Success Begins With Awareness

If you have been following my blogs on either Twitter, Facebook or my website, then you already know that my message for success always begins with awareness.

As a contributing author in the new #1 international best-selling book, Ready, Aim, Captivate! Put Magic in Your Message, and a Fortune in Your Future, awareness is the foundation on which the rest of your positive changes are built.

In my recent blog, T.I.M.E. for Success, I refer to awareness as Timing (e.g. identifying opportunities). To truly become successful, you always need to enhance your awareness of potential opportunities that may directly or indirectly align with your path. Being aware and recognizing your passions, desires and goals from a young age is one way of enhancing your outcomes for success. The other is your ability to be aware of your surroundings and act accordingly.

Recently, I took a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco and I was stuck in the middle seat. During the boarding process, a young male adult had the window seat next to me in my row.  Instead of waiting for me to stand up, he just barreled over me right into his seat, despite my two requests to have him wait. I was in complete disbelief! Was this just a lack of common sense, listening or awareness? He completely ignored me in the process of getting to his seat and ultimate destination.

In the spirit of the New Year, I would like to share the following list of rules associated with Charles J. Sykes’ 1996 book, “Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves, but Can’t Read, Write, or Add“:

The following 11 rules should serve as awareness tools for young adults and adults of all ages:

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ‘til you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you messed up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rainforest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

I want to wish everyone a very happy and successful New Year!

Smoke and Mirrors Impede Success

I recently boarded a flight to Los Angeles for the holidays. During my wait at the gate, I witnessed a lot more stressed out people than usual, which got me thinking about health and other issues in light of the New Year.

So why do so many people feel so emotionally uncertain these days? More importantly, could they be doing anything new to improve their stressful situations? Do they exercise on a regular basis? Could they eat healthier foods over the course of their lives? Did they or do they work unfulfilling jobs that have slowly impacted their quality of life so much that they have found themselves both mental and physically challenged?  I know that I’ll never know their real stories or what actually caused their current situations, but it caused my mind to wonder.

I recently read a great quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

In my upcoming book, Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, I refer to this dilemma as not being able to get out of your own way.  Unfortunately, people either get set in their unhealthy, self-destructive ways or they do not have the strength or commitment to change things in their lives. As a result, they make excuses for their damaging behaviors and attitudes, which I refer to as “smoke and mirrors.” They tell themselves, “If I only had more time, I would….”; yet these same people never do seem to find that time.

With the New Year quickly approaching, it’s time to stop making excuses and putting things off.

Successful people take initiative. They do not talk about what they intend to do; they actually plan and then take the appropriate action necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

After you’ve toasted and rung in the New Year, if you plan to sit down to begin to craft some New Year’s resolutions of your own, take the time to base them in reality. Do not create unrealistic expectations for yourself. Challenge yourself to take accountability for your health, your finances, your job or career prospects, your personal relationships, and anything else that will force you to thrive outside of your current comfort levels.

Most unsuccessful people live in a world of denial (e.g. those illusions Nietzsche refers to in his quote). As a result, unhealthy habits and experiences often manifest in their personal and professional lives. Rather than address real underlying issues, they often blame others or make excuses for the things that either make them feel uncomfortable or insecure. If left unchecked, these denials can manifest unhealthy, stressful outcomes.

The next time you choose to settle for the status quo, take a moment to look inside and ask yourself, “Is this really the life you want? Or is your “smoke and mirrors” reality simply impeding your success?

Happy New Year and cheers to your growing success in 2013!

Unleash Your Successful Wealth Creator

Recently my wife Kate and I were discussing her ground rules regarding our shared key ingredients for success: determination, smarts, talent (creativity), perseverance, the need to be inquisitive, and others. Then she brought up an excellent point: what if young adults began manifesting wealth at an early age using the same ‘what would you do…?’ mentality that many adults only seem to exhibit when playing the lottery in the hopes that they would miraculously win and let all their money fears disappear?

Sadly, Kate is right. Most adults never learned the discipline of wealth creation at an early age, which was evidenced by last week’s PowerBall frenzy that sent Americans scurrying to their favorite “dream brokers” in order to purchase a “financial do-over” as the Powerball jackpot reached a whopping $550,000,000. The reality is (as most of you Monopoly® aficionados know) that they will never ‘pass go’ or collect $200.

