The Secret to a Great, Happy, and Productive Life

February 22, 2013 by  
Filed under blog

You can greatly enhance your life no matter what age you are by doing something very, very simple. What is this simple cost free secret? Well, it’s not so much a secret as something most of us forget about and stop doing as we age. I am talking from personal experience, especially now as I am nearing the BIG 70!!

Ok, so what the heck is this big secret?  It’s simply “Action.” That’s right it’s Action and Movement. It’s getting up off your butt both physically and mentally.  Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi in their wonderful book Super Brain give some very powerful evidence that physical exercise and movement along with environment enhancement stimulates the growth of new neurons. And this happens at any age!

You, no doubt, have experienced a big lift in your mood, on days you were kind of of feeling down and out, by merely taking a walk or even just getting up from watching TV and taking a drive in the country or through your own or a new neighborhood.  I know if I push myself to take even a short hike in the mountains or on the beach it gives my brain a huge mood boost. Ditto by doing a few push-ups, sit ups or jumping on the stair master for 15 or 20 minutes

There is a great quote in “Super Brain” that I love. It says it all–“Inertia is depression’s best friend.”  Simple but true.

So, remember, action is the KEY!  Keep moving and make a point to do so every day.  Let me give you just a few of the benefits you’ll get from being active.And  I hope you will add to this list the things you’ve learned from your own experience.


  • Feeling increasingly better the more you stay in motion- and that is for physical and mental activity.
  • Getting a whole bunch of stuff done—financially, socially, spiritually, helping others, etc.
  • Overcoming depression and bad moods without drugs.
  • Losing weight.
  • Staying in shape and having overall better health.
  • Helping others by your example.
  • Slowing the aging process.
  • Increasing brain cells and brain activity.
  • Greatly reducing the chance of dementia.

Do think about action and movement and please challenge yourself to do more in that direction. You’ll see how much difference it makes to your happiness, your mood and your satisfaction in your life.

The Mistake of Not Making Mistakes

February 15, 2013 by  
Filed under blog

We are all afraid of making mistakes to some extent. Our society has us thinking that mistakes and failure are shameful things. The strange thing is, we learn best by our mistakes yet the fear of making them often keeps us from taking action. So how are we to learn much of anything if we aren’t out there making those mistakes?

When you have big goals, like creating a large personal fortune, starting a business or even starting a family, you may keep yourself from taking the first step because of the fear of making a mistake. The thing is, the real mistake becomes not taking that first step!

You need to not only accept that you will make mistakes but look forward to seeing what you can learn from them. When you have big goals, you will need to become dependent on your ability to overcome and learn from your mistakes. That is the only way you will be able to move forward and accomplish what you are after.

So go ahead, make a mistake or two. Or ten. Or twenty. It’s perfectly normal and it means you are trying something rather than doing nothing!

Re-training Your Habits

February 8, 2013 by  
Filed under blog

On January 4th I posted a blog about the great book called “The Power of Habit” and how it can change people lives for the better. The author, Charles Duhigg makes so many excellent points showing how habits are formed and how to change habits that you don’t like in yourself and are not good for you. You see, we all respond to certain cues or triggers which set us off to follow certain routines which then give us rewards.  If we want to change a habit we should think through and plan out, in mind and on paper, what our “new routine” is going to be when we face “the cue” again and then follow that new routine which also needs to have a reward attached.

Duhigg uses this example: At 3pm every day he eats a chocolate cookie. This habit has an obvious reward—the cookie. To change this he plans a new routine so when he is hit by the cue or trigger—the hour of 3pm—he takes a walk around the office building instead. This starts to form a new habit.  To make the reward more rewarding, if he can find a friend or co-worker to do it with him. Having someone to talk to adds to the physical exercise reward with this chance to socialize.

If you do this activity and reward replacement over and over again until you hardly even think about it, then you have a new habit!  So, if you have habits you’d like to change, take some time to think of new routines that may interest you that you can attach to these unwanted habits so when you are hit with the cue or trigger you can start a new and healthier habit. Try it. You will love it because it really works. Even though it sounds simple, it’s obviously not going to be all that easy because you will be facing a strong instinct to fall into the prior habit but if you stick with it you will end up with a new habit and soon you won’t even give it a second thought.

Making Friends with Your Inner Voice

February 1, 2013 by  
Filed under blog

Someone once said if you want to change your life, you need to change your thinking. Yes, most people have heard that and agree but changing your thinking is not an easy task. There are, however, some subtle but very powerful forces inside your brain that can work for you or against you. Sadly too many people don’t recognize it or at least if they do they don’t know how to direct those forces for their own huge benefit. This powerful force has various names and it can be the best thing in your life but it also can be very sneaky in sabotaging you.

This force is often called your “inner voice”. It also has been called self-talk or even your inner chatterbox. Some would say it’s just your sub-conscious. Others would say it’s God talking to you. The good news–or should I say even great news–is that regardless of the source, many super successful people have learned how to use and direct that inner voice and it has enhanced their life almost beyond words. Using and directing your inner voice to improve your life doesn’t happen overnight and even after you become very good at self-talk directing, you need to stay ever aware of that chatterbox inside your head and continue to step in and keep the self-talk positive so you continue to move toward your life goals.

We talked about this a bit last year but I thought this was about the time of year we could all use a reminder of this. We set goals at the beginning of the year. We’ve taken the first steps, perhaps made some progress but it is about now that the hard parts are coming up or we’ve hit a few snags and are starting to get discouraged. Remember, that negative talk is just your inner voice trying to talk you down because it’s getting difficult. But hey, the most fulfilling accomplishments are those you come to after overcoming the hard stuff, right?

So turn any negative talk into positive, supportive self-talk. Think of that inner voice as your cheerleader, the voice that will keep you going, remind you of why you are doing what you are doing and will help you get through the more challenging tasks. It’s always easier to move forward when you have good, positive friends along. Why not make your inner voice one of those friends?