November 23rd, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

10 Great Privileges We Forget to Be Thankful For

10 Privileges We Forget to Be Thankful For

Even in times of uncertainty – even when life seems far from perfect – it’s always important to keep things in perspective.

Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.
― Henry David Thoreau

  1. You are alive.
  2. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
  3. You didn’t go to sleep outside.
  4. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.
  5. You haven’t spent a minute in fear for your life.
  6. You know someone who loves you.
  7. You have access to clean drinking water.
  8. You have access to medical care.
  9. You have access to the Internet.
  10. You can read.

Some might say you are incredibly wealthy and privileged, so remember to be Keep reading →

November 16th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

9 Good Reminders that Will Change the Way You Think

9 Good Reminders that Will Change the Way You Think

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.  It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein

“This morning, nearly five years after my husband’s passing, a beautiful couple and their three kids knocked on my front door.  The man smiled and said, “Your husband was my heart donor.  He saved my life.  Not a single day has gone by that I don’t pray for him and think of you.  Thank you!”

This is the opening paragraph right out of an email I received today from a reader named, Colleen.  She goes on to admit that she couldn’t see any positive sides of her husband’s death, until she was staring at them on her door step.  “It doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it certainly changed the way I think.  I feel like a small piece of my broken heart has healed.”

And the truth is, it happens just like that.  Although Colleen’s experience is unique, and somewhat extreme, at some point life slaps all of us with a good reminder that shifts our perspective.  Personally, I have been slapped with several of these reminders over the years.   And today, I want to pass a few of them along to you…

Reminder:  Have you checked out our book?  We just released a new bundle pack for “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently” which includes our eBook, audio book, paperback and bonus material on sale for a big discount.  Click here to check it out!

  1. Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now. – Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time.  Sometimes these circumstances knock you down, hard.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.  Because our most significant opportunities are often found in times of great difficulty.  Thus, you will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle. Keep reading →

November 12th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

The 10 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today

The 10 Most Important Questions You Can Ask Yourself Today

At the end of the day, the questions we ask ourselves determine the type of people we become.

When you’ve been running a successful personal development blog and life coaching business for the better part of a decade, one thing becomes crystal clear:

Everyone has the same basic wants and needs.

No kidding, over the years Angel and I have gotten to know thousands of people of different ethnic backgrounds, from different cities and countries, who live at various socioeconomic levels, and trust me, every one of us basically wants the same things.  We want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment, money, and hopes for a better future.  The way we pursue these needs is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.

Think about it.  If I ask you, “Quickly, in one sentence, what do you want most out of life?” I bet your rushed response is going to be something like, “I want to be happy, and have a healthy family, and a career I like that pays well, etc.”  Your response is going to be so common and ubiquitous that it basically doesn’t even mean anything.  Which is precisely why senseless, happy-go-lucky questions like this aren’t very helpful.  And yet, this is precisely the kind of questions we often ask ourselves.

So what kind of questions might you ask instead?  Questions that force you into a corner.  Questions that help you embrace the sacrifices it takes to get where you want to go.  Questions that motivate you to focus on the next step forward.  In other words, questions like…

  1. What is worth suffering for? – If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs.  If you want the six-pack abs, you have to want the sweat, the sore muscles, the early mornings at the gym, and the low carb meals.  If you want the successful business, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business deals and decisions, and the possibility of failing fifty times to learn what you need to know to succeed.  If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is just an idealization, a fantasy, and a false promise.  Maybe you don’t actually want it at all, because you’re not willing to suffer though the work it’s going to take to achieve it. Keep reading →

November 9th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

9 Negative Thoughts that Push People Away from You

9 Negative Thoughts that Push People Away from You

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think another negative thought.

In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients and students enrolled in our Getting Back to Happy course every month.  Through this experience, we often see the same exact negative thinking patterns tearing otherwise healthy individuals apart.  And we’ve witnessed, firsthand, the devastation this negativity causes to their personal and professional growth, and to their relationships.

But let’s be honest, we all get our minds stuck in the gutter sometimes.  None of us are immune to the negative thoughts that creep up in the backs of our minds.  However, that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to them.  Whether your negative thinking is a common occurrence, or just a once in a while phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re thinking negatively, and consciously shift your mindset from negative to positive.

