You Can Be Happy Right Now


Do you say things like “I will be happy when……”?  What if you could be happy right now? We tend to think that when we get a certain relationship, job, or amount of money we will be happy.  We go about working towards getting that thing.  What you may not realize is that when you create a big desire, you most often create a lack. The constant want of something you don’t have gives you a feeling that you are missing something. Some might tell you to use that as motivation, but lack is not an effective motivator. Think back to something you wanted really badly. Did it make you less grateful for all the things you do have?  Gratefulness for what you have, will give you a sense of satisfaction an contentment. What if you could decide to be happy with where you are, set an intention towards the thing you want, knowing if you don’t get it you will still be happy? Gratefulness will allow you to do this.  What if this would increase your chances of really getting what you want?  It is true, gratefulness will greatly increase the likelihood of not only getting what you want, but it won’t make you feel the whole left by that thing you want.  Before we can do this, there is something to be understood about ourselves. 

Have you ever wondered why you set out to achieve or get something, and then some time later you feel like you are right back where you started from? Whether you achieved the goal or not doesn’t matter.  Even if you achieve it, a short time later there is just another goal and and you feel a let down. I remember the day I achieved a big income goal, that i set early in my career. Once I achieved it there was a temporary sense of victory. A few weeks later the letdown came, and I set another goal, still feeling that same sense of discouraged desire for what I didn’t have. The problem is that we think that an external situation is going to make us happy. The reason that we aren’t happy, is that no matter what happens on the outside we are still us. Our brains serve up the same thoughts day after day, week after week, and most people are not aware of this constant internal dialogue.  Before you can successfully make and follow through on that decision to be happy, you will need to become aware of that noise in your mind. You will also need to realize that these autonomous thoughts are not who you are.  They are just a result of your biological brain reacting to your environment based on your past experiences.  It is almost completely a biological process. Success requires being able to use this biological computer, instead of being used by it.  If you doubt you have this internal dialogue, just sit anywhere with the purpose of listening for the thoughts that come up. Then notice the thoughts kick off an internal thought dialogue.  Notice that you didn’t prompt these thoughts, they just come up.  When they come up, don’t react to them or get caught up in them. Just go back to being aware and waiting for the next thought to come up.  Another way to notice the thoughts that create this constant dialogue, is to notice what happens in your mind when someone cuts you off in traffic.  Free will isn’t required, thoughts just come up.  (note: never try to push down these thoughts and emotions, just acknowledge them and relax into them.  If you push emotions down, they always come back up.)

Once you become aware of these thoughts you can choose to let them pass without reacting to them. Once you can focus on the present moment, you can take the actions to get you to your intended goal. Sometimes I notice negative emotions and thoughts coming up, and they no longer ruin my day. I remember times of being criticized at work, and the rest of my day would be bad. Now I just notice the thought for what it is. It is a story, but is not who I am. It took a long time for me to actually believe that I wasn’t those thoughts. Once I do though, my quality of life really went up. The bottom line is that it is these thoughts, and the dialogues created in your mind keep you from living a happy productive life. When I first adopted the idea of just letting thing go, I thought that simply living in the moment, and letting all these thoughts pass would lead to things undone and material poverty.  What I actually found is that over a period of time I learned to discipline myself to be so much more focused on what needed to be done.  I am able to manifest my intentions by enjoying the the present moment, instead of letting my mind tell me how bad it is.  

If you want to be happy, just decide right now you are going to be happy, and gain discipline in your own mind.  Also remember trying doesn’t work, but just noticing what is going on in your mind will propel you forward.  You still won’t be able to achieve instant success overnight, but you will be much happier while working towards it.  You will also be more effective, and gain more discipline, which is what is really required.  If you haven’t looked into mindfulness or meditation, I strongly recommend it. A mindfulness / meditation practice has been a game changer for me, and studies show the positive benefits. Mindfulness allows you to improve your awareness and gain discipline not to let your thoughts derail your life.

You don’t have to wait to be happy, you can get started right now.

