Looking for Joy

September 15, 2009

Joy. It’s a tiny word but a great feeling. A feeling that we should have control over.

I see so many people who have no dominion over their feeling states. They have conceded to a system of living based on what is happening in their lives rather than being in control. If things are going well, they feel well, if things are not going well, they do not feel well.

That is a very unhealthy roller coaster method of living.

I know from my own life that we have the power to control our own state of being. There is a way to find joy regardless of the cards being dealt to us and the circumstances we find ourselves in.

You just have to look for it. Are you looking hard enough?

Professional Independence

September 8, 2009

Although the rate of unemployment continues to rise, Americans with “job security” are still not happy at work.

A recent survey by the Harris Group of North America finds that 76% of gainfully employed Americans do not see opportunities to get ahead and grow, furthermore, 78% say that their employer often fails to retain talent. These are real indicators of an unhappy workforce.

This can be attributed to a general unhappiness with our professional choices and a “grass is greener” perception of the working life. We often assume that people that work in professions other than ours live the good life. But the reality is that other fields of employment are also overgrown with the weeds of dissatisfaction.

I want to empower people to branch out and create their own work environments – to get started with self-employment and become entrepreneurs. I have been self-employed for the past 17 years and now is the best time to get out there and start a business.

It is time to get out from underneath other people’s dreams and aspirations. Stop the treadmill of using your talents to move forward the economic well being of someone else’s business or corporation.

That’s what I have been doing for the past 17 years and I’ve never looked back.

Happy Tuesday!

Aim For The Sky

September 1, 2009

The summer has been amazing – trips to Hawaii, Orlando and the good old New jersey Shore. All three combined business and pleasure. And as a result of these trips, I have developed a more powerful focus on the contributions I intend to make to society. I have become a founding member of a personal transformation and educational company: The Polaris Media Group.

This organization will be at the forefront of positive change in our society.

I am excited because the media so often reduces the human experience to its negative aspects and being able to provide a media experience that helps people find their voice in a positive manner has immensely invigorated me.

I have been an optimist for a long time. I have always had a belief that anything is possible if we perceive life through a positive lens. My own books and soon to be released audio programs will continue to spread that message.

I now am a member of the Polaris Media Group and the platform has exploded – our line of personal development tools is perfectly in-sync with the message that I have been putting out for years.

I am ready to launch with new power and enthusiasm.

It is imperative at this time in the history of the world to not settle for mediocrity. It is time to step out with a voice that says I AM POWERFUL AND I PLAN TO MAKE A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO MY FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS.

However, that starts with getting your own house in order. We must first quiet the inner voice that limits us. Once that happens, the sky truly becomes the only limit.

Look out world, The Miracles of Optimism are ready to be unleashed in a huge way.

Aim for the sky!

What are you waiting for?

July 21, 2009

There literally is no time like the present. The past is a quick glance in the rear view mirror and the future is a gift waiting for us to arrive at it. So many people waste the present by lamenting the good old days even if they weren’t so good.

A lot of folks engage in a bit of revisionist history when looking back. It is the ego’s entrenched method of keeping us out of the only thing that matters: THE PRESENT MOMENT.

The future is used by the ego as a mechanism that provides relief; for example – oh just wait things will be better when _______,(fill in the blank).

If you would like to ensure a bright, happy, vibrant and prosperous future, use the present moment to manifest it.

If you just start by visualizing your perfect day and then solicit a feeling state of what it feels like to have a PERFECT DAY, you will pull that experience toward you. Even if your present circumstance seems somewhat hopeless, try inventing a bright future.

Right here. Right now.

Really, try it.

The Life Of Your Dreams

July 15, 2009

There are more solutions than there are problems.

That’s true for any situation and it is an important fact to remember if you want to live a life with vibrancy.

If you are able to trust that concept, it becomes easy not to drain your energy each and every time a bump in the road occurs. It is important not to tap into frustration, anxiety, anger and other negative feeling states when attempting to seek a resolution to a challenge. Doing so results in you conceding your feeling state to a given situation or circumstance: the outcome of that is a roller-coaster existence that relies on events outside of yourself to feel joy and happiness.

Not fun.

If things are going well, you feel good, if things are not going well, you feel bad. Since a full life includes both things we deem good and things we deem bad, it behooves you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are more solutions than problems so that you are fully supported by the universe.

All you need to do is take the right actions to solve the challenge without depleting your energy. Being optimistic is a byproduct of just knowing that all is well in this great big wonderful world we live in.

I hope you’re having a great week!

Now More Than Ever – Postponed Bliss

June 15, 2009

This is a tale of two people who took different paths in their lives. One worked his entire life in a career he did not like. In fact during the past 20 years, he stated numerous times that he was working towards retirement. He really wanted to be a teacher but being a lawyer provided him more financial stability. He put up with a daily grind that he had distain for because he was able to sock money away in his 401(k) and just count the hours, days, weeks and years until he could cash in the money earned with blood, sweat and tears.

He would then start to really live his life.

Then the 401(k) went down the tubes with the economic meltdown.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have another friend who has never felt like he worked a day in his life. Every time the field he was passionate about became boring or seemed like a grind he changed careers. He’s an entrepreneur and changed the nature of his small business each time he felt it was time for a new challenge.

He refused to wait until the future to “live his life”, so he lived each day to the fullest. He has always made a decent living and his enterprise still has saying power. He accomplished that without ever sacrificing a day in the present on the altar of the future.

I see so many people bitter over what they have lost. I hear so many of them lamenting the fact that they toiled for years and earned the right to retire. They sacrificed their present and worked toward the benefits of life after work. Unfortunately, things didn’t fall into place as hoped.

Not fair.

Nevertheless, this provides a profound message for those who want to heed it. Do not postpone your bliss because there is no guarantee beyond the present moment.

DO NOT BECOME A LAWYER IF TEACHING IS WHAT YOUR HEART SCREAMS FOR.

Both of these people have about the same amount of money now. Both are in their late to early 50’s and 60’s. One is living a life where the “best laid plans” failed him while the other lives each day like it is his last.

Happy Monday and seize the day my friends!

