Winning the Lottery of Life: Do you realize just how lucky you are to be alive?

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Did you know that the odds of you being born as yourself are more than 1 in 400 trillion?

Without breaking down the numbers, it’s apparent that those odds are straight up impossible.

Yet, you exist.

It’s easy to go through life without taking this into consideration, but think about these facts for a second.

Many many decades ago your great grandparents as well as their great grandparents and so on, magically came together to produce their children. Eventually down the line, this resulted in two people from different family trees, who out of all the other people in the world that could meet each other, came together to become your parents and produce you.

How crazy and bizarre is that? Had one minor thought, action, twist or accident happened that resulted in a different turn of direction, you wouldn’t be who you are today.

While we all go through ups and downs throughout our lives, at the very core of our existence it’s vital for us to understand that we have truly won the lottery of life.

Because we have done so, it’s essential to remember that when the going gets tough…when life is seemingly not going our way…when the odds are stacked against us and it feels as though there’s no possible resolution…that we have the most precious gift called life.

Also, for however the amount of comfort this may bring, or for a more clearer sense of reality on your situation, don’t forget that whatever it is that you may be going through, there’s always someone who is 10 times more worse off.

We don’t get to decide our circumstances early on, but it’s in our power to take massive action to change them for the better as we grow up.

It’s easier said than done, but if you can learn to instill in your mind that you are truly one of a kind, and that you are absolutely a miracle in every sense of the word, you can get through any and every obstacle that life throws at you with strength, confidence and dignity.

“Make sure you live your life like you won the biggest lottery ever, because you already did!” – ME

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Obtaining Eternal Inner Peace through the Magic of Meditation

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We’ve discussed how to slow down in today’s busy world through recognizing your thinking patterns and implementing basic breathing exercises at times when you’re overwhelmed.

In addition, we’ve dug into the impact of reflecting and how you can learn to sit back inside of your mind and dissociate from “being” your thoughts. How you can teach yourself to simply watch and observe every thought that pops up as they come and go, without judgement. And how through this awareness, you can then extract subconscious thoughts from within and connect important and sometimes life discovering dots together.

Today I wanted to focus attention on the practice of meditation, which is another unbelievable tool that can be applied to obtain a deep sense of inner peace, awareness and gratitude. It offers a wide array of health benefits and can truly help slow you down in every sense of the meaning, especially when you feel like you’re going 100 miles an hour on all cylinders.

Through meditation you can achieve a state of mindfulness where you’re fully aware and immersed within the present moment. Through diligent practice, during this unique and incredible moment in time (it could last for only a split second) your thoughts magically (and temporarily, of course) pause.

You become so focused on the act of meditating that your thought machine quietly shuts down and takes a much needed break.

Now let me ask you a few questions: 

When’s the last time you weren’t in a rush?

When’s the last time you intentionally went an hour without picking up your phone during the day?

The hidden human superpower in this day and age is being AWARE.

Being aware of your thoughts and learning how to control them.

Being aware that you feel rushed and in a hurry to speed up, and gaining the ability to instantly slow down at a moments notice.

Being aware that you’ve spent over 5 unproductive hours on your phone in one day, while picking it up over 300 times throughout that span of time, and figuring out a way to take a step back and focus on the present.

This sense of life altering awareness can be achieved through meditation.

F the BS: It’s time to learn to meditate so that you can harness the power of awareness  

Obvious Disclaimer: I’m not a meditation expert. My insights below are from my research, findings and experiences through meditating. There’s no one size fits all approach here. Do what makes you feel most comfortable and focused. 

When meditating, you want to make sure you perform the practice in a very relaxing and calm environment. Some say to do it in a place where you only use this specific area for the sole purpose of meditation. (I enjoy meditating in the morning, but you can realistically do it whenever you have some down time to relax and focus).

Ideally, you want to either

-sit in a comfortable chair ensuring you have proper posture
-sit on the floor with your legs crossed with proper posture
-lay completely down with your arms and shoulders relaxed (I prefer this option, especially for those with back pain).

