WWJD? MORE TO THE POINT, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Chances are you have seen a version of this bracelet somewhere. The letters on the bracelet stand for the words “What would Jesus Do?”. For Christians it helps remind them to act as their savior would. In that particular case, it would include love and acceptance for all. It would include preaching faith by actions and not mere words and it would include living life with a great deal of love.

This principle will work for anyone, Christian or not. While reading Napoleon Hill’s legendary book Think and Grow Rich, I came across and idea he used that we can all adapt into our lives. Mr. Hill would relax and get into a meditative state. In this state he would imagine walking into a board room full of the people he admired. The list included people like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and others. In these ‘meetings of the mind’ he would pose questions to these figures he so admired.

He claimed he would receive advice and words of wisdom from these individuals. Whether this was just his mind using the aggregate of knowledge he already had on these people to compose what their answers might be, or whether it was something far more esoteric he would not say. Even from the more logical previous option, this can help us. Is there people that you admire? Qualities they embody that you wish you had? I would suggest having this ‘meetings of the mind’ could really be helpful.

This may not be for everyone but you do not have to go to such extremes. Having a picture somewhere you can see to remind you of the qualities that you are aspiring to could be helpful. I admire how Walt Disney was told ‘No’ by over 300 banks but still pursued the idea of Disneyland. Thomas Edison had well over 1000 failures before finding what worked to create the light bulb. If you were to have a mental meeting with these wonderful gents, I would assume they would encourage you to push on and persist when it comes to your dreams. Simply having a picture of that person by the coffee maker say, could remind you daily to chase your dreams with a fiery passion.

In short, whether you wear a bracelet that reminds you to live and not just speak your faith, whether you have mental meetings with figures you admire or even just have a picture of someone whose qualities you admire posted to admire, using these reminders can help us emulate positive qualities while remaining true to ourselves. I would love to hear about who inspires you and why.

IN WHICH… ONE BEAR WRITES ABOUT ANOTHER

For quite some time now my nickname has been, in some form or fashion, ‘Bear’. Most recently, the love of life calls me ‘Honey Bear’. Not sure how this started. Perhaps it is my voracious appetite during the fall months. Maybe it is even my tendency to put on weight and sleep countless hours during the winter months. Not quite sure. In addition to those attributes there are a few famous bears I really admire.

One of those famous bears is Winne-the-Pooh, or Pooh for short. Ever since I was a young child I have enjoyed the stories of this bear and his friends in the 100 acre wood. As a child I suppose you are just drawn to certain things and are not sure why. In the late 90’s as an adult I was afforded to look at this bear in a very different way. I picked up a copy of the book The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. In this book he compares all of the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh with the different religions. It may sound odd, but I found it to be strangely accurate. There was also the book Winnie-the-Pooh on Problem Solving by Roger and Stephen Allen. In which the characters, and Pooh specifically, help CEOs and others solve problems. This may sound a bit far-fetched until you consider how some of the fundamentals we are taught in childhood are forgotten in our adulthood.

Knowing of my admiration for this Ursine movie star, Margie bought me the latest Pooh movie for Christmas. In this film Winnie-the-Pooh encounters an adult Christopher Robin who has forgotten what is truly important in life. Through his simplistic outlook, and amazing compassion his childhood bear helps him fix his adult life. It is a great movie I recommend for those of all ages. It will help you get in touch with your childhood spirit and remember what is really important.

As a side note, Margie and I spent the last few hours of Christmas Eve watching it and I have to admit it was some of the best 104 minutes I have spent in a very long time.

IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL…

First of all I would like to apologize for putting this song in your head. The purpose of this post is not to have you singing Disney songs for the next 48 hours. What I am going to attempt to do is explain an abstract concept of quantum physics and metaphysics by way of the internet and social media.

Let us pause here and take a deep breath as we have just used the words Disney, quantum physics, metaphysics, internet and social media all in one small paragraph.

Hopefully we are all back to taking in nourishing breaths of oxygen-rich air once more. This may sound daunting, but I am going to explain what amounts to a complex theory in simple terms. I am going to share a personal story that will provide an example of this concept in action. Not only did it help me grasp something I couldn’t quite get my head around, but it may just do the same for you.

Let us begin with the science part of this. If this sounds a bit too complicated, just keep reading I promise it will come together even if you have no idea in hell what this paragraph is about. Quantum physics tells us that at its very core everything in the universe is energy. The difference between say the pig you saw at the farm and the one sitting next to your eggs is the rate at which they are vibrating. In theory, if we could control vibration we could change our Honda CRV into a Dodge Viper. It also means that because not only are all forms of matter energy, but the space between matter is energy as well. Extrapolating that out further, that means everything is connected. We should, by all accounts, be able to slap our annoying co-worker 2 cubicles down without getting out of your seat. Sadly, we have not figured that out. I guess it might not be too sad if you happen to be the annoying co-worker.