Emotional Stimulus Package – Part II

May 25, 2009

Stop paying attention to what you think is the “truth” about the economy. That’s the first step to take in order to notice that the sky is the limit for the life of your dreams.

Stop asking yourself “How am I ever going to realize my dreams with such an economy?” The question “HOW?” has limited humans from realizing their dreams like no other word in the English language. Your very own personal stimulus package resides right inside your soul. Go in and release the energy. Get the energy out into the universe and stimulate your own emotional well being.

Do not limit yourself in any way. You have the power to be and do as you desire. The Buddha said “all that we are is a result of what we have thought.” Nothing just happens to us: there are no coincidences. Everything that has ever happened and will happen has been manifested to us through our thoughts and feelings.

All that’s left for you to do is to be optimistic and let your emotional stimulus package bail you out; trust me, optimism breeds miracles.

Happy Memorial Day to all and a big heartfelt Thank You to our brave troops across the world!

Fear

May 19, 2009

I see so many people put breaks on their goals because of fear. Some are afraid of failure, while others are afraid of success. Crazy but true.

The ego wants to keep all of us right where we are. It is threatened by change of any kind. For example, if you have played the role of the victim most of your life, meaning you have given away your personal power to negative conditions or circumstances, the last thing your ego wants is for you to succeed. The ego doesn’t want change.

That’s why it is very important to use fear to propel you forward, rather than to paralyze you into inactivity and compliance to the ego’s whims. Overcoming fear by staying committed, persistent and consistent can provide the emotional intensity needed to support you as you move to attain your goals.

Have a great week and fight your fears with optimism!

Goals & Self-Sabotage – Your Inner Voice

May 7, 2009

When I conduct workshops, participants often ask me to help them set goals. I usually suggest that they write about the things they may be doing that inadvertently prevent their goals from being realized. In other words, what are the internal messages that are impeding their progress?

When I was writing my first book, The Miracle of Optimism, I monitored the inner voice that was speaking to me when I had a case of the proverbial “writers block.” What I discovered was that the block simply was internal sabotage. I was telling myself things like “I do not have time to sit and write a book” or “How will I ever find a publisher?”. Another recurring internal message was “you are stupid, remember most of your teachers told you that!”

I had to get rid of this self-sabotage mechanism.

I started writing affirmations to support my goals. I found this to be a powerful method to release some of the negative thoughts and feeling states. I would write statements that made me feel like a powerful bestselling author: things such as “The Miracle of Optimism is finished, published and sold!”

I wrote an affirming statement for every goal I set and the bookended up becoming a bestseller on Amazon.com. That is a tribute to the power of affirmations in support of a stated goal.

If it worked for me it can surely work for you.

What is your inner voice saying?

Priorities

May 4, 2009

I just finished helping a teacher/coach client of mine with an incredibly tough task. I had to help him write a eulogy he will deliver tomorrow for one of his players. A player I knew well. We both cried as we talked about the “why’s” of tragedies such as these. An 18 year old killed in a car while driving after having too much to drink; driving too fast and without a seat belt. These last two days have prompted me to reflect on our educational system’s misplaced priorities.

I lament about the possibilities of this young man if the Life Success program that I conducted in his school had not been cut from the budget; he would have been enrolled in that program. Is it more important that we make sure our students “test” well in science and math so we can keep up with the world while not making it a priority to teach the proper life skills? We live in a fast paced society and young people need to be equipped with the proper decision making skills to keep up with the monumental amount of life altering decisions they make on a daily basis.

Today, I cannot help but think that this young man would be alive today if my progressive program for working with young people had not been cut. However, I will not dwell on it because it would be a waste of time and energy.

I am optimistic that teaching Life Success will be a priority in schools all across the nation in the near future. I intend to be a catalyst for that occurring. As I finish writing this tonight and head out to the wake to say goodbye to this young man I am sad. Tomorrow I will be more determined than ever to initiate change.

Emotional Stimulus Package

April 27, 2009

Managing your emotional economy is a vital component to living a vibrant life during these tough times. In order to do so, you need to put aside your 401K and mortgage worries, and know that we live in an abundant universe. The key is to believe; optimism is your emotional stimulus package.

Worrying, being afraid and anxious are the attitudes that block abundance and excellence. Managing your emotional economy means that you understand the inherent value that an optimistic outlook has on your life. It means that you are aware that optimism is a powerful state of being to exist in if you want to remain full of energy and vibrancy.

Maintaining a positive perspective at all times is a breeding ground for great things to happen. Negative emotional states are equivalent to having weeds in a garden; they make it difficult to render beautiful fruit, or abundance.

Think about it, we know that negativity breeds negativity. This is why optimism is your emotional stimulus package and unlike the economic one, you don’t need anyone’s approval to pass it: All you need to do is believe.

We have to believe folks. Happy Monday!

No News Is Good News

April 23, 2009

During my workshops, I challenge people to swear off all news media for a week. Cold turkey. I ask them to check in on their energy level each day and by the end of the week, they’re all more energetic as they haven’t been absorbing the media’s constant stream of negativity.

It is a bio-spiritual fact that bad news are emotionally draining. It’s a fact that while viewing, hearing or reading about robberies, murders and rapes, we release hormones, such as cortisol, which damage our minds, bodies and spirits.

When my mother asks “how do you know what is going on if you do not watch the news or read the newspaper?”, I tell her that I do know what’s going on: someone was murdered, the financial community cheated someone and we are at war with someone. Right?

I do not watch the TV news broadcasts. I have trained myself to only read articles with a positive vibe. I do scan the internet for optimism filled stories because I know they are out there.

It may seem like I live in a bubble, but that’s not the case; I just refuse to flood my system with negativity every day.

Life is too short. I want to enjoy it.

What do you think?

How can the public remain sane when the media goes wild?

April 15, 2009

It takes a certain level of detachment to not get sucked into the speculation and gossip-filled circus that is considered news nowadays. Most of the so called “truth” is based on opinions and assumptions, and therefore lacks true substance.

This poses a serious threat.

It becomes a problem when a pundit’s assumption or opinion is espoused as the “truth” by a group of people who refuse to second guess said pundit. In this age of widespread punditry, anyone that hears the “news” can become an expert through osmosis.

