The Optimist Creed — Part 10

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence. 

As you know, optimism is a key component of self confidence.  Several weeks ago, I did a post on The Optimist Creed.  It was a hit.  Several people asked for a copy.  The first post was so well received that I’ve decided to do a series of posts on The Optimist Creed.  This is another in that series.

If you would like a copy of The Optimist Creed suitable for framing, please send an email to Bud@BudBilanich.com with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.

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. 

Last week I focused on the ninth point of The Optimist Creed.  Today, I’d like to discuss the tenth point: “Promise yourself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”

This point captures the essence of optimism – “too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”

“Great,” you say.  “But how do I do all that?”  I admit it’s not easy.  I worry sometimes.  Sometimes I get angry.  Sometimes I’m scared; and sometimes I let my troubles bog me down.  However, as I soon as I recognize the symptoms of worry, anger and fear, I choose to let them go and focus on the positive things I can do to deal with them.

Free will is one of the great things about being human.  We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we will react to it.  I choose to react in a positive way. 

When I’m feeling fearful I embrace that fear.  I admit it and accept it.  Then I do whatever it takes to get past it.  Recently, I spent a lot of time and effort – not to mention money – to get my new book, Straight Talk for Success, finished.  Every time I write a book I’m a little bit afraid that no one will read it.  Or worse yet, people will read it and hate it.  However, I can’t control whether or not people read or like my books.  I can control, however, the amount of time and effort I put into the writing, editing and design of my books.  Suzanne Carlile my editor, and Bobbi Benson my designer, will tell you how I obsess over every detail of my books.  I do the best I can to make sure they are the very best I can do. 

And you know what?  Every book I’ve written is better than the previous one.  That’s because I spend a lot of time listening to the feedback I get on my books.  I use this feedback to do better the next time.  I’m not afraid of negative feedback.  I don’t get angry when people tell me they don’t like what I’ve written.  I ask them why they don’t like it, and what I can do to make my next book better. 

Because I know that by the time a book is published, it’s the very best I can do, I don’t worry about what people will think.  I am happy because in my heart of hearts, I know I did the best I could do.  I can control my effort.  I can’t control how others will receive what I’ve written.

The common sense point here is simple to grasp, but can be difficult to put into practice.  Instead of worrying what people think, do the absolute best you can on everything you do.  Instead of getting angry when things don’t go your way, figure out what you can do next time to get the result you want.  Instead of being paralyzed by fear, identify what scares you and embrace it.  Then do something constructive to beat that fear.  Finally, instead of letting trouble get you down, keep working and believing in yourself.  Most important, keep moving forward.  As the old saying goes “tough times never last, but tough people always do.”

This weekend, I saw a movie that really highlighted the tenth point in The Optimist Creed: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.   It’s a story about Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jean-Do to his friends.  Mr. Bauby was the editor of Elle, the Paris fashion magazine, when he had a paralyzing stroke.  He was left completely paralyzed, able only to blink his left eye. 

As you can imagine, at first Mr. Bauby was despondent and wanted to die.  However he found immense strength and was able to write his memoir over a period of 14 months, one blink at a time.  His speech therapist arranged the alphabet in a manner that began with the most commonly used letters.  At first she, then later his ex wife would sit with him and recite the letters.  When he heard the letter he wanted, he would blink.  When he came to end of a word, he would blink twice.

I sometimes find it difficult to write sitting at my computer and will full use of my hands and body.  What Mr. Bauby accomplished is nothing short of remarkable.  His ability to write a memoir in such a painstaking manner proved that he truly was “too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.” 

Mr. Bauby passed away in 1997 shortly after his book was published.  However, his book and movie, both called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, are a testament to the spirit of man.  In his review of the film, Roger Ebert called Mr. Bauby’s accomplishment “heroic”.  I agree. 

I also think his accomplishment is a fitting end to my series of posts on The Optimist Creed. 
I hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts on The Optimist Creed these past 10 weeks.  I’ve enjoyed writing these posts. 

Remember, if you want a copy of The Optimist Creed that you can frame and hang in your office, just send an e mail to Bud@BudBilanich.com with “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.  Feel free to say hello and provide me with some feedback on this blog while you’re at it.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my www.CommonSenseGuy.com blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free eBook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting www.CommonSenseGuy.com .

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Bud

PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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