Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Financial Role Models, The Happily Rich

October 20, 2011

If you want advice on marriage, you talk to someone who is happily married. If you want advice on money, I say you should seek advice from people who are happily rich. I don’t want marriage advice from someone who has been married for 50 miserable years, and I don’t want money advice from someone who is wealthy and depressed with no friends and four heart attacks. In my mind, the first priority in life is to ENJOY it. That is the purpose of increasing your health, finances, relationships, intellect etc. They are all a means to an end. That being said, here are a couple of role models for you to check out.

Mark Cuban: Admittedly, I don’t know too much about this billionaire, but in almost every picture I see of him, he seems to be having the time of his life. He seems to have figured out how to be rich and enjoy himself. Check out a great, no nonsense blog post of his here:

Warren Buffett: I’m re-listening to The Warren Buffett way right now, and every time I get a lot out of it. He’s another example of someone who has had HUGE financial success (he has at times been #1 on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans), and seems to be quite a happy person as well. Check out this video where he dispenses some life advice.

I hope that’s a little tidbit that inspires you to find and study some worthy role models, it’s a habit that can really get moving in the direction of your dreams.
All the best,
Dan O’


Overcoming the Anxiety of Perfection

August 8, 2011

If you’re like me, you sometimes stress about your shortcomings. You might compare yourself to others, or to where you were a few years ago. You may sometimes think you should be more, have more etc.

You see people exalted in the media, held up as heroes. It is sometimes easy for you mind to compare you to a Steve Jobs, a Muhammad Ali, an Oprah Winfrey. Or you may compare yourself to someone you work with, play sports with, or your own brother or sister.

This may leave you feeling down, depressed, or anxious, chomping at the bit to “catch up”.

Well, here’s how I deal with this issue.

1. Forget about what “they” say about you: You can’t control others’ opinions of you. But you can act in a way that allows you to follow your values, whatever they may be. When you live in alignment with your values, you are living with integrity, and this will build your SELF worth. When your self worth is high, you won’t worry about what “they” say.

2. Remember, life is not a race, not a contest: Whoever dies with the most stuff does not win. Whether the stuff is cars and houses, trophies or newspaper articles written about them. I believe that the people living in alignment with their values, and enjoying the journey, are the real “winners”.

3. Remember that all you can do is take this step: You can only be here and do what what you can do NOW. Don’t resent the past or worry about the future, just take this step and focus on the present moment.

4. Remember that even your heroes aren’t perfect: While it is great to have role models to look to for inspiration, it’s even better when you realize that your heroes have had challenges and setbacks. Suddenly it may hit you “Hey, they’re not perfect, they’re like me!”. When you realize that you are much more like your heroes than you may have thought, a whole world of possibility opens up to you. So check out some biographies (tons of free biographies are online), and learn about things like Muhammad Ali breaking his jaw in the ring, General Robert E. Lee’s early ridicule from his own troops, Steve Jobs’ bouts with depression. You’ll realize that they have overcome challenges, and so can you.

5. Focus on what is important to YOU. What is your definition of a successful life? Knowing this is the foundation of building a rewarding life. Is it finding a way to be useful to others? Is it living in the moment and enjoying the gift of life? Here is an interesting question… What would you like to be written in your obituary, if only YOU were to ever read it? Ponder that for a moment…

I hope this little tidbit helps you out. And for further reading/watching, check out anything by Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, or the Dalai Lama,my favorite teachers of happiness 🙂


Dan O’Donnell

Hope, the key to persistence

July 18, 2011

This blog post is to help those who have identified something they would like to create or attain in the world.

Persistence is a key to creating in the real world, what you see in your mind.  However, without hope, there is no motivation to persist.  With hope, you can persist, moving toward your vision, one step at a time.  Therefore, if you want to create/acheive, you must maintain your hope.  You must keep your engine running.

Like a car with no fuel, if you have no hope, your engine of creativity, enthusiasm and genius won’t run.  You can have a shiny sports car, with a strong engine and new tires, but without fuel it just sits in the driveway, a bombing target for the neighborhood birds.  Yes, I said it, without hope, no matter how talented, strong or pretty you are, you’ll often just sit around doing nothing and getting crapped on 🙂

That being said, it seems that a reasonable question would be “How can I do a better job of maintaining my hope?”  My answer to that is: WATCH WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR GAS TANK (your mind+soul).  Put in some encouraging friends, some good books, some quiet walks, prayer or meditation, some inspiring movies and television.  All of that is high quality fuel for your soul.  DO NOT put in complaining coworkers, the nightly news, gossiping friends, and violent/depressing movies.