Individuals take a pundit’s assumption to heart, spread it as factual information among their circles, which in turn continue to propagate them under the false idea that they are “news.”

Talk radio is a great example of this seriously flawed cycle and format of news circulation: it turns the “truth” into an assumption gone wild.

It is important to be critical and to second-guess the media we consume; if not, we become actors in this spectacle of gossip, opinion and assumptions masquerading as news.

It’s a very vicious circle.

This is why it is imperative to not believe everything we hear and see, because even though the media has gone wild, the public must preserve its sanity.

Are you still sane?

Appreciating Parenthood

April 10, 2009

It is very important for parents to understand that parenting does not always reveal immediate results. Our children often immediately reject the lessons we strive to teach them. The key is to focus on the quality of the process and not attach ourselves to the outcome.

It can take children of all ages a while to understand the benefits of good parenting. A sure fire pathway to stressful living is to measure your success as a parent solely on whether or not your children are getting it.

Additionally, it is imperative that parents ritualize silence and reflection. In other words, setting a time and a place to stay quiet, breathe deeply and internalize appreciation for our children and ourselves. Intentional appreciation is a powerful bio-spiritual tool for restoring energy, and having an optimistic outlook on life and parenthood.

We must enjoy the journey because it is the destination in and of itself.

Have a great weekend!

Giving & Receiving

April 7, 2009

Receiving has always been difficult for me. I feel like I must “do” something to earn the right to receive anything from anyone.

I am in a giving profession and I personally give a lot of myself to others. I am not in the habit of receiving unconditionally. Nevertheless, one thing I am beginning to realize is that giving is a way to keep receiving. When offered an unencumbered gift, I must possess a deep rooted measure of self worth in order to be comfortable with accepting said gift.

It really is all about feeling worthy. I don’t think I am 100% there yet. A lifetime flurry of giving has blocked the receiving for me up until now. But now I feel ready to be tested and receive without condition.

Not that I will stop giving but I am in a receiving mood, how about you?

Discipline

April 2, 2009

It takes a measure of consistency to stay on the road to inspiration, optimism and miracles. All successful spiritual travelers employ a ritual that ensures that their hearts and minds remain open to all the good that life has in store for us.

Since miracles know no time, it is important to persevere if things are not happening on our own schedule. That is where optimism comes in. It is of paramount importance to remain optimistic even when our backs are against the wall.

A ritual I highly recommend is to make a list of all the people, places and things that you are grateful for. Appreciating and recognizing the good that is already in your life puts you in a position to welcome even greater.

Try it. It works, I promise.

Believe in Miracles

March 31, 2009

Miracles. Believing in them is the best path to optimism. I always tell people that miracles come in big and small packages and their perceived size is unimportant. The key is to have the self-awareness to recognize everyday miracles instead of dismissing them as coincidences.

There is no such thing as a coincidence.

The next step is to be in the state of gratitude for all these miracles: big and small. The self-awareness will keep us in touch with our thoughts. With our feelings and emotions. When these thoughts, feelings and emotions are focused on the possibilities of good, they open a portal for a flood of miracles to make their way into our lives.

When you start to to recognize the miracles, then you begin to live each and every day with unbridled energy in a feeling state called, you guessed it, optimism.

Dream and Imagine

March 26, 2009

Do not be afraid to dream. To imagine. Respect the power of creating. Know anything is possible.

As a young person growing up in abject poverty, I had a ritual every night before I went to sleep: put my head on the window sill in my bedroom and gaze out into the darkness. I would imagine having all the food I could eat, my father getting a job and actually keeping it for more than a week or two. I also pictured myself as a college basketball coach.

All of these dreams came to fruition.

While speaking at a meeting for Fox Entertainment, I inspired them to see things not as they seem, but to find the window sill in their lives and dream a better future. I urged them to appreciate the magic of everyday miracles. Pay more attention to them. Value them. Enjoy the adventure of living life to its fullest. Lessen the focus on end results and focus on the journey: the real pearl of optimistic living.

Strive to feel real joy in your life. How? Stop accumulating stress. How do you stop accumulating stress? Realize that optimism is an “inside’ job. Let go of external conditions and circumstance. Change on the inside first, and then the conditions and circumstances will look different on the outside.

Recognize the difference between excellence and success. Excellence is a total integration of mind, body and spirit. Nothing can rob you of that; whether you succeed or not. Success is often subject to changing conditions and circumstances you can’t control. Effort is not.

Just Dream, Imagine and Do.

I trust, I know, I am abundant

March 24, 2009

Today is the first day in a long time in which I felt free to write. Thanks to those of you who continued to check in.

I was addressing a group of students from Kean University in New Jersey recently and we were discussing how to preserve optimism during this economic crisis. They were concerned about not being able to find work upon their graduation. I shared with them that as future leaders, it is important to be resilient and demonstrate perseverance during challenging times. By being in a state of fear and frustration, they lose the ability to inspire others.

A great way to maintain the ability to be a source of inspiration is to give.

Look for opportunities to contribute. Give what you can: time, money, your personal resources or talents. This is the way an optimist says to the universe, “I trust, I know, I am abundant.” This is the kind of selfless behavior that a leader should exhibit.

My family and I went to the grocery store on Sunday and purchased food to donate to the food bank. My daughters loved it. It felt great!! So give without conditions, the wealth you receive back cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

Thanks for tuning in!

My Motivation

February 17, 2009

This evening I’ll be talking to self-help professionals on The Miracle Show, in order to give you guys a glimpse into what drives them, what distinguishes them from their peers and what they bring to the table. In honor of tonight’s show, here’s a glimpse into what drives me to do this work.

I met this young woman after I nearly died on the floor of the Linc Stadium. The school district gave me a job while I got back up on my feet.

I’ve had such an amazing and blessed life.Thanks for reading.

