplying clean water, providing education and comfort to helping people improve their fashion sense.

My suggestion for today would be to answer these two questions. Once you have an idea of what kind of change you would like to make, do it for one person. If your dream is to end world hunger, try feeding one person who needs help. Want to offer comfort and inspiration? Go to your local VA hospital and try reading to, or just listening to some of the great people there.

Mother Teresa advised us to “Do small things with great love.” I can personally tell you in my own life the small things have made some of the biggest difference. With the encouragement of my friends Carmen, Alysa, and Kristina I started this blog and published my book A Happy Life for Busy People Now I am reaching people in over 100 countries. With the encouragement (or more like insistence when it comes to my stubborn brain) from my lady Margie I now have a YouTube Channel as well as offer live seminars reaching an entirely different group of people.

The point of that is these people inspired one person, me. Their inspiration has touched the lives of everyone who reads my blog or book, attends a seminar or watches one of my YouTube videos. When you change the world for one person it has a ripple effect. In essence, the easiest way to positively affect the world, is the positively affect the life of one person.

Change the world today. Begin with the life of just one person and watch it grow. Feel free to share your ideas of ways we can positively affect the lives of others in the comments below to help give other readers some great ideas.

MEMORIAL DAY

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Memorial day is a day we honor fallen soldiers here in the United States. Sadly, war is usually the result of ego driven politicians inability to resolve conflict without resorting to violence and loss of life, which is seldom if ever their own. Still, in the midst of this world of darkness there are many things that evolve.

I have the honor of knowing a great many warriors as they are referred to in my culture. Still my favorite was my Grandfather. Listening to stories he shared during his time in the south pacific in World War two allowed me to appreciate what can come out of war. Without fail every former soldier I have spoken to has a greater appreciation of life and the value each life holds. It is with this knowledge they are able to love deeper, understand greater, and have more compassion then most people I know.

In this country, as well as others I have visited, there seems to be a glaring neglect for these men and women who risk their lives for the sake of their country. Let us understand for the most part these brave souls go willingly to follow the orders of leaders they may not even agree with, the cost of which may be their lives, just so the rest of us do not have to. When they return they have almost always been a part of something, and seen things most of us will not and could not ever understand. They are left with a view of the world we will never know. They are left with challenges of physical, mental and emotional aspect.

Sadly, the governments who seem to be so willing to put these men and women in harms way tend to drop the ball when it comes for caring for them when they return. Now this blog is not political, and I do not wish to engage in a discussion about the current state of the Veterans Administration. That being said, my point is this, on a day we remember all of those who served let us work together as a people to give what our governments have not – let us all do something to honor and serve those who have honored and served their country and all of us. What can we do? If you know a veteran, thank them for their service. Let me take this opportunity to thank all of the active and retired service men and women from the bottom of my heart. Even if you don’t, stop by your local VA there are many needs you can fill. Volunteer to read to veterans, or offer your skills in whatever you do. See if there is anything you could donate. Write a letter to a soldier who may not have anyone to share with them. Donate to a care package drive.

Most importantly, Memorial day is about those soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. What could we do for them? There are few things. First learn the stories of fallen heros. What they went through, where they came from and who and what they left behind. That brings us to the other thing we can do. Understand each fallen soldier leaves behind family and friends who need our support and compassion. There is obviously emotional hurt and loss, but that is often accompanied by economic and social challenges as well. So let us not forget the sacrifice made by the family and friends of those who have lost someone in battle.

Let us understand even if we do not support conflict or the governments who engage in it, let us support the people who sacrifice their time, physical and emotional well-being and all to often their lives so we do not have to. Once more a heart-felt thank you from myself and everyone here at Secret2anamazinglife.com to all of the veterans past and present for all you have given so the rest of us do not have to. Please help honor them all by sharing this.

THE MOST IMPORTANT LOSS PREVENTION

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One of the most frequent questions I am asked about positivity is this; “isn’t there more important things than being happy?” or “what is so important about being happy?” Often people see focusing on themselves as being selfish. After all what good can I do by being happy? What difference does it make if I am happy around others or not? Here is a very emotional answer to that question.

Less than a year ago a high school classmate and friend of mine, David, killed himself. This morning his mother invited my lady and I to an suicide awareness walk. What I learned there will forever change me. I want to share a good deal of that with you here today and it is my sincerest wish that you share it with everyone you know. In fact, I challenge you to do so. The main point they kept repeating was removing the stigma of suicide. Which had me asking myself my own thoughts on suicide and what I knew. Here is some of what I learned.

Myth: suicide has warning signs. Usually the people are depressed or talk about it. I would know if anyone I knew was thinking about it.

fact: The people who led today’s walk were parents of a 13 year old girl who was a straight A student. She killed herself about 2 years ago. She was always happy, a musician, into sports and had a lot of friends. The fact is you never know what people are dealing with on the inside. You never know when your joking sarcastic comment could really hurt. You also never know how important a kind word and a smile might be.

myth: Suicide is an extreme and rare situation I will never have to deal with it.

fact: according to the American federation of suicide prevention(afsp) One person commits suicide every 13 minutes. that is over 110 people a day. When this walk began there was 100 people there. Today there was over 1000. There were people who lost children, parents, siblings, friends and classmates. suicide touches a lot more people than a lot of us realize.

myth: people who commit suicide are “crazy” or “weak” or just plain “selfish”

fact: Of the 110 people we lose to suicide a day 22 of them are veterans. These are brave men and women who sacrifice the safety of their own lives to defend ours. They leave the love of their family knowing full well they may never return. When they do they are never the same. They see things most of us will never know. When they return they need our love and support more than ever. They also need our understanding.

Those of you who know me well know the question that is foremost in my mind. What can we do to help this growing problem. an easy step is to go to American federation of suicide prevention and become a field advocate. Let your voice be heard. One of the greatest issues facing those who need help is the ideas we have about people who have mental issues such as depression, and social anxiety. The truth is one in four of us has some form of mental illness. Remember to treat others with compassion and understanding. Signs of their struggle may not always be visible on the outside. Understand the truth about suicide and inform others. You would be amazed what I learned merely attending this walk. Please click on the link above to learn more. Also know the suicide prevention hotline which is 1-800-273-8255. Never be afraid to ask someone if they need help. It is not offensive, it is a sign you care.

Finally, work on yourself. Try to limit the stress and negativity in your own life. Find ways to grow your bliss and joy. Bring that joy to others. Limit your use of sarcasm and ‘joking insults’ you never know what someone may be dealing with. Also do your best not to judge others. My lady was saying how quick some of us are to assume the person who is out of shape is lazy, when it could be a genetic issue or perhaps stress from losing a loved one. The person dressed poorly could be going through a hard economic time and not have many options in what to where. Share a smile and a kind word wherever and whenever you can. It is free and can change a life or even save a life. Share this website http://www.secret2anamazinglife.com with anyone you can. I will promise you to do my part with bringing as much joy and positivity as you can. Let us all be a light to those in darkness.