is having the most favorable outlook.

“I didn't lose the gold. I won the silver.”

Michelle Kwan (born 1980); figure skater, Olympic Medalist, United States public diplomacy ambassador

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser—in case you thought optimism was dead. ”

Robert Brault poet

“We have enough people who tell it like it is- now we could use a few who tell it like it can be. ”

Robert Orben (born 1927); magician, comedy writer

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the horizon of the spirit.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968); author, lecturer, activist

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy, and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968); author, lecturer, activist

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546); Monk, Priest, Theologian, Professor

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”

Maori proverb

“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.”


“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”

Willie Nelson (born 1933); singer, songwriter, poet

“There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the amazing thing - light trumps darkness every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.”

Jodi Picoult (born 1966); Author

“I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation. ”

Mike Todd (1909-1958); theater and film producer

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968); author, lecturer, activist

“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them, for they're always there.”

Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993); preacher, author

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”

Oprah Winfrey (born 1954); American television host, publisher

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

Thomas Edison (1847-1931); inventor, businessman

“...one of my motivating forces has been to recreate the world I know into a world I wish I could be in. Hence my optimism and happy endings.”

Kristin Hunter (born 1931); author

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

Colin Powell (born 1937); 65th U.S. Secretary of State

“Those who wish to sing, always find a song.”

Swedish Proverb

“I ain't never been poor--just broke. Being poor is a state of mind; whereas, being broke is just a temporary situation.”

Mike Todd (1909-1958); theater and film producer

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963); writer, theologian, scholar

“I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”

Martha Washington (1731-1802); U.S. First Lady

“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

William Shakespeare (1564-1616); dramatist, poet

“I can get sad, I can get frustrated, I can get scared, but I never get depressed - because there's joy in my life.”

Michel J. Fox (born 1961); actor, author, comedian, producer, activist

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”

Swedish Proverb

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

Pamela Vaull Starr

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.”

Henry Ford (1863-1947); founder of Ford Motor Company

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963); writer, theologian, scholar

“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 (1911-1989); actress, producer

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you. ”

Walt Whitman (1819-1892); poet, humanist

“I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.”

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900); novelist, playwright

“Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.”

George Gordon Byron (1788-1824);

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. ”

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790); politician, writer, scientist

“In the hour of adversity, be not without hope; for crystal rain falls from black clouds.”

Nizami (1141-1203); poet

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

William James (1842-1910); psychologist, philosopher, author

“Tomorrow is not a promise, but a chance.”

Rachel Joy Scott (1981-1999); student, first victim of the Columbine High School massacre

“No person ever ended his eyesight by looking on the bright side.”

Zig Ziglar (born 1926); motivational author, speaker

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, 'I'm possible'!”

Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993); actress, humanitarian

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips it's turn.”

Hal Borland (1900-1978); memoirist, author

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

Henry Ford (1863-1947); founder of Ford Motor Company

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965); British statesman, prime minister, author, Nobel Prize winner

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672); writer, poet, first woman to be published in Colonial America

“I always prefer to believe the best of everybody-it saves so much trouble.”

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936); poet, author

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein (1879-1955); theoretical physicist, philosopher, Nobel Prize winner

“Maybe the Fountain of Youth isn't a fountain at all. Maybe it's a way of looking at things. A way of thinking.”

Charles Whitley (born 1962); character in \Kick The Can""" episode of the TV Show Twilight Zone"""""

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959); architect

“If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”

Lucy Larcom (1824-1893); poet

“Life's blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed at the fire of enthusiasm. ”

Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993); preacher, author

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972); 33rd President of the United States

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790); politician, writer, scientist

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

Anthony J. D'Angelo Founder of The Collegiate EmPowerment Company

“The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.”

William Shakespeare (1564-1616); dramatist, poet

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase. ”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968); minister, civil rights activist

“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Walt Disney (1901-1966); film producer, director, animator, entrepreneur

“They can because they think they can.”

Virgil (70-19); epic poet

“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.”

Milton Berle (1908-2002); comedian, actor, author

“Optimism is the foundation of courage.”

Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947); philoser, educator, diplomat

“Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for amazing things.”

Josh Hinds Motivational speaker, author

“If we hadn't had such a magnificent optimism to carry us through all these things, we wouldn't be here. We have survived it on our optimism.”

Edward Steichen (1879-1973); photographer

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915); philosopher, author, publisher

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968); 64th US Attorney General

“Fires can't be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks. ”

James Baldwin (1924-1987); author

“Wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.”