What is amazing to me is that despite all the perceived value Americans seem to place on education, why then are Personal Finance and Wealth Creation classes neglected from most middle school and high school curricula? I’ve often wondered why most schools spend so much time teaching us the basics: math, English, history, science, foreign languages, and more, yet they fail to teach us the most important and practical life lesson: proper money management. Then it dawned on me, the reason why most teachers probably never teach their students anything about these subjects. Perhaps it’s because they were never taught either, and you can’t teach what you don’t know.

In my humble opinion, ignorance about money is not bliss. It’s costly. It literally blows my mind how little regard Americans have for financial education, considering that “money” now appears to be one of the most controversial topics within our society. Conversations about the state of the economy, both nationally and personally in our own households, as well as the “fiscal cliff” tend to dominate the proverbial “water cooler” chit chat online and offline. Not only is it extremely personal, but most people tend to have very different opinions and experiences regarding money. One size definitely does not fit all. For example, if your parents are/were conservative, then most likely you will also be conservative with your money. However, if you disliked how your parents either saved or spent their money, then you may decide to be the exact opposite. The point is that people tend to develop their habits and values regarding money from a very early age, consciously or unconsciously. They are usually swayed by parents, teachers, friends, or even worse, the media (e.g. TV, radio, magazines, etc.) that loves to prey upon America’s ignorance by constantly advertising and reminding us of what we either think we really want and need or what we basically don’t have and why?

In fact, millions of dollars a year are spent by companies on advertising in order to reap profits from America’s monetary spending dysfunction, which I call financial obesity. Companies deceive us with ads about what we should be driving, wearing, eating, living, playing, and thinking, and then shame us into a bad case of ‘mood poisoning’ if we don’t own what we “should” or if we don’t abide by their definitions of success.

The truth is: we need to educate our young adults to break free from the “must have” mentality often created at a young age. We need to empower our youth to start thinking about why they are spending their money and cultivate their desire to understand how each dollar spent will lead to their successful outcomes. To help you avoid the  “must have” mentality, I suggest that you ask yourself the following two questions before each purchase in order to ensure that every dollar spent is truly helping you to achieve your overall financial success:

1) Could this money be better invested than spent? and

2) Will this money generate the means for other future successes?

In my book, Growing Success; A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, my goal is to educate and help young adults and adults of all ages understand and seriously think about the concepts of personal finance and wealth creation. Your ability to understand and adopt these important concepts from an early age will definitely help you to become a successful young independent monetizer /income generator, which will enable you to always produce multiple streams of income toward achieving your probable outcomes for success.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Begin educating yourself. Avoid the unfortunate and avoidable financial pitfalls that currently plague so many adults between the ages of 40 and 60.

It’s time to grow your financial success and unleash your successful wealth creator now.


T.I.M.E. for Success

With the New Year quickly approaching, many of you are probably asking yourselves, “Where did all the time go?” Others like to say, “Time is short”, “Time is money”, “Time heals all wounds”, “The time is now to help” but most importantly, time is the only thing you can never get back! Cars, houses, money, and jobs are all replaceable. That is why time should never be taking for granted or squandered, as I explain in my new book Demystifying Success: Success Tools and Secrets They Don’t Teach You in High School.

Throughout the book, I provide young adults with compelling theoretical and practical knowledge that reinforces why it’s now T.I.M.E. (Timing, Intentions, Motivation and Empowerment) for Success.

Timing, which I also refer to as identifying opportunities, is something that I recently discussed in my blog Sliding Doors for Success. To become successful, you need to always enhance your awareness of potential opportunities that may directly or indirectly align with your path. To help ensure that you take advantage of such opportunities, you need to take the time to really focus on what you want to achieve or accomplish in both the short and long term. Recognizing your passions, desires and goals from a young age will help you to distinguish and align potential opportunities that will enhance your outcomes for success.

