Sunday, October 31, 2010

Boo!

Photo: Google

Hello Optimists,

Happy Halloween! Are you doing anything scary to celebrate??

I must admit that I am not a fan of Halloween. I don't think I ever really was...well, maybe for the candy, but aside from that, I can be pretty much counted out of the mix. Now before you go calling me a Party Pooper, let me just say that I think it's a perfectly fun celebration for kids - and to me, there's almost nothing as cute as a little kid dressed up in a tiny lady bug costume, as Pooh Bear, or any other costume that the little ghouls don. When I was younger, I liked dressing up in fun costumes, painting my face and going out trick-or-treating with my friends. I remember being Jasmine from Aladdin, a doctor, a witch, a joker, and a baseball player, and then hitting the town with my friends to collect a sickening amount of candy. That was fun. 

But then there's this whole scary movie bit that Halloween brings on....again, not a fan. Halloween is the one time, and the one time only, that I might watch a scary movie, but after that, no thank you! I am not really one who likes to be scared. I do, however, like Charlie Brown's Halloween special, and I enjoy eating anything pumpkin. But now that I'm twenty-something, I don't really see the point in "celebrating" Halloween. Finding or making a costume that I wouldn't look or feel like a complete fool in is pretty challenging, and I no longer desire to eat pounds of candy in one night. Though if it's Reese's peanut butter cups, we might have a deal. Basically, I'd rather see the little kids enjoy this day than to go out myself.


But it is Halloween nonetheless, so it's only fair that I recognize it and "celebrate" it in my own way. Today's featured quote (well, more like today's featured verse) is perfect for all those Halloween lovers and haters out there...

On Halloween the thing you must do
Is pretend that nothing can frighten you
And if somethin' scares you and you want to run
Just let on like it's Halloween fun.
~Author Unknown
I like this one! It's true that on Halloween, not much can really scare us because in some way, we're prepared for it. We know that scary just comes with the territory on Halloween, and often times, we look forward to a little spook. But on any normal day when we're not prepared or expecting a scare,  things can really freak us out.

I will be keeping this little verse in mind the next time I hear a door creak closed or think I see an un-administered wave of the curtains. Just let on like it's Halloween fun...


Keep Smiling,




P.S. Stay tuned for an very IMPORTANT and EXCITING post coming this week!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Positive Tones

Photo: Google


Hello Optimists,

It was finally time for me to update my phone this weekend, and I'm happy to report that I've finally arrived in the SmartPhone world. I got a (enter creepy robot voice here) Droiiiiid, and after trying to figure out all of the new features and settings, I finally arrived at the Ringtones menu where I could customize all of the little bells and beeps that would be ringing soon enough.

I scrolled through the menus, cringing at the sound of most of the tones, until I arrived at a different ring- an upbeat and cheery little ding! that I thought would be suitable for my message alerts. Quite ironically, the name of the tone was Positive. Hmph, well that seems to fit perfectly!

Then I moved on to the menu of ringtones, and after listening to one too many blaring riiiiiiiiiiiing!s, I had all about given up when one of the last few offered a relieving little melody. Ah, finally. I glance down to search for the "select" button, and what do you know- the ringtone is called Happy. 


It seems that this is just another one of those signs that optimism and positivity has really found its way into my life. No complaints here! And this is a perfect example that if we make the choice to think positively, it will become a natural way of life and surround us every day.
Unlock your mind and allow positive thoughts to flow, for positivity will become a permanent part of your life. 
So true, and all of these signs I've been seeing lately are proof of that! Take some time today to make an effort to eliminate negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. I bet you'll find that from making that small adjustment, the rest of your day will follow a positive path.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Good

Photo: Google

Hello Optimists,

Oh, it's one of those crazy weeks again (and it's only Tuesday!). Instead of being a total slacker and leaving you high and dry with nothing to read, I thought I would share a link with you to a site that I just love following.

You've probably heard of Mashable- a news blog about social media and other digital stuff... but did you know they have a whole section dedicated to "Social Good"? I just stumbled across it the page the other day and absolutely loved reading through all of the inspiring stories. I thought you might like to read through some of them too- maybe you can think of a creative idea to incorporate social good into your own blogs or social media sites...or even into your every day life! Remember that
One does evil enough when one does nothing good.  ~German Proverb
Check it out- you won't be disappointed. And I promise I'll be sharing some new quotes and better posts soon!

