ONLY 2 WAYS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ✌️

I ended my third book with this quote. It is an interesting truth. Mr. Einstein was one of the smartest people to grace our planet and I have to admit he came up with a good one here. Going through my surgery and brief flirtation with death did give me a new perception on things. Leading up to the surgery, I think was even more profound. I am going to share this with you in hopes that you will not have to be sawed in two like I was to be able to see everything like a miracle.

How do we begin to see everything as a miracle? We take this bit of advice from another wise soul, Dr. Wayne Dyer. Changing the way we look at things is such a valuable tool that many of us do not use often enough. Let us start with a big one – life. In my book, The Beat Goes On, I share a story about being at the movies with Margie 2 months before my surgery. As we were watching superheroes rid the world of a host of evil villains, it occurred to me that I could be dead a mere 60 days from now. That may sound morbid, and a bit scary, to some of you. It wasn’t to me at the time. What it did serve to do was give me a swift kick in the rear end. Time was ticking. The sand was falling through the hourglass. I looked at Margie and realized that every second ticking by was one less I would have with her. If I only had 2 months, what did I want to tell her? What did I want to do together? How did I want to make her feel? Life had never felt so precious to me. If you want to hear more of this story, I highly suggest checking out my book.

It should be pretty obvious, but just in case it is not, I made it through. It would be tricky to be writing this if I didn’t. What I was left with was not only a really cool scar on my chest, but that sense of urgency. What I realized is that every day, every second is still one less that we get to spend with each other. Not just Margie and I, but everyone in my life. We never know how much sand is in the top of the hourglass, or how much time we have left. All we know is it is less than it was before. When you lay down and night, realize one more day on the planet has ticked by for you. Did you use it well? Were there some things you could have done better? Think of what did go right and the fact that you made it through. Give thanks for that. Really feel that sense of gratitude that your ticket was not punched that day.

When you wake up tomorrow, give a big stretch and be grateful that you made it to another day. Then, realize that the sand is still flowing through the hourglass. How are you going to make the most of this day? Are you going to do something to build your legacy? Are you going to take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature? You could explore the world of a new book. How about telling someone how much you truly love them? Time is ticking. Get every drop out of the juice of life. Live your life as if everything is a miracle, because it really is.

WAKE UP THIS WAY FOR SUCCESS!🤑

To the more cynical of you, this notion of expecting something wonderful to happen may sound ridiculous. I can hear your voices as I type this, “Even if I do, life will still be the same.” or “Life won’t change just because I am expecting it to.” I would have to agree with both of those statements. Life happens. Flat tires happen. Turning off your alarm while you are still half asleep happens. Going to Starbucks and finding they are out of coffee happens. (this actually happened to me and I share the story in my first book) If life will not change when we alter our expectations, then why do it? That is a very fair and legitimate question. Life will not change – but our experience of life will.

When we choose to expect, and therefore focus on, the positive, that is what we see. When you are expecting something wonderful to happen, you will be better able to notice when it does. Here is the truth – almost everything that happens in our lives can be something good. We get a flat tire? We might be late, but it will give us a forced opportunity to slow down. It will give us a chance to practice our tire changing skills. Maybe it will provide us a chance to use that roadside assistance we pay for. A cavity, as painful and inconvenient as it can be, is a great reminder to take care of our teeth.

Life is not all about finding the good in the struggles. In fact, life if full of miracles! Most of them we never notice. The fact that we can use a device that fits in our pocket to serve as an alarm clock to wake us up, a source of news to keep us informed, a music player to lift our spirits, a GPS system to get us where we are going, a camera to take pictures of where we are going and a platform to tell people around the world where we have been is a miracle. How about the wind? We can use it to power our cities. It can tell us when our neighbors are grilling out. It can further our appreciation of a beautiful flower. How about our ability to communicate and encourage others, even if they are half a world away? I always enjoy my communication with my friend in Italy. He provides valuable feedback on these very posts.

