Category Archives: Life

10 Things Successful People Do

1. They set goals and follow through on them.

It is one thing to set a goal and it’s another thing to achieve that goal. Almost everyone sets goals but only a few possess the guts and discipline to follow through on those goals. At the beginning of every year, we all make resolutions about things we want to start or stop doing. If you look back to the first day of this year, can you proudly say that you have achieved 40% of your goals? Anthony Robbins is a very good example of someone who knows how to follow through on his goals. This amazing guy went from earning $38,000 to $1 Million in just one year. The great oil billionaire H.L. Hunt once said that there are only two real requirements for success: first, he said, is to decide exactly what is it you want, second is to determine the price you are going to have to pay and resolve to pay that price. Obey this rule and you will be successful; ignore it and you will remain a local champion.

2. They are consistent.

Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that 10,000 hours of guided practice is the key to success. While some scientists may not totally agree with that principle, I believe that there is more truth in it than lies. For you to become truly excellent at whatever it is you do, you need to be consistent at it. Cherish every opportunity you have to do what you love and do it well. All successful people know this secret.

3. They make the best of every situation.

Horatio G. Spafford had just lost his son to scarlet fever and his lifetime investments were lost in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. On a trip to Europe in 1873, his wife and four daughters were involved in a tragic ship wreck which claimed the life of his four daughters. After the incident, Horatio’s wife, Anna sent him a telegram to inform him of the accident. On receiving Anna’s telegram, Horatio immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean the captain of the ship called Horatio to the bridge. He informed Horatio that they were now passing the spot where his daughters drowned. That night, alone in his cabin, Horatio Spafford wrote one of the greatest hymns of all time “It is well with my soul”. He turned adversity into advantage and for that reason; he became one of the few men of his time that are still remembered today. If you are going to become successful, you must be ready and able to make the best of every situation because tough times will definitely come.

4. They take responsibility for their lives.

Nothing ever happens to us by chance. Our life today is a reflection of our past decisions and the choices we make today will shape our future. In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006), the story of Chris Gardner was told. Christopher Paul Gardner’s childhood was marked by poverty, violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse, and family illiteracy. He didn’t even know his father and he was taken away from his mother at a very tender age, as he lived in foster homes for a large part of his childhood. He is now a CEO, investor, motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist. In fact, his book spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times best seller list and has been translated into more than forty languages. You can see that despite his unfortunate childhood, he didn’t accept the fate he was handed. He took responsibility for his life and he resolved to make a difference. He used what he had to get what he wanted.

5. They form valuable relationships.

Behind every successful Steve Jobs is a Steve Wozniak and there is a Paul Allen behind every successful Bill Gates. You need to have people that will help you achieve your dreams; believe me, you can’t do it alone. You need mentors, partners, employees, spouse and so on. Some of the criteria for finding good partners and mentors are compatibility, experience, similar values, loyalty, and mutual benefit among many others.

6. They make unusual sacrifices.

A man was born in 1918; he disappeared from view in 1964 after giving a four-hour speech at his trial where he was convicted and received a life sentence. He spent 27 years in prison because he wouldn’t compromise his political beliefs. Released in 1990, he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, became the president of South Africa in 1994, and has since then received more than 250 other honors. As you have probably guessed, his name is Nelson Mandela. He made a huge sacrifice for his nation and he finally got what he had dreamt about for over three decades.

Let me tell you another story. In order to generate $1,350 in capital they used to start Apple, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen microbus and Steve Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard calculator. They each made what was then a big sacrifice but it was really a small price to pay considering the fact that Apple is currently worth over $80 Billion. You need to make your own sacrifices now so that people can tell your story in the years to come.

7. They never give up.

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is currently worth over $2.7 Billion, not bad considering the fact that he was previously indebted to the tune of $900 Million. The world didn’t end for him when he lost all he had and was bankrupt. He actually borrowed more money and kept trying until he made it.

Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 times to make a light bulb before he succeeded. We would probably still be in darkness now had he given up. The toughest card life deals you and me is the test of time. Only those with resilience and the willingness to persevere will pass this test.