If all of the talk about energy and quantum physics has your head spinning, or if you can’t quite grasp the energy concept, do not worry. Let us approach this from a different metaphysical and social angle. There are theories that everyone is only 6 degrees away from being connected to everyone else. The number changes depending on who you are talking to, but usually falls somewhere into that area. That means if I approach a person in Melbourne Australia and talk to one of their friends, and then talk to one of their friend’s friends, and carry that on for six levels eventually we would come across someone who knows me here in West Allis Wisconsin. Personally, with the advent of the internet, I think the levels may be down to 2 or 3.

Still having a hard time grasping this idea? Don’t worry so was I at first. Let me tell you a story that may bring it into focus a little better. In the beginning of my bartending career I worked at a small bar here in West Allis, not far from my home. There I met a gentleman named Rick who happened to be a regular that lived across the street. Shortly thereafter, I met his daughter Becky. So far not too complicated of a story. Becky fell in love with a gentleman named Jason. They were married and I had the pleasure of becoming his friend as well. It turned out Jason’s father worked with my mother several years prior. While my bartending career moved on to another bar in the city I met another gentleman. Through the wonder of Facebook I became connected with all of these fine people. While DJing at our Sunday show I ran into Becky’s mother. She recognized us from seeing things on her daughter’s Facebook page. Now we are ‘friends’ on social media as well. She informed me the gentleman I met at the second bar was her nephew and Becky’s cousin. Also, I do a good portion of my writing at coffee shops throughout the city. At several I have run into Jason’s brother. Basically, what this proves is that it is indeed a small world after all.

It also proves one other very important fact. Even if we have a hard time grasping the quantum physics concept of everything being connected, we can certainly see it in people. Now, through the power of the internet and social media, no matter what you do in this world it will end up having a consequence on you at some level. This will help us appreciate and see how Karma works. It can really make clear how what you sow, so shall you reap works. That should prompt us to be more responsible and compassionate individuals. Knowing our words, actions and even thoughts will, in some form or fashion, come back to us.

NEVER LOSE AT LIFE AGAIN!

Earlier in the week we looked at how to make life one long party. Today we are going to discover how you can never suffer another loss in life. Is this really possible? The short quick answer is yes. In fact, not only is it possible to not lose going forward, you can even look back and turn some of the things you feel were loses into wins.

How good would it feel knowing whatever you were about to attempt you would do so without the fear of losing or failing? How much more might you attempt? Not only is this possible, but it can be relatively easy after a little practice. Your brain will actually begin to wire itself to work in a way that will keep you from feeling defeated or lost.

Every great person I have studied (and probably the ones you have studied as well) have gone through challenges that may have stopped most of us. I have written about Walt Disney being turned down by over 300 banks trying to get a loan for Disney land. Seriously, can you imagine yourself walking into a bank after hearing ‘no’ over 300 times? I know I can’t. Thomas Edison and how many different things he tried for a light bulb. How many times do you try something before throwing in the towel? Even something we really are passionate about can seem pointless when we suffer to many defeats.

So, how did these wonderful people do it. Certainly they had to have a large dose of both faith and passion, but they had something else as well. They had a different way of looking at what many of us would view as failure. Edison said it best. Obviously most of us would think, “You tried to make a light bulb this way, it didn’t work so you failed”. Not Edison, this is what he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”. 10,000? Are you kidding me? What in your life have you tried that many times? I can tell you in my own life the answer would be none.

What attitude do the great leaders have that allows them to persevere even when the odds seem stacked against them? They understand that a situation is only a failure if you do not get anything out of it. Guess who decides if you can get anything out of it? That’s right you do. If we look back on some of our most challenging times we have had we will often see we have learned some of our most valuable lessons. Maybe in Walt Disney’s case when he kept being turned down for the loan he learned new ways to present his case?

What about those times in life that just suck? You know the ones where nothing good seems to be found and you can’t find a lesson in it anywhere? You can use that to better appreciate the good times that don’t suck. An example is as follows, the other day my lady and I went to a new cupcake place and from the moment we walked in were treated terribly. The lady was very rude and not helpful at all. After we had purchased a $4 cupcake we discovered it was dry and the frosting tasted like it came from a can. We stopped at a coffee shop to wash down said cupcake and were greeted with a very helpful, silly and fun staff. The place was roomy and very pleasing. In fact, it is where I am writing this now.

So you see I appreciated the good service I got here a lot more thanks to the poor service I received there. When you are sick, it allows you to stop and appreciate your good health that can be easy to take for granted. Once you start doing this you will find your mind automatically does this for you.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE KIND AND NOT AN ASS

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This post was inspired while having lunch with my lady, my friend Gail and her son. Gail was mentioning how people routinely come up to her and mention certain things she has done that have really touched them. If you were to ever meet Gail you would find this easy to believe as she has a very good energy and spirit about her. The funny thing is the same thing happens to my lovely Margie and myself quite often. Just last night a gentleman thanked Margie for making him get out and be social. People often remember me as the “Friendly guy from the post office”. Sometimes things end up a little more intense. Considering the kind of work I am involved in there are occasions when tools I have passed on, or just different ways to look at the world have inspired people and helped them take the actions necessary to turn their lives around.

