FOREVER YOUNG

I’m sure we all know some old 18 year olds and some young 80+ year olds. What is the secret to staying young? Mindset. Ok, that sounds easy but how does one keep a young mindset? This can be a challenging thing to do the older we become. Pain, heartache all can leave one feeling older by the minute.

In my life there have been three great keys to staying young. First, surround yourself with people who have a young mindset. There is nothing better than a friend who encourages you to laugh and to live. Take chances, try new things.

The second key to staying young has been learning to take care of my body. To live life to the fullest you need energy. The best energy can come from being physically fit and healthy. You do not want to run out of gas climbing the mountain of success. Incorporate a daily walk in the park into your routine. Even 10 minutes of exercise can get you on the right path. Eat healthy meals more often. Trust me, some of them taste amazing.

The third and final key to staying young may be the most important. Grow and maintain your sense of humor. There is no anti-aging product that works as well as laughter. It truly is the best medicine. Taking life too seriously is the quickest way to grow old before your time. Watch a funny movie with the one you love. Draw a silly picture. Learn one new joke a day. Just keep that smile on your face.

Feel free to share any tips you have for staying young in the comments below.

DON’T BE A BULLY

This was a post that I had written earlier but I delayed due to a tragedy in a good friends family. There has been a lot of attention to bullying lately and rightfully so. With the internet childhood teasing can be spread with lightning speed to entire classes, schools even across the globe. What may seem like harmless childhood joking can have devastating effects. Recently a good friend of mine had a relative kill himself at the young age of 15. Why? In a nutshell he did not feel as though he was well liked. I am sure the other kids who made him feel that way had no intention of driving him to that point. That, however, is precisely the point here. We never know exactly how our words or actions may be interpreted by another. So parents, if you hear your child engaging in bullying activity put an end to it right away. On the flip side, never lose a moment to remind our children how loved, valuable and amazing they are.

That brings me to my next point. This may seem like a childhood issue, but sadly it is not. It just goes by a different name as adults. Gossip. What used to be water cooler gossip can now spread quickly through Facebook, twitter and even text messaging. We somehow assume adults are ‘tougher’ or better able to handle such things. The truth is jobs have been lost, people’s reputations destroyed and lives ruined by what some view as harmless gossip. The only kind of gossip that is harmless is good gossip. It never fails to amaze me how few times I hear conversations about how kind, helpful, beautiful someone is when they are not around versus how much I hear conversations about how stupid, crazy or ugly someone may be. Think of how this is in your life? How often to you hear or engage in positive gossip? How about negative gossip? Be honest with yourself here nobody is listening but us. I know I have been guilty of this myself. When you spread or engage in gossip of a negative nature you are being nothing more than an adult bully. Here is another important idea to ponder. Would you trust a person who is always speaking negatively of others? What do you think they may say about you when you are not around? As the new year approaches one of my resolutions is to do away with negative gossip in my life entirely and replace it with more quality positive gossip. As my stylist and good friend Kelly says it is as simple as “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”

ARE YOU IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP?

