Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy, Despite the Snow

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Yet another snowstorm passed over Philadelphia yesterday and over the night leaving us with about a foot of snow. Yuck! The bad weather cut me a break though, giving me a "half day" schedule yesterday and off today, so I had some time to get safely back home and relax (or should I say, continue to work, just in the convenience of being at home). Anyway, I was happy to be around yesterday afternoon because I was able to watch Oprah, and luckily for me, the theme of the show was happiness!

The guest of the show was the adorable Goldie Hawn who is also very much into studying happiness and positivity. Goldie's smile and personality are enough to lift your spirits, but through the hour-long show, Oprah and Goldie talked with the audience about things in life that make us happy, the happiest city in America, the amount of income it takes to be happy, and the happiest jobs. You can get a recap of all of the info here.

I found a great quote that really summed up the whole episode and I thought it would be perfect to feature for today's post.

"Happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It's a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don't have. It's so simple?yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend."- Bits and Pieces
Now before you go on to check out the link from Oprah's show, here are some pictures I snapped during yesterday's snowstorm! And if you're lucky enough to have escaped this storm, I envy you...enjoy the pictures!!

Keep Smiling,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Explore, Dream, Discover

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Recently I've been thinking about all of the things I'd "like" to be doing and realized that I have not been doing any of them. I don't quite know why this is...I guess things just come up and before I know it, my day is filled with the stuff that keeps me from doing all of those fun things. And sometimes, I think I'm a little too comfortable with the way things are...I've got to learn to step out of that comfort zone and try new things.

So I'm going to try to make a promise to myself to stop making excuses and "filling up" my day with the stuff that won't matter years from now. I don't want to look back and wonder where the last decade has gone!

As I was thinking about all of this, I remembered a great quote that put my feelings to words...
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.Dream. Discover"

I'm ready to explore and dream and discover. In fact, when I think about it, I love doing all of those things! But I've also got to be ready to sail away from the safe harbor. I think a lot of us face this challenge. So if you're feeling like I do - like you're ready for something new - make the effort to fit some exciting stuff into your life. 

How do you try to keep things exciting in your life?

Keep Smiling,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tips for a Better and Happier You

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Sorry for my absence these last few days....I have been so incredibly busy!

In my few minutes of downtime throughout these past few days, I did have time to flip through a local free newspaper, The Metro. This newspaper is produced in major cities all around the globe, so maybe you've heard of it. I usually just page through, scan the headlines, read my horoscope, and if I'm feeling studious, I'll take a crack at the cross word puzzle. This week, in addition to my usual reading spots, I also stopped at a new segment being featured this week called the "Happy Metro" guide, and I was so excited to see that each day they plan to feature something about happiness!

The most recent article was "10 Tips for a Better and Happier You" and I wanted to share the link with you in case you wanted to check it out. One of the tips that I thought was really interesting was to use Google Translate to learn how to say a useful phrase in a few different languages. I love learning to say new words and phrases in a different tongue, so that is something I will definitely be trying to do over the next few days!

If I had the chance to add one more thing to the list, I would add today's featured quote:
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.  ~Mark Twain
I like this one because it reminds us to spread happiness wherever we go. Sure, there are some people with whom your happiness will have no affect, but for many, a little spark of happiness in their day is just what they needed. So try it out, and I bet you'll find that it will bring you a bit of happiness too!

Check out the list of tips for a better and happier you and let me know what you think! Do you have any other suggestions or tips to add to the list?

Garder le sourire,

(That's "Keep Smiling" in French...see, I'm already trying to learn new phrases in different languages! And it did make me happer! )

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Good One to Quote

Hello Optimists,

When you think of someone good to quote, there's almost no one better than Martin Luther King, Jr. Luckily for us, today is the day that we celebrate his life and achievements, and of course, share one of his many great quotes.

I found a quote today that really exemplifies the message MLK tried to send every day of his life. It is one of the objectives that he wished to achieve, and one of the main messages he wanted to share with everyone he could.
We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the postive affirmation of peace. -Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I love this quote not only because it is such a profound statement, but also because it is one that is relevant in any nation of the world. I hope that you will take this quote into consideration today as we celebrate the life and legacy of MLK and remember it always.