The fact that our bodies can turn food, water and air into energy, thoughts and motion. It is not only a chemical process, it is nothing short of a miracle. The happy dog we see in the car next to us. The smile from a stranger, or even better yet, from someone we love. The ability to taste the food we love. The joy that comes from hearing our favorite song. The feeling of love we get when someone hugs us. You may say I am choosing to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. You may be right, but does that make any of those statements less true? How would looking at all of those things as the miracles they truly are make you feel? What if you spent an afternoon, or even an entire day, trying to spot and appreciate everything good in your life? How would you feel at the end of the day?

The cynical are right that none of this would change the world. Here is the powerful secret to an amazing life – it would change the world for you! By taking control of our focus, we have the ability to create our world. Every day something wonderful does happen to us. What happens on the days we miss it? Will there be days when we feel nothing wonderful happened? Yes, we will still have bad days. We are human. When we chose to focus on, and expect, the wonderful, those bad days will be the exception and not the rule. In my third book, I ended it with a quote from Einstein. I think it sums up what we have been discussing here today. I invite you to read and ponder it. I also invite you to take me up on that challenge of trying to find everything positive you can for an afternoon, or even an entire day.

WHAT IS YOUR PRESCRIPTION?💊

I would like to relay another story to you. This one also drove home a great point people may have a hard time grasping emotionally. Inside this story is the secret to an amazing life. It is a difficult and uncomfortable secret, but a powerful one. If you get the lesson in this story (don’t worry we will talk about it after) then you will have what you need to begin transforming your life starting today. I warn you, that you might not be ready to read this story. Although it will provide you the potential to positively impact your life, it will require a few things on your part. These are things that people may find difficult and uncomfortable. The payoff is that if you do make the sacrifice, you will have less stress and worry. You will also have a much greater feeling of control over your life. It will require you to be brutally honest with yourself. It will require you to get rid of your excuses and your ability to blame. In their place, you will need to take on a feeling of responsibility and accountability.

Are you ready? Here we go. A man goes to visit the doctor. The doctor inquires as to the nature of his ailments. The man goes on to describe a list of issues he seems to be having in his life. The doctor listens to the seemingly unrelated issues the man is having. After he has finished explaining everything that ails him, the doctor replies, “I need to write you several prescriptions.” He proceeds to scribble on a tablet of paper, rip the sheet off, and start on the next. He does this for 5 or 6 sheets. The man assumes he will be getting 5 or 6 medicines. The man asks for his prescriptions so he can be on his way. “Oh these are not for you.” The doctor replies. The man looks confused. “This one is for your mother-in-law. This other one is for your boss. This third one is for the rude person at the coffee shop.” He continues this for each of the medicines.

This story may strike you as crazy. How is this man ever going to get better if all of the treatments go to the other people in his life? Great question. How do we ever expect our lives to change when we are blaming and waiting for everyone else to change? If we truly want our lives to change, it is us who has to do the changing. Wayne Dyer once said, “When we change the way we look at things; the things we look at change.” This could not be more true. Some of you may argue, “Why do I have to change when it is my stupid boss who treats me unfair? He is the one that has to change!” Let me ask you this, whether it is your boss, your spouse or the driver who cut you off in traffic, while you wait for them to change, how is your own life improving? How long do you think you will have to wait until they change so your life can begin improving? My guess would be somewhere between a really long time and never.

This may make the situation seem hopeless, but that could not be further from the truth! When you stop blaming others and waiting for them to change, you take back control of your life. I will give you one tool and one strategy to start using today that has helped me and will definitely help you. First the tool. I recommend the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. These two former Navy Seals show how they used extreme ownership to become great leaders in the world of combat. Which, I would guess, is far more intense than most of what we are going through. Pick yourself up a copy. Whether from Amazon or the public library.

