August 17th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

25 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough

25 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.  Because it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
―Maya Angelou

Oftentimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.  In fact, if the road you’re traveling is always easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.  Some part of you knows this is true.  Nevertheless, when life gets especially rough, it can be hard to remember.

So print this post out and let it remind you that, in the darkest moments, every failure is only a necessary step toward success, every discovery of what is wrong directs you toward what is right, every arduous trial today exhausts some tempting form of future mistake, and every adversity will only hide, for a short time, your ultimate path to happiness and success.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when life gets rough:

  1. It is your resistance to “what is” that causes your suffering. – Remember, happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with “what is,” rather than wishing for and worrying about “what is not.”  “What is” is what’s supposed to be, or it would not be.  The rest is just you, arguing with life.  Think about that for a minute.  This means your suffering only ever occurs when you resist how things are.  You cannot control everything that happens to you; you can only control the way you respond to what happens.  In your response is your power.
  2. Where you are right now is a necessary step. – Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on our ideals, that it is not where we should be or want to be.  But the truth is, where you are right now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow. Keep reading →

August 13th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

10 Choices You Won’t Regret in 10 Years

10 Choices You Won’t Regret in 10 Years

I don’t regret the things I’ve done.
I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.

In the end, more than anything else, we regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were too afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.

Think about it…

The big opportunity you procrastinated on.  That friend you never called.  Those important words you left unspoken.

You know what I’m talking about.

Every one of us has experienced feelings of regret.  But it’s not too late to set things straight.  We’re still here breathing.  Today we have an opportunity to change tomorrow.  Right now we can choose to erase regret from our later years.

It’s time to make the best of each and every day.  Here are some ideas to get you started – ten things you can start doing now that you won’t regret 10 years down the road:

  1. Explore what YOU love, and own it. – If you spend your life trying to define yourself by what someone else loves, you’re going to be miserable.  Try things – try everything.  Explore.  See what makes you hear music inside and what makes your heart swell, and then go do it.  Find out everything you can about it.  Find other people who love it too.  If you waste time pretending to like something just because other people you think are “cool” like it, you’re going to end up with the wrong people and circumstances in your life.  Love what you love and be yourself, and you will end up with a lifestyle and relationships that make you truly happy. Keep reading →

August 10th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away From You

12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away From You

Your behavior is a little thing that makes a big difference.

In our line of work, Angel and I hear from hundreds of coaching clients every month.  Through this experience, we’ve come across scores of toxic behaviors that push people away from each other.  And we’ve witnessed the devastation these behaviors cause – to relationships, to personal and professional growth, and to the general well-being of both the individual behaving negatively, and to everyone in their life.

Let’s be honest – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another.  None of us are immune to occasional toxic mood swings, but many people are more evolved, balanced and aware, and such occurrences happen only rarely in their lives.

Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or just a once in a blue moon phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving negatively, and consciously shift your mindset when necessary.

The twelve most common toxic behaviors we see are:

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. Being envious of everyone else. – Don’t let envy (or jealously) get the best of you.  Envy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  There is nothing attractive or admirable about this behavior.  So stop comparing your journey with everyone else’s.  Your journey is YOUR journey, NOT a competition.  You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.  If you want to measure your progress, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Keep reading →

August 6th, 2014 - by: Angel Chernoff

40 Things We Forget To Thank Our Best Friends For

40 Things We Forget To Thank Our Best Friends For

I don’t need a certain number of friends,
just a number of friends I can be certain of.

Some of my best friends are family, some I’ve known since I was a kid, and others are newer friendships that continue to grow stronger by the day.  Although they are all very different, every one of them is extraordinary.  I wouldn’t be who I am today without these people in my life.  And despite the fact that I know this, I often take my best friends for granted.  I forget to thank them, for almost everything.  So here’s my attempt at setting the record straight:

  1. “Thank you for making so many ordinary moments, extraordinary.” – Yes, sometimes the most ordinary things can be made extraordinary, just by doing them with the right people.
  2. “Thank you for always giving me the extra push I need.” – A best friend is someone who will inspire you to be who you always knew you could be.  Keep this in mind.  Anyone who helps you make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through kindness, commitment and teamwork, is a keeper.
  3. “Thank you for telling me the truth.” – Remember, being honest might not always get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones.  Too many of us prefer gentle lies to hard truths.  But make no mistake, in the end it’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.  Best friends tell each other the truth, always. Keep reading →

August 3rd, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

20 Bad Excuses Holding Good People Back

20 Excuses Standing Between You and What You Want

Live by choice, not by chance.  Make changes, not excuses.  Be motivated, not manipulated.  Work to excel, not compete.  Choose to listen to your inner voice, not the jumbled opinions of everyone else.

Over the years, likely without your conscious knowledge, you have adopted self-limiting beliefs that are quietly sabotaging your best efforts for personal growth.  If you pay close attention to your self-talk, these beliefs will reveal themselves in the form of excuses.

