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!

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.