Keep Smiling,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Half Full Friday!



Hello Optimists,


I was trying to catch up on some of my blog reading last night and visited one of my favorites, Velvet Over Steel. I was so happy I stopped by because I learned of a great Friday blog theme called "Half Full Friday", the perfect optimistic way to start off the weekend! Here's a bit more about it from the post on Velvet Over Steel: 


Half Full Friday is a series of weekly posts that started in June 2009.We believe that a lot of our happiness is determined by our attitude about the things that happen to us. So by participating, we are deciding to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty. We are choosing to concentrate on the positives, instead of dwelling on the negatives. Our Half Full Friday posts are a way to do just that. They are a list of the things in our life that have brought us happiness over the past week. We are determined to find the something good in every day. Are you?


How wonderful! You guys know this is right up my alley and I'm so happy to be participating in Half Full Friday! Here's my list of things that have brought me happiness this week:


I am happy to be back "home" for the weekend
I am happy that I'm staying on top of my work
I am happy to have caught an episode of House Hunters International (Love that show!)
I am happy to have started a new book
I am happy to hear that my posts have inspired people
I am happy to be feeling happy
I am happy to bring you today's awesome featured quote:
Be intent on the perfection of the present day. -William Law
Often people think that striving for perfection leads to disappointment when that "perfect ideal" of something is not met in reality. I can see that point, but to me, this quote reminds me not to try to make everything perfect, but to acknowledge all the little things that make my day a great one. I am intent on finding all of the things that make me smile, that make me happy, and that make me see my glass as half-full!

In honor of Half Full Friday, make a Happy List of your own - even if it's just a mental list! By thinking back on all of the great things that are going on in our lives, we can (and will) find that our days seem...perfect!


Keep Smiling,



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anticipation

Photo: google

Hello Optimists,

Anticipation. The waiting game. Minutes are hours. Hours are days.

I bet you all know how this feels. Anticipating an upcoming event makes time stop, and the thing we are looking forward to seems even farther away that it was a few days ago. I'm looking forward to this weekend, and have been for a while, and it feels like it might just never get here!

I find myself wishing that the hours in my day would fly by, that the days would pass more quickly, that this weekend would finally be upon me. Now, I'm usually all up for living in the moment, as I find every moment of life too interesting and exciting to be overlooked in any way, but this weekend, I want to come right now!

At least, this is how I was feeling before I read today's featured quote. After, however, I realized that in the haste of rushing through my days this week to reach an exciting weekend, I was probably missing out on a lot....
Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today. -Seneca
This is quite true. When we're waiting around for something, expecting an event, or looking forward to something so much that we disregard all other things in our daily lives, we're missing out on all of the great things that are happening right now.

Now, don't get me wrong- looking ahead is a good thing, and a healthy thing as well. But with that in mind, we've got to remember that in order to get to tomorrow and make it as great a day as we expect it to be, we have to get through today and enjoy what's being presented to us at the moment.

I'm going to try to keep this quote in mind every time I start itching for the weekend, and I hope you will too. Don't stop living today just because tomorrow might be more exciting. Start living, really living, today, and tomorrow is sure to be great.

Keep Smiling,
P.S.  Thank you to all those who have been leaving such insightful and thoughtful comments on my posts. I appreciate your feedback and conversation so much! I've always tried to keep up with them and respond in some way- but now I am making a promise to respond to every one of them in the Comments section of the post...so if you leave me a little message, check back to see my response! I look forward to chatting with you all  : )

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life Skills

Photo: google

Hello Optimists,

I was looking for some stories about optimism and positive thinking and a simple Google News search brought me to an article in a newspaper published yesterday- ironically from my local hometown paper. I thought it was too much of a coincidence to ignore, so of course, I just had to read the article. And I'm quite happy that I did because it was a great one...and I found an awesome quote to feature for today's post.