That is Dr. Dan’s prescription for keeping your gas tank full so you can move toward your vision.  Remember, no one is perfect, you will have tough days, you may slip up now and then.  Just notice your error, and correct it.  No need to beat yourself up, just accept that you’re human, laugh it off, and move forward.

By the way, it may seem I’m picking on the news a bit.  Not all news or journalism is a bad influence, but much of it is.  Go ahead and stay informed.  Just find high quality sources of information that do not use scare tactics or have an “us versus them” mentality.  Some of my favorite are TED.comFrontline, documentaries etc. on Netflix, and well organized video from tons of websites at Clicker.

I hope that helps you out.  And I hope to see you around, where soul fuel is always free, and we have plenty for everyone 🙂


Dan O’Donnell

P.S. WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT HOPE AND PERSISTENCE!  It’s Tony Robbins telling the true story of Rocky.

Live Without Fear, Live With Passion, Joy, Peace

July 3, 2011

I can’t say it any better, so I won’t try. Watch this please 🙂

Buddha and Batman, the Ultimate Tag Team

May 3, 2011

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Buddha (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

aka “Put on your thinking cap kids.”

Now that’s some wisdom to your face, “POW!”

Dan O’

The “Ice Glass Method” of curbing credit card spending

April 5, 2011

I’m listening to a very interesting audio book right now, “Predictable Irrationality”. The book talks about how we think we make decisions versus how we actually make them.

On the topic of impulse spending and excessive credit card debt, the author discusses a possible solution, known as the “Ice Glass Method”. Here’s how it works: You take your credit card, put it in a glass of water, and throw it in the freezer. This way, your credit card is ready for use, just not right at the moment of your irrational impulse to buy. If you really want that paintball tank (yes it’s a real thing), all you have to do is pay cash, or you can wait until your credit card thaws out. By that time, your emotions may have cooled, allowing you time to realize that you can probably do without the paintball tank.

Another interesting tidbit from the book: While the U.S. had a negative savings rate at the time the book was written in 2008, Europe saves around 20% of it’s income, Japan 25%, and China saves around 50%!!!

So think about using some better role models than your neighbors who buy a new car every two years. Remember, they very likely have a negative savings rate and are racking up the debt. Think about how secure and worry free you’d be if you had even one year’s worth of expenses in the bank…

My take on life…

March 8, 2011

I hope you get something out of this. Sorry, the end of the video got cut off during upload…

Is your fear identified, or just a boogey man?

February 18, 2011

If you fear taking an action toward you dreams, do you know what you are afraid of? If you can quantify your fear (I could lose a friend, I could lose money, I could be laughed at etc.) you are able to decide if the worst case scenario is acceptable to you. If you can clarify the worst case, then you can make a logical decision whether to take the action toward your vision. You may or may not decide to take the action, but at least you won’t let irrational fear stop you from making your dreams a reality. So think it through, and you’re likely to find that the boogey man in the closet isn’t as scary when you look him in the eyes.

-Dan O’
Positive Atmosphere

The Gratitude Game, a great holiday activity :)

December 25, 2010

1st attempt at the video

Ok, here’s the real video about the Gratitude Game.

Happy Holidays everyone, remember it’s all about love and kindness…

One step at a time…

December 23, 2010

After a long “blog break” I’m back. This will be brief, fitting of the subject.

I tend to have high expectations of myself, and can get caught up and overwhelmed with projects. I sometimes run the possible scenarios through my mind in endless loops.

The affirmation of “one step at a time”, often on a note card on my car dashboard, helps me to keep things in perspective. No matter how big the project, or how complex, all you can do is take this step. This affirmation of “one step at a time” helps focus me and keep my mind from spinning into overwhelm. It helps me be at peace more than any other technique I’ve found.

So, if you’re like me, and have a tendency to feel anxiety due to overwhelm, write “one step at a time” and put it somewhere you will see it at least once a day. Read it aloud daily and see how it works for you.

Hope this helps, all the best to you.

Dan O’