Here are nine of the most common negative thoughts we see people struggle with, and some tips to get back on track:

  1. “I need to be exactly who they want me to be.” – Life offers you a priceless opportunity in every single moment to see and experience Who You Really Are.  Seize it!  Sometimes we get completely lost in trying to live life for others, trying to meet their expectations, doing things just to impress them.  Take a moment now and stop yourself.  Are you doing things because you truly believe in them?  Remember your own needs and goals.  Remember who YOU are.  Live, do and love so that you are happy too, because when it comes down to it, you can’t be true to others unless you are true to yourself first. Keep reading →

November 4th, 2014 - by: Angel Chernoff

A Simple Thing You Can Do Today that Will Make You Happier

A Simple Thing You Can Do Today that Will Make You Happier

You know you are on the right track in life when you become disinterested in looking back, and eager to take the next step.

Think about that for a moment, and ask yourself: What does my happiness feel like?

Over the years, Marc and I have asked you to join us in examining the relationship between happiness and hardship.  Hardship feels easy to define – a season of financial struggle, a time of personal loss, a period of life marked by tragedies – as the source of ongoing frustration in our lives.  But happiness?  What exactly is the emotion we call happiness and why do we crave it so badly?

When trying to define happiness, it’s tempting to adopt the “I’ll know it when I see it” mindset.  I have no doubt that you will – but Marc and I challenge you to dig a bit deeper.  Take just a moment to write down 2–3 specific action steps that you know make you feel happy.

These are what I have written down.  For me, my happiness comes from time spent with my loved ones and on the work I deem important.  Spending quality, uninterrupted time with Marc and our son Mac brings me great joy.  I also find that I am flush with happiness after I’ve conquered a long blog post or read a heartfelt email from a long-time reader.

But here’s the real secret to happiness: what makes me happy may not make you happy.  Perhaps your true happiness comes in the silence of an afternoon of meditation, or maybe you find happiness at the end of a long hike up a mountain.  Where you find joy is not as important as understanding how Keep reading →

November 2nd, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

One Question that Will Free You from Judgments and Drama

One Question that Will Free You from Judgements and Drama

If you listen closely to your intuition you will always know what is “best” for you, because what is best for you is what is true for you.

Your body has five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.  But not to be ignored are the inner senses of your soul: intuition, foresight, and self-trust.  The most common differences between happy and unhappy people lie in their use of these inner senses.  So many people don’t know anything about them though, while others rely on their inner senses just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.  And this makes all the difference in the world.

The senses of your soul help you express your whole truth, and being true to yourself takes work, because it’s so easy to get sidetracked and influenced by others.  It’s easy to get caught up in the drama.  You have to put in the effort and stand strong every day to honor your own ideas, feelings, intuitions and aspirations.

When you add more of your self into your daily actions and decisions, your sense of self-worth (your TRUE self) blooms.  That is the path to a happier, truer, more wholesome YOU.

So today, I challenge you to make this your lifelong motto: “I respectfully do not care.”  Say it to anyone who passes judgment on something you strongly believe in or something that makes you who you are.  People will inevitable judge you at Keep reading →

October 29th, 2014 - by: Angel Chernoff

6 Ways to Stop Jealousy from Breaking Your Heart

6 Ways to Stop Jealousy from Breaking Your Heart

“Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy.  For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex.  Yippee.”
―J.R. Ward

Truth be told, sometimes we have to let go of what’s killing us, even if it’s killing us to let go.  And jealousy is one of these things we must let go, no matter how hard it is.

Because jealousy is a disease; love is a healthy condition.  The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - when in fact, they are completely incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.

Excessive jealousy doesn’t tell someone how much you love them; it tells them how much you dislike yourself.  And no amount of love, or promises, or proof from them will ever be enough to make you feel better.  For those broken pieces you carry, are pieces you must mend for yourself.  Happiness is an inside job.  Deep down you know this is true.