In terms of the style of meditation, below are three different types that I’ve used in the past and still use today (apparently there’s over 20 different types to choose from!).

Guided Meditation

These days there’s a ton of apps that offer guided meditation. This is when a person is speaking to you and takes you through the journey, hence guided.

If you’re brand new to meditating, this is probably going to be your best bet initially as someone’s voice will be with you every step of the way to bring you into a relaxed state so that you can focus on the practice.

Focused Attention Meditation

This is simply the act of focusing on something specific throughout your practice, such as your breath. Fully observing your body and what it does every time you inhale and exhale. It’s good to choose a word to say each time you inhale as well as exhale to help you prolong your focus.

Passage Meditation

I learned this incredible practice from Eknath Easwaran, an amazing indian spiritual teacher. He wrote books that I highly recommend reading such as Passage Meditation, Take Your Time and the Mantram Handbook.

Passage meditation is a unique form where you initially memorize an inspirational passage (ideally one written from some of the world’s great spiritual traditions). You then slowly read the passage word for word over and over again, without thinking into the meaning of the words.

This form of meditation is by far my favorite, but it’s also the most difficult of the three. By focusing on a passage filled with positivity, you essentially become what you meditate on.

To wrap it up…

Meditation is NOT easy. It will take you a LONG time to be able to slow down your thoughts and fully focus on the present moment throughout your practice.

The GOOD thing is that if you stick with it, it will offer you a lifetime of peace, happiness and gratitude.

Just remember: Repeatedly returning is the key. If you find yourself getting distracted, recognize it, don’t judge it and simply return to the practice.

“A calm mind releases the most precious capacity a human being can have: the capacity to turn anger into compassion, fear into fearlessness, and hatred into love.” – Eknath Easwaran

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Learning to Solve Problems through the Cultivation of Patience

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Life is like a board game. Each time you roll the dice and advance forward you land on a new set of problems. In order to proceed to the next step (to a new batch of issues and concerns), you must first learn how to properly deal with what’s thrown at you so that you can progress in the most effective manner to ultimately excel at this game we call life.

It’s conclusive that humans want happiness, love and fulfillment (at least most of the time). Think of these as qualities that you can achieve for a lifetime, once you learn how to win at the board game of life.

The question is, how can you really reap the benefits of these attributes and harness them for as long as you’re on this planet? Or better yet, how can you learn to effectively solve problems in order to eternally access them?

Enter: Patience.

We always hear the saying “Patience is a virtue”, but do you ever stop to really soak in the meaning of the statement?

By definition, patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

Through various books, I’ve discovered (which might come as totally obvious to some) that the key to a well-rounded life boils down to your level of patience.

If your patience tank is always on low, you’re most likely a person who gets upset and offended easily, jumping back and forth from positive emotion to negative emotion solely based on all the external factors that come into your existence. Simply put, you’re currently sitting in last place in the board game metaphor.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a full tank of patience you’re typically someone who is calm and composed, ready to take on anything that’s thrown at you with fortitude. In other words, you’re leading the way in the game of life.

Regardless of how much money you possess, your status personally amongst friends or professionally amongst colleagues, even how attractive you may be, if you lack patience you lack the true meaning and sense of what life is supposed to be about.

F the BS: It’s time to learn how to solve your problems by becoming more patient

Now that we know (or have known) that life is always going to throw obstacles at us, everyone can learn to add a few more drops of patience into their daily dose of life. So let’s drill down a few different ways to rewire our minds into gaining more of this one of a kind virtue.

-Slow down your thinking – This is one we’ve discussed in the past. If you can learn to live life on an even keel (through meditation, breathing, reflecting, etc) you’ll be able to control whatever comes at you with confidence and determination, preventing it from affecting your mental state of mind.

-Realize the impermanence of life itself – Life is short. Shit can pop off at any minute. Think about how unimportant whatever it is you’re about to let negatively affect you and realize how insignificant it is in the grand scheme of things.

