Little child girl plays superhero. Child standing before sunset
Little child girl plays superhero. Child on the background of sunset sky. Girl power concept
You are so much stronger than your excuses.

Imagine this:

You are locked into the fight for your life, and you’re giving it all of your effort.

You’re punching, kicking, scratching, hair-pulling, and doing everything within your power to win this fight. And after years and years of battling with every shred of energy you have, you finally reach the day when you win.

But here’s the bad news that no one is willing to tell you:

You didn’t really win.

That’s because you were fighting for your excuses instead of fighting for your best life.

Worst of all, as a result of winning this fight, you’ve now lost any shot that you’ve ever had at living the life that you are hoping for.

Sad, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, in the not-so-distant past, I was that guy fighting the wrong fight, and I can safely say that it is a miserable way to go through life–that’s why I’m writing this.

If you’re in that place now, it’s time to hang up the boxing gloves and start fighting the right fight.

You are so much stronger than your excuses.

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Tree split between summer and winter to illustrate change of seasons from winter to summer

Change of seasons from winter to summer

Set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming.” -Jim Rohn

The title of this blog post is pretty dramatic, isn’t it?

Maybe it is, but it’s true. At best, in this life, we’re all either growing or we’re decaying. Since I’m the type of guy who likes to push the envelope, let me take it one step further.

We’re all either growing or we’re dying.

Technically, I guess that there would be a tiny segment of the population that would be the exception to the above rule:

If your life is flawlessly perfect and there’s nothing in your life that you want to change, improve, or show some growth, then this blog post is definitely not for you.

(Actually, this entire website is not for you. Why are you here???)

For the rest of us, keep reading.

If there is a big area of your life where you want to grow (think: quitting a destructive habit, starting your own business, or committing to start standing up for yourself), let me be real with you:

It will never happen if you continue to be the exact same person you are today.

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Child sitting in living room with Teddy bear
Portrait of child sitting in living room with Teddy bear
It’s time to make kindness the new normal.

A couple of weeks ago, I called the customer service department of a well-known online retailer because I ordered a gift for someone…and I mistakenly had it mailed to the wrong address.

Oops.

As I sheepishly explained my situation to the customer service rep (again, this situation was 100% my mistake), the customer service rep said something that both shocked and saddened me:

“Mr. Richards, I really appreciate you for being so patient and for not yelling at me. I’ll be happy to ship another package to the correct address, and I credited your account an extra $10 for being so kind about this situation.” 

Wait…what? Let me get this straight.

I was the bonehead who typed in the incorrect address, yet I was given an extra $10 solely for “not yelling” at the customer service rep for a mistake that I made??? And as an added bonus, she happily fixed my problem for me too! All in all, this entire situation probably took less than 15 minutes.

Most people would be very happy about this outcome. So, what is there to be “shocked and saddened” about?

A lot, actually.

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Birds Grouped on Wires with One Bird by Itself "Individuality"
Individuality symbol and independent thinker concept and new leadership concept or individuality as a group of pigeon birds on a wire with one individual bird in the opposite direction as a business icon for new innovative thinking.
Why fit in when you could stand out?

Recently, during a speaking engagement, a woman in the audience asked me a question that would have been very difficult for me to answer a few years ago:

“On your positivity journey, what has been the one life lesson that has been the hardest for you to learn?”

Without any hesitation, I looked out at the audience and gave her my honest answer:

“Without question, the hardest life lesson that I’ve learned is that I have nothing to prove to anyone. Absolutely nothing.”

It took me a while (read: most of my adult life) to get to this point, but I’m here now and I cannot describe the amount of peace, freedom and happiness this simple lesson has given to me.

If you’re not there yet, I’m here to help you get there, today.

You have nothing to prove to anyone, and I’ll do everything in my power to convince you that it’s true.

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Young Lady With A Hat Sitting On A Pier
Waiting to find happiness? If so, you’re in for a long wait.

Please take a moment to marinate in an excerpt from one of my favorite books of all-time. If you have kids, you should probably recognize it instantly:

[You’ll] grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place.

…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go,

or bus to come, or a plane to go,

or the mail to come, or the rain to go,

or the phone to ring or the snow to snow,

or waiting around for a Yes or No,

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite,

or waiting for wind to fly a kite,

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake,

or a pot to boil, or a Better Break,

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants,

or wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

NO! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.

You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.”

-Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Do you know what a “Boom Band” is? Yeah, I’m not entirely sure either.

Here’s what I do know, though.

No one likes waiting. 

Unfortunately, besides the fact that it’s a less-than-enjoyable thing to do, waiting can also be incredibly dangerous too.

This is especially true when it comes to waiting for happiness.

Like Dr. Seuss said, it’s time to escape all that waiting and staying.

I might not know exactly what Boom Bands are, but I know that they’re good. More importantly, I happen to know exactly where the Boom Bands are playing too.

It’s time that we pay that place a visit.

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Being your own hero. Silhouette Of A young boy wearing a cape plays a super hero at sunset.
Being your own hero. Silhouette Of A young boy wearing a cape plays a super hero at sunset.
Be your own hero.