8. They take risks.

Every successful man or woman is a risk taker. When we were children, the society and the people closest to us shaped our lives. For instance, your parents probably told you to go to school, finish with good grades and get a good job. Everything our society preaches to us is get security and this is why whenever you want to take any big decision in life or do something out of the ordinary, you get scared. The difference between a success and a failure is that a failure runs away from his fears while successful people run towards their fears. “Do one thing every day that scares you,” said Eleanor Roosevelt. If you don’t take that advice, you are never going to grow and you can as well forget about becoming successful.

9. They cherish hard work and discipline.

Brian Tracy defined self discipline as the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it whether you feel like it or not. I write everyday not because writing is so interesting but because I have to do it if I’m going to succeed as a writer. You need to really develop this habit because there is no other way to become successful. Rose Blumkin founded Nebraska Furniture Mart which is now owned by Warren Buffet. She worked every day at her store till the age of 103; she got ‘work sick’ the only time she took a vacation for about a week. She knew the value of hard work. To become successful in life, you need to find what you love doing and do it with all your heart. “With faith, discipline and selfless devotion is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve,” said Muhammad Ali.

10. They create value.

Value attracts wealth and attention. Becoming successful can be simply defined as solving a problem. Find a problem that your skills, passion, dreams and potential are programmed to solve and solve that problem. Increasing demand for pizza better and faster access to pizza gave birth to pizza delivery. Business men and women needed faster means of transport to business meetings all around the world and boom, the private jet was made. You have been made to solve a particular problem, solve that problem and success will be yours.

All the points mentioned above are just principles and will not make you successful until you decide to make them habits. Make a decision to succeed today and nothing can stop you.



10 Ways Happy People Prioritize Their To-do List

“What can I start doing today to make my life happier and more fulfilling?”

This is one of the most common questions readers ask us via email, blog comments, and social media.  So today I want to share some simple, actionable ways to improve your happiness and wellbeing on a daily basis.

In the seven years of this blog’s existence, Angel and I have had the pleasure of meeting, coaching and interacting with hundreds of truly inspiring, happy, prolific people.  And the more we have interacted with people like this, the more we realize the similarities in how they prioritize their lives, and how their priorities align with our own.

What becomes evident is that, to sustain happiness, we must focus our attention on the right things, in the right ways.  Every growing human being (that means all of us) has resource constraints: limited time and energy.  It is critical that we spend our resources effectively.

Here are 10 ways to prioritize your life and your to-do lists for increased happiness and fulfillment:

1.  One thing at a time, with full presence.

In other words, make the thing you have chosen to do the number one priority while you’re doing it.  Focus with your full attention.  See the value in where you are, while you’re there.  Enjoy what’s happening, while it’s happening.

In the end, you will come to realize that the best days are the days when you don’t need anything extreme or special to happen to make you smile.  You simply appreciate the moments and feel gratitude, seeking nothing else, nothing more.  That is what true happiness is all about.

2.  Family and close friends are at the top.

Nurture your important relationships in such a way that when you tell the people you care about that you care about them, you’re simply reinforcing what they already know based on how you have prioritized them into your life.

Give them your full attention.  Let them see their own beauty in your eyes.  Let them find their own voice through your listening ears.  Help them discover their own greatness in your presence.

Make the people you love a top priority, always.

3.  Focus on importance, not urgency.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

Truthfully, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.  Sadly, most of us spend too much time on urgent things and not enough time on important things.

So do yourself a favor and implement these three action steps every time you’re building or sorting your to-do list:

  1. Think about the difference between what is urgent and what is important.
  2. Review all the obligations on your list.
  3. Do what’s important first.

Sometimes everything on your list will look important, which might be true to an extent.  But as you practice prioritizing, you will get better and better at it.  And eventually you will know, without question, when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones, like spending quality time with loved ones.  (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)

4.  Keep your efforts aligned with your purpose.

Getting anything worthwhile done is a matter of connecting with why you have chosen to do this thing in the first place.

Don’t allow others to confuse you.  Don’t let them convince your heart what is right for you.  Your heart already knows.  Listen to it.  Don’t let anyone else dilute the power of your inner voice.  You’ve got to stand up for something specific, on your own two legs, or you will achieve nothing worthwhile in your own mind’s eye.

