Start an Optimist Club!

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“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

Born in 1856 as a slave, he never knew who his father was. Yet he went on to be an advisor to Theodore Roosevelt. How beneficial would an optimistic outlook like Mr. Washington’s be to you?  A 3/19/15 article in “Stroke” medical journal found that those with a strong sense of life purpose had a 44% less chance of major brain tissue damage that drives up the risk of age-related dementia and disability. Research from Yale University found that good genes contribute to 25% of the length of your life. Regular exercise adds 1 to 3 years, low cholesterol (4 or less years). Guess what adds an additional 7.6 years on average? Optimism – A good attitude, viewing the glass as half full, seeing the good in life. Well if this is true, how do you maintain or even gain optimism? Here are a couple suggestions that we all can do…

  • Daily write down 3 things for which you are grateful
  • complement every single person you interact with on things you like
  • surround yourself with reminders of happy times – photos, mementos, gardens, flowers, crafts and hobbies
  • reject the media’s messages about “negative” aging. Maintain a purpose in life- even if you have to force yourself. That purpose could be family, friends, church, prayer for others or even remaining an example to others. It could be helping those in need (big and small ways), writing down past events for future generations, volunteering or even smiling at neighbors. 

Maybe and apparent optimist – on some occasions – had to grab him/herself by the shirt collar and throw themselves out the front door. By the end of the day though they most always looked back with satisfaction. So if the Good Lord decides you should stay around for a bit more, why not fill your mind with winsome, lovely and wholesome thoughts? Use everyday to it’s fullest. 

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin – Mother Teresa

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing – Abraham Lincoln

If you hear a voice within you say, “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced – Vincent Van Gogh

I would rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed – Robert H. Schuller

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose – Lyndon Johnson

When we are no longer able to change a situation… we are challenged to change ourselves – Victor Frankel