Intentions help you to reinforce why you are pursuing such passions, desires and goals, which also serves to confirm your ability to spot opportunities whenever they arise.  As I discuss in my blog Success Is Never Being Afraid to Ask Why!, most people today simply live life in a world of “how”. “Just tell me how to get the job” or “how do I make money?” or “tell me how to do this and I will just do it.” “How” is the ‘poster-word’ for status quo! There is no creativity in how. “Why” empowers an individual with the confidence and creativity to challenge the status quo and go beyond the “how”. In my experience, truly successful people always go the extra mile to figure out the “why” because it enables them to consistently recreate their successes over and over again.

Motivation represents the action behind the success. It is the process of aligning internal passions, desires and goals with external resources (mentors, knowledge, financing, etc.) in order to achieve the desired outcomes for success.  Many successful people often create what author Napoleon Hill describes in his book, Think and Grow Rich, as Masterminds, a group of hand-picked individuals that provide advice, support and even financial resources that help enhance one’s chances for success.  In the article, Five Secrets for Growing Success, that you can receive for free when you sign up for my newsletter, through my website,, I explain why successful people often turn to mentors or others in times of uncertainty or despair. Your mastermind can be a combination of both mentors and/or others (e.g. accountants, lawyers, etc.) that serve as excellent role models and/or sounding boards. They not only model the way for your potential success, but they also serve as great resources for information and advice. Their input can help you to choose the appropriate action steps to take to achieve your short-term and/or long-term success.

Empowerment is what I like to refer to as one’s ability to confidently trust their instincts to ensure that their decisions positively impact their desired expectations and probable outcomes for success. Too often, people get swayed by various negative or unsupportive comments made by others despite what their own instincts might be telling them to do. They often allow others to ‘get inside their heads’ and thus, overthink, or even worse, predict or forecast how others might respond or react to their decisions or ideas. Unfortunately, these people rarely proceed as they initially intended, either out of fear of another’s reaction, or even worse, to appease the other person at their own expense.

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” ~ Jesse Owens

Successful people “go for it!” They check their fears at the door. They trust their instincts by spotting the opportunities and then re-affirm their intentions to motivate and empower themselves to take the necessary actions steps. As a result, they make necessary decisions that lead to probable (not possible) outcomes for success. To quote the legendary rock band The Rolling Stones, “Time Is on Your Side”. The sooner you begin to incorporate these concepts of t.i.m.e. into your strategic life planning, the sooner you will begin to grow your success.


Success Is Never Being Afraid to Ask Why!

Over the past several years, I have been spreading the message that success is about never being afraid to ask why.

From the early age of two, most infants repeatedly annoy their parents by constantly asking them, “why?, Why?, WHY?” But by the time these young inquisitive toddlers get to their formative teenage years, they have lost the ability to ask why because most likely it was slowly beaten out of them by a cynical, practical educational agenda.

Most people today simply live life in a world of “how”. “Just tell me how to get the job” or “how to make money?” or “how to do this and I will just do it.” “How” is the ‘poster-word’ for status quo! There is no creativity in how.

My theory is that young people have become afraid to ask “why” because they are either perceived as stupid by older adults and peers, or even worse, a parent, teacher, or someone else they look up to got annoyed with them because they dared to inquire and they themselves did not know the answer and simply tried to save face. As a result, most theoretically-minded individuals have merely become the minority in a society that desperately needs to change.

The theoretical allows us to understand not only ‘how’ but ‘why’ we do something. This allows one to become creative in either solving or improving upon something that has simply “always been done this way”.  TED lecturer Simon Sinek does an excellent job explaining the theoretical success of Steve Jobs’ innovative genius behind Apple’s brand loyalty: “People don’t buy ‘what’ you do, but ‘why’ you do it!”

“Why” empowers an individual with the confidence and creativity to challenge the status quo and go beyond the “how”. In my experience, truly successful people always go the extra mile to figure out the “why” because it enables them to consistently recreate their success. Once you understand “why”, you can improve on an idea, innovate based upon the changing times, or, more importantly, discontinue something if it no longer works.

This is why I strongly believe that in order to really achieve success and get good at something, you not only need to learn how something is done, but I strongly suggest you understand why. I guarantee you that a highly successful person has already figured out not only “what” they were doing wrong, but why they needed to improve on what they already knew in order to beat out the competition.

