Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who's Worth Following?


Hello Optimists,

Last night I attended an online webinar hosted by an awesome career resource site, Of course, this was strictly business, so I expected nothing else than to get some great career information out of this hour-long seminar. Well, I got that, and more.

I expected to be jotting down some notes about getting ahead in the industry, how to stand out from the crowd and write a killer resume, but I never expected to pick up some great advice for my blog here on Optimal Optimist. I guess it just goes to show that you should always be ready and open to the positive signs in your life, no matter where they come from.

In only the first five minutes of the webinar, I had already written down a few quotes from the woman leading the session, and I was pleasantly surprised at how profound they were. Sure, they related to careers, but more importantly, they related to every day life. So after scribbling down a few good lines, I knew I had some awesome stuff to share with you here today.

Here is one line that I found to be incredibly inspiring, and I hope you do too...
If you want to be a leader, you have to be worth following." -Emily Bennington
So true! Leadership is one of the top skills that employers seek in their job applicants, along with admissions counselors to college, and teammates on a sports team. It's one of those qualities that you just need to have because it comes in handy no matter what your job or role in an activity will be. And I think it's safe to say that we all want to be leaders, or at least, we'd all like to be leaders. This doesn't necessarily mean we have to be the loud one out in front of the group, directing with crazy hand motions and taking complete control. That's one way. But we can also lead by example. We can lead without saying any words at all.

But let's get the first things first here. Anyone can say they want to be a leader, but if no one is willing to follow, then they're really not leading anyone at all. So make sure that if you seek a role as a leader, you do, say, or display things and qualities that are worth following. Some of the greatest leaders of our time (think Gandhi, some U.S. Presidents, Martin Luther King, Jr...) all were recognized as leaders because they inspired people to follow in their direction, to make a positive change, and commit to something they believed in. They were all definitely worth following. And we can all be too.

Sometimes little messages make their way into our lives in the most unexpected of places, but we have to make sure that we're always ready to hear them. I am so glad I attended this webinar, not only because I got a lot of great career-related tips, but also because of this one inspiring sentence that I was lucky enough to hear. Keep it in mind, and start leading!

Keep Smiling,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keep On Keepin' On

Hello Optimists,

As usual, my weekend bike ride ran me right into yet another sign of positivity. My ride took me all the way past the Museum of Art, down through the city along the river with many others who were out exercising...there were bikers, runners, roller-bladers, walkers, skateboarders, stroller-pushers, and more, all out to enjoy the day. I rode down the path with the river on one side of me and train tracks and the city on the other, so this alone offered a pretty awesome view. But then something greater than the skyline caught my eye. As I reached the end of the path and turned through the roundabout, a striking yellow sign stuck out from the rather bleak background of cement and trees.

There it was...a little sign with a big message, just waiting to be read. It was a little reminder for passerby's- just something to keep in mind as they went on with their busy lives. And of all days for me to not have my camera with me, I was forced to whip out my cell phone to snap this shot...I hope it will suffice.
Keep on walking. 
Keep on running. 
Keep on jogging. 
Keep on biking. 
Keep on eating. 
Keep on living. 
Keep on resting. 
Keep on relaxing. 
Keep on commuting. 
Keep on smiling. 
Keep on enjoying..... 
I just loved this! A little plug to keep everyone inspired to continue on with the things they're doing to make their lives better. My two favorites, keep on living and keep on smiling, are, I might add, two of the messages I try to send in my posts here quite often.

With all of the craziness that takes up our daily lives, it's important to remember to keep on doing the things that we enjoy and the things that make our lives great. While we're busy trying to keep up with ourselves throughout the day, remember to take a moment or two to live your life and (like I always say) keep smiling : )

Keep Smiling,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Mistakes


Hello Optimists,

I read a great article last night called "5 Mistakes Everyone Should Make" which I thought was a bit of an odd title, because... don't we all try to avoid making mistakes? I know I do. But this post was pretty interesting, and now I am seeing this whole "making mistakes" idea in a different light. Before reading it through, I scanned the article for the 5 things listed and wasn't really convinced that this would offer any insight. I mean, everything on there that we're "supposed" to do are definitely things I try to avoid. So how could this be offering any good advice? Here's what the article listed as the 5 mistakes we should all make:

1. Totally embarrass yourself.
2. Ruffle people's feathers.
3. Follow trends blindly.
4. Be willing to fail- doing something you love.
5. Carelessly put yourself at risk.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I try to steer clear of those things at all cost....totally embarrassing myself always being first on the list of no-no's. And if I do happen to make a mistake, I try to fix it as quickly as I can. For some reason we always classify a mistake as a negative thing, always rushing to cover it up or fix the problem before anyone else can find out. Even if it's the tiniest of mistakes, we can't bare to have anyone notice! That would just be awful.....