Here is the strategy. This does not require you to read anything and you can begin to use it as soon as you finish reading this blog. I get this idea from Rhonda Byrne in one of her great books. I think it was The Power, but do not quote me on that. People who irritate you, vex you or cause some other unpleasantness in your life can be hard to put up with. I certainly have a few of my own. She recommends viewing them as ‘Personal Emotional Trainers’ or P.E.T.s. This gives you 2 distinct benefits. Frist, like a physical trainer, who pushes you when you feel you are on the brink of death, you know in the end you will be a stronger better person. I know after a hard workout, you do not usually feel like taking your trainer out for a cocktail. You might look at them wondering what kind of sadistic tendencies make people do that to other people. Maybe that is just me. You don’t say any of these things because you know their goal is to make you a better person. Guess what? Those annoying people you would be tempted to say something to? You just hired them as your trainers. In this case it is for your emotions and your behavior. When you may look at someone with anger or even road rage, just know they are your trainers. You don’t want to fail in front of your trainer. Not to mention, I think many of them get some sort of sick pleasure out of seeing that happen. Nope, you are going to thank them (Don’t worry you can do that part in your mind) and know they are making you an emotionally stronger and more resilient person.

I know I told you 2 benefits. I did not forget the second one. Although, that has been know to happen on occasion. Here is the best part. When you feel like your new personal emotional trainer may have pushed you a little too hard, remember the acronym – P.E.T. Just know they are your pet. When you think of a pet, is it like the cute little dog above? Maybe imagine walking that person on a lease through the park may make you feel better. Whatever works to help you take their negative behavior and let it turn you into a better person.

LOSING YOUR KEYS CAN MAKE IT SO CLEAR 🔑

This blog post was influenced by a story I heard relayed by Wayne Dyer. I like Wayne. He was a great guy. This story really helps clarify a point a lot of us have a hard time visualizing. Come along for this little story, won’t you? It begins with a lady who loses her keys in her apartment. As she begins to look for them, the power goes out. It is completely dark. She looks out her window and notices that a street light is on. She thinks to herself, “Why am I looking in here in the dark? I am going to go outside where the street light is on.” So, she proceeds to begin to look in the street for her keys. Soon, the neighbor sees her looking and comes over. “What are you looking for?” He asks. She explains she is looking for her keys. He offers to help and they continue to look for roughly half an hour. Trying to get a better idea where to look, the neighbor inquires where she might have dropped them. “In my apartment.” she replies calmly. He asks her why on earth she would be out here looking for them if she knew they were in her apartment. She explains the power outage and how it is too dark and difficult to look inside, so she came out there where the street light was on.

This story may sound crazy, and it is. Why would someone look outside for something they know is inside? Yet, is that not what we do when we are trying to fix a problem in our life? We know the work needs to be done on the inside, but it is often to dark and difficult in there. We then switch to the outside world where things are far easier to tackle. Just like the lost keys example, we can search all we want for a solution, but unless we look inside, we will never find what is missing. Much like the approach Western medicine takes, if you will allow me to mix my metaphors, we are merely treating the symptoms and not the cause. There is no way that we will ever have a cure.

THEY DID IT FOR YOU!🎄

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.

WELL WATER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE… AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO DRINK IT!

I’ve been in the self-improvement industry, professionally, for 2 decades now. Everyday, I listen to motivational recordings, I watch motivational videos and I even have a day-by-day motivational calendar. You would think after 9 years of motivational blogs, writing 2 books and teaching many seminars I would not need to learn more. Why continue to expose myself to so much self-improvement material? In fact, with so much self-improvement material out there, why do I feel compelled to continue to add my own contributions? The answer can be found in the graph above on well water.

Here is a saying that most of us have probably heard before. “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” I used to think this line was a bunch of nonsense. Now, it is one of the axioms I live my life by. How else do you explain the same situation happening to two different people, one is devastated and the other shrugs it off and keeps going? Some people allow challenges to make them bitter, some use it to make them better. Yet another self-help cliché. A man’s father is an alcoholic so he becomes one too. Yet, just down the block a woman watches her mother lose her job, her relationships and slowly drink herself to death. The pain this woman sees and feels makes her never desire a drop of alcohol her whole life through.