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” ~ John Maxwell

Throughout my new book, Demystifying Success: Success Tools and Secrets They Don’t Teach You in High School, I provide my readers with both the theoretical (“the why”) and practical (“the how”) knowledge that I have acquired from my own and others’ past experiences in order to help them navigate life’s obstacles and pitfalls. It is my goal to re-educate young adults, as well as adults of all ages, about the ‘power of why’ so that all can reap their own personal and financial success throughout their lives.

By simply committing yourself to embracing a theoretical “why” approach to learning and living, you will greatly enhance your outcomes for success.

Appreciation Is a Key Ingredient for Success

On January 1st or 2nd, most people set out to create a list of resolutions, things they would like to see, change or do in the upcoming year. Sadly, most despite their good intentions either never follow through or abandon their new ideals within a month or two after singing “Auld Lang Syne”.

With this in mind as Thanksgiving is now upon us, I would like to take this moment to appreciate the great things that have manifested for me over the past year, as well as all of the positive things that I will experience and manifest in the year ahead.

Unlike resolutions, appreciation allows you to focus upon all of the positive things that you have already accomplished, reflect upon the not-so good things that you have successfully navigated or endured, and recognize those who help or helped you on your journey thanks to their continued love, support and encouragement toward helping you be your best.

So how does appreciation really help you manifest your success?

In my new book, Growing Success: A Young Adults Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, I discuss a model that I designed called “I AM FOR I BELIEVE” (which I describe in more detail in the book), which is based on the lessons and concepts that I learned from my Law of Attraction coach, Christy Whitman.

My model for manifesting appreciation into success begins with:

1. Creating Your Own Abundant Reality: This process starts or begins with one’s own goals, thoughts and desires, which need to become so real and vivid (i.e.; vision) that these goals, thoughts and desires manifest themselves into one’s daily beliefs and values. I call this step: Proving It to Yourself.

2. Creating Your Own Tools for Action: Once your goals, thoughts and desires become your daily beliefs and values, you need to look within yourself to enhance and refine your own inner tools for abundance (your creativity, intelligence, style, charisma, and more), as well as expand your access to abundant resources (people, time and money) in order to take positive steps toward achieving your probable outcomes. I call this second step: Tools for Action.

3. Creating Your Own Call to Action: The sooner you become aware, receptive and most importantly appreciative of the positive gifts you have or will receive through the utilization of your daily beliefs, values, tools and resources, the sooner you will begin to manifest even more enhanced success. I call this third step: Taking Action.

Once you start to really acknowledge and appreciate what you have accomplished as well as recognize those that helped you acquire such success, you will begin to find new opportunities and incentives for success. This will ignite the entire process over and over again while manifesting and creating even greater opportunities for success.

Exactly one year ago, I sat down and designed my new abundant reality. I followed the exact steps that I described above and I immediately surrounded myself with mentors and friends that helped me take the appropriate action steps that enviably let to my amazing transformation over the past 12 months for which I am eternally grateful and appreciative.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the following accomplishments, but more importantly, my sincere thanks to the people closest to me that really helped make these past 12 months such a huge personal success:

  • I lost 60 pounds and completed 2 marathons and 5 half-marathons, thanks to the support and guidance of Annie Mello and Dan Manns.
  • I left Los Angeles and a 22-year career in June. As of Nov 1st, I began my dream job as the Executive Director for the Percussive Arts Society/Rhythm! Discovery Center in Indianapolis, thanks to the encouragement and support of Steve Houghton, John Tafoya, Vinnie Freda, Kenny Aronoff and Aaron Snyder who all took the time to speak up on my behalf and recommend me for this exciting new position.
  • I will be appearing in the upcoming book: Ready, Aim, Captivate! in January as a contributing author alongside Deepak Chopra and Jim Stovall, thanks to the guidance, efforts and foresight of my manager and friend, Jennifer S. Wilkov, who is also helping me to publish Growing Success in 2013.
  • I co-taught my first stock options class for Online Trading Academy in September, thanks to the generosity and mentoring of Todd Davis.
  • I scheduled my final defense for my doctoral dissertation for February 15, 2013, thanks to Ennette Morton for modeling the way.
  • I am DJing for my old FM radio station, WTTS-FM, thanks to Laura Duncan and Brad Holtz’s time and patience in helping me to transition into 21st Century radio.
  • My Mom, family and friends for supporting and encouraging me when I decided to take this unknown leap of faith toward pursuing my abundant reality. And most importantly,
  • My girlfriend, Kate Sancer – thank you so much for making me laugh, for not allowing me to take myself too seriously, supporting and encouraging me, and helping me to prove that patience and persistence really does bring about life’s greatest gift.

