Why I Do Personal Development (with a story of my not-so-good morning)

My morning was going freaking fantastic. And then, it just wasn’t. 

Some context:

It was my first day back to my “Tony’s morning routine.” This is where I wake up early somewhere between 5-7am, listen to my morning meditation from Wendy Braun as I shower and change, write in my gratitude journal, and then eat my (healthy) chocolate oatmeal while I read a personal development book. (Right now I’m reading “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins. Love it.) I do all of this before checking my phone, email, Facebook, or anything that might have something or someone wanting my attention. I want to be in a positive state before checking any of that. 

It. Was. Great. 

I had been working a day job the previous few days and didn’t get this routine. I was excited to be back. I proceeded then to catch up on emails and messages, drink my coffee, and put in some work towards my Beachbody coaching for a couple hours. I was having FUN! I felt a rush of adrenaline that I hadn’t felt in a few days. 

And then…..I worked out. 

Usually this is another part of my morning that I enjoy. Lately however I haven’t been able to workout without experiencing some symptoms after. It’s frustrating. And being a Beachbody coach, I like to share what I’m doing – which includes setbacks. That day I learned after that I still couldn’t finish a workout without experiencing symptoms after.

(Side note: No it’s not serious. Yes I’m okay. Yes, I will repeat this again and still get questions from friends and family asking if I’m okay…) 

I’m sharing this part because then….I got pissed. 

I’d share all the thoughts I said to myself that hour, but instead just pretend you see Tony Rossi doing the opposite of what he posts on social media when it comes to positivity….it’s not pretty. 

I was about to mindlessly scroll and throw a pity party until it was time to leave for work. Instead, realizing that this hasn’t helped at all in the past, I decided to check my folder in my Gmail titled “Personal Development” – filled with blogs and videos from my favorite people that help me be my happiest self. I found found a video from Andrea Schulman from Raise Your Vibration Today that I had yet to check out…..


…oh my. Okay then. 

It was a slap in the face that I needed. It gave me reminders THAT I HAD HEARD EARLIER THAT MORNING IN MY MORNING ROUTINE that I had completely forgotten about. (Sorry for shouting. We’ll get back to that). Then…I started to feel a little better. 

Personal development, positive reading, and self care isn’t this “one and done” thing. It’s like working out – you have to keep doing it if you want to keep the results you earned. 

So as you go about your day and wonder why it is you’re not feeling happier, more motivated, energized about life, etc ask yourself when the last time you read a positive book or listened to a positive audio. I don’t share this stuff because it’s cute (though some of my blog are pretty adorable.) I do it because I need it for myself. 

I hope you take advantage too, my friends. 

Let’s go get ‘em, yeah? 


Being authentically positive: How I really felt yesterday

Whenever a big, popular event happens, I often keep silent. I assume that I’ll just be echoing things that everyone else has heard.

When I share a message, I prefer to share something that’s unique and personal. My favorite content is from friends who do the same. On the other hand, I can’t stand when I see the opposite….yes, we’re going down that route today…

A small example of this is on birthdays: I see friends saying, “Happy birthday! Hope all is well” or “Happy birthday! Hope it’s a good one.” It’s a message that could literally be copied and pasted from one wall to the next. A bigger example was on Tuesday on Election Day. “Don’t forget to vote and do your civic duty!” We’ll ignore the fact that this was the biggest topic trending that day, but more so, there was nothing personal in this. It’s bland…. I don’t like bland.

I bring this up because the day after the election results have shown, I have a lot to say. But per usual, I see a lot of it already – except this case I’m actually not referring to what most of my friends are talking about. I’m not interesting in what they’re saying, because most of my friends are liberal and are mostly sharing content that makes me sad or upset….I don’t want to feel that way today. Or tomorrow.

The ones I’m referring to are my mentors sharing messages of hope and love. My favorites are even offering how to best focus your energy. I love these messages 🙂 Yet, because I’ve heard them multiple times….I assume that my voice is just going to be echoing what they’ve already said.