-Avoid the issue entirely – Most problems experienced are recurring, if not on a daily basis, then enough times throughout life that one can learn to pinpoint them as they are about to occur or even better, right before they present themselves. Really think about this one, and the next time a dilemma is slowly creeping into your existence, take notice of it, stay calm, prevent your emotions from escalating (maybe even take a few deep breaths) and shoot it down with dignity.

-Be compassionate – If your potential problem involves someone else, try to put their feelings and point of view first. Is it really their fault? Even if it is, are they worth disturbing your immediate quality of life?

-Appreciate your dislikes – Most of the time problems and dislikes are interchangeable, but what if you took a new approach to your dislikes and looked at them in a positive light? Can you give them attention and focus and learn to appreciate them and maybe even be grateful for them as they are?

-Use a mantra(m) – Each time emotions are heightened, repeat a phrase or word inside of your head to distract you from the situation at hand until you have a clear mind to approach the problem in a calmer state.

To wrap things up…

It’s pretty simple. If you can acquire more of the skill called patience you can live a better quality of life.

Regardless if you’re completely blindsided by a problem or can prepare and anticipate one coming, the objective is to learn to not allow yourself to blow them out of proportion. Don’t let your emotions and moods be dictated by the external factors that make up your problems. 

The next time you’re presented with one of life’s challenges, try to be a little more patient and see what happens. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up winning at the game of life 🙂

“A man who is a master of patience is a master of everything else.” – George Savile

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The Positive Impact of Negative Visualization

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In life, shit happens.

One moment things are going well and you feel like you’re in a great place in your life and then BOOM, you’re hit with a curveball you never anticipated coming.

You’re in shock, emotions scatter all over the place and you think to yourself how could this have happened?!

It happens to all of us and while it certainly sucks and can make you want to reevaluate your entire existence, there’s a practice that can be performed to better prepare for the unavoidable that can help soften the sting just a bit.

Enter Negative Visualization. 

This practice has been utilized by humans for thousands of years. Simply put, it’s a process of thinking about negative scenarios that could happen in your life at any given moment (anything ranging from the extreme such as the sudden passing of someone close to you or a freak accident that prevents you or a loved one from being able to take care of themselves, to something that may be a long time fear such as losing your job or having to deal with a long term break-up).

Essentially, you spend time thinking about what you have and what you’re grateful for and then you try to visualize your life without it.

At first the idea of negative visualization threw me off a bit. Being more or less an eternal optimist, the concept of spending time thinking about worst case scenarios (or even just negative thoughts in general for any period of time) was not something that I felt comfortable taking part in.

But as I continued to read about the topic, the positive impact that it could have became more clear. So I gave it a shot, and the results were astonishing.

By thinking about potential negative outcomes that technically could happen at any given time or day to either myself or to those that I love, I immediately felt a tremendous sense of appreciation and gratitude for the present moment and those around me.

It was clear that not unlike many others, I was taking various aspects of my life for granted.

Over a short period of time of practicing negative visualization, the value that I had subconsciously placed on myself, my life and those around me began to increase exponentially.

I started to bring realistic life outcomes to the surface level of my thinking, which allowed me to play out in my head how certain situations could arise, how I would potentially react to them and how I could begin mentally preparing for them.

For those that take a more pessimistic view of life, this practice could help break down the walls of fear that’ve been building up for decades. The potential discovery of realizing that certain things in your life aren’t as bad or could end up not being as bad as you might’ve made them out to be can be truly liberating.

Through negative visualization, it’s even possible to learn how to foresee and completely avoid certain situations that life may throw at us as well.

So when should you practice negative visualization?

Similar to reflecting, you should allocate a couple of minutes for this exercise. But for it to really work its wonders, you should practice this a couple of times per week when you have a few moments to yourself (it could really be performed anywhere).


By learning to anticipate, you can become more mentally prepared in dealing with the catastrophes that life will throw your way. The sudden extremes that can come with living are never going to be easy, but with this tool in your arsenal and the power of anticipation you won’t be as caught off guard and you’ll be able to handle circumstances just a little better.