Within you there is a formidable and undeniable sense of purpose.  Happiness comes from making a solid and persistent connection to that purpose.  When your intentions are supported by a “why” that has meaning, you will find the “how” to bring them to life.

5.  Play to your strengths and delegate when it makes sense.

When it comes to tackling big projects, you can try to do everything yourself, or you can reach out and find the right people to help you.  The first choice will raise your stress and blood pressure; the second choice will raise your consciousness and effectiveness.

Choosing the right perspective is so important; you CAN see life’s challenges as opportunities.  When an unexpected obstacle is suddenly standing in your way, don’t get overwhelmed.  Take a breather and regroup.  Someone else nearby knows how to get around it.  Find and engage them.

For example, if your website is suddenly having glitches with a new web browser, don’t read a giant book on web design.  Hire a professional web designer.  See the problem as an opportunity to delegate.  Life is trying to teach you that most long-term, worthy endeavors are team efforts, and so much more palatable when shared with others.  Every unexpected obstacle in life is a lesson on teamwork in disguise, solvable with the right team of people.

6.  Socialize and share with peers.

Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s always easier if you have a group of people who understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what challenges you’re facing.  Staying in touch with these people and sharing ideas with them will accelerate your effectiveness and happiness.  Best selling author, Seth Godin, refers to these people as your tribe members.

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another via an idea, movement or common goal.  For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another.  Godin says, “A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

Every single one of us craves the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves.  By nature, we are tribal, but oftentimes we become disconnected from our tribe.  We know our people are out there – somewhere – but we feel lost and disconnected from them.  If you’re feeling disconnected, open up to your peers and initiate a conversation.  Tap into your tribe.

7.  Give what you can, as you seek what you desire.

In many ways, life is a circle – what you put in to it comes back around.  When you make a positive impact in the world, the world will have a positive impact on you.

If you want to be rich, be generous.  If you want to make friends, be friendly.  If you want to be heard, listen.  If you want to be understood by others, take the time to truly understand them.  If you want to live an interesting life, be interested in the happenings around you.

You won’t always get back exactly what you wanted or expected, but when you give what you can you almost always receive what you need.  (Read The Secret.)

8.  Leave the past behind as you plan ahead.

Let old problems remain where they belong – in the past.  No matter how many times you revisit the past, there’s nothing new to see.  Don’t let what once happened get in the way of what is happening.  Just because you’ve made mistakes doesn’t mean your mistakes get to make you.  If something important didn’t work yesterday, figure out what changes can be made today.

Tame your inner critic; let go and move on productively.  You must make a conscious effort to do this, it won’t happen automatically.  You will have to rise up and say, “I don’t care how hard this is.  I don’t care how disappointed I am.  I’m not going to let yesterday’s problems get the best of me.  I’m taking the lessons and moving on with my life.”

9.  Commit to self-respect, regardless of the issue at hand.

Whenever you catch yourself in a rambling bout of negative self-talk, stop and ask yourself, “If I had a friend who spoke to me in the same way that I sometimes speak to myself, how long would I allow this person to be my friend?”

Remember, the way you treat yourself sets the standard for others, and the world at large, to follow.  Above everyone else, YOU deserve YOUR respect.  So make sure your decisions, behaviors and actions reflect your self-respect as you carry out your plans.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

10.  Leave room to breathe.

Things don’t always go as planned.  Good things can’t always be planned.  Be flexible and open to life’s twists and turns.

Organize, but don’t agonize.  Keep your space and time ordered, but your schedule underbooked.  Create a foundation with a soft place to land, a wide margin of error, and room to think and breathe…

Freeing yourself from an overbooked schedule lets you experience more of life’s good surprises, and also provides you with flexibility when the unforeseen disrupts your foresight.


So, in summary…

Focus on your priorities, but take things in stride.  Make decisions, not excuses.  Live one moment at a time.  Count your blessings, not your troubles.  Let the wrong things go.  Look for lessons in unforeseen obstacles.  Ask for help.  Give as much as you take.  Make time for those who matter.  Laugh when you can.  Cry when you need to.  And always stay true to your values.


32 Quotes from Warren Buffett that WILL Change Your Life

1. “Wishing makes dreams come true only in Disney movies; it’s poison in business.”
MillionDollarMan says: Wish first on your career, then execute strategies so that those wishes come true.

