welcomes as our guest Daniel A. Miller author of the bestselling Losing Control, Finding Serenity and The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are.

After graduating from UCLA with honors in business administration, Daniel then went on to rank in the top five percent of his class at UCLA School of Law.

While still in his twenties, he became a popular real estate instructor in the UCLA extension program; in his thirties, he wrote a respected professional book, How to Invest in Real Estate Syndicates (Dow Jones-Irwin, 1978).

He later founded the California Institute of Real Estate Education, which offered state-licensed seminars to thousands of real-estate professionals, and achieved financial success as a real estate investment advisor to celebrities and the wealthy.

After suffering a series of traumatic events, he began a new journey, learning to surrender to the ups and downs of life. In the process, he became an artist, a published poet, a champion senior tennis player, a happily married man, and a much wiser parent.

He now writes and speaks about the profound benefits of letting go of control and practising acceptance.

Norm: Good day Daniel and thanks for participating in our interview.

What has been your greatest challenge (professionally) that you’ve overcome in getting to where you’re at today?

Daniel: My biggest challenge was being able to let go of control at work and simply trust that everything would work out ok.  I was an obsessive controller and had to have my hands in everything—including other peoples’ affairs.  It wasn’t until a rapid fire series of traumatic events that shook me to my core that I was finally able to “surrender” to the natural flow of life—and work-- and with that, gain a glimpse of a more serene way of living and working.  Hence, the title of my earlier book Losing Control, Finding Serenity! 

Norm: How many times in your careers have you experienced rejection? How did they shape you?

Daniel:  I didn’t experience rejection so much as failure, particularly when some of my sponsored real estate investments performed poorly.  It was very humbling, but at the same time I gained the knowledge that later led to some very successful investments.   In writing career, however, I experienced a lot of rejection.  Losing Control, Finding Serenity was rejected by over 25 literary agents and publishers. But I strongly felt that many other people also struggled with control issues and would want to learn ways of reducing them.    I thus decided to form my own publishing company, Ebb and Flow Press, to publish the book.  I am very proud that LCFS was a Foreword Reviews Book of Year Finalist in 2011 and has been an Amazon best seller for over six years. 

Norm: Do you worry about the human race?

Daniel: Yes, I do.   Aside from deep concern about the environment, I am troubled by the prevalent divisiveness, dismissiveness, and smugness, and the lack of kindness and decency in the world.   That’s one of the reasons why I feel practicing acceptance is so important.   My poem “The Space Between” at the beginning of the book is my attempt to address those concerns. 

Norm: What served as the primary inspiration for writing The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are and how did you decide you were ready to write the book?

Daniel: I really hadn’t planned to write another book after LCFS was published, but in December 2011 I wrote a short blog post entitled “Five Good Reasons for Accepting Others as They Are” and the reader response was immediate and huge, and still is to this day.   I then wrote some other short articles on the acceptance dynamic and they, too, resonated with readers.  Acceptance was also such a constant challenge in my own life and that motivated me to write and talk to others about its benefits, its obstacles, and its blessings. By the end of 2012, I knew I had to write a book about acceptance.    

Norm: What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

Daniel: My intention was to write a book that would help people understand the clear benefits of practicing acceptance in their relationships and important life arenas, and to identify and overcome its main obstacles.  I sincerely feel that acceptance is the key to repairing broken relationships and our broken world.  My goal is that the book will help start a needed conversation about acceptance, one that will be joined and fostered by many others.    

Norm: What is the most important thing that people don't know about the subject of your book, that they need to know?

Daniel: One very important thing that people may not know is that with acceptance, comes choices—ones that can improve our lives in unexpected and remarkable ways.   Another one is that acceptance does not require that we give up our values and principles; to the contrary, it furthers them!  

Norm: What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?

Daniel: The biggest obstacle was whether I wanted to expend the considerable time and energy in writing another book.   There is so much involved in writing a book aside from its actual writing.  I overcame that obstacle by not putting time constraints on my writing and just allowing the book to evolve organically.   In doing that, writing the book became an enjoyable, rewarding, and very educational six year journey. 

Norm: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Daniel: I most enjoyed talking to, meeting with, and learning from people who courageously accepted their life adversities.  Their positivity was inspiring to me.   On a personal level, writing the book allowed me to address my own resistance to accepting people and things in my life and explore ways in which to be more accepting.

Norm: I noticed that you prefaced your chapters with epigraphs. How did you decide which one to include and where did you dig them up?

Daniel: I found most of the epigraphs through topical internet searches and a few from books I had read.   I chose ones that I felt best fit the subject matter of the chapters.  In my research, I discovered that epigraphs are often incorrectly attributed.  For example, Oliver Goldsmith’s statement, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail,” that I used in the chapter on accepting our failures is frequently attributed to either Emerson or Confucius! 

Norm: How has the feedback been so far concerning your book:

Daniel: Initial critical and reader response has been very positive.   The Library Journal recently gave it a starred "highly recommended" review.  In writing about acceptance, I sometimes felt that that I was writing in a “vacuum,” in the sense that what may have meaning or significance to me, might not be so for others.  That’s why reviewer and reader validation has been so gratifying to me.   It’s a great feeling to know that I may be helping others overcome their acceptance challenges and improve their lives.

Norm: What do your plans for future projects include?

Daniel: I deeply believe that acceptance is more important than ever and it is my desire to help in whatever ways I can to make “Acceptance Go Viral.” I will continue writing and speaking about acceptance, and I will also continue the  “conversation” on radio shows in the coming months.

Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are?

Daniel: People can read my articles on the control and acceptance dynamics, as well as view my paintings and read my poetry, on my WEBSITE.   The Gifts of Acceptance can be purchased through Amazon, Apple iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and through favorite booksellers.  I have priced the ebook at only $3.99, and an audio book should be available on before the end of this month. 

Norm: As this interview comes to an end, what question do you wish that someone would ask about The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are, but nobody has?

Daniel: That question would be “What can I do to foster greater acceptance in our world?”  But it’s very early, so I hope that question will be asked many, many times!

Norm: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It's been an absolute pleasure to meet with you and read your work. Good luck with The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are.

Follow Here To read Norm's Review of  The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are