If you don’t address your jealousy, it can lead to all kinds of frustration and unhappiness.  It starts small and spreads like a disease.  That’s why it’s so important to address it and overcome it in your relationships ASAP, before things get worse and completely out of control. Keep reading →

October 26th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

2 Secret Tricks of Highly Productive, Self-Disciplined People

2 Secret Tricks of Highly Productive, Self-Disciplined People

Instead of complaining about your circumstances, get busy creating new ones.  You either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

I used to call Joe a genius – everyone did.  At school we all thought of him as an incredibly “gifted” guitarist and he’s since gone on to travel the world making a very good living at what he loves to do.

Joe and I became good friends toward the end of high school, and that’s when I learned the truth.  I stayed over at his house one night and was awakened at 6am on a Sunday morning by the harmonious strum of his acoustic guitar.  “What are you doing up?” I yawned.  “It’s six in the morning.”

“I always start the day with two hours of practice and do two more hours in the afternoon or evening.  If I didn’t I’d be hopeless,” Joe said.

At that moment it hit me: Joe was gifted, but this was a gift that had started out very small, perhaps even invisible to most people, but then he had added, built upon, and massively extended it.  Joe had developed his gift through self-discipline.

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate self-discipline as an invisible magic.  You can’t see, taste, or smell it, but its effects are unmistakable.  It can transform overweight into slim, uninformed into expert, poor into rich, and misery into happiness.  It’s the submerged part of the iceberg others don’t see when they see a person’s “genius.”

For example, celebrities have never been more visible in our culture.  Famous athletes, talented actors and actresses, and incredible musicians are all over the Keep reading →

October 19th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

18 Great Reminders When You’re Having a Bad Day

18 Great Reminders When You’re Having a Bad Day

Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before.  Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clear vision again.

Last night I had a long conversation with my wise, 71-year-old dad about living and growing through adversity.  One of the last things he said before we got off the phone resonated with me so much, I wrote it down:

“It’s been my experience that most people aren’t truly happy until they’ve had many reasons to be sad.  I believe this is because it takes all of those bad days and hardships to teach us how to truly appreciate what we have.  It builds our resilience.”

Honestly, I don’t think it gets any closer to the truth than that.

Not every day is good, but there is something good about every day.  It takes a strong person to see the positive on down days.  The key, I have learned, lies in letting go.  It’s about realizing that, except for your own thoughts, there’s nothing that’s absolutely in your power.  Knowing and accepting this gives you the ability to cope effectively with life’s constant stream of little tragedies – an aptitude we call resilience.

Ultimately, you can fight life, you can do nothing but complain about what you’re missing, or you can accept everything you have and put it together to create something worth smiling about.

So with this in mind, here are some good things to keep in mind when you’re having a bad day:

  1. The right attitude is the one thing you need right now. – What you focus on changes everything.  Don’t look back when you know you shouldn’t.  Don’t worry about what you can’t control.  Don’t stress over unimportant things.  Be positive.  Seriously, the most underrated trait of all successful people I’ve ever met is positivity.  Your attitude directly determines how well you live your life.  You simply can’t live a positive life with a negative attitude.  Don’t let mental blocks control you.  Set yourself free. Confront your negativity and turn the mental blocks into building blocks. Keep reading →

October 12th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

27 Stressful Things You Tolerate Too Often

27 Stressful Things You Tolerate Too Often

Life is to be enjoyed and appreciated, not endured and tolerated.

In life, unnecessary tolerations can bleed you of energy and make it impossible for you to function effectively.  You can’t live a happy, successful, fulfilling life when you’re spending all your energy tolerating things that shouldn’t be tolerated.  Sometimes you need to put your foot down.

In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients, book readers and blog subscribers (subscribe here) every month who have been tolerating the wrong things for far too long.  If you feel like you have been too, here are some things to stop tolerating in your life:

  1. A negative attitude – Choose to be unhappy and you will find a million reasons to complain and frown.  Choose to be happy and you will find a million reasons to smile.
  2. Drama circles – Don’t get caught up in judging and gossiping.  Don’t give in to the negativity and drama around you.  Be positive.  Give people a piece of your heart rather than a piece of your mind.  Life is too short to be spent talking about people and stirring up trouble that has no substance.  Instead, get caught up in being thankful and being way nicer than necessary. Keep reading →