Be Like a Kid on Christmas Morning


Here’s something you can probably imagine, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or have kids…

Think of a kid on Christmas morning — before they open presents…or even see them.

How do you think they feel? Bored? Excited? Or do they not feel much of anything at all until they actually open their presents?

Most likely, they’re bouncing off the walls with excitement from the minute they wake up! (That is, if they managed to sleep at all!)

They don’t wait until they actually see their presents until they feel excited. They don’t wait until they open them. They don’t wait until they use the presents (play with the toys, listen to the music, put together the puzzle, or enjoy whatever the present happens to be).

They don’t withhold their excitement or joy until Christmas is in full swing or until it’s done or even until it’s started — they feel excited every step of the way!

What a great way to approach Christmas or any other day…or your entire life!

What a great model: Instead of waiting for the full fruition of (literal or figurative) gifts until you feel excitement, satisfaction, or joy, you can enjoy every step of the way — with full faith that the gifts will show up at exactly the right time!

Most kids wouldn’t wake up on Christmas morning feeling skeptical, thinking, “I’ll believe it when I see it” or “I’m not going to feel happy until I’ve got the unwrapped present in my hand” or “There’s no point in getting my hopes up until I actually see the presents; I’ll just be setting myself up for disappointment if Santa didn’t come.”

Sounds silly (and pretty cynical), right? Yet how often do some people (and I’ve fallen into this trap myself on numerous occasions) wait until their hopes or dreams become visible and tangible until they allow themselves to feel the joy of it?

This approach (postponing joy until a gift materializes) has two main drawbacks:

  1. You rob yourself of most of the fun! After all, the external manifestation or completion of a hope, dream, or gift is usually just a momentary blip compared to all the time leading up to it.
  2. You make it less likely that the gift will show up at all! The excitement and enthusiasm you feel before a dream materializes actually helps it materialize!

Whether you attribute this to the Law of Attraction or simply to the additional energy, faith, and positivity that comes from enthusiastic expectation, enjoying each step leading up to a manifestation makes it much more likely to manifest — and much more enjoyable when it does!

And this principle also holds true when GIVING gifts!

Think of a time when you’ve thought of the perfect present for someone (for Christmas, birthdays, or any other occasion). Didn’t you feel excited the moment you got the idea? Couldn’t you just imagine — or feel — how happy and excited the recipient (and YOU) would be when they opened this gift? Didn’t you just feel fantastic — even before they opened (and used) the gift? And couldn’t you feel yourself getting more and more excited as the moment of unveiling approached?

Remember this approach all year round — with all your gifts, creations, and manifestations.

  • Allow yourself to feel excited the moment you think of something you’d like to give, receive, or create — even if you don’t know exactly what the finished product will look like.
  • Enjoy each step of the manifestation process, from inception to growth to completion — rather than waiting until it’s 100% done before you feel joy.
  • Have faith that the externals will show up at the perfect time — and feel confident that the process is already underway, even before you can see any external evidence.

There’s a seemingly magical force behind this approach. And whether you call it faith, positivity, or Santa, the result is the same: you experience the joy of giving, receiving, creating, and manifesting. And you enjoy every step of the process — not just when an unwrapped present is in your hand!

Wishing you a happy holiday season and a new year full of magic and joy!
~ Dan

photo: wckiw

You WILL Find What You’re Looking For

(In several posts I’ve been tempted to simply write a sentence or two — or even just leave it blank except for the title. This is probably the closest I’ve come to actually doing this, but I decided that, rather than explain or elaborate, I’d simply offer some examples to reinforce the title’s point…)

If you’re looking for reasons to feel good, you’ll find them.
If you’re looking for reasons to feel bad, you’ll find them.
If you’re looking for reasons why your life is great, you’ll find them.
If you’re looking for reasons why your life is terrible, you’ll find them.
If you’re […] Continue Reading…

But That’s What Really Happened!

When I started looking into creative-writing programs, I got a book called The Creative Writing MFA Handbook.

It’s a guide for people applying to MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs, covering everything from choosing the best-fitting school and submitting your application, to making the most of the experience once you get there — especially during the workshops, which are at the heart of most writing programs.

