Glass Of Water Which Is Half-full
Glass of water which is half-full stands on a wooden table which stands on the sand beach by the sea
Is the glass half full or half empty? I’ll let you answer this one.

Last week, I struck up a conversation with a woman while we waited in the checkout line in the grocery store. And as usual on the weekend, I was rocking one of my smiley face shirts.

After chatting for a minute or so, she looked down at my shirt and then asked me flatly, “wow, you do like to smile a lot, don’t you?”

Admittedly, I was a little taken aback by the question, but I replied by saying, “Yeah, I do. I’m a happy guy and I view the world optimistically–it’s just who I am.”

She looked at me suspiciously and then condescendingly replied, “Hmm…okay. No offense, but optimism and smiling all the time isn’t a healthy mindset. It’s far healthier for your sanity to be a realist.” Then she paid for her groceries and shuffled out of the store.

Sadly, I’ve had a variation of this conversation hundreds of times since I’ve started this work years ago. Sometimes it frustrates me, sometimes it amuses me, but it always confuses me.

It’s time to set the record straight.

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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.


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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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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Shola is exclusively represented by Gotham Artists.
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