2. “Every tomorrow has been uncertain.”
MillionDollarMan says: We could be dead tomorrow, make it happen today. Call that contact for a meeting!

3. “Never risk what you have and need, for what you don’t have and don’t need.”
MillionDollarMan says: Remember the efforts that brought you success, don’t lose focus.

4. “More people fail because of liquor and leverage – leverage being borrowed money.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Cash is king. Respect the painful financial lessons learned from 2008-2009.

5. “You do smart things, you eventually get very rich.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Smart things entail both work and those you associate with.

6. “Turnarounds seldom turns around.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Might want to consider a new employer, your company is struggling and you could be canned.

7. “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Mentally cut bait with that co-worker who keeps burning you, they ain’t changing anytime soon.

8. “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make things difficult.”
MillionDollarMan says: A simple strategy for winning is sometimes best because competitors are probably being too complicated.  It’s good to actually see the finish line.

9. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

10. “It’s better to hang out with people better than you.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Encourage those around you, don’t beat them down because you feel threatened.  Raise your game, encourage your co-workers to drive greatness.

11. “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Just because an idea has not panned out yet doesn’t mean it’s dead in the water. Plant those seeds.

12. “Let blockheads read what blockheads wrote.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Put distance between you and those projecting negativity.

13. “Don’t pass up something that’s attractive today because you think you will find something way more attractive tomorrow.”
MillionDollarMan says:  It’s best to carefully plot your next career and business-related steps.  The grass could be brown on the other side.

14. “You do things when the opportunities come along.  I’ve had periods in my life when I’ve had a bundle of ideas come along, and I’ve had long dry spells. If I get an idea next week, I’ll do something.  If not, I won’t do a damn thing.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Be prepared to pounce on worthwhile opportunities by not getting sidetracked in trying to find a new, hot idea.

15. “Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Don’t ever pull the wool over the eyes of customers, they are not dumb, and will talk smack about their experience with you to their customers.

16. “I don’t worry too much about pointing fingers at the past.  I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Have a short memory.  Dwell on the past and risk never making progress.

17. “I’ve never swung at a ball while it’s still in the pitcher’s glove.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Analyze the details before jumping into a deal or a new job.  Little things are very important.

18. “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time.  You can’t product a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Not hearing back from a contact on a deal via email?  Breathe, your awesomeness likely has already closed the deal.

19. “You can’t make a good deal with a bad person.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Along with that sexy contract you are reviewing, analyze the people that sent the contract along.  You will be working with them in the future.

20. “You do not adequately protect yourself by being half awake when others are sleeping.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Attack when nobody expects it.  The element of surprise is a highly useful tactic.

21. “The past is only useful to give you insights into the future, but sometimes there’s no insight.”
MillionDollarMan says:  The past is only a small sampling of a person’s life, the power exists to change the future.  Messed up a deal five years ago? Learn from it, do better in the future.

22. “Losing some money is an inevitable part of investing and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Scared money don’t make no money.  Remember that saying when sitting down with a financial advisor.

23. “The stock market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves.”
MillionDollarMan says:  It’s up to YOU to steer your hard-earned money towards profits.

24. “The most common cause of low prices is pessimism.”
MillionDollarMan says:  If you feel like a low-priced stock (down) you may be thinking too pessimistically.  Weed out the negative thoughts.

25. “Problems in a company are like cockroaches in the kitchen. You will never find just one.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Look around your office, see problems (for example a complete shutting down of the free cafeteria that has been opened for 10 years)?  If you do, might want to investigate…a key customer could be on the verge of being lost…and your job.

26. “Avoiding the dumb things is the most important.  Learn more, know limitations, avoid the dumb things.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Take inventory in your daily tasks, are there things that don’t make any sense?  Might want to stop doing them and refocus.

27. “I read a lot: daily publications, annual reports, 10Ks, 10Qs, business magazines, etc.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Don’t get your daily news from Facebook, download free news apps such as Bloomberg and USAToday and read at least five stories from each daily.

28. “You should focus on what’s important and knowable.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Stop with the email checking!  Usually unimportant.

