Saturday, October 29, 2011

How To Conquer Fear and Be a Leader

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

I came across a great article today about conquering our fears. While at first I thought the article may have been written in the spirit of Halloween, I soon found out that it was about much more than conquering our fear of spiders, ghosts, or that creepy zombie hiding behind the door.

In contrast, this article was about how to conquer fear in life and how become a great leader. After reading through just a few sentences, I was hooked, and I wanted to share my great find with you today.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the article, spoken straight from the source and interviewee:

"To live passionately, you need to set your unwavering intent on making your dreams come true. Where people lose steam is when they start to question themselves. Of course you want to be flexible in life, but you can't doubt your goals and dreams. You must stand in certainty that it's going to get done, then reverse engineer it. People squander so much mental, physical and emotional energy on doubt and fear. You've been given the blessing to be alive. What are you going to do with it?" -Katia Verresen

 Amen to that!

Such powerful and inspiring words. So what are we going to do with this blessing to be alive? I'm sure not everyone has it all planned out yet, but I think that this person certainly has a point about doubting our goals and dreams. That's how we end up doing nothing with the blessing to be alive, so we can't let fear stand in our way.

If you're interested (and how could you not be?!) you can read the full article here.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or, share them on Facebook!

Keep Smiling,

Monday, October 24, 2011

10 Easy Ways to Find Happiness Right This Instant

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

I'm always looking for little "happiness boosters" in my everyday life. This is one time I don't mind being the guinea pig. So, after some hard work and strenuous testing, I have come up with a few of my favorites that I wanted to share with you today.

All of the things on this list are easy to fact, each one takes just a few minutes to complete, but from my personal experience, the feelings of happiness they produce last all throughout the day!

Finding happiness isn't as hard as we make it out to be, and after trying a few things out, I'm sure that you'll find that we can really be happy if we just take a moment to enjoy some of the most simple things in life. After all, happiness is a choice, and we can choose it anytime we want, just as today's featured quote says....

If you want to be happy, be. -Leo Tolstoy

So go ahead, just be happy.

Everyone will of course have their own list of ways to find happiness, but I wanted to share with you some of my suggestions. Here are 10 Easy Ways to Find Happiness Right This Instant:

  1. Open iTunes, turn up the volume, and dance to your favorite song.
  2. Go outside and breathe in some fresh air. 
  3. Eat a piece of chocolate. Does the trick every time. 
  4. Look through old pictures of friends and family. 
  5. Call that friend that you've been thinking about lately.
  6. Tidy up - a clean living space always lifts my mood.
  7. Tell someone in your family how much you love them. 
  8. Put on your favorite pair of shoes, even if you've got nowhere special to go.
  9. Go for an impromptu stroll around the neighborhood.
  10. Lookup places to volunteer around town. And then, sign up!

Here's hoping you put some of these into action today and that you start to build up your own list of ways to find happiness in your life.

Do you have a list of ways you find happiness? I'd love to hear what's on it!

I think I'll get my start today with #3...    :D

Keep Smiling,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Now Trending on Twitter: #Optimism and Etiquette

Hello Optimists,

Good news - You can now find OO on Twitter! Follow @OptmlOptimist for new quotes, stories on happiness, and quick tips to help make positivity a part of your everyday life. Let's get #optimism trending now!

One of the first Tweeps that I started to follow was @PosPositive, and they sent out a link to a great article that I knew I had to share with you today. After retweeting, I hopped on here to share with you what I thought was the most important piece of the article. Today's featured quote is taken directly from a post called "A Positive Attitude: The Essence of Good Manners":
A positive attitude has no prejudice. It is not bound by color, race, or religion. It does not care if one is rich or poor. Anyone has the right to display a positive attitude, and it makes that person much more attractive to others.
I suppose I never really related positivity with good manners, but after reading this article, I now see how closely the two are aligned. The message shared here is so true, and it's one of the things I love about optimism. It really is not bound by any extraneous factor that gets in the way of most of our thinking and helps us to eliminate judgement from our lives. A positive attitude is a positive attitude, and anyone can claim a stake in it. Not to mention it's an extremely attractive quality! ;)

At the end of the post, the author shared two pieces of etiquette advice that she shares with her clients, and I found them so wonderfully similar to the message that is often shared here on OO.

The Etiquette Expert advises to:
  • Possess a Great Attitude
  • Don't Forget to Smile
No matter if you're looking for etiquette advice or not, these are two important things to remember, and I hope that you can make these a part of your everyday routine.