Free New Year’s Life Coaching Session


The first week of the New Year is the time when most people set their goals and resolutions. I am giving away a free one hour life coaching session for for the first 3 respondents in the New Year. Despite the obvious challenges, 2022 was a great year for me and this is my way of paying it forward. As many of you already know, I haven’t had room in my schedule to take on any new clients for most of 2022, and it looks like that is going to continue into 2023. In these Life Coaching sessions I want to provide some tools and ideas that will provide ongoing value. Here is what you can expect out of your life coaching session.

  • A no judgement zone to work on clarifying, organizing, and thinking through your goals for 2023
  • Effective foundational tools and ideas that will serve you for a lifetime
  • 30 days access to free email communications
  • 100% confidential

Enter Here and tell me a little bit about the nature of what you want to accomplish in 2023
“Invest in yourself”

Your Life is Going to Transform


Today is the day that your life will change for the better. The primary reason for failure is unnecessary struggling. Our whole goal achievement culture is backwards. Science has shown time and time again that calm happy people have the optimum state of mind to succeed. First happiness then success.

Your transformation begins with how you see and treat yourself. Most people are unaware that they have an internal dialogue going on in their mind constantly. It is exactly the reason that all your past attempts to change have failed. You usually end up right back where you started from because your mind thinks the same thoughts over and over again. You react the same way over and over again. How do you change that? The first step is to recognize that voice. Start practicing periods where the soul exercise is to quiet your mind and simply notice the thoughts that come up without reacting to them. Once you get good at this the changes you make will become obvious. You will quit taking those thoughts at face value and eventually realize you are not those thoughts. You are the one who notices them. You will no longer have the notion to play along but instead make decisions that empower you. Once you realize that most of your behavior has been driven by your biological thought box you will transcend those old habits. This will provide the foundation for transformation.

Now you can set your intentions and goals and watch them unfold. What happens to you isn’t a problem. What you think about what happens to you is the problem. Judging yourself good or bad will stop your transformation. Whether you believe in God or a natural universe, you can believe that life sustains itself. The sun rises and sets. The seasons change. The cycles of birth and death continue. The point is that all you need is awareness and intention and your life will unfold better than you can imagine.

I can’t fit all of the nuances in a brief blog post, so if you have questions feel free to reach out. There are no shortcuts on the road to transformation. Learning to separate your true self from those repeated thoughts can take a while. I am confident that you have what it takes to live a life better than you can imagine.

Who am I?


As I look back at my past self, here is what I see.  I see a sad three year old who just lost his father.  I see a child with deep insecurities and hurt.  I see a teenager who was self loathing, and one who would do anything for acceptance.  This child and teenager followed and troubled me for most of my life. So what happened? 

I have always had a desire to help others deal with life’s problems.  This desire comes from empathy, because I know what it feels like to hurt. I know what it means to want to find value within myself, and find only lack.  I started what I thought would be an educational journey, but it ended up being a process of picking my own life apart.  

Early in this journey, the seed of an idea was planted in me. “You are not your thoughts, your past, or how you feel”.  I began to devour as much information as I could about how the human mind works, or at least as much as we know about it. I did this to see if it was possibly true, that I am not my thoughts, past, and feelings. 

At the psychological and neurological level there is irrefutable evidence that we don’t naturally have as much free will as we think we do.  When something would happen in my external world, I didn’t immediately choose what to think about it.  My first thought always just came up.  Oftentimes it would cause a response in me, that further confirmed the existence of that self loathing, people pleasing teenager.  Based on this I often didn’t choose to rethink or contradict these thoughts.  Even if I did it was usually an uphill battle to overcome the impact of the initial thought.  All this study of Psychology and Neurology was becoming more troubling.

