This message was originally sent to my email subscribers October 8th, 2017.
I just left Las Vegas.
I wanted to share what I saw and felt and believe.
I was in town for interviews and meetings for my new book.
Here is what I witnessed:
Good people. Scared people. Happy people. Angry people.
All struggling to cope, to understand.
I saw tears. I asked questions. I heard conspiracy theories. I felt the anger and sadness.
I have family and friends and students there. They are okay. But the world is troubled.
I am writing to share something important in these chaotic times, where negativity and violence seem to be the only headlines.
It is a message of hope.
It is a call to positivity and appreciation.
For 21 years, I’ve studied psychology, personal development, neuroscience, and high performance. My life is studying the human journey.
For the past decade, I’ve spent every workday training others to reach deeper motivation and higher performance (or creating content related to that end).
I’m out on the road, a lot. You’ve probably seen the short film about my career and tour on my YouTube channel. That’s my life. I’m out in the world, speaking, coaching clients through tough life issues, volunteering and serving with every ounce of my heart.
In all my years doing this, I’ve never seen such negativity stealing people’s lives away all over the country. It’s why we need you so much now.
Here’s what I’m witnessing more than ever:
Anger fueled by assumptions. Disconnection from the moment and one another. The travesty of speedy judgements. Good people drowning in pools of pessimism.
Haters shaming. False dramas. Accuse now and don’t ask later.
It’s enough to draw all the hope from our hearts.
But we must not let this negativity and separation win.
Let us never fail to recognize the beauty, love, abundance, and opportunities all around.
Yes, there are deeply troubled people out there.
Yes, there are reasons to be upset.
So, to all those who have remained positive, hopeful, and faithful despite it all, this is a love letter to you.
To those who remember to seek first to understand, this is a love letter to you.
To those who practice those simple but great acts of kindness, this is a love letter to you.
To those who care enough to hold your opinion until you have carefully studied, this is a love letter to you.
To the volunteers, the loving parents, the servant leaders, this is a love letter to you.
We appreciate you.
And we need you now more than ever.
To all, trust this:
The future holds good things for you, and you are stronger than you think.
Remember that most people are very good and kind and working hard for their families.
Take time to appreciate the positive, to speak the positive, to share hopeful dreams, to cheer on others, to embrace those you love, to be thankful.
Listen to that hope in your soul that is asking you to have reverence for life, and to be an even more thoughtful and loving human now.
We can choose to feel anger and perpetuate negativity and hate. Or we can choose to seek peace, to inspire others by remaining positive, to always live through love and service to a higher cause.
I leave Las Vegas inspired because I met so many hopeful fans in the airport. They said they know there is darkness. And so they want to be a light.
And so let us be luminous now, conscious now, tender now.
Ps. I’m going to write you a Sunday love letter for the rest of the year. I feel it’s needed. I thought my essay on Gratitude, published a few years ago, would be appropriate here on this blessed Sunday.
Gratitude is appreciation that has finally struck the heart.
You begin with mindfulness to something beautiful or kind or fortunate.
It’s your child’s smile. The patience of your lover. A lucky opportunity. Some mercy or forgiveness that you’ve been granted. A warm sun on your neck. How the Fall waves its wand turning the trees yellow and red.
You simply notice these things and reflect on them, and soon attention becomes appreciation. You begin to feel thankful. You sense you are blessed, that those things out there—your luck, your child, your lover, that kind person’s gesture—those are blessings.
But noticing is not enough.
Most notice a blessing, and they intellectually appreciate it. But they go no deeper into the well of wonder.
They are too busy. The world is too full of tasks and obligations and distraction and bad news. So many other things to pay attention to, so many interests to scan next.
And so they notice much, feel little.
The masters of this life slow time and brave greater feeling. They let appreciation percolate. They think about their blessings, wonder about them, talk about them, journal about them, demonstrate thanks and joy for them through prayer, tender conversations, acts of service. They feel indebted to give as much as they are given and more.
Emotion springs forth. Tears flow. A desire to give thanks enlivens a troubled vessel. Spirit enters the room and suddenly appreciation flowers into the only emotion that makes all others and life worthwhile: Gratitude.
So let us ask,
“If I slowed down
and noticed the blessings all around,
would I be willing to allow all these
divine gifts into my heart now?”
On this Sunday, I notice, appreciate, and feel you.
Your hope, your strength, your drive to live a charged life, to grow, to share your truth, to serve, to struggle with patience and honor and courage, never giving up, always continuing on with light in your eye—this is see, this I know, this I love you for.
I thank God that I am alive, that I have you in my community, that you and my family and team have believed in me and supported this mission with such fire and soul.
I think of you often, and so I march on with a grateful heart.