On a more positive note, it can help with appreciating life and learning to be more grateful and thankful for everyone and everything around you.

“The man who has anticipated the coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive.”- Seneca

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The Epiphany of all Epiphanies

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It’s in our DNA to seek gratification and everlasting happiness.

Some find instant enjoyment through the purchase of material items, but it’s always short lived.

Others believe making more money will bring them more happiness, so they work harder and longer in hopes that one day money will be the answer to all of their problems.

Whether we like it or not (or even recognize it), we typically look externally to find the fulfillment that we are searching for.

Which is wrong.

The process to gain true contentment takes place internally, from within and the way to achieve this state of mind, in theory, is rather simple.

Paraphrasing from a Guide to the Good Life, Irvine says something along the lines of the below.

The best way to gain satisfaction is not by working to satisfy our desires (material items or tons of cash), but by learning to be satisfied with our life as it currently is (an internal mindset), by learning to be happy with what we already have.

If we can learn to want whatever it is we already have, we won’t have to work to fulfill any desires to gain the satisfaction we seek, we’d already be fulfilled.

Reread those two sentences again. 

Now think about yourself and your mindset 5, 10, even 15 years ago. Visualize what you desperately wanted back then, something you dreamed of having or achieving. Something of monumental importance.

Come back to the present.

I’m going to go on a hunch and say that you most likely obtained this aspiration or goal, came very close to it (which your younger self still would’ve be ecstatic about) or you achieved something totally different and/or above and beyond what you could’ve ever fathomed back then.

Now reread those two sentences above again. 

The ingredients to happiness are already within you, they’ve always been there.

I truly hope these words can help illuminate your thought process and bring to you the same discovery and realization that they brought me when I first retained them.

“The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.” – Epictetus

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How I stumbled upon Stoicism and the Indescribable Impact it’s had on my Life

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Since graduating from college in 2012, I’ve taken a deep interest in reading.

At first I dug into biographies, interviews and strategies of successful people. I figured if I could learn a thing or two from them, I’d be able to implement it into my businesses in some way.

Back then that was my sole motive, simply how to make more money. There wasn’t much more thought or awareness outside of that objective.

As time slowly went on, I began taking an interest in the psychology behind happiness and how one can put themselves in a position to become as happy in life as possible.

Money was still my number one priority, but subconsciously I was searching for something more.

Most of the books I attempted to read were over my head, maybe that’s because of where I currently was at the time in my life or maybe they were just too technical and not what I was looking for.

Then in late 2016, everything changed.

I discovered Stoicism.

For some reason, this ancient Greek philosophy gets a really bad rap.

Google defines Stoicism as “the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint.”

Yikes, but stay with me here.

Directly from an article on, I believe this description gets to the core of what the philosophy is truly about.

“Stoicism has just a few central teachings. It sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be. How brief our moment of life is. How to be steadfast, and strong, and in control of yourself. And finally, that the source of our dissatisfaction lies in our impulsive dependency on our reflexive senses rather than logic.”

So there I was in December of 2016, reading William B Irvine’s masterpiece, A Good to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (and of course taking notes as I went).

It didn’t take very long for these ancient concepts and ideas to awaken a part of my soul I never knew existed before. Since then I find myself almost on a daily basis and sometimes more than once per day instinctively utilizing the Stoic teachings that I learned from that one book.

The positive and life-changing impact that Stoicism has had on my life, both personally and professionally cannot be measured or described in words.

Suffice to say, making money my primary focus in life evaporated into thin air and I’ve never been more happy, grateful and fulfilled ever since.

I’ve tried to spread these special secrets of life to those I surround myself around, but sharing these insights with just a handful of people close to me is no longer enough. I’m here to enlighten you and everyone that you love and care about as well.

You’ll uncover simple tactics to reduce stress, anger, and anxiety, while quickly accelerating your levels of happiness, appreciation and gratitude.

I’m excited to take you on this journey with me.