One day Youtube videos were playing in the background while I worked. A video with a Psychologist talking about the benefits of Mindfulness came on.  I took notice.  Later that same day I heard a monk say in another video,  “you can’t pay attention because no one ever taught you how.”  Not long after that I started a Mindfulness practice. I would sit for as much as an hour or two at a time, just observing all the thoughts that entered my mind without reacting to them.  It was during this process that I started to notice another part of me who wasn’t the one having those thoughts, but was the one who noticed and experienced them. Someone who could choose his response.  I eventually read a book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.  Much of what he wrote in this book confirmed what I was learning, and agreed with Psychology and science.  This was the beginning of an ongoing transformation that I am deeply grateful for.  

Before I started on this journey I loathed what I saw when I looked back.  Now I can look back with love and acceptance for myself.  I can treat myself like someone I am responsible for helping. I know that the hurt of that child, and the self loathing in that teenager was not mine but belonged to a world that I can live beyond. More than that I can function more effectively in my daily life here and now.  It is like someone lifted a hundred pounds from each shoulder, and I can now move through life with much more ease. 

Almost every post I write mentions that we are not our thoughts, our past, or how we feel.  The reason for this is simple.  Understanding what that means for you will change your life for the better.  You are so much more than what you see when you look back.  

Poison in “The Secret”


Should you become a millionaire and want to help the guy who shared this with you, we can talk about ways to contribute.  Until then please take and use what I have given you here today, to bring true riches into your life.

They say, simply envision and focus on what you want, and you will attract it. The universe will manifest it into your life.  The law of attraction is the foundation of “The Secret”.  There are a lot of businesses who promote the law of attraction, and in exchange for money will provide you the content.  In this post I will give you the truth for free, which is an infinitely greater value and infinitely more effective.  What I am sharing here is not a hoax, it is the real thing and it works.  

The poison pill in the law of attraction doesn’t come from the content itself, it comes from the intention of the consumer of the content.  Someone is seeking more in life, now they believe they have found Aladdin’s lamp in the law of attraction. The materially lustful wishes start flowing freely.  Pictures of expensive cars, homes, and exotic vacations flood their minds, and on their vision boards hanging about.  This puts their desires in a much higher state of focus than their belief they will receive it.  You see, true faith quells desire, because “it is the evidence for things not seen”.   Over a period of time they fail to receive the desires.  With this often comes discouragement, depression, and very often self blame. They are unable to manipulate the universe into magically manifesting their every desire.  They must not be good enough, they think.

When I first stumbled on to what I believe is the real secret, I was afraid it was the way to material poverty. The truth I found defies everything I ever believed about abundance.  The starting point of true abundance is gratefulness.  

The first order of business is to do whatever it takes to become truly grateful for what you currently have, and have faith that everything is as it is supposed to be.  If you are thinking  you don’t have anything to be grateful for, notice that you have just taken another breath.  One breath provides the opportunity for you to turn things around.  Do you think your job is terrible, think again.  Within that job lies the starting point for a greater life.  The truth is that most of what is so terrible is not our current situation, but what we think about our current situation.  If you have something “terrible” in your life right now, I want you to just explore what it feels like.  Get curious about it.  Don’t give in to the desire to label it as bad, just experience it, and ask yourself what it is.  Lean into it and feel it, without thinking about it as good or bad.  If you do this you will see that what I am telling you is true.  What you think about something is really what makes it bad.  Otherwise it just is. 

Once you are thankful for what you currently have, your life will be better.  Now it is time to get your head out of the past and future and into the present moment.  If you are goal oriented, you can look at it this way.  You can’t act in the past, and you can’t act in the future.  The only time you can act is right now. In light of that, take those goals and think about what you think they  would bring into your present moment if they were fulfilled.  Take time to really think this through for every goal.  I have found that what most people really want is to feel loved, respected, appreciated, and be happy and secure in themselves.  Chances are that achieving any or all of those goals would not give you a long term sense of happiness and security.  What gives you contentment and security is focusing on what is going on right now without adding any thoughts of the past or future to it.

