happiness in life

Finding Happiness in Life by Not Giving In to Negativity

In this post (originally posted August 6th, 2012) I talk about why it’s important to not dwell in the negatives. Since I originally posted it, I’ve personally grown to come to a point where I think it’s necessary to see the negative in the world – but to not dwell on it. However, I think to get to that point, you have to actually detox from a negative world and mindset. Only then will you be able to be aware of all of all the stuff we’re being barraged with day after day.

It’s at that point that you’ll be able to make better choices for yourself.

So how do you enter a positive mental space when all the messages you receive are negative by nature?

Here’s a few pointers:

This morning I had the opportunity to be on a coaching call with a gal by the name of Linda. She is battling cancer. Horrifying to to even think about, right? Well… yeah, of course!!

However, what separates Linda from a lot of people, especially those that are going through a tough patch in life, is that while she could be focusing on the negative, she actually chooses to focus on the positive. Even when she’s going through radiation treatments in “gray, dark, lifeless rooms”, she still manages to jokingly say to the staff “It would be nice if we could have some colors in here!”.

Linda doesn’t have to have this courage. She doesn’t have to fill her life with laughter and continued hope. She could easily give in and fill every second and every minute with negativity. But she doesn’t.

I’m sure Linda is not alone in her perspective. In fact, I know that a lot of people who beat cancer actually keep a positive perspective on life as they’re going through treatment. I wonder what the ratio of positive cancer survivors to negative cancer survivor is… I’d be willing to bet that the positive outweighs the negative.


Choosing to Be Happy and…


What I’ve found out since Mom’s passing is that you can either dwell on the negative or you can get energy from the positive. Either way – you’re going to have to live life! Might as well make it a good experience than a bad one, right?

Once I make that decision to be happy, I have to be able to do something to actually back that decision up. Interestingly enough, nothing makes most people more happy than helping others. Either they enjoy the act of giving to those other people – or they love the feeling they receive from getting recognized for making an impact. Either way, they get something out of it.

I’ve been thinking recently that depression is the opposite of happiness, right? And since one can be happy with helping others, doesn’t it make since that depression comes from the lack of involvement with people? Perhaps Expressives are probably more prone to going through depression due to their need of being the center of attention? That’s an interesting concept…

Adding to that – another thing that leads to happiness is not only having people in your life – but those that you can call positive anchors. Look for those people to share common things with and then get involved with them on a more personal level!


Actions to ‘Happiness’:


What keeps you happy? It’s different for everyone – but a big part of it is sharing with others. Whether you’re an introvert with a few close friends or an extrovert with plenty of them, you always feel better when you share experiences with others.

What if you don’t know what to share with others? Then here’s a few more steps I’ve found for myself.. (I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this before.)

  1. Figure out your passions. (Passions are things that you do automatically and make you happy.)
  2. Determine your purpose from your passions. All 6 Billion people in this world have different passions thus they have a different purpose. Those that identify themselves as their job usually don’t know their individual purpose.
  3. From your purpose – figure out a plan that includes helping or sharing with others.
  4. Figure out where those others group together and then execute (find them)!!
  5. Keep out all negative sources from your life as much as possible. In the end, there’s nothing more unsettling and unproductful than negative sources. This includes most news, gossip, and other negative people. (Sometimes that last one is EXTREMELY difficult.)

If you’re following your purpose then you’re automatically not giving into negativity because you’re doing exactly what makes you happy!!

  • Bonus: Once you execute, there’s a good possibility that if you’re bringing enough value to enough other people – you might be able to make income on your passion! (Don’t let this be the reason you do what you do, though!!)

Actions Steps

So – how about you? What are great ways that you’ve learned to get and stay happy? Does true happiness always revolve around others? Please, as usual, share your thoughts below!! Look forward to expanding my understanding of this topic!

what is networking

What is Networking: A Way to Get More Stuff Done!

With the recent creation of the Junto on Facebook some members have started calling me “networking machine”. I don’t know about that particular title, but one of my joys is getting people and ideas together to do awesome things!

I guess you could call that networking. And if that’s the case, then yeah – I’m a networker. Or as I would rather call it – a Connector.

In this post originally written in August 14, 2012, I wrote about how anyone can be an effective connector. However, to start being a connector – you have to connect first!

So let’s look at how to do that more effectively in our day to day lives:

Identifying Puzzle Pieces:

Yesterday I was on a call where we were talking about the benefits of partnering with nonprofits to expand business. Normally, in the past, this wouldn’t have made sense to me to spend time doing. Why? Because, most of the nonprofits I’ve known about in the past  were the type of people that are for a Nanny State. They want to take care of people (which, in theory, is great!) but do it on the dime of the taxpayer (not so great!). They live mainly on grants.

While many nonprofits can be described as this, there are many others that actually perform their own fundraising initiatives. Those were the nonprofits we were talking about – and it was interesting to learn how one might leverage people who you know to break into those nonprofits.

And it got me thinking, how do I network now compared to when I was in school? Even in recent years?

When I was in school, I just randomly met people with very little purpose. Nowadays, I’m always playing the role of HR director in my head.