It always reminds me of the importance of being kind. You never know when what you say, be it a kind word or an inspiring idea that can have a great impact on their lives. You never know if someone may be going through a challenge we know nothing about. What you say may inspire them to follow their dreams and become a blessing to so many others. Imagine what the world would be like if Einstein never pursued his passion? Being Jewish in the World War two era he could have easily just become bitter and walked away. You have heard me mention Walt Disney who was rejected by over 300 bankers before being approved for a loan for Disneyland. In addition to strong personal power I believe these people must have had a person or two who inspired them along the way. Einstein himself said that he used to say “thank you” over 100 times a day.

So what about the second half of the title of this post? The reason why you should watch what you say especially in times of great emotional upset is this, you never know who is listening. You could shatter someone’s dream and they may give up and never go on to bring their gifts to the world. We may lost the next Walt Disney, or the next great doctor, scientist or author. Your seemingly foolish comment may give someone a complex for the rest of their lives, or worse push them over the edge in a battle they have been fighting.

So the point is this, use kind words and encouragement often, and do your best to swallow your criticism and angry words. If you wish to encourage more people feel free to like/share and comment on this post. Together we can turn the world into a better place for all.

KEEP YOUR DREAM SAFE

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“A blog about happiness? that is just stupid!” “writing a book is more complicated than you know, it will take to long and cost too much” “Ok, so you wrote a book, don’t expect to sell too many copies” “My friend wrote a book and all he sold was a few dozen copies so don’t expect too much” These were actually all quotes I have been told. Some by very well-meaning people who I believe just didn’t want to get my hopes dashed. Do you have people in your life like this? They seem to find the thorn in every rose. Like I said earlier, some even mean well. They don’t want to see your dreams get crushed, but little do they realize that by doing so they are contributing to the crushing. I am here to tell you that I believe in you. I have seen people with every disadvantage succeed. For my own story and the quotes above I did manage to launch a blog, the very one you are reading presently. 3 years and getting bigger every day. I also managed to complete my book A Happy Life for Busy People and learned some great things along the way. I have sold about 500 copies to date and look to get it in the hands of more people. If you would like a copy just click on the title above and it will take you to a place where you can order it.

Does my own story not inspire you enough? Still finding it hard to listen to people saying no to you time after time? Trust me, I can understand. Promoting my books, website and seminars has taught me you have to go through many ‘nos’ to get a ‘yes’. So how do I keep going? Well, in addition to the tips I mentioned in yesterdays post on determination I have one more for you. Keep a record of, and read about people who have overcome challenges to achieve their dream. Here is one to get you started. There was a gentleman who was creative and determined to achieve his dream. Sadly, the one thing he was missing was capital. So this man went to the bank to try to find funding for his dream. They said no. He did not give up, he went to the next bank, they also said no. Imagine how that must have felt. Being rejected personally twice? Here is the amazing thing. It took over 300 banks to get a ‘yes’. I don’t know about you, but I am not sure my self-doubt would not kick in before bank 300. Still this man succeeding beyond his wildest dreams. For us, these days there are things like the internet, crowd funding and virtual banks to assist us.

Oh, and who was this man? Walt Disney when he was trying to get funding for Disneyland. Imagine the loss to millions of adults, not to mention children if Mr. Disney had not been so passionate about his dream. So believe in yours, find people who also  believe. read and discover stories about others who have succeeded and remember often the people putting down your dream may just be hurting because they have not achieved theirs.

FOLLOW THROUGH

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Take a look at the people featured here. Do you know what they all have in common? The all excelled in a field that they were specifically told they were a failure in. Not ok, not average, but terrible. Can you imagine television without Oprah Winfrey? How about the music history without The Beatles? Einstein not only became a great scientist, but changed the entire way we view the world. Walt Disney not only did have an imagination, but filled the imaginations of countless children when he was alive and his companies continue to do so to this day. You may be saying “Neil that is all well and good for these people, but what does that have to do with my life?” The simple answer is everything! How many times have you been told you were no good at something? How many times have you tried something a couple of times or maybe even once and failed miserably at it? I know I have countless times. What do you do? Do you stick with it? Perhaps you just say to yourself “Well that was nice, but I guess it’s just not for me” or do you believe the words of the so-called “experts” when they tell you that you will not succeed? Sometimes these sources can be well-meaning friends and family members speaking out of their own fears. I have a hard time imagining myself pursuing a career in professional sports if I was cut from high school team like Michael Jordan was, but he did and went on to become one of the greatest of all times. How many dreams have we given up on because we have been told that our dreams are too unrealistic? Or that we lack the certain talent needed to achieve success in that field? How many times have we tried something and failed at it only to move on to something else. Take another look at the list above and imagine how the world would be different if these people had given up on their dreams? That is of course unless you are like poor Mr. Disney and completely lack any imagination.