I hope all of you will take my lead and spend this Thanksgiving enhancing your abundance by truly appreciating your own accomplishments, and more importantly recognizing all those special people around you who continue to help you grow your success.


Following Your Passion for Success

Do some people have all the luck, or do they really know how to get what they want from an early age? If America is truly the land of opportunity, then why can’t everybody land his or her dream job? Why do so many people often wind up working thankless, unrewarding, dead-end jobs?

Most well-established young men and women land their dream jobs because they focus their energy toward manifesting their job success at an early age. Over the past several weeks, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to study and be mentored by business and motivational expert, Michael E. Gerber. During our discussions, Michael has often reminded me that successful people tend to only focus on “one thing” and strive to become the best by utilizing their gifts and strengths, whereas most people often tend to spread themselves too thin by trying to dabble in too many things at one time without any real focus. Michael refers to this lesson as understanding “your primary aim”.

In his book, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael instructs his readers to ask themselves, “What is your primary aim? What do you value most? What kind of life do you want? What do you want your life to look like? Who do you wish to be? Once you answer these questions then make it happen! Begin living that life. Create your life intentionally!”

I have often believed that one’s ability to find a job that truly sparks and inspires one’s passion is the single greatest road to success. As I have spoken about in lectures and live appearances, there should be at least one of three reasons why you should consider pursuing an ideal job:

1. Quality of Life – Find a job that allows you to live in a location where you can thrive. Identify a job that lets you live the life you want surrounded by the people who support and admire you.

Recently I moved back to the Midwest from California because I always felt like I resonated better in that environment. I have been enjoying the calm here as well as the pace again and it feels like home.

2. Challenge – Pursue a job or career where the work will challenge you and help you grow from the experience. Therefore, you either want to choose a job that will serve as a stepping stone toward getting you even closer to your ultimate primary aim, or take one where there is a strong educational advantage that will allow you to continue to grow and experience your life’s passion.

If you have been following the previous articles here on my blog, then you already know that I left a 22-year career in the music industry to pursue my true passion. I have written my first book, Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Achieving Personal and Financial Success, which is designed to give young adults (ages 16 to 25) the needed educational concepts and tools to be successful in all areas of their lives.  I wrote this book because I wanted to help young adults in high schools and colleges understand how to cultivate solid financial habits as well as concrete personal goals and planning from a young age. Educating and helping others is a huge passion of mine, and I am now in better alignment with my primary aim.

3. Financial Reward – I intentionally listed this pursuit last. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finding a career path that rewards you for all your hard work and efforts, but I just don’t believe that money should be the sole driving force for why you choose to pursue a job or career. Money should be viewed as opportunity, your financial means for continuing to pursue your passions. I honestly believe that if you follow your true passion, the money will definitely follow.

I was once told by my former boss, friend and business mentor, Vinnie Freda that the main reason why he offered me my very first job in the music industry two weeks after I graduated from Indiana University was because I never asked him “how much the job paid”. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to work in the music industry and I would do whatever it took to get it. That motivation is what led me to a successful 22-year career with the world’s largest record company.

To quote the great Bob Dylan, “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.”

Don’t be like most people who spend their entire lives asking themselves, “What will I be when I grow up?”  Take control of your destiny now and start building that dream job and/or career today. In turn, you’ll also be growing your success.

Back To The Future: My Successful Health Transformation

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I made the decision to adopt a Paleo lifestyle. For those of you who are unaware of Paleo, it is short for paleolithic diet—also referred to as the caveman or hunter-gatherer diet. It is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals.