“I am a former student of Kevin Touhey. My journey began about six years ago when I was a Junior in High School. Kevin worked in my High School part time at that time. I pretty much went there “part time” as well, being that I frequently cut class, left early or just left for the day. I had been around the same peers for several years and I never really had a problem getting along with others…except one “clique” of boys. Quite honestly, I was fed up with their immature ways of poking fun and laughing when they put others down. However, if this clique did not exist…neither would this e-mail because this is how I met “Mr. Touhey.”

It was the end of my Junior Year and I had just been “dumped” by “Jimmy.” For about a week, every time I would sit in class with him or his friends, they would try really hard to aggravate me. A few days later…I walked in to the main office DRENCHED in red Gatorade! My administrator called in Mr. Touhey to find this Jimmy kid in class, and bring him to the office.

Long story short, I met Touhey that day and every day for the next 6 weeks as he was pretty much my bodyguard as he says. He was told by my administrator that he would walk me to and from every, single class! I started talking to Touhey in the halls on our short walks. After about 6 weeks I felt like I had a friend.

My senior year, Touhey worked as a gym teacher and he was my gym teacher. I would talk to him about his book (he was in the process of writing the Miracle of Optimism), he would talk about his family that he loves so very much! I remember how excited he was when they had their second baby girl.

At the end of my senior year, I graduated High School and went to college. I did not see Touhey for about five years….Until, Halloween Parade at the end of October 2008. I had no clue he lived close by five years later. So, when I was walking around that evening I was SHOCKED because I thought I saw Mr. Touhey. I literally pulled my husband’s arm so hard it startled him and he had no idea what I was so on about. “MR. TOUHEY…TOUHEY” I yelled and I felt like everyone was staring at me. So, I walk up and give him a hug and introduce my husband. “Touhey guess what?! He is a cop” I said, “Can you believe that of all people I married a cop?” Kevin’s response is so classic: “Great! Now you have a bodyguard to walk you around 24-7!”

It is so ironic how people come in and out of your life. I started talking about my career as I am working with an insurance company now and I asked about his. I knew for years that he could and should make it as a writer, and he did which made me ecstatic! When Kevin said he was still doing motivational speaking I knew that I had to ask him to speak at one of my company’s events.

So, back to my boss I went and they agreed to have him as the motivational speaker at our State Kick Off event in early January 2009. It was the best hour of the entire day as we all sat and listened. Not one person got up, left the room, or took their eyes off of Touhey. We all cried at one point or another because what he was saying was so inspirational, moving and life-changing.

Touhey had about three standing ovations! We all brought home a signed copy of the best book I have ever read in my entire life…The Miracle of Optimism By: Kevin Touhey; an Amazon top seller written and published by a miracle…Mr. Touhey…my bodyguard!”

Positive Energy

February 12, 2009

I recently spoke to the NJDMA ( New Jersey Dietary Managers Association) and was delighted to see the eagerness of the group to learn new ways to inspire and motivate their staff. They were very in tune with the idea that any change they want to see take place, starts with themselves. They firmly understood that accepting their responsibility as leaders to be vibrant and joyful would rub off on the staff.

There will always be bumps in the road, but it is the way we handle them that sets the tone and example for those that look to us as leaders. Bringing positive energy along in every facet of our lives, not just the good times, is an attitude which has the power to not only improve our lives, but also the lives of the people around us.

Positive energy is not about always smiling or being happy, it is about seeing the good in every situation we face. No matter how bleak it may be. At times, such an attitude can be very hard to maintain, but who said life was easy?

FYI: My most sincere apologies for the postponed self-help panel. I will make sure to inform you as soon as a new date and time are established.

Self-Help Panel – Why & How We Do It

February 3, 2009

Catch me Wednesday evening on The Miracle Show where I will premiere my self-help round-table series: Why & How We Do It. I decided to organize this panel because as I was writing my book, The Miracle of Optimism, I came across numerous other individuals, whom like myself, are dedicating their lives to making other people’s lives better. They are dedicating their time to teaching us how to handle the lemons life throws at us. They genuinely want us to embrace and take full advantage of the opportunities life presents us with.

I want to discuss what drives them. I want to understand how their journey on this path started and most importantly, what differentiates them from the others in this field. Because, as I am sure you have realized, there is a lot of clutter. This show will help these professionals break through it and let you, the audience, understand what they can do for you. It will help you understand what they bring to the self-help table.

The first episode will feature Laurie Santos of Extreme Dream Training, Thomas Rich of Wellness-Inspired Self Help and The Logistician Reggie Greene.

I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow, Wednesday February 4th at 7:30 EST. The call in number is (347) 945-7713, I’d love to hear your questions and comments.

“See” you tomorrow!

Ritualize Positive Thinking

January 20, 2009

A belief is nothing more than a thought that occurs numerous times. That thought then becomes what a person believes to be a truth.

A great tool for optimistic living is to train yourself to think different thoughts over and over again.  Set up a ritual to be silent, and bring to your mind positive thoughts about  situations that seem to be challenging. Think and FEEL the positive resolution.

Do it repeatedly. Make it a habit.

Thinking and feeling positively will formulate a different set of beliefs about those challenging situations. Go ahead, try it.

I dare you.

Pivot Away From Negativity

January 6, 2009

With every new year, comes a new rhyme and here’s mine: 2009, the time is right to feel fine.

Are you smiling yet?

I coached college basketball for many years and one of the most important fundamental skills I would repeatedly teach is the ability to pivot. When a player runs into a situation in which their desired path is blocked, they must pivot away from the defender(s) and put themselves in a position to maneuver freely again.

The same is true for feeling states.

If you find yourself in a negative frame of mind, it would behoove you to learn how to pivot into something more positive. It takes practice. In my speeches, I always tell the audience to learn to trap all negative feelings right then right now, and pivot away from them.

The next step is to immediately replace those feelings with something more positive, something powerful. Notice the change and remember how good it feels to have positive thoughts. Stop waiting for something to happen to change your mood; develop the ability to pivot by practicing with each negative feeling state.

Practice makes perfect.

An Athlete’s Responsibility

December 17, 2008

While speaking with a group of athletes last week on the responsibility to be a leader,  I was taken aback by how attentive the group was. I think we are entering an era of endless possibilities for molding the integrity of today’s athlete.