Once you are grateful, and living in the present moment you will have not only gained happiness, but through this process you will have gained discipline over your own mind.  You will feel abundant, and now it is time to add the goals you want.  Most people who find themselves in this state of gratefulness and discipline set goals not only for their own comfort, but to share this process with others.  It gives me great joy to share this with others, because I know what this has meant to my life.  The biggest and most valuable benefit of this process for me was that for the first time in as long as I can remember I am not depressed, not plagued by insecurities, and as financially fit as I have ever been.  This is a lifelong process, but most of the benefit was realized after only a few months of practicing mindfulness, and realizing that I am not my thoughts, my past, or how I feel.   

Freeing Yourself


The power of the pictures we paint in our mind can be the catalyst that either traps us or sets us free.  Here is a powerful picture that will help you free yourself.  

There is a fundamental way that most of us see the world and it keeps us trapped.  When we decide we want to improve ourselves, we unconsciously picture a hierarchy.  Way up and out there is the weight of the world, and everything going on.  Then there is our thinking self who is struggling under the weight of the world.  Finally there is this core being that is our true self who is under the weight of the world and everything we think about it. 

If this is the way we picture the world, how will we ever be able to lift or get out from under the weight and change our circumstances?   This is the lie that traps us.

Get a picture of this hierarchy clearly in your mind.  Now turn it upside down, putting who you truly are at the top of the hierarchy.  We are not done yet, otherwise you might get the idea you are God, and the whole world is subject to you.  The truth is that when you are at the top of the hierarchy it frees you to move up and down and around the hierarchy.  It allows you to detach who you truly are from the rest of the hierarchy.  This frees you to move about to the areas where you can make a positive difference.  

The key to making this picture serve you, is to keep your head out of the past and the future, and only deal with what is in front of you right now.   Almost every post on this blog repeats the idea that “You are not your thoughts, your past, or how you feel.”  You are so much more than that. This is the truth that freed me. If you can turn this picture upside down, and discover this truth for yourself you will be free.   

Selfish Or Self Respect?


It is important to understand the difference between being selfish, and having some self respect.  I thought about it this week when I briefly encountered a young lady who needed to improve her grades.  It was as if she thought the world would end if she didn’t.  It was also somehow apparent that these good grades would mostly be to please other people.  There was no opportunity for me to really communicate with her on the matter, other than to give a quick suggestion not to be too hard on herself.  

This encounter made me think about the reason that our relationship with ourselves is so important.  It is a good goal to improve your grades, but if pressure from the outside causes you to engage in self-criticism then it is more important that you take a stand for yourself and not worry so much about pressure from the outside.  I am reminded of a wise quote by Indian guru, Sadhguru. “It is your mind. Things should be the way you want them in there.. Isn’t it?”  He was talking about the state of your mind to handle the things coming at you from the outside.  It is up to you to decide how you react to what happens to you.  I think the one thing that really helps us do this is when we begin with the assumption that we are enough.  That we are whole and complete within ourselves.  This doesn’t mean we think that we are perfect, it means that we think enough of ourselves and understand that we are not literally perfect and that’s OK.  Understanding that we are truly valuable, and at the same time understanding that we are flawed helps us to not only extend grace to ourselves, but to others as well.  When your view of yourself and others is obscured with insecurities, making good decisions is nearly impossible. Taking pressure off yourself makes it easier for you to do better.  The intention to be better is good enough if you have a healthy view of yourself.  Do you perform better when you self ridicule, or do you perform better when you believe you are up to the task?  Pretty obvious right?

We can hold ourselves to a higher standard without all of the self abuse.  Sometimes when we set out to achieve something we are more focused on the consequences of how it will turn out.  We worry about a future moment that hasn’t happened yet.  This increases the pressure on us, but doesn’t help us to actually do better work. You literally can’t do anything in the past or future.  Now is the only time you have to act, so doesn’t it make sense to focus on the task rather than worrying about the consequences if you fail, or thinking about your past failures?  When we have a healthy view of ourselves we are free to quit self criticism, and focus on the task at hand.  Eliminating all the background noise makes the task so much more bearable.  Think about trying to do something that requires focus in a room full of loud talking people.  Your thoughts about the past and future like the room full of noisy people inhibit your ability to focus. 