The author’s #1 piece of advice for being workshopped (i.e., having your piece critiqued by fellow students) is: Don’t get defensive!

Aside from not criticizing readers’ feedback (which harbors ill will and stifles honest discussion), he also discourages […] Continue Reading…

Step Right Up! (…or don’t)

Have you ever been to a carnival where the carnies call out to you from their rides or games: “Step right up! Right this way! Two throws for a dollar!”?

Maybe they’re trying to lure you over to the ring toss or some other game (that probably looks easy but is next to impossible to win). Or maybe they’re trying to coax you into taking a ride on a roller coaster or a Ferris Wheel or the Tunnel of Love or the Haunted House.

Many of the games or rides might appeal to you. You might be very happy that the […] Continue Reading…

Don’t Listen to Me

I love the personal-growth community.

I love the millions of people who share their hearts and their wisdom in books, blogs, courses, workshops, and all sorts of ways — online, in print, and in person.

I’ve gained life-changing inspiration and insight from a wide variety of teachers, writers, mentors, coaches, and friends. I’ve been moved, touched, and motivated. And I’ve gotten lots of really good advice.

So now I’d like to share my own heartfelt advice regarding all of the wonderful personal-growth/spirituality teachers out there:


(Not even me.)

Does this mean that I don’t think they have wisdom? Not […] Continue Reading…

You’re Getting Warmer

If I’d meant this title literally, I probably should have written it in spring or early summer, rather than waiting until the week before Labor Day. But I was thinking of it figuratively — as a personal-growth metaphor based on the common variation of hide-and-seek. Here’s what gave me this idea…

I recently listened to a recorded talk in which the speaker (Esther Hicks, presenting the Abraham teachings) described our Emotional Guidance System by using this example: You know the game where you’re looking for something, and as you get closer someone says, “You’re getting warmer” (or, “You’re getting colder,” […] Continue Reading…

The Welcome Wagon

Moving to a new place (literally or figuratively) can be very exciting: you feel a sense of adventure, new possibilities, and a fresh start.

But once the initial excitement fades (or perhaps even sooner), you might begin to feel disconcerted or uncomfortable.

After all, this new territory is totally unfamiliar. You don’t know your way around. You get lost just trying to find the grocery store. You don’t know where the nearest gas station is. You don’t even have a library card.

The people here have strange customs and strong accents — and they use unfamiliar jargon, regional slang, or even a different language altogether. […] Continue Reading…

How much would you pay for something you don’t want?

Some people say: “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.”

To put it in more earthly terms, we could say, “Worrying is like PAYING for what you don’t want.”

Think of it like this: Imagine that every word you say, write, or even think is worth $100. And every time you say, write, or think a word, you’re spending that $100.

So, how do you want to spend your “word-money”?

Would you buy what you don’t want — spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on junk that will clutter your life with worry, stress, or unhappiness?

You’d probably say, “Of course not! […] Continue Reading…

Balance vs. Immersion

When I was a senior in high school, I spent a month in Spain as part of an exchange program. Aside from having fun, making new friends, and being exposed to an amazing culture, I can honestly say that my Spanish improved more during those 4 weeks than it had during the previous 4 years of taking classes.

I went from barely being able to squeak through a basic vocab quiz to the point where I could carry on a decent conversation in Spanish. Within a few weeks in the country I even began to dream primarily in Spanish!

What was […] Continue Reading…

Are You Expressing It…or Feeding It?

Feeding Joy (Revisited)

In my previous post (“Feeding Joy”), I wrote about the importance of “feeding” the parts of our lives and ourselves that we want to flourish — presumably, the parts that bring us joy, gratitude, and happiness.

But I also said that it’s natural (and probably even healthy) to express yourself, even when your thoughts and emotions aren’t joyful — rather than repressing, denying, or letting negativity fester within you.

So, is this a contradiction? By expressing negativity and giving it “air-time,” aren’t we just “feeding” it? How can we tell if we’re fanning the flames of negativity or releasing […] Continue Reading…