“To have whatsoever he wishes is in no man’s power. It is in every man’s power not to wish for what he has not, but cheerfully to employ what comes to him.” – Seneca

“To live a good life: We have the potential for it. If we learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”  – Marcus Aurelius

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How Dogs Can Teach us the Secrets to Happiness and Fulfillment

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When you think of the word Dog, what are a few thoughts that first come to mind?

A tail wagging. Bundles of joy running around. Happiness.

Dogs are pretty much angels living on earth. Their personalities and positive energy are contagious, and they always seem to put a smile on peoples faces.

When I take my dog with me to places where other people will be, there’s something about a dog that organically opens people up, influences their behavior in a positive way and makes them feel good both internally and externally.

We all know the positives of owning a dog, or even just crossing paths with one and petting it.

But have you ever deeply reflected on the natural ways that dogs live their lives?

On occasion, I try to really study my pup and her reactions and emotions.

What I’ve discovered and truly believe is that dogs have life figured out. Their limited intellect might prevent them from being able to actually realize that they possess the secrets to happiness (how could we ever know if a dog has a conscience or not?), but they certainly and instinctively are experts on how to live a fulfilled life.

Whether it be constantly living in the present moment without having regrets about the past or stresses about the future, loving unconditionally or not taking anything for granted, humans can certainly learn a thing or two from a dog’s way of life.

Could this be why they only live for so long? Is it possible that dogs average out to live for just 10-13 years because they are born with what every human goes their entire life searching and yearning for?

Maybe it’s time we look at things from another perspective. Maybe it’s time we let our dogs teach us something for once.

The next time you’re around a dog (or your own) take notice of its current behavior and how it produces an infectious positive energy into the atmosphere. Try to understand it, harness it and bring it to existence from within yourself throughout your journey of life.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”  -Josh Billings

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Why the American Mindset is WRONG

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Whether you like it or not, the majority of Americans have a flawed mindset towards life.

We grow up with the hopes and aspirations of being successful, which most of the time “success” is defined and quantified by how much money you make, the size of your house and what car you drive.

In addition, the way others view you or the perception of how you want others to view you seems to be just as important as the actual success itself.

Deep down into our core, these few factors are what typically drives us each and every day.

We work long and hard for days, weeks, months, years upon years at a time to attempt to achieve some marginal success, some “happiness”.

Whether that success to you is to lease a BMW that you can’t afford to project the image of success to those around you, or to buy a material item that months down the road won’t give you the same sense of feeling you got when you first bought it.

We associate material items with success, which we hope will bring us happiness. As at the end of the day happiness is all of our ultimate goals whether we realize it or not.

At a certain point in life (typically sooner than later), having this mantra equals out to a really fucked up way of living.

F the BS: It’s time to recalibrate! 

Take Europe for example. I’m not a world traveler (yet), but I’ve spent a decent amount of time in a handful of western European countries to get a true feel and sense for how the average person lives their life.

And I hate to break it to you, but “success” and material items are not a top priority for Europeans, not by a long shot.

Simply being out in the open, enjoying the present moment and the scenery, with friends and family over tea, coffee, wine, beer, some lunch…this is their ultimate goal and priority and what brings them happiness.

While we as Americans put all of our focus, efforts and energy into working to make more and more money to buy more and more bullshit consumer products, as well as the next new thing that we don’t need and won’t ever bring us long term happiness, most Euros seem to keep it simple and take advantage of the small moments and things in life.

Now let me disclose that I’m sure it’s not like this for ALL Europeans. And undoubtedly, they may have similar financial stresses and overall life problems like us, but the key difference that literally changes everything is that they live in a society where working and money simply aren’t No.1 or even No.2 in their mental list of what’s most important in life. They put friends and family first, and push to the side the bullshit of everything else (fancy cars, the latest technology gadgets, big homes, etc, etc).

Before I wrap this up, just think for a moment about what you may be LOSING by making your current definition of success your top priority.

We only have so much time on this planet to live, love and breathe.

Do what needs to be done to make the true priorities in life your top ones. It won’t be easy, and it may take years to accomplish but you only have one life to live so make it worth it.

I’ll leave you with this story that gets me every time…

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

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