But then I took the time to read through the article and realized that making an honest mistake is part of making yourself better. It's part of figuring out who you are, of sticking to your guns, of becoming the person you want to be. Mistakes don't necessarily uncover faults, they reveal a layer of a person that shows their will, their determination, their true sense of self.

The last paragraph of the post held some really powerful words. And while I was reading through it, I stopped to reread this one sentence a few was one of those "aha!" moments of realizing a truth, and I thought I would share this sentence with all of you as today's featured quote.
"Sometimes you have to get in over your head to realize that you're really not in over your head at all." -Amy Ozols
So true. When we're feeling like we're carrying an elephant on our backs, when we've stretched ourselves too think, or when a "failure" is the only possibility for us, we need to keep in mind that we're going to get through it. With our own power, we can make it through any situation challenging us- we just need to have a strong mind and the will to follow our gut.

We all fear making mistakes, but after reading this post I'm not dreading "mistakes" as much. Sure, I'm pretty sure I'll go to any length I can to avoid them, but I'm also going to try to embrace the ones I do make. They're not all bad after all. I hope you too can keep this in mind....take a look at that post for yourself and let me know what you think!

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lucky Duck

Photo: from Me!

Hello Optimists,

I read an interesting article the other day called How To Get Lucky which, I will assure you, had more to do with how to win the lottery than, ahem, how to "get lucky". Anyway, this article gave scientific proof that you make your own breaks, and I was was happy to notice that the main findings of the study were that lucky people are lucky because they all "seize chance opportunities, create self-fulfilling prophesies through positive expectations, and develop a resilient attitude that turns bad luck around". Basically, it comes down to this (though this is my own conclusion, not the authors): Lucky people are Optimists.

I'll let you follow the link to read the full article if you wish (which I recommend), but here were the main points cited as those that would give a person more luck:
Live a Charmed Life
Open your Mind
Relish the Upside
Learn to be Lucky

So you want to be a lucky duck, huh? Well, who doesn't? It seems that luck is all relative. The way we perceive things in life can determine how "lucky" or "unlucky" we seem to be - basically, if you can identify things in your life that are good and appreciate even the smallest of uplifting moments, you can consider yourself "lucky". Today's featured quote shows exactly what I'm trying to say....
Positive things happen to positive people. -Sarah Beeny
So optimism really does have its perks, and this article gives us some scientific proof. So to all those who laugh in the face of optimism and think that "setting lofty goals will only leave you disappointed and unsatisfied", I think we can now prove them wrong. I'll be waiting with my bank statement to show them that cool mill that I won from the lottery.... just kidding : )

Keep Smiling,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pounding Pavement

Hello Optimists,

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was filled with fun and inspiration and ended with a bang after watching the ING Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon.

My roommate and I headed out on our normal bike route toward the city yesterday morning but were stopped a little short when we came upon the scene of the race. At first we were a little bummed that our route was closed off due to the race, but after parking our bikes on the sidelines and taking a few minutes to  witness such a great event, I realized that this wasn't so bad after all.

With hundreds of runners streaming by and even more fans on the sidelines cheering them on, I couldn't even keep my goosebumps down. I was totally inspired. A mom ran by and high-fived her kids who were cheering, "Go, Mommy! Gooo!!" while their dad video taped the event. A runner strutted by in her tu-tu and plastic crown, celebrating her birthday, while an older, white-haired runner passed her out with ease. A man juggled 4 apples while running to keep the crowd cheering, and a woman runs out into the middle of the race to give her friend a big hug and support her journey.

We waited around until the big groups of runners had passed and the walkers began to stroll by. Still determined to finish, they walked by proudly and thanked us for sticking around and cheering them on. They were tired, they were sweaty, and they still had a long way to go, but they were determined to finish.

