Optimism for March 2014

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PTIMISM 'Expect the


Loretta Grant and I recently attended a luncheon meeting put on by the Capitol City Optimists' Club of Montgomery. The primary focus of this particular get together was to announce the winners of an essay contest sponsored by the club. High school students from across the River Region were challenged to write a short story with the topic being How Dreams Lead To Success. The winner and runner up read their essays to the club and WOW ....they were impressive to say the least. So impressive, in fact, that I immediately decided to scrap this months opening article and replace it with their writings. So please read on and enjoy the writings of these talented young optimists. I'm hopeful that after reading them your optimism concerning our younger generation will be greatly heightened, if not fully restored. Enjoy!! See stories on page 6B

1st Place

Be st'

An Optimism ChAllenge Optimism has a challenge for you and yours friends and family. It's a simple challenge that we found the other day on givemore.com. There are no risks involved and no additional time out of your day is required. Within the next week, set a two day period aside as your days to inspire others. Pick two days where you will put on your blinders to any negativity. On these two days everyone around you will be able to count on you for words and actions that inspire and encourage. You will be the light for others your colleagues, your customers, your patients, your students - NO MATTER WHAT. Allow yourself no negative thoughts and focus only on your service to others. Once you set your 2 days, fully commit to the effort regardless of the inevitable challenges that will come your way. If, at any time, you fall off the inspirational horse...get back on immediately. Do not take even a moment to let a negative thought enter your mind...hop back on the proverbial inspirational horse immediately.

2nd Place

Remember, you wake each day with an option for your daily attitude. At least for these two days pick the optimistic, inspirational and encouraging attitude. Please let us know how your challenge goes and please remember the challenge can continue on well past these two days...it can even last a life time. David Paul Thorne

Caitlian Deuter

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March 2014

Three Ways to Jump Start Your Optimism Journey!

"Small Packages" Good things come in small packages they say. This was proved to us one cold January day. It was the 26th of 1998 to be spot on. When our package was delivered in the early dawn. Just 2 pounds 10 ounces our package weighed. It was our son Andrew, for whom we had prayed. Seven weeks early he came to us. Kicking and screaming and causing a fuss. It was quite a shock to see our baby so small. He was frail and fragile and barely a foot tall. The doctors and nurses were at the ready when he arrived. They rushed him away,but assured us he'd survive. He was taken to the neonatal ICU, Placed in an incubator and readied for rescue. They poked him and prodded him and attached him to machines. The miracles of modern science are really something to be seen. The hospital would become our home for awhile. We got into a routine and changed our lifestyle. We'd feed him and bath him in a tub for a doll. Then read to him, sing to him and cover him with his new shawl. Family and friends and neighbors all streamed through. To show their love and support, for our new son Andrew. We'd pray together, laugh together and speak of the years ahead. All while our little son, lay healing in his bed. The days and weeks rolled slowly past. Each one seeming to be the same as the last. Then finally one day, our doctor dropped in. It's time to go home, he said with a grin. We hugged and kissed and packed our stuff. Then headed home, with our boy, who'd been so tough. We'd won the battle, but not the war. For being a preemie, is no easy chore.

3) Turn off the news... Take a break from watching too many newscasts and turn on something more uplifting or read something that puts a positive spin on life. Try to avoid doom and gloom messages that raise your fear and anxiety levels. Replace them with alternatives that elevate your hopefulness and lift your spirits.

The 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.

The Optimist's Creed was authored in 1912 by Christian D. Larson, appearing in his book Your Forces And How To Use Them. It was adopted as Optimist's International's creed in 1922.

We're often asked, "How did you cope". The answer is simple, we never lost hope. From day one of our ordeal, we expected the best. And laid any negative thoughts quickly to rest. So when the odds are against you and all hope is gone. Think of our little Andrew, battling through his first dawn. Good things come in small packages they say. That was proved to us that cold January day. B. Waugh- The Optimist

Capital City Optimist Club March Meetings March 19th 7 AM to 8 AM

2) Help someone in need. Want an attitude boost? Try making someone else's day better. UnitedHealthCare and VolunteerMatch found that volunteers are 72% more likely to characterize themselves as optimistic compared with non-volunteers. Plus 89% of volunteers say that volunteering has improved their sense of well-being.

http://optimist.org/e/creed.cfm = THE OPTIMIST CREED

For months and years, our son would fight. To beat off all obstacles, with all his might.

March 12th 7 AM to 8 AM

1) Fake happiness until you feel it. Feeling down? Instead of moping around, try acting like you're happy - even if you aren't. Science tells us that a genuine smile and a forced smile trigger the same chemical reactions in your brain. So you can actually fool your mind into feeling better by making it react chemically as if things were going swimmingly.