Abigail Adams (1744-1818); U.S. First Lady (1797-1801)

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

Epictetus (55-135); Stoic philosopher

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.”

G.B. [Gladys Bertha] Stern (1890-1973); novelist, critic

“Don't let your failures define you--let them teach you. ”

Barack Obama (born 1961); 44th U.S. President

“Thanks for showing me that even on the darkest, rainiest days the sun is still there, just behind the clouds, waiting to shine again.”

Lisa Harlow

“Life is unnecessarily long. Moments of insight, of fine personal relation, a smile, a glance -- what ample borrowers of eternity they are!”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882); Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

“Your attitude is your altitude. It determines how high you fly.”


“The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.”

Ivy Baker Priest (1905-1975); politician

“Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”

J.K. Rowling (born 1965); novelist

“Compassion is the desire that moves the individual self to widen the scope of its self-concern to embrace the whole of the universal self.”

Arnold Toynbee (1852-1883); Economic historian, social reformer

“If men could combine thus earnestly, and patiently, and harmoniously to some really worthy end, what might they not accomplish?”

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862); naturalist, author, philosopher

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”

Anne Frank (1929-1945); diarist

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862); naturalist, author, philosopher

“An optimist is a man who starts a crossword puzzle with a fountain pen.”


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Wearing A Smile

A few years ago I lost my buddy Jack to cancer... Wait, wait before you get all sad there's more to the story! Jack knew me since the first breath I took on this earth. He was always in my life in some aspect or another. When he first got sick, I was mad. I didn't understand how this could…

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"Roller Skates and Ice Skates"

The word"optimism" means the best! After viewing a mini video about a 1923 roller skate adventure send to me by my niece, it brought back memories of the "optimism" and "the best of my family". In Superior , Wis . in the late 1950's and 1960's , my cousins and I didn't spend time with video games and stay inside…

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Hopeful, Inspiring Camellias

Hopeful, Inspiring Camellias by Debbie Porter As an academic tutor, I try not to compare my students with one other. After all, every person is unique in their experience and learning style. But when thinking about how hard they work to succeed in their studies, I found an iconic correlation in nature. Camellias bloom annually and many specimens are decades…

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Making the Best of What You've Been Dealt

As a young child my Aunt Jane has always been a hero of mine. She grew up in a poor household with my father and 4 other children who were raised by my widowed grandmother. Jane was married and raised 2 boys named Devin and Darin. After her divorce from Devin and Darin’s father, she married a man named Mark…

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The Flower Arrangement

One day, during our biology class our teacher conducted a flower arrangement competition. There were five groups who competed and the materials used are weeds, leaves and anything you can pick in the garden. The toughest thing about being the leader of group one is that we are not artistic and our vase is tall and thin that only few…

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My Issues are Nothing

My name is Christopher, and for 10 years I've been a member of the children's service club called Optimist International. I will become the volunteer Governor of the Illinois District in October, and hope that my leadership will increase the Illinois membership. In July, Illinois Optimists spend a day at a camp in Lake Bloomington for children undergoing cancer treatment.…

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Life Is Love

Life, most people say, is fleeting. It flies right by us and we barely even notice until something horrible happens. My name is Bec and I am sixteen. August 3rd was the fourth anniversary of my mother's death. It all started on January sixth of 2004 when my mother was checked into the hospital. I was scared; a rock settled…

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The Gift

Rose-colored glasses get a bad name. Whenever I hear someone accused of having rose-colored glasses it usually means they are unrealistically optimistic or ignoring reality. Maybe. But I believe everyone needs a pair of rose-colored glasses. When I was young I got a pair from my brothers, who are my heroes. The 'glasses' they gave me have been a gift…

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By George, we did it.

Sometimes, people tell me I'm weird. No one truly knows just how upset it makes me feel. I cry so much. But when I wake up, I look up at my ceiling, and a rush of happiness pumps through my veins... the "By George, we did it." poster is prominently staring down at me. I am so grateful to values.com…

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When I was younger I watched my mom battle cancer. I saw the fight she put up. She was constantly struggling with exhaustion and the stressful side effects of chemotherapy. Even though she had to handle all this, my mom somehow kept a smile on her face the whole time. Her positive attitude and warrior's mentality was what kept my…

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Paying it Forward

One summer I was really having a tough time. My husband had left me, I was broke, and diagnosed with a serious medical condition. While I had a job, I was barely making ends meet and I didn't have enough to get the prescription I needed filled. I decided to attend a women's meeting and when we broke into small…