After all of the participants had passed, my friend and I started our ride again and headed down to see all of the action at the finish line near the Museum of Art. We rode by live bands playing near the street (it was a "Rock n Roll" race after all!) and followed the sounds of the crowds to the end of the 13.1 mile route where everyone was celebrating their awesome accomplishment. I was happy to join in, even though I'm not sure if I even knew anyone racing. But there was something about that huge group of people coming together to pound the pavement and reach an incredible goal that made me want to be a part of it.

Thinking back on all of the fun at the race,  I remembered a great quote I once read that I thought would be perfect to feature in today's post. Speaking of running and challenges...
I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet. -Nadia Comaneci
I just love this one. Fear is a crazy thing, and it has the ability to really hold us back. But we've got to keep this quote in mind next time we're feeling a little bit scared. Remember that the challenges put in front of us are never too big to overcome- we can't be afraid of taking it on or of failing...we've just got to go for it and leave our fear in the dust behind us.

I thought you might like to see some photos that I took from the here you go!

Remember that guy that was juggling apples as he ran a 5K? Here he is!

Runners celebrate their accomplishment at the top of the stairs of the Museum!

Runners, fans and supporters gather on the lawn on the Parkway for some post-race fun!

Have you ever run a 5/10K or supported someone who did? I'd love to hear about your experiences too! 

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Friends and Optimism


Hello Optimists,

I apologize for slacking with my posts recently, but I have been absolutely swamped with work! So instead of just leaving you with nothing to read, I thought I would share a link to another blog with you.

It just so happens that I received a comment the other day from another blogger named Vanessa who happened to attend the same Fashion's Night Out event at the same location as I did, and then wrote a post on the same day as me about it entitled, "What's More Optimistic Than Fashion?".....I know, too weird! I checked out her blog called "The Weekly Yogi. A Lifestyle Blog Consisting of Wellness and Style" and loved it, so I encourage you to check it out!

So we got to chatting through email, and her email "signature" is a quote by George Bernard Shaw (our similarities are now starting to become eerie! It just keeps getting better!). I know I have featured it before, but I thought I would post it again under these circumstances:
"Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself." -George Bernard Shaw
Yay for new bloggy friends and optimism! Now I've got to get back to work...

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Last Hoorah


Hello Optimists,

Did you catch yesterday's premiere of the last season of The Oprah Winfrey Show? I sure did, and I'll shamelessly admit that I was a bit sad to see the end so near. It was really awesome to see the flashbacks of Oprah and her show throughout the years, growing ever more popular, and always making a positive impact on viewers.

There was one point where she made reference to a trip she took with her audience to Philadelphia way back when, and she hinted that she might return....and it got me all excited...then she decided that no, Philadelphia just wouldn't do it this time. And that's when she announced that she was taking the whole audience to Australia! Oh. My. Goodness. The things she does are really amazing, and the people in her audience were so excited I thought they might faint. I mean, I almost fainted, so I can only imagine how they felt!

But she's good for more than just giving away dream vacations. And cars. And homes. And surprises that I can't even dream of. It's nothing new to say that Oprah has made an incredible impact on our society and I'm pretty sure that even though she just kicked off the last hoorah for her TV show, she'll be around for quite some time. She is a woman of great wisdom and undeniable power, and uses her influence to make a difference in people's lives. Oh, and I must mention, she is quite the quote collector, so I'm convinced that we'd be real good friends. So in honor of her last season, I thought today's featured quote should come from no one else but O.
I know for sure that I don't want to live a shut-down life, desensitized to feeling, seeing and the possibility of experiencing joy on every level. I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible. -Oprah Winfrey
I love this one because it's so inspiring...and I'm pretty sure it's the reason she has become so successful. She lives each day to the fullest, looking to experience and bring happiness to everyone around her, and constantly overstepping the line of mediocracy. She doesn't just settle for what's good- she looks for what can be even greater and goes to get it. That's what we all need to do.

I am always out to experience joy on every level and I too want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible. We don't all have to give away cars and vacations to do this though. If we make a promise to ourselves to start small and marvel at the little wonders in our life, we will open up our feelings, our minds and our hearts. We all have the power to experience joy in every part of our lives, even where we think there is no joy to be had. We just need to make a conscious effort to do it.

So Oprah fan or not, you have to admit that this is a pretty powerful quote. I hope that you can keep it in the back of your mind and start to live each and every day to its fullest.

