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Motivation Mondays: OPTIMISM

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“I think in life, you have a choice. You can either be optimistic or pessimistic, and I go for the optimism.” Jon Anderson

Weekly Photo Challenge: OPTIMISM - Symbols we love

Weekly Photo Challenge: OPTIMISM – Symbols we love that motivate us

Optimism is a choice
Optimism is a lifestyle decision to live joyfully
Optimism is like seed we plant that bear fruit
Optimism is about immersing ourselves in our work/craft
Optimism is about celebrating the little things
Optimism is about not sweating the small stuff
Optimism is a smile in the face of oppression – Gifts of the Day ~ EOF


Are you a perennial optimist, a pessimist or a mix of both?  Some people view the world through dirty windows while others make an effort to wipe the windows before viewing the world. You see, optimism is not about sitting around and grinning from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat; it’s about choosing to see the positive outcome ahead and taking action, even as one is struggling through dire conditions. It’s a choice! When I started blogging, back in 2008, it was a time of great economic change in the USA.  People were losing homes and jobs left, right and center, and it was a particularly sad time.  I was a blogging novice with a vision and simply wanted a way to support my team by creating motivational pieces to help them along.  I had no idea where it would lead or if it would last.

One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to add a positive note to a tough period in many people’s lives. I was based in Los Angeles at the time, on relocation for the company I worked for,  and the real estate market was just beginning to crash. While many around me worried about our economy and the future, I signed up for my blog on WordPress and my first post Hello World!  seemed like an apropos way to start this new journey; it held hope and optimism in an uncertain future. 7+ years later,  I don’t regret it.  Choosing optimism as a path to follow is about being proactive.  How we express it is entirely up to us; we can whisper or shout our intentions… We act because we believe in the greater good that can come from both unpleasant and pleasant situations.

A Story: The Wall That Optimism Built ~ Osho
There was an ancient mysterious wall which stood at the edge of a village, and whenever anyone climbed the wall to look onto the other side, instead of coming back he or she smiled and would jump to the other side, never to return. The inhabitants of the village became curious as to what could draw these people to the other side of the wall. After all, their village had all the necessities of living a comfortable life.
They made an arrangement to where they would tie a person’s feet, so that when he or she looked over and wished to jump, they could be pulled back. The next time someone tried to climb the wall to see what was on the other side, they chained her feet so that she could not go over. She looked on the other side and was delighted at what she saw, and smiled.
Those standing below grew curious to question her and pulled her back, but to their great disappointment she had lost the power of speech.
“Those who have Seen cannot say. That which has been Seen cannot be painted, cannot be reduced to words. But still each one has to give a try – and the world goes on becoming more and more beautiful because of these efforts.” Zen Stories via

“Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.” Nicholas M. Butler

Weekly Photo Challenge: OPTIMISM - Symbols we love

Weekly Photo Challenge: OPTIMISM – Symbols we love that motivate us

Optimism is choosing to laugh every day
Optimism is the ability to laugh at our own foibles
Optimism is about setting goals bit realistic and fantastic ones
Optimism is knowing the difference between letting go and quitting
Optimism is about being and doing the best we can and letting go of the falls
Optimism is about leaving the past in the past
Optimism is about letting go of grudges and petty stuff – Gifts of the Day ~ EOF

Is your cup half full or half empty? Recently, I started attending services at a new place near my home. I’d been commuting to NYC for a while and hoped for a place much closer with easy parking. By Easter, a new place of worship opened its doors and  I was delighted to join in. Last Sunday, the minister shared some disheartening news that might impact the current location and then he spoke beautifully about the power of Hope; adding a humorous line here and there. As I thought about the topic for today’s post, many of the pointers he shared about hope came to mind. Like hope, having an optimistic spirit demands a belief in what we can’t see or touch quite yet. It is about trusting that the effort we are making, even with our share of mistakes, will bear fruit and provide abundant fruit for all to enjoy.  It is about looking at that glass and seeing the gift in it, not the lack. I adopted many of his pointers and created an Optimism is …  set of ideas in block quotes above and below.

When we make an effort to do our work to the best of our ability, we might not get the expected outcome we hoped for. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, it is important to get back on track and get busy with other options in front of us. It is also important to create some distance between ourselves and that old experience. Since everything we do carries an energetic imprint, clearing space is very important and it helps us open new doors and relationships that are healthier and supportive. Over the years, I have had my share of good and bad blogging experiences but I refuse to let them deter me from my objective which is to use this space to motivate and inspire; so, my basic blog philosophy and raison d’être remain same. It is the first thing you read/see when you arrive at my blog and sometimes the only thing for some folk. I believe that we all want to be heard, appreciated and respected and choosing an optimistic approach works best for this blog.  Does that mean my life is perfect? Of course not. I have my share of struggles just like everyone else but when I come to this space, I clear my head and rise above the fray. We can either learn to go with the flow, change directions or stagnate. What would I change? What would you choose? The stories and poem below and above help us understand the beauty of optimism.

