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…]


Being Stronger Than Your Excuses

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.
[Read more…]


Grow or Die

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. [Read more…]


Respect Is Not Earned

happy female hardware store cashier with arms folded

Does this woman need to earn your respect before you give it to her? I hope not.

Respect is earned.

How do you feel when you hear that statement? Are you in total agreement with it? Or do you think that it is complete insanity?

Before you answer, let’s begin with a simple experiment.

Take a moment to look at the two groups of professionals listed below:

Group A: Physician, attorney, accountant, university professor, pilot, engineer, scientist, and CEO.

Group B: Waiter, flight attendant, nurse, customer service representative, coffee barista, retail employee, valet, bank teller, cashier, bell hop, grocery store bagger/cashier, receptionist, and hotel maid.

Keep it real with me.

Which group deserves more of your respect and admiration? Don’t struggle with this question–it should be a fairly easy one to answer.

Made your choice?


Before I tell you my answer, allow me to share with you what an acquaintance of mine said when I asked her the same question: [Read more…]