Truth be told, if you really want something, you will find a way.  If you don’t, you will find an excuse… and then you will live with that excuse every day of your life.

This is precisely what makes so many of us unhappy.

Angel and I speak with hundreds of coaching clients and blog subscribers (subscribe here) every month, and this one self-defeating ailment always rears its ugly head eventually – excuses, excuses, excuses.  And I’m not above the excuses either.  I catch myself making them sometimes too.  But that’s the key – we have to catch ourselves before our excuses become hopeless regrets.

So let this be your wake-up call.

Stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen.

NO more negativity.  NO more laziness.  NO more quick fixes.  NO more blaming others.  NO more “I’ll do it tomorrows.”  NO MORE OF THESE EXCUSES:

  1. “It’s too late.” – It’s never too late to live a life that makes you proud.  If you don’t learn anything else from this post, learn that.  We get one shot at this.  There’s no age limit on changing your course, and to settle in and be stuck in a life that isn’t authentic is a tragic waste.   Honestly, it’s never too late or too early to be who you are capable of being.  There’s no time limit – you can simply start and stop whenever you want.  You can change or stay the same.  You can make the best or the worst of it.  It’s up to you, so make the best of it.  Do things that startle you.  Feel things you’ve never felt before.  Spend time with people who help you grow.  Live a life you’re proud of.  And if you find that you’re not, have the courage to make a change. Keep reading →

July 30th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

10 Toxic Relationships Mentally Strong People Avoid

10 Types of Toxic Relationships Mentally Strong People Avoid

All failed relationships hurt, but letting go of a toxic relationship is actually a gain, not a loss.

As youngsters we learn about sex education in grade school, the legality of marriage in our late teens, and perhaps some social psychology in college.  But when it comes down to actually handling the intricacies of real-world relationships, we’re given very little formal guidance… or worse, we’re given advice columns in online beauty magazines.

Yes, relationships are trial-and-error from the get-go.  And if you’re like most of us, you’ve experienced plenty of error along the way.

A big part of the problem is that many toxic relationship behaviors are baked right into our culture.  We worship the idea of carefree romantic love – you know, where two people ride off into the sunset happily ever after before they even truly know each other.  And we are raised to objectify our relationships and guard them like personal property.  Thus, our friends and lovers are often treated as assets rather than human beings of free will with whom to share true love and emotional support.

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of scientific research into healthy and happy relationships over the past few decades that have allowed people in the know to build their mental strength against toxic relationships and toxic relationship behaviors.  And that’s exactly what I want to share with you today – ten common types of toxic relationships mentally strong people learn to avoid:

1.  Relationships run by one person.

A relationship is toxic when one person is running it.  Period.

When you feel out of control or a little lost it can be tempting to look for someone willing to take charge of your life for you, just to alleviate the pressure.  But before you do consider this: If you put a collar around your own neck and hand the leash to someone else, you’ll have no say about where they lead you in life.

We should never feel powerless or trapped in a relationship.  In fact, if either person feels powerless or trapped, the relationship doesn’t really exist.  Because that’s what relationships are all about: freedom. Keep reading →

July 27th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

18 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be

18 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be

Life is not complex.  We are complex.  Life is simple,
and the simple thing is the right thing.
―Oscar Wilde

When we were young life was easier, right?  I know sometimes it seems that way.  But the truth is life still is easy.  It always will be.  The only difference is we’re older, and the older we get, the harder we make things for ourselves.

You see, when we were young we saw the world through simple, hopeful eyes.  We knew what we wanted and we had no biases or concealed agendas.  We liked people who smiled.  We avoided people who frowned.  We ate when we were hungry, drank when we were thirsty, and slept when we were tired.

As we grew older our minds became gradually disillusioned by negative external influences.  At some point we began to hesitate and question our instincts.  When a new obstacle or growing pain arose, we stumbled and fell down.  This happened several times.  Eventually we decided we didn’t want to fall again, but rather than solving the problem that caused us to fall, we avoided it all together.

As a result, we ate comfort food and drank alcohol to numb our wounds and fill our voids.  We worked late nights on purpose to avoid unresolved conflicts at home.  We started holding grudges, playing mind games, and subtly deceiving others and ourselves to get ahead.  And when it didn’t work out, we lived above our means, used lies to cover up lies, and ate and drank some more just to make ourselves feel better again.

Over the course of time, we made our lives harder and harder, and we started losing touch with who we really are and what we really need.

If you’re nodding your head, here are some ways you’re likely making your life harder than it has to be, and some ideas on simplifying things:

  1. You look to everyone else for the answers only you can give yourself. – For much of our lives – especially at the beginning – we get told what do, how to think, what looks good, what “success” is, etc.  You don’t have to buy into any of it anymore.  Feel free to peel back the layers.  Think for yourself.  Listen to your Self.  Break the mold.  When you stop doing what everybody else wants you to do and start following your own intuition, you will find exactly what you are looking for. Keep reading →

July 23rd, 2014 - by: Angel Chernoff

12 Things You Need to Remind Yourself of When You Wake Up

12 Things You Need to Remind Yourself of When You Wake Up

Each morning is a brand new opportunity.  What you do today is what matters most.  Today is another chance to get it right.