29. “Emotional makeup is more important than technical skill.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Act and think like a winner, and you will win.  Act like a jerk and despite vast knowledge, you will probably be left behind by advancing competitors that are winning.

30. “The best thing is to learn from other guys’ mistakes.”
MillionDollarMan says:  Designing a website for a small business?  First develop an overview of what everyone else is doing very wrong.  Pick out their weak points and then destroy them.

31. “We will reject interesting opportunities rather than over-leverage our balance sheet.”
MillionDollarMan says:  That extra pair of Under Armour pants would be cool to have, but make sure you use the cash instead of the plastic.

32. “You know, if I’m playing bridge and a naked woman walks by, I don’t even see her. Don’t test me on that!”
MillionDollarMan says:  Sometimes tunnel vision in achieving personal and career goals is absolutely necessary.
source: www. Men’s

Winning Thoughts

Once you’re “in the game” for a few years, you begin to realize that consciously trying to tweak your body language is a losing strategy. Body language, and how you carry yourself, is dictated mostly by your mindset. The way your body “talks” is really just manifestation of how your mind thinks.

Walk around, what thoughts are going through your head? If you’ve ever “people watched” in a crowded place, you know most people are walking around angry, nervous, sad, confused, dazed, etc. Rarely do you see someone strutting a self-assured gait. That’s because most people don’t remind themselves of these internal truths:

• I’m in control of my life
• I dictate my destiny
• I’ve decided to be happy and confident
• I know what I’m doing
• It’s no big deal

These are just a few of the many positive maxims you can remind yourself of as you go about your day. Whenever you catch yourself falling victim to the thinking like the masses, such as, “Is this okay?” “What are other people going to think?” “I’m so rushed! I can’t ever seem to get anything done!” step back, take a deep breath, and get your swagger-talk back!


If the thoughts swirling in your head are all reminding you how chill and “in-control” you are of your life, then there’s no rush! There’s absolutely no reason to flit about, darting off place-to-place like the Mad Hatter. In fact, things should appear to you as if they were coming at you in bullet-time. That leaves you plenty of time to assess a situation, react, and remain cool.

I know myself, whenever I feel myself losing some of my swag, it’s because I’m rushing to do something, rushing to answer someone, rushing through my life. There’s no need! If I listen to my positive self-talk, I know that I’m needlessly marching to someone else’s beat.

So much swagger is sacrificed trying to live up to other people’s expectations. That’s what keeps us running, rushing, and ruins our winning self-talk. If we’re wondering, “What will this person think?” we’re not really living our own life, and so we have no swagger.

Square Root of Swag

That brings us to my ultimate definition of swagger: walking around like a man who owns his own life. Men who have swag are men who are in complete control of everything that happens to them.

Sure, it helps if you’re self-employed, able to meet and attract women at will, and feel a sense of personal independence. But even if you’re not at that level yet, you can start gaining swag by thinking that way.

Living your life by your own standards and not giving a fuck what other people think about you is the ultimate way to get swagger. So the next time you want to do something, but you hear that internal voice nagging you to consider how it will affect other people’s perception of you, remind yourself: swagger is only attained by those who live by their own values.

So…just do it!