I find them so ready and willing to hear about how it is they can become better people while they improve as players. I am currently working on my second book,  Competing with Compassion, and I am encouraged by the fact that its message will be well received by this generation of athletes.

I find that these young men and women want to contribute to others, they want to sacrifice for the team and learn how to lead their teammates. They want to know how to be a better, more centered person as well as a high achieving athlete.

This is great stuff! It gives me a lot to look forward to as a sports fan.

Good News Travels Slowly

December 15, 2008

I was recently doing a coaching session in one of the long term care facilities I work in, and it occurred to me how much people want to be included and appreciated.

In The Miracle of Optimism, I theorized that all humans need to be provided with three basic elements so personal growth can take place. Those elements are 1)giving and receiving appreciation, 2) feeling inclusion in the communities they are a part of and 3) receiving and giving consistency in their interaction.

Especially emotional consistency.

Each and every time I conduct a session it amazes me how much the employees crave those three elements. I am also grateful that I am able to witness them showing each other appreciation. To watch a face light up when a co-worker shares a story of how an action taken by another was appreciated is inspirational. It amazed that so many of the employees had never received positive feedback from their co-workers.

Why can we so readily share/spread gossip and negativity and so rarely share appreciation?

Personal Growth Through Sports

December 11, 2008

Yesterday I stood in front of 50 athletes and coaches and talked to them about their responsibility as students, athletes and leaders. I stressed the idea that sports have to be about more than the games being played.

When we reduce the lofty teaching potential of athletic participation to the score of the games, we have lost a chance for personal growth.

Athletes have the responsibility to show courage in their decision making. Leaders have to sometimes be like the eagle. The eagle does not flock with the crowd; it stands alone with pride. Athletes are under a microscope with others watching their every move, this means that they must move about with a high level of integrity.

They have the unique chance under public scrutiny to blend mind body and spirit with a unity of purpose like no other venue. We the public hold athletes to very high standards, and rightfully so. Applying the same standards to our personal lives will foster personal growth.

It will make us better individuals. Stronger individuals.

Imagination is Everything

December 9, 2008

The most limiting question you can ask yourself is “how is this going to happen?” If I had asked myself how I was going to write a book, have a family, live in this house and raise my children I would have been stopped in my tracks.

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything, it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”I would add, be sure you are in a positive state of mind while imagining/visualizing the life of your dreams.

These aren’t pipe dreams. They are real dreams.

Do not limit yourself in any way. You have the power to be and do as you desire. “What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists” said Alexander Graham Bell.

So begin to see your future right now and feel it.

My life is a living testimony that “whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve.” Nothing just happens to us, there are no coincidences and everything that has ever happened and will happen has been manifested to us through our thoughts.

Imagine and achieve. The sky truly is the limit.

Intentional Appreciation

December 5, 2008

Happy Friday everyone!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, appreciation and gratitude are topics that I like discussing. The reason behind this is that acknowledging the great things that we have going on in our lives is essential to our growth as humans.

Gratitude and appreciation are  power tools that help us build a joyful, abundant and optimistic life. This can be done right here and right now. Learning to generate these feelings in real time, no matter how the situation appears, is a key concept in healing and releasing old wounds and perceived problems. When you develop the practical and spiritual tools of being grateful and appreciative for all that comes your way, you’re on the path to a blissful, energy-packed life.

Even if your life is functioning fairly well but lacks a little of the zest and zeal you desire, gratitude and appreciation, generated on purpose and with intention will ignite your soul like nothing else.

We live in a very stressful and fast-paced society. It’s easy to accumulate negative emotions from the little day-to-day interruptions of peace in our lives. Gratitude and appreciation will help us look at those interruptions as gifts.

Learning to use gratitude and appreciation within a practical ritual is what helped me deal with the many hardships I faced  in life. I was able to snatch the pearl out of each and every incident by ritualizing the feeling state of appreciation.

We must learn to turn feeling appreciative and grateful into a habit. It’s about as healthy as a habit can get.

Have a great weekend!

Staying Optimistic During Tough Times

December 3, 2008

In the last couple weeks I spoke to high school students and business people alike. I am always amazed at how the audience receives the message of hope I deliver in those speeches.

They always ask questions about some of the personal stories I reveal in my book. They find it hard to believe that I was able to hold a level of optimism given some of the trying conditions of my youth (abject poverty, extreme instability…). I always share with those who attend that feeling good and holding a place for hope and optimism is an inside job.

No other person or event should control how they respond on the inside to outside circumstances. No matter how hard life’s punches are, we can decide to remain positive through the pain.

That includes tough economic times, losing a game or any other challenge. Each of us can learn to hold dominion over our internal feeling state. Once we learn how to do that, life becomes much less stressful and much more beautiful.


A Positive Belief System

November 24, 2008

Happy Monday folks! I hope you’re starting your week on the right foot. I hope you’ve planned to feel good and do great today.

It is impossible to live a vibrant, happy life without developing an optimistic belief about what is possible for you in your life. What you believe about yourself can lead to either a life filled with joy and happiness or a life striving to overcome erroneous perceptions of personal weaknesses.

Every person has the power to develop a positive belief system, no matter what others have taught you to the contrary. You can develop a more empowering system of beliefs that will embolden you to expect a life filled with all the abundance you desire.

You can use this positive belief system to break the shackles of disempowering messages you have received about who you are. You can then develop feelings about yourself that propel you to take actions that assure your happiness. If you have beliefs that are holding you back, it is time to question the validity of those beliefs.

That time is now.

Have  a GREAT Monday.

Appreciation and Gratitude

November 21, 2008

It’s Friday. The end of the workweek (or school week) for most of us. After going through another week filled with a seemingly interminable list of challenges, it seemed like Friday couldn’t come fast enough. Well, here it is. Now it’s time to be grateful and appreciative.Your body, mind and soul will thank you.

Appreciation combines thankfulness, admiration and gratitude. Scientists have discovered that appreciation is one of the easiest and most powerful positive feelings to activate. When an individual taps into the positive feelings of appreciation, he allows himself the chance  to see the big picture. This is true even in stressful moments.

