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.
Do you know what I used to believe with every fiber of my being?
That I could run away from all of my problems.
It didn’t matter to me if it was an unhealthy romantic relationship, a bill collector’s phone calls, a nagging toothache, or a persistent sadness that I couldn’t seem to shake off, my solution was to avoid feeling it.
That’s because I believed that if I avoided my pain–or worse, if I ran in the opposite direction of my pain–it would eventually go away.
Yours won’t either.
If you’re running away from your demons right now, I can promise you that they will be waiting for you when you finally decide to stop running.
A few months ago, I was line at the gym waiting to swipe my membership card to enter the gym for my morning workout when I heard something disturbing.
Two women who were ahead of me in line started chuckling to themselves and commenting about a woman inside of the gym.
Lady #1: “I wonder if fat-ass Shamu is here this morning.” (Side note: In case you didn’t know, “Shamu” is the name of the huge killer whale at Sea World.)
Lady #2 (pointing at an overweight woman on an elliptical machine wearing a black-and-white outfit): “Yep, there she is! God, she is such a pig!”
Then they both swiped their membership cards and chuckled their way inside of the gym.
Yes, these were grown women in their 30’s, who got their jollies by making fun of a woman who was working hard to positively deal with the issue that they were currently laughing at her for (if that makes any sense.)
Yes, judgment really is such an ugly thing.
Unfortunately for those two women, what they didn’t realize is that their comments about that woman told me (and the world) so much more about them than it did about that woman.
“Hey Shola, how do you stay so motivated to make the world a more positive place?”
I get that question a lot for some reason.
Motivation is such an elusive thing for many people. Some people can find the motivation to create a million dollar business from scratch, to lose 200 lbs, or to become a Ph.D before they turn 30. Other people can’t find the motivation to shower on a daily basis or get out of bed in the morning.
Speaking of “weird,” here’s my answer to the question at the beginning of this blog post:
I’m really not motivated to make the world a more positive place.
If you’re one of the many people who are currently living a life of positivity, then you probably know how hard it can be. That’s why it’s worth saying it again:
Being negative is the easy route.
The real challenge in life is finding the inner strength to be positive enough to make the world a better place, even in the face of unrelenting negativity.
Since it is a challenge, my goal is to make living a positive life as easy as humanly possible for as many people as I can reach.
Last week, I shared three simple, but very powerful tips to stay consistently positive. This week, I’m going to take it a big step further by giving you one simple rule to instantly (yes, instantly) make the world a more positive place.
Anyone can do it, you don’t need any talent/skills/connections/education/etc, and most importantly, you can apply this rule the minute you’re done reading this blog post.
A couple of years ago, I was giving a speech to 200 people, and less than 30 seconds after I got on stage, I noticed a group of people in the front row who were chuckling, whispering to each other and pointing at me.
This couldn’t be good.
Mind you, at this point, all that I said to the audience was my name and why I was there. I didn’t say anything funny at all (not yet, anyway), so what in the hell was so damn funny??? I was so distracted and it was driving me crazy until I finally figured it out.
Yep, my fly was down.
Here I was on stage with my zipper completely down, more and more people were noticing my “wardrobe malfunction” with each passing second, and at this point I was completely thrown off my game because I couldn’t. Stop. Thinking. About. My. Zipper!
Many years ago, I saw an interview on TV that changed my life.
I wish that I had more details, but to make a long story short, a woman who had been through unspeakable horrors (rape, repeated abuse, false imprisonment, etc.) was being interviewed about her horrific ordeal.
I was actually flipping through the channels trying to find the Lakers game, but something about that woman’s inner strength, poise, and unshakable positive energy caused my thumb to freeze and stop pressing the “Channel Up” button as I listened to her voice.
After watching about 5 minutes of the interview, the interviewer asked the woman a difficult question with sincere curiosity:
“How it is possible for you to move on with your life after going through the hell that you went through?”
Without even the slightest pause, the woman looked directly at the interviewer and responded with the poise and grace that made her strength impossible to forget. Her response to that question has stuck with me ever since I saw the interview years ago:
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.