Keep Smiling,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brighten Things Up


Hello Optimists,

I was at the mall this weekend for Fashion's Night Out- it was packed with people, events, food, and giveaways- so it was really fun! Many of the stores had special window displays to celebrate the event, while others tried to pull customers in with sales, freebies, and even in-store DJ's for the night. But there is one store that never needs any of this stuff to pull me in; the bright and colorful prints and cheery decor on the inside of the stores are enough to grab my attention. Lilly Pulitzer is one store that is just tooooo cute!

I'm sure you've probably heard of this brand- or at least would be able to recognize its signature pink and green logo and Palm Beach designs. So I knew I needed to go in just to browse (and pick up some free cupcakes and cocktails that they were giving out!) and enjoy the cheerful atmosphere. While I marveled at all of the cute little dresses and colorful clothes, I looked all around the store admiring the design. I was pleasantly surprised to see the top of the walls adorned with a wonderful little message for shoppers, and fell in love with this brand even more. Painted at the top was the company's tag line:

"Lead a colorful life." -Lilly Pulitzer
Quite appropriate for a brand whose colors are the brightest of the brights, but also a perfect message to send to customers. Leading a colorful life is something we really need to do! We need to mix things up, keep life exciting, and surround ourselves with things that make us happy. Leading a colorful life is a surefire way to make sure this happens.

If the paint swatches of your life are looking a little bland, here are a few ways to brighten things up:

-Add colorful accessories to your wardrobe. Just a little splash of color can take any bland outfit into a stylish, cheerful and sophisticated look.
-Listen to new kinds of music. If your radio station has only one programmed station, try hitting the seek button and see what you find!
-Cook with colorful foods. Not only are they good for you, but they look much more appetizing on the plate!
-Rearrange your furniture. Or, if you don't have much space to work with,  try introducing new colors with new pillows, rugs, or artwork.)
-Take a new route to work. That drive you take everyday can get real bland, real fast. Take a left instead of a right and see what new places you might discover!
-Hang out with some friends you haven't seen in a while. Reuniting with friends and family you haven't seen in some time can be refreshing.
-Do something that makes you smile.
-Try some new types of food. You may just find that you have a new favorite cuisine!

Next time you're passing a Lilly Pulitzer store, stop in and take a look around. I bet the bright colors and patterns will really cheer you up, and if nothing else, at least it will remind you to lead a colorful life. Oh, and if you'd like to read a little blurb about the Lilly Pulitzer story, click here to check out the fun story behind the brand.

Keep Smiling,

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Message in the Cloud


Hello Optimists,

Hooray for the weekend! Last week I was gearing up for "First Friday", and while this is the less eventful "Second Friday" I am still looking forward to the weekend. One of the fun parts from last weekend was getting some free stuff (I mean, who doesn't love free stuff?!) from a big comic book and movie store on 2nd Street. They had a little table out in front of the store filled with movie posters, post cards, and fake tattoos that my friends and I snatched up for Halloween.

I knew I couldn't walk away with only a handful of pirate-looking skull tattoos, so I decided to flip through some of the movie posters. I stopped when I reached the poster for Charlie St. Cloud - and no, not just because Zac Effron's face was plastered on it....ok, I'm lying. It was totally because Zac Effron's beautiful face was plastered on it. BUT there was also another beautiful thing about it. When I finally glanced away from Zac's dangerously gorgeous gaze, I read the tag line of the movie written in big bold letters at the top. It was a great message, and knew it was just another one of my "signs" that I just couldn't ignore. And that's why I took the poster. (Plus, it was a bonus that it was so nice to look at!) Anyway, I wanted to share with you the message and the real reason I added that poster to my pile of free stuff...
Life is for living. -Charlie St. Cloud
I will admit that I've never even seen the movie. But I can safely say that this tag line alone is enough to make me want to rent it. Life is for living. Life isn't for working, or for eating, or for sleeping, or for buying expensive TVs and cell phones. Sure, that's all part of life, but if you never stop to really live, then you won't get the chance to experience all the great things that our one awesome life has to offer.

It's easy to get caught up in the daily "grind" of our lives, slowly losing all sense of our place here on this planet. But if we can remove ourselves from the normal, everyday routines that we so often get stuck in and look at things from a different perspective, we can see that our life isn't waiting for us to start. It's just going right along, regardless of whether we're enjoying our ride or not. Time is passing by quickly so we need to take advantage of every moment.