The foundational belief that helps you to be better is the belief that you are enough.  You are a perfectly imperfect human being.  You have great value that extends well beyond your past, your thoughts, and your feelings.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true for all of us.  Finding that truth and giving  yourself grace is the first step to a better life.      

Lies We Believe


This video popped up on my YouTube feed today. I normally don’t just post a video without commentary, but I think this video is worth a watch. I have spent a lot of time thinking about lies that are widely believed, and I mostly agree with the video host.

Life Doesn’t Need to Be So Hard


We have plenty of things to keep us busy.  We have responsibilities around work, school, family, and finances among many other things.  For most people there is a lot to do, and then we step in and add our thoughts about the consequences of not getting it all done. We weigh ourselves down with the expectations of ourselves and others.  There are two separate aspects to living life.  There is performing all the activities that need to be done, then there is all of the added pressure of our thoughts about the activity.  

What if you could take half the pressure off yourself, and only focus on the activities without adding the additional pressure of thinking about consequences, and expectations?  We have the activity and then we have our thoughts and beliefs about these activities.  These thoughts influence how well we perform the activities. If you put a board on the floor and attempt to walk across it, this is easy for most people.  Take that same board and lay it across the distance between two tall buildings and then walk across it.  It is the same task, but the stakes are much higher if you fail to stay on the board while walking between buildings.  The location of the board is very similar to your thoughts about the task you are about to take on.  Assuming the board doesn’t flex, and there is no wind, it is the same task. The great thing about most of our activities is that if we mess up, nothing really bad happens.  

Famous author Mark Twain said “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” In this quote he was pointing to the fact that it is our worries about what might happen that is the source of many of our perceived problems.  If we really stop and think about it, this is an undeniable truth. So what do you do about it? 

Part of a mindfulness journey is learning to live in the present moment, and just acknowledging these worries without reacting to them in any way. I remember when I was learning to just have these thoughts, acknowledge them and not react to them.  I was afraid that if I quit reacting to these thoughts, that my world would fall apart and nothing would get done.  I took a leap of faith and just quit reacting.  Exactly the opposite of my worry happened.  I became a lot more effective, and got more done without all the stress.  I also found that I naturally started taking time to think through what had to be done, but then once I started doing it, I focused all of my attention on the task. I was no longer worrying about consequences. 

It is almost as if life just started unfolding.  I am not ready to give an explanation of why or how this happens, I just know that life is much easier and more gets done when you stop worrying about the future or reliving the past.  Learning to let these thoughts pass is important.  Please reach out here if you want to know more about how to let go of your stressors.  There are lots of free resources out there to help you with this. 

How We Make a Difference


When we think about those who make a difference in the world we tend to think about the renowned and famous of the world.  The thing we should always keep in mind is that they are one person just like we are, and the real difference in the world is made by hundreds of millions of people who are equipped with the means to help others in some way.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta was known for having the attitude of helping one person at a time.  Even if that help was just comfort in the final moments of one person’s life.  Countless others looked to her as an example and helped countless other people as a result of that inspiration.  She had this impact by focusing on one person at a time, and did not seek out attention to herself.     

Mother Teresa understood the point I am trying to make today.  We should not endeavor to necessarily be the difference makers for the world.  Instead we should endeavor to help people one at a time.  We are all connected at a much closer level than we know.  “Six Degrees of Separation” shows that there are six degrees of separation between you and everyone else in the world.  Helping just one person could greatly impact the lives of countless others.  We are more effective in helping others if we keep our focus on helping one person at a time to the best of our ability.

We likely won’t know all of those we had a hand in helping, but we will know we did the best we could for each person we encountered. If we do that it will bear fruit in our lives.  One of the most desirable results of this idea is that you have less to stress about, but your impact is much greater in the long run.  This is an idea that is counterintuitive to many and they doubt that focusing on one person at a time is the most effective way.  Even those who lead the largest most successful companies in the world, would have never grown to that size were it not for a handful of individuals.  Some even contribute their success to a single idea by one influential person in their lives.  We indeed make a difference one person at a time.