On Which Side Of Life Do You Look?

I tend to be that person who rolls out of bed in a good mood. I don’t just start walking slowly, I get up running full-throttle.   (Some of my friends find this obnoxious.) This morning however I felt anxious, overwhelmed and a bit blue.

When I got into the car to run errands, I found myself getting into a funk as I became increasingly impatient with the other drivers on the road. At the point where I came close to leaning on my car horn, I decided instead to turn on the car radio and surf channels. I chose to listen to a station that featured Broadway tunes.

Musical notes

One of the first songs that I heard was from the movie and play Monty Python. The song was Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.

My transformation from grumpy to happy was almost immediate. It was hard for me NOT to be affected by the upbeat rhythm and cheerful lyrics. I am not sure if I actually smiled or I simply felt that I smiled.

This got me thinking about how easily we can go from one mood to another. Depressing news. Negative talk radio. Witnessing an accident. Each of these experiences on their own can cause negative feelings. Weddings. Births. People laughing. Each of these on their own can cause positive feelings.

Yes life has its challenges, and for many it doesn’t work to just think happy therefore be happy. However, and this is a big however, it doesn’t hurt to think happy. Watch happy. Listen to happy.

Life will always be comprised of ups and downs. If we can find a way to maximize the ups we can train ourselves to look for and find the good; we can then choose not to dwell on the little things that can put us in a funk.


Each day find something that makes you happy. Take time to search look for a flower among the weeds. Instead of allowing noisy kids to annoy you, focus on their innocent faces. Determine if simply listening to classical or upbeat music lifts your spirits.

Enjoy the results of your new outlook on life!

My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link,

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will teach you how to look on the bright side of life and improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

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Are You Enjoying The Ride You Are On?

When my son was barely four, I took him to a local carnival at the park. There were about ten rides for children his age. We waited in line for the first ride. His hands were up and moving in excitement and he had a big grin on his face in anticipation. As soon as the gate opened he ran to one of the small cars and climbed in. Just as this ride was beginning my kid pointed to a different ride. It was as if he couldn’t wait for the ride to end so he could go on another one. This went on for several rides. While on the train ride a bit later he was yelling that he wanted to go on the boat ride next. Without even thinking, I yelled, “Ryan, enjoy the ride you are on!”

When the train ride finished we took a break to get a drink and some fries. Although he was just a small kid, he was beginning to understand some concepts of reasoning. I wanted to make this a teachable moment. Actually, I wanted him to vividly remember the day.


I asked him about the first ride he went on: Did he like it? What was the color of his car? Did it go straight or did it go up and down? He really couldn’t answer any of my questions. I assured him that he was going to go on all the rides before we left the park. I then asked just one thing from him: “Whatever ride you are on pay close attention to what you are doing.” I told him that at the end of the day I wanted him to tell me how one ride differed from another and why he liked one more than another.

I continued to remind him each time he came around the turns to have fun. His body slowed down to the point where he was beginning to live in the moment and enjoy the ride he was on.

I am guilty of having wished away a work week to get to the weekend. I have, on more than one occasion, counted the days until vacation. As a kid I would mark off my calendar in anticipation of summer vacation. My mother told me that I was wishing away my life by doing this. I realize now that I had spent too many years thinking of future events, not the life event I was experiencing at the time.


I remind myself often to enjoy the ride I am on. After all, life is comprised of little incidents, big occasions, forgettable moments and memorable times.

Sick days happen. Bad stuff happens. Disappointments happen. Life has its ups and downs. REALLY enjoying the good times will help balance the not-so-good times.

Life goes by so quickly. If you aren’t taking time to “smell the roses”, try doing it. Make each moment last. Don’t just walk through your life. Laugh harder. Smile bigger. Be silly. Have fun…not just from time to time, but each and every day that you can.


My book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is filled with practical exercises and suggestions regarding growth through awareness of how and why we react the way we do.

You can buy the e-book version by clicking this link,

or get a printed copy mid-summer when it is released.

Aren’t you worth investing a few dollars in order to make healthy changes that will teach you how to enjoy YOUR ride and improve your interpersonal relationships? Lots to gain, little to lose!

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.


How Do You Measure Success?

Two weeks ago I published my first book. Since then I received many emails and texts congratulating me on this accomplishment.

We all measure success differently. Some people look at their salary as a measure of success. Other people look at the title on their business cards. Still others, the fancy cars they drive, how many flat screen TVs they have or how many trips they take.


I understand that we are a society that is materialistic and our value system is tied into money and toys.

I received two emails recently that mean the most to me. One is from a long time friend who wrote, “Congratulations. While good friends and family can help you, it was your belief in yourself and the initiative to attain this goal that made it happen”. And my nephew wrote, “Hearty congratulations! That is quite an accomplishment! Not many people write anything and publish it”.