March 26th 11:30 AM to 1 PM

Bluewater Broadcasting, LLC “Local Folks, Helping Local Business�

March 2014

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“I KNEW I WAS gOINg TO WIN; I JuST DIDN’T KNOW WHEN.” This comment was made to the press by a recent middle Georgia lottery winner who had just won thousands of dollars. The news article spoke about the apparent Anna Waugh good luck of the winner. Yet, it seemed to me that this comment said something more. It was that statement that started me thinking about the presence of luck in our lives. Does luck alone really exist? I know when someone wins the lottery we all say things like “Gosh he’s lucky,” “How lucky can she be,” I would never win, I am just not lucky”. Maybe luck does play a part in winning the lottery, contests, or the dream house. I’m just not sure it is luck alone. Then I read the story of Evelyn Ryan. Evelyn was an enterprising women who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry and perfect prose during the contest era of the 1950s and 1960s. Her daughter wrote a wonderful book entitled The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids On 25 Words Or Less. One might read this book and say Evelyn was just plain lucky. Was it just luck or something more? Evelyn was the wife of an abusive, alcoholic husband and the mother of 10 children. She and her

family lived in a small town in the 1950’s and 1960’s when few women worked outside the home. Evelyn’s husband was known to drink away his pay check leaving the family facing eviction, poverty and at times near starvation. When funds ran low, and at her wits end, Evelyn turned to her parish priest who suggested she "take in laundry." She had to laugh at the advice because she could hardly keep up with her own family's washing and ironing. A weaker woman might have surrendered to poverty, but she was unwavering in her desire to keep her family financially afloat and to teach her children that the “life of the mind” was important. So Evelyn decided to use her gift of writing to generate some sort of income for her family. In the early 1950s, Evelyn started to enter contests, composing jingles, poems, and essays at her ironing board. She won numerous household appliances, bikes, watches, clocks, and, sometimes even, cash. One week she won a freezer, and then just weeks later, she won a supermarket shopping-spree. When the family was faced with eviction, she received a $5000 first place check from the regional Western Auto Store. You may be thinking, as I did, that Evelyn was just plain lucky when it came to winning contests. However, those who knew Evelyn and even Evelyn herself would tell you that was simply not the case. Evelyn’s steadfast optimism and talent for writing product jingles kept her family afloat. Her originality and sense of humor triumphed

over poverty, and her persistence enabled her family to survive adverse times. Evelyn had the ability to focus on what she needed, to believe in herself and not let others Lynn Straughan discourage her so that she could keep moving in the right direction. You see, she believed that positive thoughts equaled a happy and successful life while negative thoughts equaled a life of sadness and hopelessness. Evelyn could have easily chosen to succumb to a life of despair but her optimistic outlook simply would never allow that and instead she created a life for herself and her children filled with love. She taught her children how to view all things in the best possible light and to focus on what they wanted out of life. In fact all of her children remember one of her favorite quotes “It’s all a matter of what you set out to do”. Evelyn had an uncanny ability to still find personal joy in the face of extreme adversity; she lived the life of a truly optimistic person. Terry Ryan wrote about her mother: “I thought my mother capable of any feat, mental or physical,” and “We knew there could never be a problem bigger than Mom’s ability to solve it.” Lucky you ask- I think only in as much as you create your own luck through OPTIMISM.

! Quotes that E P HO give you hope!

JT & Leanne

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. - Lucille Ball The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser- in case you thought optimism was dead. - Robert Brault I believe any success in life is made by going into an area with a blind, furious optimism. - Sylvester Stallone Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year!

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March 2014

March 2014

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How Dreams Lead to Success By David Paul Thorne When most of us were younger, we had dreams of our future. Mostly, we dreamt about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Everyone knows, or was, that little boy who always wanted to be an astronaut. He would run around the house, arms spread pretending he was a space ship soaring high above Earth. We each know the cliche´ of the little girl that wanted so badly to be a famous singer when she grew up. She would spend hours in front of her full-length mirror dancing and singing into an imaginary microphone. So what happened? Why can’t we all be astronauts or pop stars? Why are we not all doctors or firefighters like we wanted to be when we were young and had such vivid imaginations? The reality is just that: reality go in the way for a lot of those that didn’t live out their childhood dreams. For one, our mindsets are constantly changing; many people change their minds about what they want their career to involve, even while in college or while in a steady job. Secondly, some people do not have the innate skill or ability to do what they want to de. To be an astronaut, you must be able to pass a battery of tests to evaluate your physical and mental states. Pop stars, even though it seems like there are a lot out there, may even face more arresting challenges that astronauts! Aggressive media attention, high expectations, and possessing prodigious skill all play into what society expects from entertainment today - just look at American Idol. Lastly, and most unfortunately, some people do not have the chance to do what they so aspire to do when they were kids. Many people face debilitating physical and mental state that don’t allow them to see their dreams through. And let us be honest: you would not want some people to be your doctor. But in those that do have what it takes to achieve their childhood dreams, what in their lives takes them as far as accomplishing those dreams? It could be intelligence, family wealth, or any number of things. However, among all that do attain their youthful goals, there is an innate commonality: passion. Through dreams, passion develops inside, acting as an ever-present motivator. Passion, defined as a stong desire for or devotion to some activity, is within all of us for at least one thing (whether we realize that passion is another story, however). There is something about this unique intrinsic trait that leads so many people to strive to fulfill their dreams, a striving that not even a robust work ethic can compete with. Everyone’s passion for something stems from their subconscious and is made evident by their behaviors. Because passion stems from the subconscious, it what the mind truly desires. You can instill a work ethic; you cannot instill passion. As stated by Harriet Tubman, a key member in the Underground Railroad, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always

