Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Farewell to The Oprah Show

Image: Google
Hello Optimists,

As many of your probably know, this week marked the end of the 25-year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show. I, like many others, was sad to see this happen, but I'm glad that the legacy and the mark that she and the show has made on the world is being acknowledged at a time when not only Oprah, but all of us, can really appreciate it and take note of the positive influence that has been made.

The three-day countdown to the finale was marked with appearances and performances from some of the greatest and most well-known people of our time. The shows were so amazing and so over-the-top that I couldn't even believe what I was watching. I tried to imagine what it must feel like to have to many great people honor you, call you their friend, and share so much love with you on such a huge scale like that....truly amazing.

My friends were texting me throughout the past few days....Are you watching the finale of Oprah?! Can you believe this? Of course I was watching. And I honestly couldn't believe how amazing it all was.

The final show was taken down a few notches from all of the flashing lights and star was just Oprah, on her stage, speaking to the audience about what she had learned throughout the years. It was during this time that I truly realized what a wise woman she is, and why she had, in fact, transformed our world. I got another text as the show began from a friend who said, I'm tearing up from being reassured that what I plan to do with my life will happen! I was actually going to go to NYC today but I'm sooo thankful I stayed to hear Oprah's powerful words. Wow. That's exactly why Oprah is so admired.

As I was watching, I was taking in everything she said, and I kept telling myself, I should be writing this down. I should be writing this down! But out of fear of missing a single word of wisdom she had to share, I had to wait until the commercial break to grab my laptop and start typing away as she shared her thoughts.

Today's featured quotes are some of the most profound statements Oprah made during her final show. I tried to type as quickly as I could to get in all of the words, but please allow some room for error with these, as they may not be verbatim. Nonetheless, they are just as powerful now as when they came directly from her lips.

This first one in particular is one that I believe to be at the root of the mission of Optimal Optimist.
"You are responsible for the energy that you bring into your own life, and for the energy that you bring into others' lives." 
"There is a difference between knowing you deserve to be happy and knowing that you are worthy of happiness." 
"You cannot wait for someone to save you, to help you, to complete you. No one can complete you. You complete yourself."
Incredible wisdom. I hope you can take these quotes and try to live by her words. And of course, Oprah will still be around to continue to do her thing, as she is on to bigger and better things with her cable network...I'm already addicted to Oprah Behind the Scenes on OWN.

Did you watch the finale of Oprah? What is the quote that you connect with most?

Keep Smiling,

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Advice from Denzel Washington

Hello Optimists,

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments on my last post! The last few days have been really great - now that all of the chaos and apprehension about graduation has finally ceased. The commencement ceremony was an enjoyable one - the guest speaker had some great things to say and the ceremony as a whole didn't drag on for too long, so before I knew it, I was on stage, heard my name being announced, and shook hands with the president of the University.

A lot of the area colleges had their commencement ceremonies around the same time, and I had heard a lot about one school's in particular. Turns out they had a movie-star speaker - Denzel Washington - and out of curiosity, I looked up the speech on YouTube to see if he had any inspiring words to share.

It was a pretty great speech, and he definitely did have some great advice to share. Today's featured quotes are straight from his address, and I encourage you to watch the clip below to get the full effect of his words. *The real "speech" begins about 7 or 8 minutes case you don't want to listen to his jokes and chit-chat beforehand!*
"If you don't fail, you're not even trying." 
"Be open to life, accept new views and be open to new opinions..." - Denzel Washington

I've written before about great commencement speeches in my post featuring Steve Jobs' address at Stanford. It's no surprise that great stories and pieces of advice are shared at ceremonies such as these,  but I think all people need to hear inspiring words. It shouldn't matter if we're new grads, retirees, or mid-career. We need to hear these words to motivate us to be the best we can I think we should seek out these inspiring moments wherever we can get them.

Please enjoy this clip and great speech - I hope it inspires you to live your best life.

Keep Smiling,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

An Optimism Coincidence? I Think Not.

Hello Optimists,

Sorry it's been a little while since my last post, but a lot has been going on lately! I have been quite busy, but things have mostly wrapped up in the last few days and I've had some time to have relax and have some fun.

I was lucky enough to receive tickets in the mail for a taping of the talk show The View this week, so I invited my best friend along for a day in New York City. I had requested these tickets about two years ago for a taping in December, so it was quite unexpected when I got the tickets in the mail, but it couldn't have been more perfect timing. A quick BoltBus ride from Philadelphia got us to NYC in just two hours, and we had basically the whole entire day to do whatever we wanted.

New York City is a great place and we had a lot of fun riding the subway from one end to the other to experience as much as we could in a day trip. One of the best things about NYC is their public transportation system which can get you anywhere you want to be relatively quickly. My friend, who has worked in the city and who will be attending grad school there in the fall, is already an expert in mapping out the routes we needed to take to get once we bought our MetroCard we were off!

I've been to the city quite a bit since I (fortunately!) live pretty close, so I've had a number of MetroCards. Since they all look the same, I never really examined them much - just swiped the card through the entry point and slid it back in my pocket until my next subway ride. In fact, that's what I did this time too, but it wasn't until after I had used this one a few times that, for some unknown reason, I decided to turn it around and check out what was on the back. And when I did, I couldn't believe it....

"Oh my God! Look at this!!" I said to my friend, who was ahead of me on the platform. You'd swear that I had just struck gold or something. She turned around and faced my card, which I was holding out at eye level. 

"Whoaaaa," she responded, and then flipped hers over to see if hers was the same. It wasn't. Only mine had this printed on the back: 

I had to immediately snap a picture of it, right there on the platform, before we got on the subway. I wish instead someone had captured my reaction when I discovered this on my card. It was an odd feeling...and the goosebumps on my arm told me that it wasn't just a coincidence. It was something more. It was another one of those signs that seem to "pop up" in my life. I think it really gives meaning to this saying:
Optimism can take you anywhere. 
And by anywhere, it really means anywhere, even though this particular card is only good for getting around NYC. This is one MetroCard that I will not be throwing away. In fact, right now it is taped just above my laptop on my wall as a source of inspiration. 

Remember, Optimists, that if you make the choice to make optimism a way of life, you just never know where it will pop up. Sometimes it's in a place where you go to find peace, or in a place where you're surrounded by positive vibes, but sometimes, it can be found in the most unexpected of places...and this is when you know that life is goooooood. 

Keep Smiling,

P.S. I thought I would share the excitement of this weekend with you - it's a big one for me and my family. My parents are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary today and tomorrow I will be graduating and receiving my Bachelor's degree! Two good reasons to smile  :D

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Positive Way of Life

Hello Optimists,

I love finding new signs of positivity in my life, and my most recent sign was found on the car I parked next to in a parking lot the other day. This bumper sticker jumped right out at me with its bright colors and even brighter message...and I had to snap a picture of it to share with all of you.

This is a perfect way to send some positive vibes into those rush hour traffic jams and serves as a reminder that positivity is not only a way of thinking, but a way of living

Today's featured quote was found through inspiration from this bumper sticker:
The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results. - Norman Vincent Peale 
So true! By showing that the driver of this car makes positivity a way of life, it inspires those who read the bumper sticker to do the same. Spreading optimism is easy....we've just got to commit to making it a part of our lives and doing what we can to inspire others to join the movement!

What are you doing to spread positivity in your world?

Keep Smiling,