If you're on Twitter, I'd love for you to join in on the (short) conversations happening now - tweet me @OptmlOptimist!

Keep Smiling,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Optimist International

Photo courtesy of Kathy at Bliss Habits

Hello Optimists,

I woke up this morning before the sun and tossed and turned a few times, determined to doze off and dream a few more dreams before waking up for good. It's the weekend, I told myself. This is your chance...go back to sleep. Of course, I couldn't seem to convince myself of the fact that I had no reason to be awake, so I was up...and there wasn't anything I was going to do about it. I watched as the dark sky turned to lighter and lighter shades of blue, and then a bit longer until the sun started filling my room with its golden light. Time to get out of bed.

A few minutes later I hopped onto my computer and had a lovely surprise waiting for me in my inbox. My friend Kathy at Bliss Habits sent me a message saying that she saw a sign yesterday that made her think of me! How sweet! Turns out she stumbled upon a meeting place for Optimist International, a volunteer organization dedicated to "bringing out the best in kids". I thought it would be a lovely topic for today's post, so I hope you're interested in learning more about this group.

Though I am not currently a member,  I did look on their Club and District Directory and saw that they do have a club near my location, as well as many others throughout the U.S. and around the world. Each club is run on its own by the members from each district and they can choose to support their local youth in any way that they see fit. Each group strives to put their name in action by upholding a positive attitude that they can pass on to the youth that they're helping, and they have a special Optimists' Creed that helps them keep their positive thoughts alive. Today's featured quote is Optimist International's incredibly inspiring Optimist Creed:

Promise Yourself ... 
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. 
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. 
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. 
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. 
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. 
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. 
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. 
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. 
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. 
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Pretty cool, huh? Every line just makes me smile, and I think it's a great little creed/prayer/mantra/verse to keep in mind, whether you're an official member of this organization or not.

I tried to choose one line that was my favorite so I could write about it in depth, but I don't think I can choose just one. Perhaps I will take one line and try to live it out as best I can each least I know I've got 10 great days ahead of me!

So I would love to hear from my OO crew about this -
Are you, or anyone you know, a member of Optimist International?
Which line of the Optimist Creed stands out to you?
Do you know of any other organizations or clubs that are related to this? Please share! 
Looking forward to hearing more about this great organization from you. I encourage you to find a local club chapter and be a part of it! I'm going to look into the one closest to me and get started on putting the 10 lines of the Creed into action!

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: A Fond Farewell

Image: Google

Remember the first time you unwrapped your MacBook from its box? How about the first time you pressed “Play” on your iPod and heard your favorite song being played with unbelievable clarity, or the time when you first swirled your finger around your iPhone, the first really smart “smartphone”? Remember the look on your friend’s face when you offered them a chance to play with your shiny new iPad, or the time(s) when you couldn’t even get into the jam-packed Apple store?

When you stop to think about it, Apple is more than a great company. It’s more than an innovation station. And it’s way more than a brand. Somehow, over the last few years, Apple has become part of our lifestyle; its products are not luxuries, but necessities. The company has grown to consistently draw worldwide attention, fought away competitors with incredible strength, and sustained in a time when consumer spending took an extended vacation.

Now imagine being the man behind all of that.

As consumers, we get incredible amusement and utility from all of these products, but the mastermind that made the Apple brand what it is today got something more out of all of it. Steve Jobs lived out his passion by being the CEO of Apple and continually delivering sleek, innovative, new, and highly-demanded products to the public that not only looked cool, but worked better than anything we had ever used before. And he did it so successfully because he had the courage to follow his intuition and his heart. He knew what he was meant to do, and he did it…quite well.

His passion for following his heart and doing what he loved in life is incredibly inspiring, and I’ve highlighted this passion of his in a post featuring his now famous Stanford Commencement address. Today, as I join the rest of the world mourning the loss of the greatest innovator of our time, there were many opportunities to read about his life and the inspiration he gave to us all.

I found an article called “The 15 Most Inspirational Steve Jobs Quotes” and wanted to share some of them with you today, to honor his legacy and also to continue to spread his inspiring messages of getting the most out of life. Read through these, and the rest in the articles I linked to above, and store them in a special place in your mind.

The world gives a fond farewell to Steve Jobs today, but something tells me he will not be soon forgotten.

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”        And that he did.

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

Keep Smiling, 
Optimal Optimist