March 2014

remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Everyone has passion, a flame that burns feverishly inside of them. However, when someone sets out to accomplish their dreams, to be an astronaut or pop star, that intensifies into a flame conflagration, a passion bound to a dream. That burning, the compass pointing to a goal, is the impetus that drives people to seek our their ambitions with extreme vigor even in times of arresting difficulties. An article from CNN accounts one of these realized dreams. Dawn Loggins, a high school graduate, had a dream to get into Harvard; she was passionate about learning and self-betterment. Accomplishing her dream was going to be no menial task though. The summer before her senior year of high school her “drug-abusing parents” deserted her, leaving her to stay on her friends’ couches for the year. Although she had to work as her high school’s janitor as a senior to have an income, she was accepted into Harvard with a full scholarship for tuition and books. Also, with money donated to her, she set up a non-profit organization called Uplift to help out students in similar and worse situations that hers. Loggins’ passion for learning guided her through abnormal challenges to accomplish her prestigious dream and in the process, set up the means by which to help others. When someone has a dream, passion breeds inside of them. This passion in turn breeds a will to thrive unyieldingly, which gives way to thriving unconditionally. Ultimately, passion projected onto someone’s dreams and life not only gives them the striving to accomplish their dreams, but points them towards their purpose in life.

David Paul Thorne

Bibliography Kuo, Vivian. “Harvard-bound homeless grad ‘overwhelmed’ by ovation.” CNN. N.p., 08 06 2012. Web. 6 Feb 2014. <http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/08/harvard-bound-homeless-grad-overwhelmed-by-ovation/>

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman How Dreams Lead to Success By Caitlian Deuter “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” A quoted by then one and only John Lennon. Somewhere along the line in life we all find our passion. Some people find it when they are very young, some find it when they are teenagers exploring who they are, and others find it later on in life. But sooner or later we all find it. We find that one thing that makes you, well you, that one thing that we love to do above anything else. Once you find that passion something happens. Something some of us often keep to ourselves, some share with a few close friends, and some are not afraid to broadcast it to the world. That something is called a dream. When a dream is born there is no celebrations of life, no gifts, no “Congratulations”, but we all still have them. That quite girl who sits in the back of class, she wants to be a great writer like William Shakespeare. The quarterback of the football team, he wants to make it pro someday.That loud theatre girl in your English class, she wants to make it on Broadway. Dreams are something we all hope to one day achieve. We wonder if our lives will be successful knowing we accomplished that dream. It takes a while for some to find their dream. Some it may even take years. And who knows maybe your dream will change along the way. But dreams are a funny thing. Some hope their dreams will lead to fame and fortune. Some just want to be rich and not have to worry about anything. They think in order to be successful one must be rolling in money. We let the idea of money take priority to what really matters when it comes to a success. Money does not define success. No, only one thing defines success, and that is happiness. If you can find a passion and pursue it to the ends of the earth and at the end of the day put a smile on your face and love what you do, you can be successful.

Happiness is the key to success, but first there has got to be a dream. A dream you have that may even be too big to admit to yourself. But one important thing to remember is that dreams do not happen overnight. It will take time, patience, and hard work to reach that goal you set for yourself. Whether it is to be the CEO of a major company or the head chef at a five star restaurant; it is going to take time to accomplish that dream. So break it down into steps. Goals you want to reach by a certain time period. Maybe in a year you would like to be working an internship at some high power business. Whatever it is plan it out, and if things do not go according to plan, remain calm and carry on. If plans change allow them to, and leave an open door to and open mind because one little detail could change your plan for the better. Nobody is going to tell you what to do with your life. You have got to discover that yourself. You have to find your own passion, and then discover your own dream. You have to do everything in your power to pursue that dream. You should never give up on your dream, even if someone tells you that it is “impossible”. Nothing is impossible, just take a look at the Wright Brothers. Find pride in what you do or you can never be happy. You have to find happiness in your life or you can never be successful.

Caitlian Deuter

March 2014

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Statues and Storms

Optimist vs Pessimist Joke

We all are statues, we are stone, we are sound. We fight the storms that tend to rage, we fight them to the ground. And this is where we find our strength, when facing such a storm. We statues are resilient, we're strong, bludgeoned and scorned.

A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other felt it too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposites in every way, one was the eternal optimist, the other the doom and gloom pessimist.

And eventually we all will fall, we all will meet our day, But the thing about a statue is, we are not meant to stay. We face the world, its violent twirls, the hardships that find us, and then one day we fade away, and crumble into dust.

Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure. That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly.

It's something that all statues do. We're not immortal, not me and not you. God gave us such a chance one time, and thats a chance we blew. So stand and withstand, be and you'll see, that the storms will subside eventually. But for now they will rage, just as all storms do, and heaven will be waiting, for statues like me and you.

"Why are you crying?" the father asked. "Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all the instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my new toys will eventually get broken." answered the pessimist twin. Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked. To which his optimist twin replied, " There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"

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March 2014