After the Slash

Choose wisely.

There is nothing more important in the world than this. When you’re done reading this post, I’m confident that you’ll agree with me.

Your happiness, success, your health, the job of your dreams, inner peace, true love, even your sanity depends solely on this one thing.

It’s called the slash, and you cannot live another moment without a full understanding of its power over your life.

Strangely enough, you’ve probably never heard of it until now. Stranger than that, is the fact that you use it multiple times a day without even being aware of it.

That is, until now.

In order to understand what I’m talking about, please allow me to illustrate the power of the slash in action. [Read more…]

 

When Others Want You To Stay Small

Some people want you to live small. Don't let them.

Some people want you to stay small. Don’t let them.

I’m sure that this won’t surprise you in the slightest bit, but there are quite a few “enemies of positivity” in this world.

I’ve already talked about how to tap into your “infinite fuel” to plow through the naysayers and skeptics who don’t believe that you have what it takes to reach your wildest dreams.

I’ve already talked about how to easily wipe the floor with the haters, trolls, and the other broken souls who get off on telling you how pathetic you are (they’re wrong about that, by the way.)

Unfortunately, there’s another group of people who don’t quite fit into either category, and they can wreak havoc on your happiness and sanity, if you let them.

You may work with these people, be friends with these people (which is a terrible idea, by the way), be related to these people, or you might even be married to a person who falls into this category.

These are the people who desperately want you to live a life that’s smaller than the life you’re capable of living.

The good news is that living a “small life” is a choice.

And it’s a choice that you don’t ever have to make. [Read more…]

 

Make Someone’s Day, Every Day

a portrait of a happy child

What if you could inspire this reaction in everyone you met? Well, maybe you can.

Last month I was traveling for business, and I was grabbing a bite to eat inside of an incredibly busy airport restaurant.

The guy who was serving me was visibly stressed out, sweating profusely, and became extremely flustered when I asked him basic questions about the menu. So, I put the menu down and looked him in the eye and gently asked him a question.

“Hey man, not to pry…but, are you okay?”

It was crazy–just the act of asking him that simple question changed his entire demeanor. It was like a 50 lb weight was lifted off of his back.

He sighed, and then he told me that he just started at the restaurant yesterday and that this was his first shift alone. He then shared how much he needed this job, and how determined he was not to screw up this opportunity, even though he (admittedly) barely knew what was on the menu.

Unfortunately, we didn’t chat for very long because he was being pulled in every direction by all of the customers he was serving–many of which, were not very kind or patient with him.

I felt terrible for him–he was clearly trying his best, and I wanted to do something to help. So, when my bill came, I left him a tip that was more than the price of the meal (in case you’re mistaking me for a big baller, it was only $20), and a note that said:

“Remember, with everything that’s new, it’s always hard before it’s easy. Hang in there–you got this!”

Afterward, I went to the restroom, and as I walked out of the restroom and headed out of the restaurant to catch my flight, I was practically tackled by my waiter.

I still can hear the enthusiasm in his voice as he gave me a hug, “Duuuuuuuude! Thank you so much! That was so cool of you–you just made my day!”

And because of that, my day was made too. [Read more…]

 

The Gift in Our Pain

Girl Sits In A Depression On The Floor Near The Wall

Sometimes, our pain is a beautiful thing.

There is a gift in our pain.

That might sound strange (or insensitive) for me to say, especially if you’re dealing with something really painful in your life right now.

What is the “gift” in going through a divorce, dealing with a bully boss, or struggling to make ends meet financially? That doesn’t even begin to mention the impossibility of finding a “gift” in developing a life-altering medical condition, having a child die, or being the victim of sexual assault.

To be very clear, I am in no way saying that those events are a gift. They’re not, and it would be insulting for anyone to say otherwise.

What I am saying is that after an intensely painful event, many people do uncover a special gift that they might have been unaware of before:

The awareness of how strong they truly are. [Read more…]

 

Being an Optimist vs. Being a Realist

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 The Positivity Solution three years ago. Sometimes it frustrates me, sometimes it amuses me, but it always confuses me.

It’s time to set the record straight. [Read more…]

 

The Positivity of Presence

Group of friends at a restaurant with all people on the table occupied with cellphones

If you’re wondering what it means to be present, this is not it.

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending Oprah Winfrey’s second-annual Super Soul Session at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

It was an amazing day full of wisdom, laughter, connection and positivity from modern-day luminaries such as Eckhart Tolle, Marie Forleo, India Arie, Caroline Myss, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Cheryl Strayed, Shaka Senghor, Kris Carr, Kerry Washington, and of course, Oprah.

(Side note: If you’re not familiar with any of the names on that list, just Google them–you’ll be glad that you did.)

To call the day “inspirational” would be the understatement of the year. Truthfully, recapping this epic day probably deserves its own separate blog post.

But, I actually want to talk about something else that I noticed during that day:

The amount of people who were hopelessly glued to their cell phones for the entire day. [Read more…]