12 Choices Your Future Self Will Thank You For

  1. Choosing YOU. – Wearing a mask wears you out.  Faking it is fatiguing.  The most exhausting activity is pretending to be who you know you aren’t.  No matter how loud their opinions are, they do not choose who YOU are.  Choose YOU even if nobody else is choosing you.
  2. Appreciating what you have. – Sometimes, when you make the most out of what you have, it turns out being a lot more than you ever imagined.  A beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset.  When you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to simply be alive and healthy.  The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, I assure you that it will start to feel like one.  Time spent living is time worth appreciating.  Read The Power of Now.
  3. Believing in yourself and your dreams. – The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you; it’s when you don’t understandyourself.  Believe in YOU.  Listen to your soul.  Trust your instincts.  Acknowledge your own strengths.  Dream it and dare it.  Do what you are afraid of, and capable of.  Follow your vision.  Know that anything is possible.  Know you CAN.
  4. Being positive. – You can’t live a positive life with a negative attitude.  Heaven on Earth is a choice we must make, not a place we must find.  Let every day be a dream you can touch.  Let every day be a love you can feel.  Let every day be a reason to live.  Life is too short to be anything but positive.
  5. Taking action. – The happiest and most successful people are usually those who have broken the chains of procrastination, who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand.  They’re full of eagerness, passion, and productivity.  You can be too.  Remember, success in real estate is about location, location, location.  Success in life is about action, action, action.  Read Getting Things Done.
  6. Letting go. – The only thing that makes it a big part of your life is that you keep thinking about it.  The biggest step in changing the world around you is to change the world within you.  Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone.  Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived.  Just live in the present, concentrate on the things you can control, and take one small step at a time.
  7. Picking yourself back up. – Where you are in life is temporary; where you end up in life is permanent; how you get from here to there is entirely up to you.  So don’t give up.  Sometimes when things go wrong it’s because they would have turned out worse if they had gone right.
  8. Ignoring negative people. – You are not a rug; some people may try to walk all over you, but you don’t have to lie there and take it.  There are seven billion people in the world; don’t waste your time by letting one of them ruin your happiness.  You are good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and strong enough.  Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer.
  9. Staying in touch with close friends and family. – Having somewhere to go is what we call ‘home.’  Having someone to love, who loves us in return, is what we call ‘family.’  Having both is a blessing.  There comes a time in life when you’ll have to leave everything behind for awhile and start something new, but never forget the people who stood by your side, especially your close friends and family who never gave up on you.
  10. Making time for fun. – Fun is way underrated.  With all of life’s responsibilities, fun will sometimes seem like an indulgence.  It shouldn’t be.  It should be a requirement.  It’s a happy talent to know how to let loose and play.  People who make it a point play around and have fun are twenty times more likely to feel happy in the long run.
  11. Spreading love and kindness. – The amazing thing about life is that you choose what you allow into it and out of it – you choose how things affect you, and how you affect the world.  The happiness surrounding you is greatly affected by the choices you make every day.  So choose to spread love and kindness to a least one person a day.  Imagine the amount of happiness you would create in a lifetime if you did.  Read The Happiness Project.
  12. Being the change you want to see in the world. – Don’t tell others how to live; LIVE and let them watch you.  Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all.  Walk the talk.  The people who look up to you will likely emulate your actions and strive to become who you are; so BE who you want them to be.

12 Inspirations

  1. Breathe in the future, breathe out the past.  No matter where you are or what you’re going through, always believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Never expect, assume, or demand.  Just do your best, control the elements you can control, and then let it be.  Because once you have done what you can, if it is meant to be, it will happen, or it will show you the next step that needs to be taken.
  2. Life CAN be simple again.  Just choose to focus on one thing at a time.  You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it all right now.  Breathe, be present, and do your best with what’s in front of you.  What you put into life, life will eventually give you back many times over.  ReadThe Power of Now.
  3. Let others take you as you are, or not at all.  Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.  By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before.  So walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going.
  4. You are not who you used to be, and that’s OK.  You’ve been hurt; you’ve gone through numerous ups and downs that have made you who you are today.  Over the years, so many things have happened – things that have changed your perspective, taught you lessons, and forced your spirit to grow.  As time passes, nobody stays the same, but some people will still tell you that you have changed.  Respond to them by saying, “Of course I’ve changed.  That’s what life is all about.  But I’m still the same person, just a little stronger now than I ever was before.”
  5. Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now.  Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time.  So whatever you do, hold on to hope.  The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord.  Let hope anchor you in the possibility that this is not the end of your story – that the change in the tides will eventually bring you to peaceful shores.
  6. Do not educate yourself to be rich, educate yourself to be happy.  That way when you get older you’ll know the value of things, not the price.  In the end, you will come to realize that the best days are the days when you don’t need anything extreme or special to happen to make you smile.  You simply appreciate the moments and feel gratitude, seeking nothing else, nothing more.  That is what true happiness is all about.  ReadHappiness Is a Serious Problem.
  7. Be determined to be positive.  Understand that the greater part of your misery or unhappiness is determined not by your circumstances, but by your attitude.  So smile at those who often try to begrudge or hurt you, show them what’s missing in their life and what they can’t take away from you.
  8. Pay close attention to those you care about.  Sometimes when a loved one says, “I’m okay,” they need you to look them in the eyes, hug them tight, and reply, “I know you’re not.”  And don’t be too upset if some people only seem to remember you when they need you.  Feel privileged that you are like a beacon of light that comes to their minds when there is darkness in their lives.
  9. Sometimes you have to let a person go so they can grow.  Because, over the course of their lives, it is not what you do for them, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them a successful human being.
  10. Sometimes getting the results you crave means stripping yourself of people that don’t serve your best interests.  This allows you to make space for those who support you in being the absolute best version of yourself.  It happens gradually as you grow.  You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do.  So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.
  11. It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that,” than to look back and say, “I wish I did that.”  In the end, people will judge you in some way anyway.  So don’t live your life trying to impress others.  Instead live your life impressing yourself.  Love yourself enough to never lower your standards for anyone.  Read The Last Lecture.
  12. If youre looking for a happy ending and cant seem to find one, maybe it’s time to start looking for a new beginning.  Brush yourself off and accept that you have to fail from time to time.  That’s how you learn.  The strongest people out there – the ones who laugh the hardest with a genuine smile – are the same people who have fought the toughest battles.  They’re smiling because they’ve decided that they’re not going to let anything hold them down, they’re moving on to a new beginning.