Each person has the ability to reach the highest level of his or her potential when connected to more positive, heartfelt states like appreciation and gratitude. Activating appreciation and gratitude allows you to be totally focused, maintaining high levels of energy.

Appreciation is a super-power tool for your own growth Appreciating what is, rather than focusing on and complaining about what isn’t, helps you make peace in the moment. Appreciation is also one of the easiest heart frequencies to shift into. You’ll feel the difference fast.

I told you your body, mind and soul will thank you.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Creating High Personal Standards

November 19, 2008

Boundaries and standards work hand in hand. Personal growth is really inhibited without high standards and strong boundaries. Boundaries protect you from other people’s behaviors. Standards are behaviors and actions to which you hold yourself.

It is important to understand that boundaries are a tool to keep people and situations at a reasonable distance emotionally so that they don’t drain your energy. When you establish strong boundaries, fear diminishes and you are able to trust on a deeper level.

By setting boundaries, you are telling others how you want to be treated. More often than not, these actions and attitudes increase the level of respect you get from others. By knowing what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior toward you, others will naturally treat you with more respect.

Setting high personal standards is a way of living that keeps you from living according to the whims, beliefs, and goals of others and of society. Standards are a statement about who you are and how you behave.

With that said, what are your boundaries? What are your standards?

Creative Problem Solving

November 17, 2008

It’s a new week. Whether you’ll be spending most of it at work, school or home, new challenges are just around the corner. Running away from them does not help. Stressing over them won’t do you any good either. The good news is that there is a right way to handle them.

It’s all about perception.

When you combine positive thinking, creative enthusiasm and optimism with the proper perspective, there are few challenges that can’t be resolved.

When we cultivate an attitude of turning every stumbling block into a stepping stone or making every breakdown an opportunity for a breakthrough, we learn that problems are temporary. Very few problems need to be permanent. Your own attitude will determine this.

Here’s a great question to ask yourself when you perceive a challenging situation: Can I really do anything about the problem? Is it worth the effort or is it just an emotional reaction?

Getting those answers allow us to look at the big picture. They allow us to grow.

The Burden of Expectations

November 14, 2008

Expectations are a heavy burden to carry. The more we expect out of something or someone, the higher our chances of disappointment become.

Nobody likes disappointment. A way to avoid it is to shift our mentality from that of having expectations to one of looking for possibilities.

Possibilities are open-ended and lead to more opportunities; whereas expectations are met/satisfied or not. With nothing in between, no gray area. They’re a heavy burden to carry because having them always leaves room for disappointment, sadness and/or heartbreak.

Looking for possibilities instead of having expectations allows us to adjust our goals and maintain a positive outlook on what the future holds.

It allows us to look at life in an entirely different way: If great things happen, it’s wonderful; but if our interactions and work don’t bring immediate rewards, everything is fine regardless because the possibility of reaping them down the road is still there.

Doesn’t this mentality make life much more enjoyable? Much less stressful?

Have a beautiful weekend!

Live Life On Purpose

November 12, 2008

Yesterday I spoke at a long term care facility in Philly. I was interacting with care-givers, nurses and administrators. The main topic of conversation or question we were addressing was, ‘how do you maintain enthusiasm and optimism when dealing with sick people?’ There are inevitable stresses that come when working in such an environment; in spite of that, there are ways to effectively handle them. Anticipation is the key.

One of the points I made was that instead of starting the day with ‘to do lists’, it was more effective to begin them with ‘to feel lists’. It is important to spend some time before work setting the tone for how we are going to feel during the day. Being able to anticipate or launch pre-emptive strikes against upcoming challenges is crucial.

Such preparation allows us to decide and dictate how we are going to feel, it puts us in control. Letting workplace highs and lows determine our emotional state is unhealthy for the mind, body and spirit. We must have dominion over our feelings.

We must make a choice to live life on purpose and not by accident.

We must make a choice to be happy.

Personal Empowerment: Success vs. Excellence

November 11, 2008

Living your values creates personal power. Having a philosophy and taking actions based on this philosophy provides you with a sense of certainty, an inner peace and a powerful inner strength. It is important to set goals that are reflective of your true values. If you are setting and achieving goals that are not based on what you really want to accomplish in life, you may feel unfulfilled.

Success is a tangible measurement of results based on the actions you have taken. Excellence is more about the inner workings of your spirit as you travel on the road toward a successful outcome. It is the process or journey of getting there. Excellence is about the day-to-day, minute-to-minute passion of your life’s direction. The end result of a journey full of values based on excellence will reflect love, contribution, peace and serenity. These attributes will provide the basis for true joy while you travel on the road to success. Money, success, career and all the other tangible benefits have a deeper meaning when you are attached to excellence.

True value clarification makes your actions more meaningful and rewarding. True fulfillment and enrichment comes with your right actions based on excellence values. It is common for people to achieve their “success” goals and then wonder, “is this it? Is this all there is?”

It doesn’t have to be.

Progress

November 7, 2008

There’s no standing still in life. You’re either progressing or regressing. Viewing every circumstance and situation as an opportunity for personal growth, will lead to living the optimistic life of your dreams.

It will lead to progress.

In fact, remaining optimistic through good and bad times will lead to tremendous personal growth. Such an outlook brings about a confidence that every hurdle can be jumped and it will always lead to an integration of mind, body & spirit.

More progress.

When this switch in perspective takes place, your life will change to something beyond your wildest dreams.

Are you ready for progress?

A Better Future

November 6, 2008

October was a very interesting month. Pessimistic sentiments and optimistic hopes were present in the various venues where I gave speeches and performed workshops.

I spoke in front of 3500 potential college bound students and their families at Kean University and sensed the young people’s enthusiasm.  In spite of increasing college costs and a soft job market, it was refreshing to see the “anything is possible” look in the students’ eyes. They were truly excited about the possibilities that lie in the future.

Conversely,  in the corporate world I found that many employees were overtaken by feelings of uncertainty. My message to them was that keeping an optimistic view about what is possible is even more important in these challenging times. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Knowing that makes the journey more enriching.

What do you think?

The Science of Happiness

November 3, 2008

The Institute of HeartMath research shows that the ‘stress’ hormone, cortisol, is released from the same glands as the ‘feel good’ hormone, DHEA.

