Friday Review: Optimism


Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Here are a few optimism-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full message.

image of a candle burning

“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?”




image of water down the drain


“Complaining is Draining.”




image of "Life's Little Instruction Book"

“Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.”




Nip it in the bud

“Nip it in the bud!”

—Author Unknown

Image of fingers pinching off a new leaf

image from

Today’s quote comes from the world of horticulture, where trimming a bud from a plant prevents it from becoming a flower or a piece of fruit.

Since most of us appreciate the beauty of flowers and the sweet taste of fruit, it would seem there would be little use for that advice, but this form of gardening prevents overgrowth or the spreading of unwanted issues.

As a metaphor in our lives, nipping things in the bud is a good practice when we wish to stop a potential problem before it blossoms into a major issue.


Where and on what issue would nipping it in the bud serve you best, personally or professionally?

when the universe celebrates success

“When the universe celebrates success, are you a joint partner or a spectator?”

—Laurent Carrel, Author

Photo of Marvin P.

Marvin P.

I recently had an inspiring conversation with Marvin P, a friend at my health club. Marvin is now 80 years young. He’s been a softball fanatic for as long as I’ve known him.

Each season, he mentions that he is slowing down a bit more as we discuss his running, fielding, and course, batting abilities. On this particular occasion, he shared that his travel team had just won the 2016 national championship in his age division!


In what areas of life is it time to get out of the stands and onto the field, to pursue and celebrate your personal and professional championships?

The Shortest Distance

“The shortest distance between two points is under construction.”

—Noelie Altito, Poet

Image of orange construction cones on a curved road

Image from Flickr by Aftab Uzzaman

Here in Michigan, we joke about how we have only two seasons – winter and construction. There is rarely a straight line from Point A to Point B, and anywhere you go usually involves lots of orange barrels!


As you explore the way between Point A and Point B in your professional and personal projects, consider how you can proactively improve the road conditions by using the finest construction materials possible.

Consider increasing your personal mastery as a leader, manager, coach, and communicator to optimize your construction efforts.

Some Cause Happiness

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

—Oscar Wilde, 19th Century Irish Playwright and Poet

Image of two women smiling

Image from Flickr by Christopher Connell

Who would you want to be with if you were stuck in an elevator for an hour or longer?

What one person would you want to be with if you were stranded on a deserted island?

If someone calls you at home just as you head to bed for the night, who would you most want that caller to be?


Examine the qualities and characteristics of the people you identified. How does your happiness index improve by the thought of their company?

What work may be needed on your part to have others put you on their list of special people?

Kindness Review


How often do you act out of kindness? Here are a few kindness-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full message.

Image of mosaic Kindness sign

“Kindness causes us to learn, and to forget, many things.”





Image of bubbles

“Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own.”




Image of Herman Munster

“Even a monster backs off when one feeds it lovingly.”





The Art of Happiness

“Happiness is not an accident, it’s an art. You don’t hope for happiness, you plan for happiness. You have to weave happiness like a tapestry.”

—Jim Rohn, American Motivational Author

Image of tapestry on a loom

Image from Flickr by monnibo

My wife Wendy is very creative. She heads several women’s groups focused on crafts, including many forms of needlework.

I admire the time and attention to detail these patient women put into their art, as they literally weave pieces of themselves into their work.

Imagine your life as a quilt, with a wide variety of fabrics that you have worn along your journey. Make sure to capture all of the stand-out, deeply felt memories that have brought you great happiness along the way.


Begin today adding more happy experiences to your existing quilt, or start planning what new and beautiful pieces of art you intend to create moving forward.

The Perfect Moment

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.”

—Author Unknown

meme about the perfect moment

Image from

In the past few months, I’ve read several blog posts on the topic of perfection and excellence, all focused on the debate between quantity and quality.

The real question is, how are you wired?

Do you go for perfection through extensive planning, strategizing, thinking, and rethinking?

Or do you jump in and get started making something that can be tweaked along the way?

Given many people’s desire to do it right the first time, some of us wait for the “perfect moment” to begin. Beginning, and the idea of doing many experiments from which we can learn seems to be the way things are headed. Albert Einstein said, “ How do I work? I grope.”


How and in what ways can you stop waiting for the “perfect” moment, and instead make more moments perfect?

Resolving Difficult Problems

“A difficult problem at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

—John Steinbeck, American Novelist

Image of sleeping man

Image from Flickr by Or Reshef

A growing body of evidence demonstrates the ability of the unconscious mind to work on a problem that requires a creative solution. Similar results have been gleaned in studies on daydreaming, and its value in producing creative and more original ideas.

Turning inward mobilizes the right hemisphere of the brain. The sleeping or relaxed brain cuts out many distractions, which leads to greater capacity to solve problems.


How can you invest in a good night’s sleep, a power nap, or even a bit of daydreaming to more fully tap your creative problem-solving powers?

Museums are the custodians of epiphanies.

“Museums are the custodians of epiphanies.”

—George Lois, American Art Director and Designer

Image of two people walking in the woods

Image from Flickr by Gavin Clarke

How many of your most creative ideas come when you are working diligently at your desk?

Venturing to new and varied places could help you uncover potential incubators of future insights and epiphanies.

Consider a few ideas for places to get out of your “box” and think differently:

  • Take a long shower
  • Take a walk in nature
  • Meditate
  • Practice rhythmic exercise such as Yoga
  • Take a long, scenic drive
  • Visit a museum


Where and in what ways can you shift your perspective by shifting your physical position to enhance your creative capacities?

Feel free to reply to this post with your own epiphany-generating strategies.