One day I was teaching a customer service class, and I remember a woman complaining non-stop about how miserable she was in her job.

She went on and on about how she hated all of her coworkers, she hated her boss, she hated serving customers, and most of all, she felt like her job was taking years off of her life due to “being around stupid people all day.”

When she was done with her rant, I asked her a very obvious question that she probably should have asked herself years ago:

“If you’re so miserable here, shouldn’t you consider finding another job that will make you happy?”

She was completely shocked by my question, before she finally responded.

“Well, I have bills to pay and I need this job. But that’s not even the issue. I just don’t understand why this company has so many idiots working here. They should be the ones who have to quit, not me…” Blah, blah, blah.

On and on she went. It was truly sad to listen to her.

She believed that the responsibility for fixing her unhappiness in her job belonged to her company, to her coworkers, and to her boss.

The fact is, no one is going to save her from a job that she hates–least of all, the “idiots” who she hates working with.

But I know who can.

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Door Open To Show a Brick Wall
Door To Brick Wall
What do you see–a barrier or an opportunity?

A while ago, I ran into one of my old coworkers at the grocery store.

We used to work together at the soul-destroying hellhole that I’ve described in other blog posts in the past. I haven’t seen this woman at all since I left that place for good many years ago, and I was very curious to find out if she was still working there.

One thing that I knew for sure was that she hated at working at that place as much, if not more, than I did.

Surely, she escaped and was joyfully working in a happy and healthy work environment, right?

Well…

Here’s a brief nugget from our conversation in the grocery store:

Me: “Hey, so are you still working at (company that is so wretched and awful that it cannot be named)?”

Ex-coworker (obviously embarrassed): <Deep sigh>“Yeah I am, but…”

To be honest, I stopped listening at that point.

I know that sounds harsh, but let me explain.

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Huge legs with small businessman standing in front
Huge legs with small businessman standing in front concept on ba
It’s time to reclaim your power.

If you’ve been following The Positivity Solution for a little while, then I’m certain that you know this:

I believe that fear destroys more lives than any other force on this planet.

That’s why I talk about the dangers of living a fear-controlled life so often on this blog (like here, here and here for starters.)

While that’s true, there’s one form of fear that I haven’t really addressed up until this point, and it actually might be the most common form of fear that exists.

It’s the fear of other people.

Or more specifically, being intimidated by other people. If you’re in that place now, this one is for you.

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Young Woman With Suitcase in Hand Going Away On A Rural Road
If you’re not wanted, why stay?

Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people–the ones who really belong in your life–will come to you. And stay.” -Will Smith

I believe deeply in simplicity.

One of my biggest blogging goals is to take complex concepts about living a more positive life, and streamline them in hopes of making it easier for thousands (maybe millions, one day?) of people to finally put them into action.

Here are five of my favorite examples:

1) What you allow is what will continue.

2) Stop complaining.

3) Leave the world better than you found it.

4) You have nothing to prove to anyone.

5) Be your own hero.

Simple, right?

And now, it’s time for another positivity solution (see what I did there?) that can save you from a ton of unnecessary pain and misery if you choose to follow it consistently:

Only go where you are wanted.

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Red Velvet Ropes Blocking Off The Red Carpet
Who gets to be in your VIP Section?

If you’ve ever been to a nightclub before, then I’m sure that you’ve heard of the VIP (aka, Very Important Person) section before.

If not, the VIP section of a nightclub is the section of the club where some very lucky people get to enjoy some very cool perks.

People in the VIP section don’t wait in line like everyone else.

People in the VIP section are given super comfortable seats and a table with specialized service, just for them.

Most importantly, people in the VIP section get to enjoy the absolute best that the nightclub has to offer.

Make no mistake, it’s an honor, privilege, and a pretty incredible experience to enjoy VIP access.

At this point, I wouldn’t blame you if you were wondering, “umm okay, I haven’t been to a nightclub in years. What in the hell does this have to do with me?”

A lot, actually.

You might not be in charge of the VIP section for a fancy nightclub, but you’re in charge of the VIP section for something that’s far more important:

You’re in charge of the VIP section of your life.

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Hi! I am Shola

Pink Gradient Shadow

Over a decade ago, I was drowning in the despondency of yet another workday. My success as the top regional performer had been numbed by a culture of incessant workplace bullying. And, I’d recently made the situation worse by filing a formal complaint. In short, I was collateral damage in a company without the process or intention to address my experience.

Exhausted from the drama, with an unrecognizable version of myself at the wheel, I intentionally swerved off the interstate in an attempt to take my own life. But in that half-second, my reflexes responded, and I yanked the wheel away from disaster. As I clipped the guardrail on I 405, something changed...

I uncovered a power within myself

...a burning desire to reverse a trend that happens daily to sixty-five million people in this country alone. This catalyst has since become Go Together™ Movement - a transformational roadmap of mindset, behaviors, and tools that transform workplace cultures and drive results.

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