And maybe it will. But this week we’re doing things different. I’m writing in case there’s one person – maybe one of my many subscribers whom I’ve never met before (thanks guys 🙂 ) – to share a message dear to my heart:

Sometimes in life, things don’t go our way. We can spend all the time we want being upset and angry. We can post away to our hearts content about how “bad” things are. All this is doing is preventing us from doing the work we need to do in this world to be our best selves – both for us and those we love.

I’ll end with a story: I went to the post office yesterday at Irving and Southport. I met a nice worker named Janet and asked how her day was going. She said it was going well, but that everyone coming in was upset about the election results. She said there were even people coming in crying! I quickly learned that while Janet and I had both hoped for a different outcome, we agreed that “What’s done is done, and we’re all going to be okay.” I left the office with a big smile on my face.

Where your attention goes, energy flows. We can focus all we want on the bad that happens in life. That’s our choice. But what if instead we choose to focus how to make it awesome – regardless of the roadblocks?

I’m going to make the rest of 2016 awesome. I hope you’ll join me, friends.

Let’s go get ’em.

How To Better Your Negative Situation

This is for anyone in a dark situation. We’ll call it a tunnel.

Dark Tunnel

When we’re in the tunnel, we can’t always see the other side. This happens when we’re looking for work, short on money, or in an unpleasant living environment. As more and more negatives start to pile on, we tend do a couple of things:

We focus on more negatives: It’s the easy and comfortable thing to do. Yet it tends to make our situation worse, not better.

We seek out instant gratification: While having a short break is sometimes necessary, it’s important we don’t stay there too long. Many of us go on this break, then stay there. This is nothing more than just an extended vacation in our dark tunnel. Unless we start making an effort to get out, we’re just setting ourselves up to be unhappy in the long run.

So how do we get out?

After you’ve taken your (short) break to ease your mind, here are a few steps I recommend:

1) Accept responsibility for your circumstances

The easy thing to do is to play the victim mentality and blame someone or something other than ourselves. Regardless of any crazy and unexpected circumstances that may have occurred, it’s important to realize that you are the reason for where you are today. Accept responsibility for what’s happened. Don’t kick yourself. Just stop making excuses and blaming others. Once you own up to your situation, you’ll realize you have the power to change things and get yourself back on track.

2) Make an action plan

This is going to vary based on what’s going on. Keep in mind you might be digging yourself out of a deep hole. This could take time. Don’t worry about making it perfect. If you do, you’ll just keep putting it off. Just start. You can try starting from the finish line and then working backwards if that helps. Just make sure it gives you some specific steps to get to your final destination.

If necessary, ask a friend for help. Or hire someone . Whatever you do, do not blame them if they are unresponsive or unavailable. Doing this releases our power to control our circumstances. The goal is to get out. The more we blame, the longer we’re stuck in the tunnel.

3) Stay consistent

It’s easy to belittle those tiny steps starting out, such as making an action plan. “What difference does it make? I’ll still be in my same situation tomorrow.” Making the plan actually puts you further ahead than you think. It ignites a flame of hope. Hope is a very powerful tool. It’s contagious and will reveal both confidence and answers – which are hard to see when it’s dark out.

This only works if you’re consistent. If you’re not, you won’t see any progress. Then you’ll really get frustrated and want to quit. Which keeps us in the tunnel. We don’t want that.

As you go about this, keep finding ways for to keep yourself motivated and sane. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into that extended vacation in instant gratification land. You need to be prepped and ready to go as soon as the break is over.

If you’re in that tunnel now, get up off the couch.  Make that plan right. Then….relax. You’ve just taken your first step. You can sleep tonight knowing that you took a moved forward towards the other end of the tunnel.

Light Tunnel

Best part: Doing this helps the tunnel seem a little bit brighter.

Go get ’em.