Before we start thinking about how wonderful our spouses are or are not, let me clarify the opening question. The relationship I am discussing here is the most important relationship you have in your life, the one with yourself. Now before you start to dismiss this as an absurd notion, or one that does not apply to you, hear me out for  just a second. I was at a friend’s birthday party at a local drinking establishment this past Saturday and ran into a former coworker and his wife. We began expressing our concerns for a former coworker of mine who never seemed to be happy and how she may be helped. Think if you know someone like this in your life. She seemed to always have problems with those around her. She felt as if the world was out to get her and that is why nothing ever went right for her. On the rare occasion that it did she was still unhappy it did not go even better. When speaking with her the truth became clear after only a few minutes of conversation, this lady was unhappy with the world and all of the things and people in it because she was really unhappy with herself. Her skills with finance were lacking and she always seemed to find herself falling further and further behind. Instead of addressing the problem and encouraging herself to chip away at it she would do the opposite. She would ask herself very disempowering questions. “Why can I never get my bills paid?” “Why am I so stupid when it comes to money?” then she would just graduate to referring to herself as stupid. This made her feel like she had no control. When she did answer herself she was doomed to fail. Instead of asking why she could never pay her bills which assumes that she never will. she should have asked “What can I do to at least start getting my situation turned around” That takes the focus from the problem to the solution. It also gives us a sense of hope. Remember doing something stupid and being stupid are two entirely different things. We have all done stupid things. I remember after a few shots of rum I once woke up on a pool table with one shoe. Not my proudest moment, but I had acted stupid I was not stupid. Now if that happened every Friday we may have to reconsider that. The conclusion my former coworkers wife had come to was a brilliant one “It is like she is in an abusive relationship with herself!” It is one of those simple statements that have profound meaning. How many times have you found yourself saying “Why was I so stupid?” I know I have muttered that to myself far to many times to be proud of. Still how many times do we take time to cheer ourselves on? At first mention this may sound silly, but why? Why is it that reprimanding ourselves comes so natural while encouraging ourselves sounds so foreign? I have made an effort when struck with fear, worry or some other disempowering emotion telling myself “You’ve got this Neil” To statements of a more powerful nature. Our relationship with ourselves is affects us greater than any other relationship we have. Let us make sure it is empowering one. No matter who we are, we could all stand to be a little more encouraging to the person in the mirror. Think of ways you can encourage yourself. List them here to help get others started. Oh, and if you have too much rum, trust me a pool table is not as comfortable as it looks.

KEEP SWINGING…

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up”

-Babe Ruth

When people ask me the secret to my ability to see the positive side of things and keep a bright outlook I offer them many of the secrets I employ. Most of which I have shared on this site. Still if there was one trait, one thing that has kept me on the right track despite outside circumstances it is this – I never give up – Everyday I see people who give up on a lot of things. Give up on a new idea they were trying. Give up on a new skill they are trying to learn. Give up on the dreams they were chasing. To the worst thing of all, giving up on life itself. No doubt there are days when we need to take a step back and catch our breath, or just recharge, but that is not giving up. Quite often most people stop digging their mines when they are mere inches from gold.

When we think of Babe Ruth what do we think of? Did you know ‘The Babe’ was a great pitcher as well? Most people associate Babe Ruth with hitting home runs and well they should. For quite some time he was the all-time leader in home runs. The home run is baseball’s equivalent to a personal victory in life. A home run does not always win the game, but sometimes it can. It always adds to the joy and confidence of the player hitting it, however. So how about you? How do you feel when you ‘hit a home run’ in life? Be it finishing the project at the office or scoring high on that term paper. Do you not find the things you do following you do with more confidence and enthusiasm? That is all well and good, but let’s face it in our game of life, we can’t all be home run hitters like the Babe Ruth, or can we? Let us look at the opposite side of the coin; striking out. When you strike out in life, you lose a job, you get in a fight with your spouse or luck just seems against you, How do you approach the things following that? If you are anything like most people your confidence is down, your enthusiasm may be lacking. Quite often approaching things with this state becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By approaching life with a down-trodden attitude we often miss opportunities we would’ve seized with a more zealous approach. So what is the solution? How when we find ourselves in a ‘hitting slump’ can we still keep our attitude up? I think taking a new look at some facts may help us. Did you know every year he played Babe Ruth struck out more than he homered? It’s true. Look it up if you feel the need. Even in today’s game a .300 hitter is considered good. That means that they get a hit only 3 out of every 10 times they attempt. These are the guys getting paid top dollar. What is their secret? How come they do not give up after failing 70 percent of the time? The answer is simple and it is the secret I use to maintain a positive attitude and you can use to succeed in any avenue of life you are pursuing. The secret is this…They keep swinging. Quite often if we persist we demonstrate a faith in ourselves that gives us and everyone around us confidence. “Persistence is just another word for faith. If we didn’t have faith we wouldn’t persist” Said Earl Nightingale. So show some faith in yourself and persist, when you strike out at something in life and you feel like a failure, remember just to keep swinging!