We may have been trained to think that it is normal to have negative feelings about the challenges we face in life, but feelings of gratitude and appreciation are a more natural state of being. The well-being of the mind, body and spirit is profoundly enhanced when we are in an optimistic state of mind.

In her book, 5 Gifts for an Abundant Life,  Diane Harmony writes “when we are truly expressing appreciation for someone or something, there is a feeling that radiates from us that has its origins in our heart. The phrase ‘heartfelt thanks’ best describes the energy associated with authentic acts of gratitude which bring even more gifts.”

This is compound appreciation. It creates a very positive energy field all around us and others in our presence.

Start planting the seeds in your positive energy field today!

Forgiveness

October 31, 2008

“Forgiveness is the greatest healer of all.” – Gerald Jampolsky and Diane Cirincione

I understand that forgiveness is no easy task. This is espescially true of the most important aspect of real forgiveness: forgiveness of self.

The ego screams loudly and clearly that we should focus on all the wrongdoers in our lives. I can assure you from personal experience that if you are able to hod up a mirror and be forgiving to yourself, you are on the path to true freedom. You will be unable to move forward on your path to real personal growth if you are full of blame and condemnation.

The path to peace of mind and optimistic living has its foundation in forgiveness above all else. Holding on to resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die.

It is always about you.

It is your responsibility to move out of past hurts and into the true bliss of the present; without the excess baggage of condemnation.

Forgive and forget.

Have a beautiful weekend.

It’s All About The Journey

October 29, 2008

The past few days have been very busy for me. I’ve done workshops with 3 sports teams and a major hospital in Philadelphia.  I also conducted four sessions with a few different departments at the Borgata/Water Club Casino Hotel.

I did “Sports Gone Wild” yesterday and it went really well. My guests were great and the conversation was quite spirited.  My main argument was that there is too much of an emphasis on the outcome, while not enough of it is placed  on the journey when it comes to sports nowadays.  It is important to set outcome goals, but the real valuable lessons for personal growth are attained during the journey itself. Regardless of the end result.

Whether the ultimate goal is higher profits or being number one, the  focus should be placed on what we learn about ourselves along the way.  With every challenge that is faced, an individual either takes a step forward (a win) or a step backward (a loss).

Reaching an undesired outcome doesn’t have to negate the learning that has taken place.

What do you think?

Your Life’s Vision

October 27, 2008

Most people think that having a vision is about the future. However, to truly make your vision powerful, it is important to bring the feeling state you desire for it, into the present. Present-day life planning is much more focused when it is a natural extension of our vision of the future. This is especially true when you are able to access the feeling state that the future can provide, right here, right now.

Let your vision fly; do not block its path with limitations based on past experience.

When you have a clear vision for your career path, relationships, family and community, it is easier to develop a day-to-day life plan. It is important to step “out of the box” of your present circumstance when envisioning your future.

Visioning is about creating a new, fresh reality. The sky is the limit. You do not need to fixate on one single vision. Play with it and have fun. Your vision and life plan will evolve and become an absolute reality if you live in the present moment.

Start today.

Have a great Monday!

Identifying and Achieving Goals

October 24, 2008

It is very important to set attainable goals.  Setting goals that are too high can lead to a tremendous amount of frustration and ultimately, failure. No one wants that.

A good way to experience success and strengthen the goal-setting muscle is to use a three-step creative goal setting approach. Set and monitor long-term goals or outcome goals and do the same for mid-term or performance goals and short-term or task goals.

While setting goals, look at the end or outcome first and then work backwards.

Performance goals are important for consistent measurements of whether or not you are giving yourself the maximum chance of achieving outcome goals.

Task goals are where champions live and breathe.

What do you think? How do you set goals and how do you know if they’re good?

Values & Priorities

October 23, 2008

Most people are not clear on what is truly important to them. Because almost every life decision is guided by our values, it is imperative to identify them. Your personal power, self-esteem, and ability to build a strong personal foundation are derived from having your life values and life actions in alignment.

When you identify your core values and begin to live by them, you can reach the deepest level of personal fulfillment. There is a tremendous power in living your life by your highest ideals. Inner peace, long range happiness, and a sense of certain direction are all results of knowing what is important in your life.

In case you are not entirely sure as to what your core values are, here are a few questions that could help you identify them:

1) What are the most important things in your life?

2) In what ways is your decision-making process affected by your values?

3) What do you think your values need to be in order to create the personal empowerment you need to reach your ultimate goals in life?

4) Whom do you admire and what values do they exemplify?

Being able to answer those questions will enable you to make decisions that are a better reflection of who you are.

Got Powerful Living?

October 18, 2008

I assure you that I am not 100% happy and smiling all the time. I have challenging days; but when you live your life with an optimist’s outlook, those rough spots seem so much smoother!

Permanent optimism comes from knowing that there is not a situation in your life that has not been invited to the party by you. When you assume 100% of the responsibility, you are adopting a formula for powerful living.

Our ego likes to tell us that we are only in charge of the good stuff, while the challenging things are brought on by others. The ego likes to justify.

We have to stop making excuses though. We have to take charge. We must embrace the power of knowing that we are in control of our lives.

That’s powerful living.

The Inside Job

October 15, 2008

Feeling great is an inside job. It happens inside the core of our souls. It happens when we stop allowing the situations and conditions of life to dictate the way we feel inside.

Developing an optimistic nature can help you stay centered when life happens, because you’d be cheating yourself if you were only grateful for the good things in life. It is very important to be in a constant state of appreciation and gratitude, regardless of the circumstances we face. Having such an outlook is essential because many of the unfortunate situations we come accross, mask the pearls of personal growth.

On that note, I’ll leave you with a very powerful and beautiful quote from S. Heller:

“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear that results from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured,  we would not have produced the pearl.”

Find the pearls and cherish them.

Sports Has Gone Wild!

