Monday, February 22, 2010

The Eternal Optimist...

Attitude is everything.

I've been watching the Olympics and can't imagine a better example to illustrate this statement. Do the athletes (medal-winning or not) ever doubt they can do it? Maybe at times - but I suspect that in their hearts, they all hold a strong belief that they can succeed.

Believe in yourself. Believe that whatever you do will be successful. You can do anything until proven otherwise (and that will happen - just accept it). But you'll never know unless you try.

I remember some classic, inspirational stories from my childhood. One was The Little Engine that Could. The concept of that can-do attitude really stuck with me. I am extremely grateful that my parents not only read these stories to me and my sisters, but they (and my grandparents) exemplified this attitude. I'm sure this helped encourage us to be positive-thinking people and I can only hope that we've done the same for our children. "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could."

Another story I loved as a child was Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Mike and his steam shovel, "Mary Ann" had done a lot of digging in their day, but times were changing and technology was making their ways obsolete. Mike believed they could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week. He believed in himself and in Mary Ann. There are lessons of confidence, hard work, support, encouragement and problem solving in this simple story. If you've never read it, check it out on your next visit to the library.

Speaking of stories... once upon a time (a long time ago - the 1970's), I was a competitive swimmer. There was no swim team for girls at my high school and many other schools in those days. To compete, we had to swim against boys. I can't tell you how empowering it was to hear the crowd shout "you're not going to let a GIRL beat you...?" Somewhere deep inside, I heard the chug, chug, chug of The Little Engine that Could.

Believe that whatever you set your mind and heart to is possible. And if you don't achieve it, it's OK, at least you'll know it's not for lack of trying. Not every Olympic athlete will win a medal, but they're all winners because they believed - they went out there and tried their best.

This is a wonderful reminder to remain optimistic - written by Christian D. Larson almost 100 years ago. It's not always easy think this way (and admit I don't always), but at least it's worth trying...

The Optimist Creed

I promise myself:

  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
  • To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make my 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 I am about my own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.
  • To give so much time to improving myself that I 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.
  • To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.
  • To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
Eternal Optimist? Sure. And why not? Anything is possible. It's all in your attitude.


  1. Excellent post Cathy! You know that *I* could benefit from this reminder. And I love that Optimist's Creed! Never heard it before, but I'll sure remember it.

  2. Thank you for writing this down! You really have no idea how it suits my life just now. Your the best!

  3. Wonderful post !!
    Thank you Catherine !