I published a post back in March with the same title as this quote, but I suppose this is a message that can never be shared too much. So make sure to take some time to really live your life.

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stand Together


Hello Optimists,

Oh boy, have I been busy lately! My schedule keeps filling up and I suddenly find that I have no time to spare (or no time to blog!). But just because I'm busy doesn't mean that I have been ignoring the positive signs around me. If you've been following my posts for the past few weeks, you know that signs of positivity have been surrounding me every place I go. And today was no exception.

I live a few blocks away from my university's campus, so I've been riding my bike through town to get to my classes. I am determined to do this for as long as the weather holds out, until my knuckles freeze on my handlebars, or until there is (dare I say it!?) snow on the ground.

A shortcut to campus takes me through a neighboring Charter School's property, which for the past three weeks that I've been going to classes, has looked more like a deserted ghost town than a school. But alas, today the children returned, and their campus was buzzing once again. As I rode through my shortcut route, I was thinking that this would probably be one of the last times I could take this route while school was in session, as the risk of hitting a little kid with my bike is just too scary to think about. Nearing the exit of the property, I noticed that there were banner flags hanging from the lampposts lining the street. These new welcoming decor were a nice little addition to the otherwise bland road, and as I glanced up at them, I noticed that they all had quotes on them. Huh, imagine that. 

So it should be no surprise that today's featured quote is one that I found on the banner flags on my way to's a great one though, and I'm excited to share it with you.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
We can always turn to MLK when we're looking for a great quote, so it's no surprise that this is a great one. And especially when we're looking for a great quote about justice and equality, MLK is the first person to turn to. He speaks his words loudly, clearly, and with intent for all those listening to not only hear the words, but feel them too. That's what makes his speeches so great. He wants us to live the words.

Well these words are definitely ones we should be living. We need to stand up to injustices and help abolish them from anywhere and everywhere that we see them. Take these words to heart and try to keep them in mind each and every day. If everyone does this, we will see that we can all stand together as one.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Little Optimal Optimists

Photo: from me! 

Hello Optimists,

I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend in celebration of Labor Day. My weekend was great, and it was kicked off with a fun Philadelphia event, First Friday. I know a lot of different cities have events similar to this, but for those of you who aren't familiar- "First Friday" is an event held in the Old City section of Philadelphia on the first Friday of every month with open galleries, studio tours, art displays, and vendors along about a 4-block area.

After grabbing some pizza and a delicious sundae from Franklin Fountain, my friend and I walked through the crowded streets, admiring the art work of the vendors outside, the beautiful sculptures and paintings in the galleries, and the really unique clothing in the boutique windows. But there was one window in particular caught my eye. As you can see from today's photo, it was none other than a baby/children's boutique, which, on a normal day, is definitely not the kind of store where I window shop. For some reason though, I happened to look inside at the displays and was totally in awe of the ity-bity print I began to read on this little onesie.

I know it's too hard to read in the photo, but believe me, you'll want to read it. So I'm saving your eyesight by typing it here below. On the front of this little shirt, it has +E (positive energy). Spread the word. And here's what it says on the back:
Positive Energy 
We all have the power to effect a positive shift in energy in ourselves and in those around us. When we start within, we can create huge changes not only in our perception of the world but in other's as well. Although we only have control over our indvidual thoughts, in every situation we encounter we have the choice to see the good and the promise each new opportunity represents. Every positive thought creates a ripple effect of other positive thoughts and those, in turn, transform into a series of positive realities. In this way we have the power to change the world for the better.
What we can do
Set an example by always seeing the good in the people and situations around you. Remember that none of us is perfect- we are all works in progress. Be kind to yourself. Live in the moment and make it the best moment you've ever had. Share your positive energy with others by kind words and thoughtful actions.
Now let me give you a few seconds to let that all sink in...

It's pretty powerful, isn't it? I love it! The idea of creating Little Optimal Optimists is just so exciting and I think it's such a great idea. We should be teaching positive thinking and optimism early on in life, so that we can help the little tykes grow up to be positive people who can spread their energy on to others in the world. Of course, the little ones wearing this awesome outfit wouldn't be able to read it yet, but that's ok. Everyone should listen to this important message, and what better place to display it than on a baby? Everyone wants to see it, everyone wants to hold it, and everyone definitely wants to see it's little clothes. So it's perfect!