We may not always love everything about our lives, but deep down we do love and appreciate the magic of life itself.  Some part of us believes that everything and anything is possible.

Sadly, though, we don’t always believe these possibilities are within our reach, even when they are.  The problem is we choose to believe otherwise.  We choose to believe we are incapable of living our lives the way we want to live them, at our full potential.  We choose to accept our reality as others have told us it has to be.

Wake up!

We don’t have to do this to ourselves – none of us do.  We have a choice.  We don’t have to be complacent.  We don’t have to fall into line.  Why not stir things up a bit and live by better rules?

It’s time to remind yourself of a few key truths – right now and every morning hereafter:

  1. Today can be great, but only if you make it so. – Why do we often feel so powerless?  Because we convince ourselves that we are.  We wait for things to be given to us – entitlements.  But in life, there are no true entitlements, and the truth is that if you want something then you need to make it happen for yourself.  You need to work for it.  Whether or not today is a great day doesn’t depend on the weather.  It doesn’t depend on your “mood” (that’s also within your control).  It doesn’t depend on anyone else.  If you want to have a pleasant and productive day then choose to have one.  It’s all about your perception and what you choose to believe and do.
  2. There is a lot you CAN control. – There are plenty of things in life that are out of our control, but don’t let this fool you into believing that your life as a whole is out of your control.  The reality is, the life you are living is almost entirely by your own design.  You have made many little choices along the way that led you down the road you’re currently traveling.  Saying that your life is out of your control is a copout – it’s what other people want you to believe so that they have an easier time getting you to do what they want you to do. Keep reading →

July 20th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

10 Things Happy People Never Do Again

10 Things Happy People Never Do Again

“Happiness is not a goal; it’s the by-product of a life well lived.”
―Eleanor Roosevelt

We all make mistakes in life, but the people who learn and grow from their mistakes are the happiest ones in the end.

And that’s precisely what we discuss in today’s video…

Video Blog Post:

10 Things Happy People Never Do Again (video transcript):

Life is change.  Everyone has gone through something that has changed them in a way that prevents them from being the same person they once were.  But as my grandmother always told me, this is a very good thing.  As long as you keep learning and stretching yourself, change is growth.

Sometimes you have to accept the fact that things will never go back to how they used to be, and that this ending is really a new beginning.

Over the past decade, Angel and I have helped thousands of coaching clients and blog subscribers (subscribe here) get their lives back on track.  In the process of doing so, we have discovered that the people who have the greatest potential for renewed happiness seem to have specific “aha” moments that totally change the trajectory of their thoughts and behaviors.  Once this “aha” light bulb goes off in their minds, they awaken to a new reality that motivates them to never go back to their old way of doing things.

In short, these “aha” moments mean they got it.  Whatever it was they were doing or thinking that was holding them back, is now a lesson learned and a thing of the past.

Although life has many important lessons to teach us, Angel and I have observed and studied ten specific gateways – or “aha’s” – of learning that the happiest people go through, never to return again.

Happy people never again…

  1. Try to be anyone other than who they are. – In everything you do, you must ask, “Why am I doing this?  Is this helping me grow?  Does it represent who I am and who I hope to become?”  Truth be told, trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Be yourself.  Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Keep reading →

July 16th, 2014 - by: Marc Chernoff

16 Reasons You’re Succeeding in Life (Even If You Don’t Feel You Are)

16 Reasons You're Succeeding in Life (Even If You Don't Feel You Are)

It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.

At times we all feel less than successful.  We feel like we’re running in place, struggling to make even the slightest bit of progress.  And while this is a perfectly normal feeling, you have to ultimately break free from it and see yourself and your life in a more positive light.

The key is to pay attention to the small things.  Just because you’re not where you want to be, doesn’t mean you’re a failure.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.  To be truly happy and successful today doesn’t mean you don’t desire more in the future, it means you are sincerely thankful for what you have already accomplished and patient for everything yet to come.

Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that are going well in your life at the moment.  As you fall asleep every night, fill your mind with an appreciation for all the small things that went well during the day.  Examine your daily successes.

Give the power of your thinking to the positive influences in your life, and they will grow stronger and more influential every day.  Remind yourself of what works well and why, and you’ll naturally find ways to make lots of other things work well too.  The most efficient way to enjoy more success in life is not to obsess yourself with what hasn’t worked, but instead to extend and expand upon the success you already know.

Here are some much-needed reminders – sixteen good reasons you’re already succeeding in life:

  1. You are walking your own path, not anyone else’s. – One of the most foundational sources of both success and happiness is simply being comfortable with who you really are.  Not trading your reality for a role or your truth for an act.  Not giving up your freedom of thought.  Not putting on a mask.  So never let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama or negativity stop you.  If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must continue to be different from the world.  Don’t be scared to walk alone on your own path, and don’t be scared to like it. Keep reading →