The Paleolithic era ended with the development of agriculture. As you can imagine, there is now a great debate between physiologists and nutritionists as to which is healthier: Paleo or the traditional four food groups.

This blog is not intended to convince you either way. My bigger lesson here is to explain how your perceived health may ultimately impact your overall success.  After all, how you look is definitely a direct reflection of how you feel—a mirror to your soul, if you will.

Sometime in your life you may have heard the expression, “You can’t always judge a book by its cover.” I want to tell you that this expression, as far as first impressions go, is false. In fact, 9 out of 10 times you most certainly will judge others based upon your first impression because humans are wired to respond to them. This is why your mother, father or teachers often told you, “It is always important to make a good first impression.” A great book I recommend reading with regard to first impressions is Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. According to Gladwell, “Snap judgments are, first of all, enormously quick: they rely on the thinnest slices of experience … they are also unconscious.”

Last October 2011, I was at my heaviest weight (253 lbs.). I felt miserable. After walking the last five miles of the Long Beach Half Marathon, I had had enough. I realized that my obesity was really just a symptom of something bigger; I wasn’t happy. I needed to make a change, but I wasn’t sure how to do it at that moment, other than knowing that something needed to change.

I called my good friend and mentor, trainer/nutritionist Annie Mello, founder of FitChicLA and then I did one of the hardest things imaginable: I had to admit that I had a problem. Annie agreed to train and work with me, but she needed to know I was serious. She started to talk to me about a new book (at the time) by Robb Wolf called The Paleo Solution which discussed the physiological reasons why people tend to struggle with their weight.

Annie mentioned to me that she and her husband Chris had recently “gone Paleo” and had had amazing results. When I asked her what made this diet different from the others, Annie told me, “When choosing to live a Paleo lifestyle, you will not only look and feel great on the outside, but you will also maintain a healthy metabolism inside while reducing inflammation in the body. This nutritious lifestyle aids in supporting amazing body composition, energy levels, quality of sleep, and overall mood. It also helps you eliminate food cravings without becoming obsessed with calories. Instead, you can look at food as fuel to feed your body. With Paleo, you can truly feel the best you can and should feel while being your best!”

In addition to the Paleo diet, Annie began training me in CrossFit, which is very complimentary with Paleo, and I continued to see my desired results.

Throughout the past year, and those closest to me with tell you, I have strictly avoided bread, wheat, pasta, corn, rice, legumes, potatoes, soda, cheese, and desserts (that was a hard one!), but the results were amazing and obvious to me and my family and friends.

Since I committed to all three disciplines, I have experienced a tremendous transformation externally and internally. Not only have I lost 56 lbs. and now weigh 197 lbs.! But my doctor also took me off of my cholesterol medicine after 16 years!  I feel amazing!

As for my running, since that Long Beach Half Marathon where I walked to the finish line, my race times have reflected all of my hard work:

  • November 22nd – Malibu half: 2:38:13
  • December 5th – Las Vegas half: 2:34:55
  • February 6th – Surf City half: 2:11:34
  • May 20th – Pasadena half: 2:11:26
  • Sept 2nd – Disneyland half: 1:58:58
  • Sept 9th – Chicago half: 1:57:46

As for those important impressions I discussed earlier, an ex-girlfriend recently asked me, “Why didn’t you look this good when we were dating?” I told her, “Honestly, I didn’t feel this good!”

There are many options for achieving successful health. The important thing is to choose one, commit to it, and follow through to get your desired results.

Be healthy, my friends, so you too can keep growing your success.

Are You Broke Or Broken? Obstacles For Success

I often ask myself: for a country that prides itself on its technological and educational advancements, why are so many people in such personal and financial turmoil?

I have to imagine that if you are a young adult between the ages of 16 and 25, life must seem a little uncertain and scary to you right now. Just think, you are the first generation to grow up in the 21st century – the advent of a new technological era that actually allows you to carry out the majority of your consumer-related transactions from your SmartPhone, computer or tablet device from virtually anywhere in the world.

Yet, despite all of the major advancements and perceived conveniences created by these new technologies, many of your generation have either personally experienced or know someone close to you whose parents have either lost their jobs (due to downsizing or outsourcing), could not afford to send you or your friends to college due to unforeseen financial hardship, or, even worse, had to lose their homes or apartments due to unprecedented bank foreclosures.