I have had conversations with friends who only want to know how many books I have sold. To them it appears that success is simply associated with numbers.


When you think of your own life, how do you measure your success? Is it being a good parent or loving son or daughter? Is it by the good deeds you do? Or living up to your commitments?

Perhaps if people measure success by attaining their passions or being a good friend they would find more satisfaction and happiness. I know for me, my success comes from giving 101% to the book I started several years ago and knowing that I did good work.

cat hugging dog

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My book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick is now available on Amazon. Com. Just click on the link below to get your electronic version.

A paperback version will be available at the end of September.

How Important Is Hope?

I have been nicknamed a Pollyanna my whole life.   According to Webster, a Pollyanna is a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything. It defines me to a tee.

For many like myself, it is used to describe a person who finds only the good in people and the good in all circumstances.

My friend of almost 20 years was telling me about a situation where someone she knew did some pretty insane things. I listened and then said one thing positive in her friend’s defense. My friend looked at me and said, “Man, you can find a flower in a field of weeds.” Okay, so I took creative liberties here. She probably said that I could find a flower in a pile of shit.


I have to admit that she made me laugh and she made me think. Thinking and overthinking is what I do best. Reflection to me is the key to understanding ourselves and therefore making the changes needed to make better choices.

In trying to understand why I tend to give people and situations the benefit of the doubt, the word hope keeps popping into my head. I hope that people will be kinder. I hope that people will do the right thing. I hope that our children and their children will do better and be better.

A world without hope is a very sad place. Some may consider me naive. Others may consider me a sucker or gullible. The truth is that I would rather be scammed and taken advantage of by a person or two than to be guarded and suspicious of everyone I meet.

Perhaps by living in my world, those people will learn a little something from me then go on to find the good in others. At least this is what I hope.


Click on the link below to get a copy of my book “12 Way To Discover What Makes You Tick”, available now on

I not only hope you find value in it, I know you will!

Why Would I Buy A Book About Me?

Life is a gift. It is fragile and it is short. Take the time to know yourself. We spend much of our early life in school learning to read, conquer math and study history.

We then learn a job, how to maintain our car, operate our electronic devices and various other tasks required to get along in our world.


How much time do you take to really get to know yourself? To understand how you ‘tick’? Along with knowing yourself, how much time do you take to really understand others and learn how they ‘tick’? Perhaps if you make this an integral part of your life, you will learn from both your successes and your failures. You will become more aware, and understand why you repeat your mistakes without taking responsibility for some of your choices.

I have found that if you take time to really get to know yourself and the world in which you live, your life will be more fulfilling and give you the happiness and peace that you truly want and deserve.

For a small investment, my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, could be just what you need to start the journey towards making decisions that you can feel good about.

Roni Kugler_final

Isn’t it time you invested in yourself?

Click this link to get your copy of the book that could have been named, Finally There Is A Book About Me!

Is There Really A Cosmic Plan?

I love this quote from Michael Josephson who is an inspirational speaker among his many other accomplishments. He borrowed the quote from Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”.


It is really difficult to smile and be happy when a relationship ends, a family pet dies or close friends move away. It is, however, easy to feel only sadness, disappointment and loss.

I firmly believe that people come into our lives for a reason. And not all of these relationships are meant to be with us forever. This doesn’t mean that the time together should be looked at as a failure. A good introspective question would be, “Am I better off having had this experience?” Or, “Even if things ended badly, did good things happen from the time together?”

I try to be pragmatic when faced with breakups, displacement, and change. Some may say, “I am not emotional enough” or “it’s easy for me to just walk away”. I, however, don’t see it quite that way. I believe that I feel deeply. I mourn, I cry and I question. What I don’t do is hold on. Yes, that’s right, I move on. After all if we didn’t experience and accept change, we would all be living in the house we where we born.

President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” People say that life is a journey, yet too many are afraid of actually making the necessary changes to really live a full life.

Are you one of the many who are afraid to make a career change? Do you stay in a toxic relationship because you are afraid of being alone? When your family pet passes are you so afraid of having another broken heart that you don’t want to love another pet?”

Year-after-year if you find your life is not where you want it to be; if you wake up each morning and wonder why you are where you are; if you are more unhappy than happy on a balance scale, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?????


Whether you believe there is a cosmic plan or a random plan, don’t sit around wishing for a different life. Figure out what you need to do to make changes. We are on this earth for a limited amount of time.

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Isn’t it time for you to take more control over your own destiny? Need to get a jump-start? Want to understand why you stay stuck? Need a little help in learning more about yourself and your decision making? Then you need my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick which is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Simply click on the link below to order your copy. Give yourself a gift. I guarantee it will be the best $8.95 you have spent in a long time! 