It's too bad the store was closed because I was definitely going in to buy this little thing. I don't even have a child, nor am I anywhere close to that stage in life, but I figure I could give it as a gift, or if all else fails, put it on my dog. (Just kidding. Kind of.) But I just have to own it. Have to.

Of course, this little incident can be added to my list of "positive signs" that have been popping up so frequently in my life, and that list is getting so long now it's almost scary. But, I'm totally loving it, so bring it on.

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nothing To Write!! Just Kidding.


Hello Optimists,

I wasn't so sure that I'd have a post ready for today. I just didn't know what to write. I tried everything I usually do to spark some through some news headlines, thought about what went on during the day, read through my quote list...but nothing came to me. It's very rare that I have a hard time finding something to write about, and after staring at my blank Blogger screen for a good ten minutes, I decided to just let it go. No use in trying to write if I'd have more luck seeing President Obama walk through my door, right?

Wrong. After deciding to put my blogging mind to rest and actually do some work, I decided to start gathering some information for a research paper I should be writing. So I Googled "List of Global Trends" and clicked on the first hit entitled "Top 10 Global Trends for Small Businesses in 2009". The page loaded and I looked at the article and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I kid you not, the opening line was an optimism quote from Winston Churchill with an accompanying picture to compliment it. So there it was, in black and white, and needless to say, I immediately opened a new tab and started blogging.

So just when I think I'm out of luck, optimism comes through yet again and points me in the right direction. Here's the quote that was featured in the article (which, by the way, I still haven't read because now I'm too busy blogging!)
The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. -Winston Churchill
I guess this was trying to tell me that just because I was having difficulty coming up with some content for a post, that doesn't mean I should just give up. Now I know better than to mess with optimism!

This is an important message and one we should always try to keep on our mind. There is opportunity all around us, even hidden in the most difficult hurdles we face. We have to be mindful of it's existence and remember that there is always a chance for great things to come out of not-so-great situations.

Now let me get back to doing some research...and who knows, maybe I'll find some content for my next post!

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Sneaky Little Thing


Hello Optimists,

Yesterday optimism came to me in the most unexpected of places. Of the three courses that fill up my day, all three of them mentioned "optimism" during the lesson. Ok, not really a big deal right? Well, how about if I told you that the names of these classes are Operations Management, Financial Management, and Contemporary Perspectives? Not really a place you'd expect to hear about optimism...

Bright and early in my 8 a.m. class, struggling to keep my eyes open, I hear a word that perks me up. I was jolted back to reality when we started discussing decision of them being the "Maximax" or Optimist theory. As soon as the words came from my professor's mouth, I instantly woke up. Optimist? Is that what he just said? Yes, in fact, that was what he said. And as the lesson continued, I kept hearing the word over and over again and I couldn't help but chuckle a little certainly was another sign.

Then, 2 hours later, I mosey my way into another classroom, this time for Financial Management. Not exactly the most exciting course of the semester, but one I must take nonetheless. Somewhere in the discussion about financial assets, I hear it yet again: Optimism. I look up from my notes and to the projection screen, brought back into a perfectly clear reality, and there it was in large print. Well that's funny, because I once wrote a post called How Optimism Can Fix the Recession, touching on the very same idea. 

Now fast forward to my next class, a capstone course that discusses global issues and perspectives. I'm reading through the text about a well-known economist named Jeffrey Sachs, to whom the authors refer as "a great optimist". Seriously? Again with the optimism? Well hey, at least it's making me pay attention more in class....that certainly can't hurt. 

But of course I loved every minute of it, and I'm finding that optimism has made it's way into nearly every aspect my life and continues to pop up in the most unexpected of places. It's a sneaky little thing. It's a true testament that if you commit yourself to something and stand firm in your beliefs, that thing or idea will surely become an important part of your life. I remembered a great quote that puts this whole idea into words just a little better than I can, so it's with great pleasure that I share today's featured quote with you...
What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe. -Oprah Winfrey
This is absolutely true. You do become what you believe. I believe in optimism and positive thinking and I can now see that every day I'm becoming more of an (optimal) optimist, and that I'm thinking more positively. Belief in something holds a lot of power, so if we can work on strengthening our beliefs in the things we hold as the most important in our lives, we can be sure that we will embody those traits, ideas, and lifestyles.

What's one thing you believe in that plays an important role in your life? Do you agree that you become what you believe?

Keep Smiling,