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.


What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

That was the question my Pepperdine University Leadership Professor, Vance Caesar, asked me and my fellow doctoral students during one of our classes eight years ago.

I recently put that question to the test this past June when I dropped everything and moved from Los Angeles, California, to Bloomington, Indiana. For the past 22 years, I was fortunate to have created a successful career in the music industry; however, I was not following my true creative path.

Seven years ago, I became restless. I knew I was ready for a new challenge, but I didn’t want to leave my job and have to start all over again somewhere else after so many years. That is what I told myself, but the truth was: I was afraid. I had spent so many years doing things that never made me happy, while at the same time completely letting go of my creative pursuits which was why I moved to Los Angeles in the first place.

Last October, my frustration came to a head when I found myself overweight, under-utilized at work, and completely unhappy living in Los Angeles. It was Mark Twain who once said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” I had finally had enough.

When I started to work on my exit plan, I began to think about ways that I could use both my long overdue creative talents along with my acquired leadership skills to help others. I started to really focus on my strengths and what I wanted to do next. I began seeking the help and advice of friends and professionals.

Within six months, I lost 50 pounds, guest-lectured at Indiana University, ran 2 marathons and 6 half-marathons, left my record company job, and made the decision to move back to Bloomington, Indiana, where I went to graduate school to pursue teaching and consulting opportunities. It would be the perfect way to merge my creative and leadership abilities.

When I sat down and took the time to reflect on what I really wanted, I quickly came to realize that my true passions lie in educating young adults on topics such as leadership, self-esteem, goal-setting, personal finance and investing.

When I moved back to Bloomington in June, not only did I feel calmer, I was more at peace. In the past two months, I have met with several interesting people at Indiana University about future teaching and consulting opportunities—just as I planned., I got my old DJ job back at 92.3 WTTS-FM, and I am about to release my first e-book on investing, as well as publish my first educational book for young adults entitled Growing Success: A Young Adult’s Guide to Personal and Financial Success.

So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? Are you following a path that makes you happy? If not, what could you do right now to change?

Go ahead! Take some action and make that change today!