For more inspirational thoughts and videos, please sign up at my website If you find value in my articles, please share them with your friends and family. I welcome all comments.

Now take on the day!

Do You Have Passion In Your Life?

Six years ago I lived in a house, was in a relationship, had a job I liked and co-parented two adorable dogs. I enjoyed many activities and was blessed with good friends and a close-knit family.

And yet with all of the above I felt emptiness and a lack of real purpose. On one of my daily walks I found myself wondering why I wasn’t happier. As a side note, in general I am a “glass half full” kind of gal.

I let my mind wander trying to understand what was missing. The word passion kept coming to mind. Although I enjoyed my life, I didn’t feel passionate about it.

After about a month of walks during which my mind drifting in and out of the ‘lack of passion’ idea, I decided to change how I looked at the world.

dog walk

I started visualizing more, clearing my mind more and opening myself up to new and different ideas. I enrolled in a meditation class and talked with more people who were creative, not just concrete, as I tended to be.

To make a long story short (although it is a bit late for that), I now live in a one-bedroom apartment; I am single; I am retired from my day job, and I have NEVER been happier. Oh, and I still co-parent my dogs.

Why am I happier? Because I found my passion. Now, this did not happen overnight. It did however start with a single thought. It went something like this, “Roni, you need to open your mind and your heart to new ideas.” How did I do this? I committed to the universe that I wouldn’t say no or close doors to new directions that my life might take.

I began journaling my thoughts. This led to blogging, then to creating videos. I wrote inspirational stories, offered motivational exercises and shared thought-provoking situations.

After several months, I was encouraged by several friends to consider actually authoring a book, as I pen this blog, my first book has just been published!

Roni Kugler_final

We are on this earth for a short period of time. Although one doesn’t need to quit jobs, divorce spouses or move to far-away places in order to find his or her passion, the truth is that passion and purpose gives our lives more meaning and pleasure.

If you are living a life presently devoid of passion, think about what you can do to incorporate passion into your life. And then reap the benefits.


Why Is It So Important To Face Our Fears?

While I was in my 40s, I found myself in Mammoth, CA on a slope that I had no business skiing down. To say I was in way over my head is an understatement. Unfortunately for me there was no backing up. My only options were to ride the chair lift or to go down on my own two feet. I never considered the chair lift option because at that time in my life I would have felt like a failure.

chair lift

It seemed like I stood still forever studying the hill. I observed all the ice, I saw all the moguls (packed mounds of snow), and I was aware how steep the slope was. I wondered, “How the hell did I get here?” All of these obstacles terrified me but they didn’t stop me. “Why”, you ask? From previous experiences I had learned that although I might be scared, if I took things slowly and believed in myself, I would be all right. I thought, “Ok Roni, if you fall it will be hard getting back up, but you will get back up”. And if I didn’t, I could always wait for the ski patrol to take me to a hot tottie and a roaring fire in the lodge below.


I am big on back-up plans. But most importantly, I was a firm believer that a positive attitude, good planning, and preparation would give me the confidence to see me through just about anything.

After realizing just how challenging this was going to be, I planned my attack. I decided to take a small section at a time. I would traverse (small turns) and slide my way down. So with a quick prayer of, “Please don’t let me die”, I faced my skis downward and off I went. At each turn I made, at each section I passed, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. After about 10 minutes I decided to stop to look at how much more of the mountain was left. I could NOT believe there was so much more to go. It was at this point that I decided to look behind me. “Wow, did I do all that? How did I manage to get this far?” It became my routine to ski a bit, then stop and look behind me so I could appreciate just how far I had come.

mountian of snow

After what seemed like the longest 45 minutes of my life I found myself at the bottom of the hill. I had not fallen! I was impressed with myself and full of confidence. It felt so good. Then while I stood there taking it all in, I lost my balance and fell on the powdered snow below me. I just started to laugh. I remembered reading a quote from Woody Allen, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan”. It was at that point I looked up at the sky (which wasn’t hard to do as I was flat on my back), and made a pact with myself. I decided that when life became too difficult for me I would think of this day and remind myself that when things seem the bleakest there are always options.


I often recall that day on the mountain where I learned a valuable lesson: self-confidence comes from facing your fears head on!

In my upcoming book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, I devote a whole chapter to facing your fears. This is one of the most empowering things we can do for ourselves. Don’t you agree?

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Why Do Adult Children Cut Ties With Their Parents?