Here is another saying that used to annoy the hell out of me. If I stand on my head and look at the jerk in the office, he still is a jerk…only upside down. How about those people who can look at someone who is constantly putting them down, or saying rude things to everyone and all they can manage to say is “That person must be my personal emotional trainer who is helping me strengthen my patience.” No Sally, that person is just an ass. Funny thing is, Sally could be around the office jerk and remain completely at peace. That’s when I began to see the power in this. One of my favorite life coaches is Tony Robbins. I recall him saying something about reality not being reality in actuality, but reality to the individual. That is not it word for word and if anyone can find the quote please share it in the comments below. What it does mean is that reality is how we choose to view things. In our example of our jerk office worker, to me they were a jerk that was upsetting. To Sally, they were an emotional trainer helping her increase her chance at nirvana.

That brings us right back to our well water example. I have included another graph so you don’t have to scroll all the way back up. Here at secret2anamazinglife we care about you that way. What I learned today was that well water maintains a temperature of 68° (or 20 for our Celsius friends) This temperature stays the same despite the ambient temperature around it. Sunny and hot in the summer? 68°. So cold you could freeze fire? 68°. It is as if well water has reached some point of nirvana where it is unaffected by its surroundings.

In addition to serving as a great example of not changing to reflect your surroundings, this example serves us a two-fold lesson. 68° is the same no matter what, right? Not hardly. Just like our example of the unpleasant coworker who was completely a different person depending if you were talking to Sally or myself, the same is true of the well water. If we fell in the well in the middle of the summer, that water would probably feel cool and refreshing. If, however, we slipped on some us and became a ‘human bucket’ of sorts plummeting down the well at a high rate of speed to water that would seem rather warm all things considered. You see our situation can change how we would view the exact same water. We would still be stuck at the bottom of a well which would suck. Unless, of course, you are Sally who would look at it as a chance to practice her survival skills. Yet another examples of viewing life in 2 totally different ways.

This is why I encourage everyone to keep an open mind. Read all the books, listen to all the speakers and expose yourself to as much motivational material as you can. Someone might say the same thing you have heard for years in just a slightly different way that can make all of the difference. Remember how we view life is 10 times more important than the actual facts of life itself. It can not only help us deal with the challenges of life better, but let us be like Sally, who can maintain her inner peace even in the face of an annoying coworker.

  • P.S. – this is an entirely made up example. Although I have a few annoying coworkers, I do not have any named Sally who can remain in a state of inner peace.

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

Yesterday while listening to one of my favorite motivational speakers, Anthony Robbins, I heard him say something that made me understand why I seem to agree with much of what he says.  He said that when you should listen to what makes sense to you and the rest say “Well that Tony Robbins he is just crazy”.  It is refreshing to hear someone not profess to be ‘the answer’ or ‘the guru’.  When I mention to someone I listen to him, or Wayne Dyer, or Joe Vitale or read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” or watch the secret, they always seem to stress what they do not like about that person, book, or whatever it may be.  I’m here to tell you, expose yourself to as much material as you can.  What makes no sense to one person may change the life of the next.  Decide for yourself.  Make good use of your public library, or better yet, find a friend who is also interested in improving themselves and their life.  I am fortunate enough to have a few of those.  In fact, one friend of mine meets me for lunch and we exchange books and ideas.  If a person knows you it is like a second set of ears and eyes to look out for something that you may benefit from.  Plus, when going through any transformation there are always bound to be challenges and it is great to have someone in your corner cheering you on.  So take that class on self-hypnosis, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to try to listen to that motivational speaker your friend is raving about.  Even if you only get one thing out of it, you have just improved your life that little bit more. Who knows you may just find what you need to take your life to that next level!  So keep an open mind and have fun exploring.