A Story: The Raven & The Badger
One night, under the starry sky, the circle was quiet and members seemed pensive. Badger broke the silence and said, “You know, I can’t visualize myself expiring completely.”
Raven said, “A ghost.”
Badger said, “Even ghosts are not impermanent, though, are they?”
Raven said, “Take care of your miseries now, and they won’t abide.”Zen Stories via

Optimistic Man by Nazim Hikmet
as a child he never plucked the wings off flies
he didn’t tie tin cans to cats’ tails
or lock beetles in matchboxes
or stomp anthills
he grew up
and all those things were done to him
I was at his bedside when he died
he said read me a poem
about the sun and the sea
about nuclear reactors and satellites
about the greatness of humanity

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for March and April 2016 are:

03/07 – 8 International Women’s Day –  3/1-31, Women’s History Month
03/14 – 13 Daylight Savings Begins at 2:00 a.m., 15, Ides of March, 17, St. Patrick’s Day, –
03/21 – 19 International Earth Hour –  20 International Day Of Happiness, Palm Sunday, Spring (Vernal) Equinox, –
03/28 – 23 Purim begins at sundown, 25 Good Friday, 27 Easter Sunday

04/04 –  Youth – 6 Intn’l Day of Sport, 7 World Health Day
04/11 –  Siblings Day
04/18 – Patriot’s Day,  Tax Day, 22 Earth Day
04/25 – Passover, 27 Administrative Professionals Day,  30 Jazz Day
Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2016?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

More Below!

“Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A ‘you can do it’ when things are tough.” Richard M. DeVos

Weekly Photo Challenge: OPTIMISM - Symbols we love

Weekly Photo Challenge: OPTIMISM – Symbols we love that motivate us

Optimism is about choosing to eat right and get healthy
Optimism is about committing to exercise for the sake of our wellness
Optimism is understanding that bad things happen to good people and they get up and keep going
Optimism is about setting boundaries and letting go of toxic relationships
Optimism is about letting go of excuses and protecting our space and out loved ones
Optimism is about seeing ourselves as victors not victims
Optimism is the happy twin of Hope and nothing else matters. – Gifts of the Day ~ EOF

Are you Optimistic about your future? Often, in hindsight, we look back at situations that seemed so monumental and realize they were only that way because of our perception over a situation we could have tweaked, changed, abandoned, or left alone.  We don’t always have to jump to conclusions when people act/behave a certain way.  We can take the time to consider why, ask questions and then be at peace with it.  As complex beings, we vacillate from being compassionate and then cruel and back again. Some of us find a laundry list of slights and actions that justify our decisions and then forget to address the conversation in front of us because we are stuck in an old story about some nonsensical slight.

Part of being optimistic about the changing winds of life is being able to find that middle ground and to stay there awhile. Optimism includes finding more reasons to embrace joy and to linger there a little longer. This is the nature of an optimist… I believe.  However, at the end of the day, what really matters is whether we take that leap and welcome the rays of sunny optimism into our day, our life, our exchanges, our connections, our emotions, and how much of it carries over into everything else we stand for. Choose your words with care and live! Are you optimist or pessimist?

A Story: The Optimistic Farmer
A farmer whose corn always took the first prize at the state fair had a habit of sharing his best corn seed with all the farmers in the neighborhood. When asked why, he said, “It is really a matter of self-interest. The wind picks up the pollen and carries it from field to field. So if my neighbors grow inferior corn, the cross-pollination brings down the quality of my own corn. That is why I am concerned that they plant only the very best.” Zen Stories via
Source: Any Zen Antics  stories via


Positive Motivation Tip: Optimism can help us reach the highest goals and achieve unimaginable dreams … but we must choose it.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Stories via Zen Stories on  Quotes via BrainyQuotes, All Photos:  Sunny, Optimistic, via Pixabay and/or An optimist and a pessimist by Vladimir Makovsky, via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

51 Comments leave one →
  1. 25/04/2016 2:35 pm

    Are you an optimist or a pessimist? 🙂 🙁

  2. Liz Mays permalink
    25/04/2016 7:11 pm

    Sometimes I have trouble being an optimist because I can be a worrier. I do have to try harder to see the glass half full.

  3. Agnes Dela Cruz permalink
    25/04/2016 7:40 pm

    I am always on the optimistic side of life. I need to be for my kids who count on me the most.

  4. 25/04/2016 10:42 pm

    I’m an optimist 80% of the time 🙂

  5. Attachment Mummy permalink
    26/04/2016 2:23 am

    Optimism is certainly a choice, I don’t see the point in wasting time and mental energy being pessimistic! Might as well hope for and aim for the best.

  6. Fashionable Librarian permalink
    26/04/2016 2:24 am

    Oh yes we have the choice to be pessimistic or optimistic. Sad that many persons prefer to be pessimistic but as for me, I will choose optimism as often as possible

  7. Kathy Lacuna permalink
    26/04/2016 2:26 am

    Another thought-provoking post from you Elizabeth. This is the reason why I always look forward to reading new posts from you. I would also like to share this quote from Helen Keller which I hope will help motivate us as we start another week – “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence”.

  8. Rachel Mouton permalink
    26/04/2016 3:19 am

    Optimisim is so important to our overall outlook on life. I am a realist, but always can find something positive in every situation. I preach to my children all the time about remaining positive, but sometimes need to preach to myself :/

  9. Ann B (@AnnBac9) permalink
    26/04/2016 10:40 am

    I am trying so hard to be optimistic but sometimes I let negativity creep into my life. But I do try to be positive on a daily basis.

  10. Katrina Latasha McClain permalink
    29/04/2016 10:09 am

    I consider myself a realist so, I guess that would make me a half-n-half.

    • 29/04/2016 11:03 am

      Hahaha! That was a good line Katrina. 🙂 I think we all have both in us; some manifest one or the other in a big way. 🙂

  11. Aby permalink
    22/05/2016 1:26 am

    I am optimistic, i think.. Most of the time 😉 Now, i realize it is better to be optimistic all the time especially when a problem arises..

  12. duffelbagspouse permalink
    13/04/2017 6:10 pm

    I choose optimism over pessimism. But I wish I was just a realist.


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