Many people are honoring his day by doing community service, so I encourage you to do the same or to come up with you own plan for a way to spread the message of MLK.

In addition to today's featured quote, I wanted to share with you a clip of one of his most famous speeches - I'm sure you've all seen/heard it many times, but it never gets old - so please enjoy the clip below...and try, just try, to keep your goosebumps down.

Keep Smiling,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Internal Make Over

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Sometimes when I'm getting ready for my day I watch some morning shows to help wake me up. There's always good ol' GMA, Regis and Kelly, and The Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee to turn to when CNN and other news stations have nothing good to report. I have to admit that one of my favorite things about shows like these (besides the "worldly" news updates, that is) are the makeover segments. The Today Show is probably the one that stands out from the rest, since they do these makeovers quite often to the overly excited fans standing around Rockefeller Plaza.

It's so fun to see that a little bit of makeup, a new hairstyle, and a new outfit can make such a difference in people's lives. A little makeover on the outside usually produces a huge makeover on the inside and it's always so great to see their reactions and the reactions of their friends and families when they see the person's "new" look.

I think makeovers are so much fun, but today I came across a link to a makeover of a different kind. There is no makeup involved, and no free clothes (ugh, what a bummer - that's the best part!) but it is instead a makeover from the inside out. If you've heard of the book, "The Happiness Project" you've probably heard of its author, Gretchin Rubin. She is the person who put together this little list of quick fixes to instantly boost our mood in "Make Yourself Over from the Inside Out". 

One of my favorite little pieces of advice is "Act the Part" which suggests that our actions have an impact on our feelings. "Trick yourself into feeling happier by smiling, singing, or putting more energy into your voice." Good suggestion, and I found that it goes along quite nicely with today's featured quote...
"Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think." -Dale Carnegie
I really like this quote because it reminds us that positive thinking is so important and is the basis of happiness. Happiness is, at first, a state of mind...then it becomes a state of being when it overflows into every other area of our life.

So in addition to starting your day with happy thoughts, take some time to check out the link above. There are some really great little tips to boost your mood!

Is there anything you would add to the list?

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An Unshakeable Belief

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Snow is fallllllling here in Philadelphia today, and I am less than thrilled about it. You know how much I love the winter. But, I did get a "snow day" out of the deal, so I guess it isn't so bad after all!

Anyway, in the midst of my I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself snow day laziness, I knew I needed a good quote to get me motivated...something to really wake me up and get me to start my day. Or, at least go make a cup of hot chocolate.

I came across today's quote in my collection and it really made an impact. It was about this thing called confidence...this thing that seems to have a habit of sneaking away from time to time. Once again, this quote proved to me the reason why confidence is so important...
Whatever qualities the rich may have, they can be acquired by anyone with the tenacity to become rich. The key, I think, is confidence. Confidence and an unshakable belief it can be done and that you are the one to do it. -Felix Dennis
Now think of "the rich" as not only the people in the top tax bracket, but those that are also rich in life, rich in love, rich in spirit. These are the people that are living their lives to the fullest and have learned to love every minute of it. The qualities that they carry - ambition, appreciation, optimism, confidence - are qualities that we all want. And they're qualities that we can have. According to this quote, the key to being rich (and so many other things in life), is confidence.

The best part of this quote is the the second part, the ultimate duo. Confidence and an unshakeable belief it can be done and that you are the one to do it gives us the perfect equation for living our best life and for reaching the goals that we have set for ourselves. An unshakeable belief....that's pretty serious. But it needs to be. We can't let the belief in ourselves falter. The faith in ourselves and our abilities needs to withstand any challenge or challenger that threatens to knock it down.

So if you want to be "rich" in life, here's the formula for your success. Remember that if you have the drive to become great, it takes confidence and a true knowledge of self that cannot be shaken to get there.

Keep Smiling,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Be Bold

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend.

I was looking through some quotes yesterday and came across one that really stood out from the rest. I had already read through pages and pages of quotes, but none had really "spoken" to me, so I continued reading on, looking for that special one. Finally, there was one that I read... and then re-read, and read once more because it kept pulling me had some sort of power behind it, and I loved it. I knew immediately that it had to be today's featured quote.