During a recent search on the Internet I discovered an abundance of adult children who have severed ties with their parents. There are many articles written as to why. Common themes are:

  • The children were raised in a child-centered home.
  • Parents did too much for their kids.
  • Parents concerned themselves more with their children’s self-esteem rather than teaching children self-control
  • Parents made decisions based on their guilt instead of using good parental choices.
  • The child is narcissistic.

So the list goes. The great majority of research that I have read puts the blame squarely on parents, not their offspring. I agree. My generation happens to be guilty of two things. First, they were and are way too involved in the lives of their kids. Second, they are afraid their children won’t like them.

kid ignorning parent

When did this happen? When I was growing up (wouldn’t you like a dollar every time someone said that to you?), my parents didn’t give a flying hoot if I liked them or was angry with them. They made parental decisions with the mantra “This will make more sense to you when you are a parent”. And, that was pretty much the end of it.

dollar  bill

My brothers and I were tormented by sleepless nights if we thought we were out of favor with our parents, not the other way around.

If your grown children are out of the house and the damage is done, do you feel there’s nothing you can do? Do you fear that you will never see them again or get to watch your grandchildren grow?   Do you feel you have no choice but to bend to their every demand? NO! NO! NO!

I say it is NEVER too late to start over. While my son was growing up I had conversations with him regarding mutual respect and expectations. I constantly redefined our relationship while maintaining my parental status. I a have strong opinion that your child should NEVER be your friend. That doesn’t mean you don’t hang with your kids. It doesn’t mean you don’t like your kids. It just means you don’t burden them with your finances, love life, or personal issues; these should be reserved for a close friend. I believe that when the lines of parent/child and parent/friend cross, the result can be unwanted advice, lack of respect and confusion.

My parents used to say, “You can talk to your friends like that, NOT your parents.” When you change the game by making your child your friend, the line becomes blurred. I believe the parent-child relationship stands on its own. We can have many friends, however, we have only one mom and one dad. Why isn’t this good enough?

Take a look at your relationship with your adult children. Is it working for you? Are you pleased with the way things are? If you answer YES pat yourself on the back, you did something right. However if you feel boundaries have been crossed and you and your children are off-track, then take action.

Make a plan to sit down and communicate with your children… not by email or text; not with your child and his or her spouse present; one on one. Talk about how much you love them. Talk about some of the mistakes you have made. Then arrive at a common ground where you can redefine your relationship and forge a new bond.

Don’t miss another holiday or family event without your adult children present. Make the effort. Do not blame. Do not yell. Open up your heart and dinner

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Why Do People Call Life A JOURNEY?

Life is a journey. It’s an easy catch phrase for explaining all we must go through in order to gain the wisdom that seems to come in the third chapter of our lives.

Greeting cards, tee shirts, and inspirational material all refer to life being called a journey to help those people who feel “life is just a challenge” and “what’s the use”.

Journeys worth taking come with some predictability, some surprises, and if we are really lucky interesting stories that can be shared with our family and friends.

Beverly Hillbillies

One of the best journeys I have taken was to Europe when I was in my 30s. My friend and I planned to visit France, Italy, and Switzerland. We had three weeks to see cities and countrysides. We talked about tours. We talked about scheduling our days to get the most out of our adventure. Then we made the decision to only make two reservations: the first night and the last night in Paris. With that in mind we purchased materials to help us navigate our journey.

We knew we wanted to spend a limited time in big cities. We were both excited to explore the countryside where we were privy to castles, small villages, and areas where the locals live. I made it my personal mission to have an éclair in every town. By the end of our trip I became quite an expert regarding quality éclairs. Long walks and an occasional bike ride kept me from outgrowing my clothes.

When I recall this trip I think about my life. The truth is that not every plan we make is actually realized.

There have been many times that I felt lost. There have been many times when I wasn’t happy with my life. I believe when we are young we can’t see the value in making mistakes or making bad choices; we only feel disappointment and confusion.

If we are fortunate, we learn that all we have gone through actually makes us who we are. It is hard to appreciate success without failure. It is difficult to understand loss without love. And for many it is hard to believe good times can happen while going through extremely bad times.

I have a friend who had lived through a few really bad years. Every conversation with her was about how she didn’t want to go on because life had so little pleasure to offer. Her pain was unbearable having experienced major losses.

Less than two years later she is quick to laugh and smile. She is upbeat, positive, and feels her life has meaning. This is not to say her life is without sadness and challenges. What happened to cause such an extreme change? She took control by making decisions that give her peace and security. This is so empowering.

Jounrey Picture

We don’t always have an easy journey. It is rare to live through decades without experiencing loss and sadness. It isn’t the journey that makes a difference in who we become, it is our reaction to it.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation that knocks you on your ass, try to find something positive about it. When life shits on you find the humor in it. And most of all, look for the lesson so you come through your journey a better and wiser person.

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