The title "Treatment, Attitude Aid Local Cancer Patient" highlighted the power of positive thinking in a woman's battle against cancer. Her words truly inspired me, and I hope that this one little piece of her story will inspire you too. Here is a quote from the woman's interview:
“I think being positive is so important. To me, it is a life skill. You’ve got to find ways to be positive and be good to yourself and treat yourself and take care of yourself. Put on lipstick in the morning and get out there. Don’t sit in your house and wallow. There’s nothing positive about that.”
Awesome. And I totally agree with what she said, especially that being positive is a life skill. Everyone has the ability to think positively, to turn their frown upside down, to look on the brighter side of life, and to be an Optimal Optimist. Whether it's a learned trait that takes some time to acquire or whether it's an inborn characteristic of one's personality, positive thinking can (and does) have a place in anyone's life. It's up to us to commit to activating it and making it a part of our everyday life.

It shouldn't take a life threatening disease, a brush with death, or a tragedy to allow us to start living life to its fullest- we should take hold of positive thinking as soon as we can and learn to incorporate it into our lives.

Try to keep this quote in mind and remember how important it is to make optimism a way of life.

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leaders Report to "Conference Room B"

Photo: Google

Hello Optimists,

I followed a link from Twitter about a book review for "Bury My Heart at Conference Room B" by Stan Slap yesterday, and thanks to the reviewer, I had the chance to read a quote from one chapter that I just loved.

Now when I first read the title of this book, I wasn't quite sure what it was about. I certainly don't want my heart buried near any sort of conference room, so I was thinking that this book might just not be for me. But then I read the opening remarks that this book was "one of the smartest and most compelling books on leadership". Enough said. Attention caught. 

So I continued reading the review of this business-oriented book and was quite happy to see that its ideas ran parallel to a lot of the things I write about here on Optimal Optimist: commit first to yourself and your own ideas and to live out your personal values. I think I could really get into this Conference Room B business....


So, without further ado, here is the awesome quote that was pulled from the text and shared in the review. I promise...you won't be disappointed.
The irreducible essence of leadership is that leaders are people who live their deepest personal values without compromise, and they use those values to make life better for others- this is why people become leaders and why people follow leaders.  -Stan Slap in "Bury My Heart in Conference Room B"
Awesome, right? I told you! As I read and re-read it a few more times, it really started to sink in and I just knew I had to share it in today's post. These are pretty powerful words, but ones you should definitely keep in mind. We should all strive to live our deepest personal values without compromise; we've got to learn to stay true to our values and beliefs no matter who or what tries to break us from them. We also need to use our values to make life better for others - not by forcing our beliefs onto others, but by being a positive force in someone's life and by using what we know to make a better life for ourselves and others.

It's a good thing I don't have a can of paint lying around my place because I'm pretty sure I'd be using it to cover my walls with these words....come to think of it, I should probably stay away from the Sharpies for a few days. I really love this quote-  I hope you do too- and be sure to try to embody these words and share it with other leaders in your life.

Keep Smiling,

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great Day, Great Cause

Hello Optimists,

Yesterday I had the privilege of walking in the "Making Strides" Breast Cancer Walk here in Philadelphia, and what a wonderful day it was! Right from the start, I could feel the incredible energy that was surrounding me and I could feel a positive pulse radiating from all of the people gathered around the start line.

As I walked the 5 miles with my friends, I saw so many inspiring things- from the messages on people's t-shirts to the signs posted along the roadway- and it felt so great to be a part of it all. Despite the fact that we were all walking to fight a terrible disease, everyone involved was upbeat, energetic, and in positive spirits.

I thought for today's post, instead of just one quote, I would share some pictures from the event that captured some of the inspiring things I saw.

Security vans displaying a great message: "Stay well, get well, find cures, fight back!"

The Start/Finish line was marked by a symbolic Pink and White Balloon Arch 

 "Check Yourself before you Wreck Yourself"

 "For the women we love- never, never, never give up"

 "I am a 2x survivor. I am a SUPER WOMAN"

I hope you can find inspiration in some of these pictures and continue to support the causes which can make a difference in this world. Don't forget to wear your pink this month and do what you can to support the fight and spread awareness about finding a cure! 

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How To Stay Wrinkle Free

Photo: americanlisted.com

Hello Optimists,

I was part of an interesting conversation yesterday in one of my classes when one of the students asked the professor if she (gasp!) even liked teaching. To our delight, she replied that yes, she did indeed enjoy teaching. She liked the freedom it provided her to pursue other interests, the flexible schedule, the world of "academia", and best of all, that she could come into class in a bad mood and leave feeling much happier and "with a smile on her face" because her "students always seem to be happy and laughing". Ah, that's so great to hear. That, in fact, put a smile on my face.