So, let's get right to it.
Whatever you can do, or believe that you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. -Goethe
I'm not sure why this one in particular stood out from the other great quotes I came across, but I believe it sends a message that we can all relate to. I know that a lot of times, I am held back from doing things because I fear the possible failure, I start doubting my abilities, and think my idea is a little too risky to even try out. That's when I know I need to kick my optimism into high gear - and be bold.

A lot of times the biggest hurdle in starting something new is that first little step. Just beginning something is a huge hurdle in itself, but once we can get past that little bump, our journey can really take off. Having this "boldness" can take us to new heights and the genius, power, and magic that comes along with it can only fuel us to do greater things.

I'm going to be trying to begin it, as the quote says, and let the boldness of my ideas guide me. Sometimes we just need a little internal push to get things going, and once we've begun, greater ideas and more inspiration are on their way.

So be smart, have courage, stay positive, and be bold!

Keep Smiling,

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Positive Post from a Positive Website

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

I came across a great link in a tweet yesterday from @PositiveWebSite and just loved the article that it led me to. It was called "How Positive Thinking About Others Helps You" and it touched on many of the ideas shared here on OO.

In short, the article was mainly about how to look for the good in the people and experiences in your life. I won't write too much about it here because I think it would be best to hop on over to the website and read the whole thing for yourself - it's definitely worth it! But, I will share with you a quote from the post that I thought was very profound...
When you are able to change your thinking so that you always ‘look for the good’, you will discover that your life will shine brighter and brighter.
I know this to be absolutely true. When you see the good in life, it is easy to be a more positive person. The things in life that you once saw as a nuisance now become appreciated and looked upon in a new light, the "bad luck" we once had can now be turned into something positive, and our optimism radiates from our body and is noticed by all around us.

I hope you can notice all of these great changes taking place as you become an Optimal Optimist. We all want a bright and shiny life, and there's no better way to make one than to look for the good in all that we do and in everyone we know!

I tried to keep this one short so you will have some time to hop over to How Positive Thinking About Others Helps You.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Secret of Life According to Peanuts

Hello Optimists,

When I was little, one of the most fun things about meeting up with friends after Christmas was showing each other everything that Santa Claus had brought for us. Whether it was a new outfit from our favorite stores or a my-size Barbie (which, now that I think about it, is a little bit creepy!), it was always nice to share with others all of the new toys and gadgets that were brought so graciously by the Big Guy. 

Since I'm a bit "older" now, there aren't mounds of toys waiting to be unwrapped under the Christmas tree or many fun items to share with my friends when we meet up for the holidays. Instead, the gifts I receive are a little bit more practical and thoughful - something someone saw while shopping and thought, "I just have to get that for my friend!". Of course, I realize that Christmas isn't about the presents anymore, and in fact, I didn't really even ask for anything this year. I know that this holiday means more than just how much someone spent on me, and I was just happy to take some time to relax and be with my friends and family. 

That being said, I still received some great gifts this year - thoughtful gifts, ones that I know were meant just for me. I wanted to share with you a great little Christmas gift that I got this that was addressed To: The Optimal Optimist. It's a small desk plaque with two of my three favorite Peanuts characters on it, and a great quote that will serve as today's featured quote. 
Keep looking up! That's the secret of life. 
I never thought I'd learn the secret of life from a tiny bird and a dog, but I suppose that one can never overlook an opportunity to learn from the most unexpected of sources. Peanuts has taught me a lot though, and as you probably remember from my past posts One Lick at a Time and Good Grief, I really like that blockhead, Charlie Brown and his friends.

But I don't think we can deny that this quote is absolutely true. We've got to "keep looking up" and we've got to keep thinking positively. We've got to be Optimal Optimists! Everyone is searching for the secret of life - we're lucky enough to know it already and be to putting it in practice.

I'm so grateful for this great little gift, and it's going right on my desk next to my computer so I can keep this quote in mind while I'm typing up my posts! I hope you can keep this in mind too - and spread the word....we've got the secret of life!

Keep Smiling,