October 10, 2008

There are many factors that have led us to the place where sports are out of control. In essence, SPORTS HAS GONE WILD! I am not going to point fingers at coaches, parents or players specifically. Each of these groups are contributing to the problems. The condition of sports today is a vicious cycle. There are no points to a circle, so the issues are interlocked. The basic underlying motivation in sports today is ego driven. The ego is in charge, justifying the end at the sacrifice of the means, is behind the actions of the principles involved. There are a few major changes over the past twenty years that contribute to the fact that sports has gone wild. They are parental involvement, the college recruiting craze and the players lack of self-responsibility. In general, there is a lack of civility existing in the year 2008 that is unprecedented.

The Power of Angels

January 7, 2011

Once again I had another topic in mind but my mom landed in the hospital again and I wanted to share that experience with you all. After I got the call that my 88 year old mom was rushed to the hospital again I got in the car and started the 2 hour drive to visit her in the hospital. She had just spent time at Dover General Hospital last week so I headed there. My brother Dennis called and told me that there was no room at Dover General so they they transported her to St. Claire’s Hospital. I said ok and headed there instead.

As I drove up the New Jersey Turnpike blasting a live CD version of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here tears started streaming down my face. At one point I considered pulling over because the tears were flooding and blurring my vision. Just then I felt a shiver down my spine and felt the spiritual presence of having company in the car with me. Just a feeling, nothing visual.

My tears stopped and I just stayed present in the moment feeling this presence. The number 50 kept popping into my mind. I turned the CD a little louder as the song Comfortably Numb came on. As I was listening and driving the number 50 remained in my consciousness. Then it hit me and I turned the CD off.

What I was feeling was the Spiritual Energy of my Angelic little sister Regina. Of course my mother had to be deferred to St. Claires. Of course it appeared that there was no room at the Inn,i.e. Dover General. It then occurred to me that 50 years ago this month my sister Regina passed away at St. Claire’s Hospital. My parents were unable to get to the hospital in time to say goodbye and little Regina passed to the other side alone. In fact, my mom did not go to the hospital at all, she broke down and could not bring herself to go. My father went to the hospital alone. He held my little baby sister of 18 months and siad goodbye for both of them.

So The Power of This Little Angel Regina brought my mom to St. Claire. When I arrived at the hospital I went to the front desk and said I am here to visit my mom, Hilda Touhey. They looked at the screen and said we are sorry she has been admitted to Dover General and she is in room 420. The two hospitals are owned by the same company and share information with each other. I said no she is here. The women then called the emergency room and found my mom there.

My brother Tim had gone to Dover General and got the same information that my mom was there but she was not in her room yet. Eventually they came and told him,for some reason we have her booked here but she seems to be in the emergency room at St. Claire’s.

And so it is this Little Angel has her mom in the hospital with her 50 years after she left earth. To watch over her, to be sure she gets the best care. I do not know what is going to happen with my mom. She has just recieved her third transfusion and the doctors are not sure what is going on. Whatever happens I know she is in good hands in the spiritual world. She has Regina Margaret Touhey watching over her.

My Mom’s Gift, What is Really Important

January 2, 2011

I had another topic in mind to get my Blog up and running again in the first days of 2011.Then my 88 year old mom ended up in the hospital and I decided to write about that experience instead. My mother has such incredible faith, strength and fortitiude that I was humbled just being with her in the hospital. She had a goal in mind. That being to get out of the hospital and to get home. Her mind-body and spirit were focused on that singular outcome. However the spiritual gift she was about to bestow on me was huge. As she sat up in bed I rubbed her back she said, “oh that feels good” I told her I loved her and admired her.

She had raised 9 children and put one child to eternal rest, her dear daughter Regina. She did her best to raise us in spite of the fact that my dad could not hold a job and that he suffered with alcoholism. As I watched her sleep thoughts and feelings about the deep faith she must have had in God flooded my being. I t took faith to get through the ordeal of trying to feed us, being evicted from 9 dwellings for not paying the rent, trying to control, the best she knew how, the threat of violence that existed in our home. I had this sense of what God really wants us to learn with this earthly experience in the most profound manner possible. I felt this comforting spirit overcome my being, this peaceful state of stillness and inner quite.

My mother was conducting a church service for me while I sat with her watching her sleep. Through this seemingly negative situation, of her being in the hospital, the Holy Spirit was paying a visit to the inner workings of my soul. A message penetrating the trival nature of my mundane thoughts about my life and what I am facing. The only altar my mom needed for this church service was the hospital bed and the comfort of her own nightwear that my sister brought her from home. My pew for the service was a rather uncomfortable chair, well from what I remember of church pews, I guess the chair was soft as a pillow. As she delivered her silent sermom, her gift was recieved by my being, my heart, my soul my spirtual center. I felt an angelic voice ask me “What is really important Kevin? Is what troubles you really worth the time you are giving it? Does it take away energy away from what you are here on earth to do, to use your God given gifts to provide inspiration for others? Do you really think all of this wordly stuff is truly hard?” I felt this shiver run down my spine as I recieved the following message ” Here lies your mother, a testimony to What is Really Important” Here in this singular moment with my mom, as she slept, a peace came over me. Church was over as she opened her eyes and smiled at her me,her oldest son,and closed her eyes again.

I was then joined by my brothers Brian and Dennis, “the older boys” as we are refered to,there are 3 “younger boys” also. The church lesson had been recieved, in this singular moment my mothers work of making sure we understood that our love for each other is What is Really Important. The comfort I felt while the three of us talked and laughed together is hard to describe. It occured to me that mom’s hospital stay was orchestrated by the heavens. I needed to attend church with mom and my two brothers to drive home the spirtual lesson of What is Really Important. When mom awoke and sat up my brother Brian asked her, “Mom, what is is like to have your three oldest son’s with you” She responded with a smile “It is like heaven”

In life Our Spiritual Relationships each other is What is Really Important. Each and every interaction and situation with others that we find ourselves in is an opportuntiy to grow in our own spirituality.The only reason, on this level of being, that we have interactions is the opportunity to grow in our own spirituality.Thanks for the gift Mom, I love you.

Coming Soon

December 29, 2010

I have been away for a while. I wrote a new book The Agony of Winning. That book has been published and I am back to Blogging. I will be posting again starting January 2nd.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.

Kevin


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