Be The Man Your Dog Thinks You Are

My two Jack Russell terriers are so ecstatic when I come home that one quivers uncontrollably with glee while the other rolls onto her back and pees. It is quite the welcoming committee. They both think I’m the greatest thing since Milk-Bones.

Now contrast this to the lukewarm (if any) reception my family gives me when I walk through the door. My wife of many years has long since stopped wagging her tail at me, and my daughter, who recently moved back home after graduating from college, is just generally pissed.

This got me thinking. What do my dogs see in me that people don’t? And, most important, is there a way to make the fine qualities that my dogs sense and respect more apparent to people I want to impress? What would it take to be the man my dogs think I am?

Experts in canine psychology—yes, there is such a breed—say one of the reasons dogs worship humans is simply that we feed, shelter, protect, and pet them, providing all the necessities of life. But I like to think dogs are more than just lovable parasites. In fact, if my dogs could talk, I believe they would describe me as generous, kind, dependable, affectionate, strong, intelligent, fair, playful, forgiving, articulate, trustworthy, successful, valuable, a great cook, a born leader, impressively tall, and a terrific driver. And I bet any dog would use the same words to describe you. (Click here to find out what the breed of dog you own says about your personality.)

Stanley Coren, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia and the author of Born to Bark, says the secret to understanding canine behavior is realizing that dogs have the brain of a 2-to 3-year-old child. They can’t label specific traits, he explains, “but they can still sense and appreciate us on many levels. They’re very perceptive.”

So even though your family, friends, and coworkers may not lose bladder control when they see you, you no doubt possess many impressive characteristics that inspire loyalty. You are a diamond in the ruff. And to make these traits more broadly evident, all you have to do is start treating people like dogs. That’s right, you heard me. Your dog responds to specific behaviors that you exhibit. Act the same way around people, and soon you’ll have them eating out of your hand too.

Sound plausible? Atta boy!

Dependable and trustworthy

Be consistent

The people in your life look to you for support just like a dog does. They all want someone to be the anchor in their storm. And the key to filling this role, says Coren, is predictability. If you show up on time and deliver what’s expected of you, people will come to rely on you. Reliance strengthens bonds and promotes the illusion of control. That illusion,” says Coren, “is extremely important to their having a normal, non-neurotic life.” So establish patterns of behavior. If you’re a dad, come home at a consistent hour and resolve problems in consistent ways. Likewise, be there when your boss barks, and be sure to meet deadlines. This isn’t sucking up; it’s taking away the boss’s bite. (Fresh to the workforce? Make sure you know The Rules New Employees Must Follow.)

Forgiving and fair

Never carry a grudge

In any social pack, it’s permissible to snap as long as the disagreement is forgotten a few minutes later. If it isn’t, you risk reducing pack integrity and efficiency, at home or in the office. “There are no Hatfields and McCoys among dogs,” says Coren, “and there shouldn’t be among people.” So when someone makes a mistake, tell the person about it in no uncertain terms. (“Billy, it’s unacceptable to play dermatologist with Jessica.”) Then move on. But try to find something to compliment or reward a few minutes later. (“But I will tell Jessica’s mom about that irregular-shaped mole you spotted on her chest.”) This approach helps people accept your criticism and see you as benevolent.