I believe the underlying reason why so many adults between the ages of 40 and 60 are in such economic chaos is because they suffer from what I call financial obesity: one’s obsessive and self-sabotaging need to constantly overspend and remain financially unhealthy. Like over-eaters, the financially obese allow fear to prevent them from achieving their personal and financial success they desire. They simply cannot get out of their own way. They are not broke; they are broken!

One of my favorite quotes is by motivational speaker, Les Brown, who says, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

If you are someone who feels broken, you are not alone. Most well-established men and women by their own desire and determination have managed to overcome their own prior childhood struggles and self-defeating fears because they chose to shift their unhealthy attitudes and learned perspectives as they manifested their desired outcomes.

As I discuss in my new book, Demystifying Success: Success Tools and Secrets They Don’t Teach You in High School, the first thing I would suggest is that you honestly acknowledge the poor or unfounded information that you received from your parents, teachers, friends, and others in your past. They probably meant well, but they were most likely either projecting or inadvertently passing forward generational misinformation that they received at an early age as well.

Secondly, you need to self-reflect and assess how your parents, teachers, friends and most importantly, your own early life experiences have impacted your own “learned” negative fears and emotions. Unless you learn to how manage these challenges early on, they will become even more habit-forming as you get older.

The good news is the effects of your early programming are reversible if you choose to remove those negative obstacles by managing your fears and taking the necessary action steps to accomplish your goals and fix your long-term outlook for success.

Motivational speaker and salesman Zig Ziglar was absolutely correct when he said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”




Mood Poisoning Affects Your Success

Recently, my half marathon races have sent me all over the country: Los Angeles, Chicago, and more. During my travels, I realized that not only were the places I encountered starting to affect my mood and demeanor, but the people were too.

It was truly amazing! I could literally feel my entire physical and emotional being change, as if I had contracted a bad case of mood poisoning. The more I stopped to look at how people were dressed, the way they ate, and especially the way they communicated back and forth with each other, it really started to wreak havoc on my central nervous system.

As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, I recently moved back to Indiana because it was a place that I believed I energetically resonated with. I also recently started reading William Bloom’s book Psychic Protection in which he discusses that “atmospheres, primarily your current surroundings, can dramatically affect how you feel and behave without your being conscious of them”.

This all started making sense when I recently stayed at a “less than stellar” hotel in Los Angeles when I was co-teaching stock option classes. Each morning while waiting for my co-instructor to meet me in the lobby before heading over to the trading school, I would be negatively overwhelmed by both the other guests and the energy of the hotel itself.

It then got me thinking: what would happen to me if I had to stay in this environment for any prolonged period of time? What would be the long-term of effects of this so-called mood poisoning? Maybe it would start to play on my self-esteem, my ability to motivate myself, or even worse, impact my own self-identity.

It may sound silly, but what if I started to believe that this is who I was, or even worse, where I was supposed to be? My doctoral professor, Vance Caesar, once told us: “Happy high achievers make it a habit to associate and hang out with other happy, high achievers.” Maybe I wasn’t crazy and just maybe I was starting to feel uncomfortable because my energy was not in sync with my surroundings.

So, the next time you start to feel out of sorts, take a moment and ask yourself: is it really you? Or are you currently living in a place that cannot help you achieve your goals and success? Are you compromising yourself? Perhaps you’ve discovered that you’re living somewhere that you refer to as a “holding pattern” or “transition place”. You need to be careful that this “transition place” does not turn into some long-term prison sentence, as one of my prior LA apartments did for me a while back. It was a place that I initially vowed would only be for one year, yet I wound up staying for seven.

You also want to make sure that you associate and surround yourself with people that provide you with support and positive energy. Unfortunately, a lot of people in our society are not pursuing their dreams. As a result, these same people are incredibly bitter and negative.

There is an old saying: “Misery loves company”. You need to energetically avoid these people if they do not resonate with you in a positive way.

This past June, I decided to move back to Indiana because I wanted to re-charge my batteries. So what are you going to do to reverse the effects of your so-called mood poisoning?