But what was most interesting about this was another student's reaction: She said that we (the students) always seem to be happy and laughing "because we're still optimistic". This got quite a laugh from all of us, but as the conversation continued, I sat back and started discussing this idea with myself inside of my head. "Because we're still optimistic" played over and over in my head, and I began to think about it a bit more. Does optimism wane as one gets older? Do the pressures of the "real world" cloud our view and slowly take away from the positive view we once had about life when we were just little tykes?

I sure have met a few "old" people whose negativity was just too much to bear, but I know quite a lot of people who remain positive despite many years of living, working and experiencing the world have brought into their worlds. I think an 80-year old person can be just as optimistic about the future as a 16-year old...it all comes down to the way we allow ourselves to think.

I found a great quote that reflects this idea and I thought I would share it with you today so that you might keep it in mind the next time you think you're outgrowing your "optimistic years"...
Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. -Douglas MacArthur
As you see, age really has no correlation with optimism, but enthusiasm and attitude on the other hand, have quite the connection with positive thinking. We're always seeing "anti-aging" creams advertised on TV and in magazines, promising to erase the wrinkles that time has placed on our aging faces. But what about the wrinkles that are forming on our hearts, minds, and souls? They too can be fixed....prevented, even...if we just learn to change our outlook on things.

So I challenge you to stay optimistic, no matter what your age, and promise to remain so throughout your life. Don't let the little things in our crazy world allow you to give up on finding the good in life or to lose enthusiasm in all you do. No one wants wrinkles, especially not on our soul...

Keep Smiling,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Think Pink: Finding the Beauty That Remains

Photo: sacramentoscoop.com

Hello Optimists,

Well, October is officially upon us, whether we'd like to believe that or not. Besides the start of the colder weather and falling leaves, October marks another important event: Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This  whole month is dedicated to international health and wellness to spread awareness of and raise funds for this disease's cause, prevention, and cure. It gathers thousands of people all over the world to support organizations like Pink Ribbon, Inc., The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Breast Cancer Network of Strength, and many more through walks, races, rides, and "pink days".

Breast cancer has affected so many of our lives, whether it be a personal diagnosis or that of a friend or family, and with alarming statistics such as these below, we must take a stand. We must find a cure.

A woman dies somewhere in the world every 69 seconds from breast cancer. 


Every 2 minutes, there is a new breast cancer diagnosis.


It is estimated that in 2010 there will be 207,090 females and 1,970 males diagnosed with breast cancer.

This Sunday, on 10/10/10, I will be walking in the "Making Strides Toward a World with More Birthdays" walk sponsored by The American Cancer Society here in Philadelphia. It is going to be a great event and I am really looking forward to it! Most of all, I know that despite the effect this horrible disease has on so many people around the world, I will be surrounded with optimism, positivity, and inspiration by all of those who are taking part in the walk. I love that the theme of this walk is "celebrating a world with more birthdays", because it's quite optimistic, and allows us to look forward to the great things in life that we have the chance to celebrate.

I found a great quote for today's post that really embodies this idea and I knew that there would be no better time than now to feature it!
I don't think of all the misery but the beauty that still remains. -Anne Frank
This is so important for us to remember. In the midst of all of the devastation and sorrow that this disease causes, we must not think of all of the misery that lies ahead, but of the beauty that still remains. The beauty of life, of happiness, of experiencing and really living each day. While we will always be fighting to find a cure and coping with diagnoses, we cannot forget to celebrate each day, find the beauty in all that we do, and appreciate what we have in life.

I am walking for my grandmother, for my cousin, for my friends, for my family, and for all of the people out there whom I have yet to meet. I am walking to make a difference, to take a stand, and to support those who are fighting this disease. I am walking to celebrate more birthdays.

If you'd like to help me support The American Cancer Society through this walk, you can make a donation on my page: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/VCSPhilly or check to find out where the next fundraising walk is near you! I would appreciate if you would share this link with your friends and family to help fundraise and spread awareness.


To all that have already donated to the walk, thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! I really appreciate your generosity and contribution, and so do the millions of people around the world who have been effected by this disease. Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for helping to support the beauty that still remains!


Keep Smiling,