Kind and considerate

Give treats

Bestow small, thoughtful tokens—an ice cream for your nephew, a shout-out for a coworker in your monthly report, a book for your girlfriend. No special occasion necessary. “We don’t do enough of that,” says Margie Ryerson, M.F.T., a marriage and family therapist and the author of Treat Your Partner Like a Dog: How to Breed a Better Relationship. She recommends “people training.” Pick a family member you haven’t been getting along with or someone at work who isn’t friendly. Compliment that person, share something, or simply show interest in what he or she is doing. “Once a week, just give them some attention,” says Ryerson. You’ll see that everyone responds to a head pat. (This can be especially helpful in bed. Click here for the 30 Sexiest Things to Say to a Naked Woman.)

Compassionate and affectionate

“Pet” them more often

Many men resist platonic hugging or touching or being physically close because they feel awkward or fear it might be misinterpreted. We should all relax: Such behavior, when it’s genuine, triggers the production of oxytocin, also known as the bonding hormone. And just as when you pet a dog, these gestures can lower your own blood pressure and stress. Everybody wins. Here’s an experiment: Next week, start giving your significant other a hug and kiss before you part ways each morning and again when you meet up in the evening. At the end of the week, see if the two of you don’t feel closer. “Even small efforts can make huge differences,” notes Coren. Start small, then add in these 16 Tricks for Hotter Monogamy.

Happy and fun loving

Play more

It’s not a waste of time; it’s an important form of social interaction, says Coren. From Fido’s perspective, it builds predictability (you throw, he fetches, you throw again) and reciprocity (he’s doing his part). Plus, it’s just plain fun. Humans of all ages experience play the same way, regardless of the game. Men need to find a balance with their play, which they can do by scheduling social time with others, Ryerson says. “Many women can get a break for themselves just by talking,” she says, “but men often prefer doing an activity together, like watching a game or shooting pool.” Got that? A therapist just encouraged a night of shooting pool with the guys. You’re welcome.

Having a living, breathing, barking alarm clock can help you stick to a routine and maintain your progress.

Adventurous and resourceful

Go for a walk

Successful social packs, canine or human, demonstrate “shared dependency,” Coren says. It’s like teamwork, and it’s a powerful relationship builder. So just as you might explore new territory with your dog, do the same with people. Invite your buddy from accounting on a mountain-bike ride. Or ask your kids to help you assemble your new grill. “When you’re doing or learning something new together, you’re sharing a life experience and viewpoint,” Coren says. A recent Stony Brook University study of 274 married couples found that one of the most important predictors of long-term intense love for both men and women was sharing “novel and challenging activities.”

A strong leader

Impose discipline

Dogs need it and so do people, especially children. But not the punitive kind; spanking actually promotes aggression in kids, a Tulane University study found. Instead, Coren says, simply withdraw your attention. “The easiest way to stop a dog from jumping up on you is to turn your back on it,” he says, “and that works with people too.” A pack leader is calm and assertive, so never impose discipline when you’re upset. Your line: “I don’t want to see you again until the situation has been corrected.” This timeout means there’s no close contact with the dispenser of treats and goodies (that is, you). That’s usually pretty effective,” Coren says. And don’t forget to encourage good behavior, Ryerson adds. (Are you boss material? Find out here.)

A best friend

Lower your expectations

“One of the main reasons we get along so well with our dogs is that we don’t expect very much of them,” says Ryerson. “Try doing that with people more often.” Quit wishing your wife had a body like Sofia Vergara’s and love the figure she has. Or accept that your kids may misbehave in restaurants because, well, they’re kids. Lowering expectations helps you criticize less and appreciate more, which gives those you love the freedom to be themselves and feel comfortable with you. “We are our best selves when we’re with our dogs,” Ryerson says. “We’re considerate, thoughtful…we’re magnificent with our dogs. Now think how rewarding it would be to feel that way around other people.” Go get ’em!