(For what it’s worth, the call was with Mark Boersma and Tom Kunz)

Networking in Our Daily Lives

If you’re looking to get anything done, there is a list of generalized steps that you’re probably going to take whether you know you’re doing it or not:

  1. Plan
  2. Take Action on that Plan
  3. Get Results
  4. Re-evaluate the Plan
  5. Adjust that Action
  6. Get Different Results

Nowhere in those 6 steps did I mention that other people had to be a factor. Here’s the thing. There’s only so many hours in a day, and there’s only so many strengths that you have. If you spend your time working on your weaknesses to get things done and not on your strengths, you’re going to get a lot less done with your time.

Part of the key of being Great is being Effective. If you use Appreciative Inquiry in how you see the world, you see a lot more opportunities – including opportunities with other people.

Not part of a Traditional Organization?

So, what to do if you’re a solopreneur who’s not part of an organization like a Chamber of Commerce or a Rotary group?

Not a big deal – Just get out to other events and network. Get to know people. Build relationships. The more relationships you have, the more people that you can add value to, the more things will work out for you.

Zig Ziglar is well known for saying, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Start helping others out!


Who Are These People?

Generally speaking, I like to network with those that I can work with to get something done together. I feel the more productive people that I have in my life, the more, in return, I can get done. I actively think about and look for those people.

In doing so, I consider personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.

I consider personalities because I want easy people to work with. If you’re a particular type of personality, do you want to have similar people like yourself to work with or someone that might be more of a compliment in skills but you think is a complete ass? While having complementing skills can be useful, in the long run, if the personalities don’t mesh, it’ll have a polarizing effect and potentially kill what you both struggle to build.

As mentioned above, I consider strengths because I need people who fill in for my weaknesses.

But I also consider their weaknesses, because I want to make sure that I can offer them something that they don’t possess. And also, depending on what I’m looking for at the moment, I’ll ask them particular questions which I call key questions.

They can be your Potential Clients too!

These people don’t have to be JUST people you are looking to work with, they can and should include your clients. What kind of clients do you want? Whomever you’re trying to attract, you have to consider what they’re looking for. Do a good job with them, and they’ll recommend you to others!

Also, as a friendly reminder: you’re selling yourself all the time. So make sure you’re making a good first impression of yourself by dressing well everyday.

Just as you would dress up for a job interview, in meeting new friends, or going on a date (which is a form of networking), dress up when you are out and about. You should be prepared to meet that next big client!

At least if you dress well, you have a chance. If you don’t dress your part, you’ll surely miss out!


Action Steps:

First of all, join us in The Junto. Networking is the whole point of the group!

Secondly, let me know how you network. What are some of your secrets in making networking sessions effective? Do you have any key things that you’re thinking and/or wanting to know when you’re meeting with people?? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!


ashley zahabian interview

Ashley Zahabian: Getting Through Difficult Times and Busting the Myth of Overnight Success (AoL 044)

When it comes to success, many times we think that people are lucky and that success just happens. Even this past week with the launch of Pokemon Go, we’ve seen something take very little time to become really well known – even by those of us who have put very little time into it if none at all.

However, just like the creator of Pokemon, our guest Ashley Zahabian would tell you that there is no such thing as overnight success. In fact, when it comes to her story, she’s been on the public speaking path for several years already – which is saying a lot for a 21 year old!

In this session, Ginger and I dive into Ashley’s path and find out how an overnight success story is made. Join in as we discuss how she went from living a caged life to a charged one, what she has planned for the next few years, and how she stays consistent in her work.

If you’ve seen this gal on stage, Facebook or YouTube, this is a backstage pass that should give you hope in reaching for your goals and dreams!


  • Why the struggles she’s had over the last several years have helped her become an “overnight” success. 10:39
  • What she’s been able to implement into her entrepreneurial career from what she learned in college. 15:34
  • Ashley’s take on Mr. Wonderful blowing up on Maneesh Sethi on Shark Tank 19:09
  • Why she thinks it’s important to work with your passion. 21:00
  • How she belives that she was able to move from living a Caged life to a Charged life 27:22
  • The feeling of what it was like to become an honest person. 23:34
  • The first thing someone can do to step into a Charged life. 28:37
  • How Ashley stays consistent in her work week. 34:38
  • What gave Ashley the idea to start doing her video series. 38:47
  • Why she doesn’t worry about using clips from movies in her videos on YouTube. 40:45
  • How long Ashley has been doing speaking engagements. 42:10
  • What she would recommend for people to do if they wanted their first speaking gig. 43:34
  • What she imagines that the next 5 years of her career look like. 48:19
  • Three truths that she would share with others. 51:25
  • Three of her favorite influencers in her life. 52:02
  • If she could have high school consume certain information, what would she prescribe. 52:41
  • What she would tell the 13 year old version of herself. 56:50
  • …and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.


SHOW NOTE EXTRAS (Update – 5.16.2017):

Hey guys! Thanks for looking for the show note extras for Ashley’s interview. Unfortunately, a lot of her earlier stuff has been taken down. So I’ve gone and added a few other videos for you to enjoy of Ashley at work… including her TEDx talk!

Ashley’s Interview on Addicted 2 Success TV:

Ashley on her Experiences at the Feliciano School of Business:

Believe in Yourself (An Early Speech by Ashley):

Ashley is officially a TEDx presenter!

Ashley on the I Am the Average Podcast:

Ashley Zahabian interview



Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!