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Joy in Everyday Life

My name is Drew. I just happen to be a female who, as my parent's 5th child, was the destined one to be named after a great uncle :) I am 53 years old, married and the mother of an 18 year old daughter. I love the Lord, my family, friends, and am a free spirit. Four years ago following…

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Look Up

When I found out my parents were splitting up five years ago, reality sunk in for me. After listening to them screaming at one another in the middle of the night, I felt that I had lost my innocent perception of the world. I felt that I would never get back my imaginative, child-like disposition. After being bullied at school,…

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Scout Spirit

It was a cold Boy Scout Klondike weekend. The night before had been twenty degrees below zero and a lot of the troops didn't come out. Needless to say the ones that did come were moving around a lot to keep warm. There was a series of games and competitions to participate in including things like First Aid, shelter building…

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Read Everyday Hero Stories About Optimism

Everyday Hero: Sam

Sam, my little brother, was adopted. When we picked him up, mum and dad knew that he was delayed. He has Autism. Sometimes he's a pest, but he always has this huge smile on his face. (well, most of the time) And he always thinks that the best is going to happen. He'll always believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny…

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Everyday Hero: Marin

I personally don't know Marin, but I know of Marin through her journal on her website. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in February 2005 and, at 12 years old, she has shown remarkable resilience, strength, and a positive attitude. She was a member of the Swim Atlanta Swim Team and I heard about her through Mark Henderson (Gold Medalist…

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Everyday Hero: Jonna

My hero is my grandmother. She has always made it a point to value what you have. To value the fact that we are blessed--we may not be "rich" but yet we are--we have family and good friends plus things many do not. She taught us that hate is pointless, there is no time in life for it. She has…

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Everyday Hero: Connie

My Grandma, Connie, is just amazing. Even though she has MS, she always looks at the bright side of things and makes everyone around her hopeful. My grandma always lifts my spirits and something about her makes me want to give SO much of myself everyday. She has never let anything get her down. I just wanted to say thanks…

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Everyday Hero: Bucky


Unfortunately, Bucky Fuller is no longer with us. But nevertheless, he is my hero. He set out to see what one man could do to make the world a better place, and over his 80+ years on "Spaceship Earth" he DID make the world a better place, and offered everyone a blueprint so we could all carry on his work.…

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Everyday Hero: Woodrow

My uncle, Woodrow, has been my hero for many years now. He was a loving husband to my aunt Charlotte - they were still holding hands and eating ice cream cones together after more than 55 years of marriage. Woodie is a wonderful dad to his daughter, and has served as a surrogate dad to many, many of her friends.…

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Everyday Hero: Mason

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Small and mighty. That’s how many describe twelve year old middle school student Mason from Wyoming. Mason is just like any other twelve year old boy… he likes to hang out with his friends, play hockey and baseball, travel and pick on his little sister. What makes him different from most other kids is that Mason is living with Juvenile…

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Everyday Hero: Erna

My hero is my grandma. She has the unshaken ability to find the good in any person. She is an optimist when hell breaks loose and in any situation will do whatever she can to help a soul good or bad. There is not a dull day in her presence and is grateful for every second she lives, having grown…

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Everyday Hero: Emma

My grandmother is the one person that has been in my life on a daily basis, for what I can remember, around the age of about 12. She was there, but because my parents divorced when I was 3 years old, I only saw her every other weekend. I moved in with my dad when I was 12, and I…

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Everyday Hero: Donald

My friend's grandfather, Donald C., is a man of great strength and courage. No matter what happens, he keeps moving forward with a positive outlook on life. He was recently diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and the whole family was devastated. Even though he does not have long to live, he still finds a way to make things seem…

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Everyday Hero: Deron

I'd like to tell you about a gentleman who had a vision. He works for a recycling company in Tucson, Arizona which puts people back to work. In his job, he saw more and more good, still useful items ending up in the landfills. He started offering these items to non-profit groups in the area for use in their offices.…

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Everyday Hero: Pat

This is OPTIMISM Month at my high school. I listened to the national news this evening and my hero is the UT Women's Basketball coach, Pat Summit. She was recently diagnosed with early stage dementia at the young age of 59. She shines when it comes to this month's value. Her quote for today was, "It is what it is…

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Everyday Hero: Deanna

My older sister was my hero. Dee was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2008. She'd been away from the family and living on her own. It's hard to think that it takes something so drastic to bring people back together. Dee struggled but she always stayed strong. Even in the worst conditions she never let go of hope. My…

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Your Comments

u r doing a wonderful job..
Ayesha Belaal 2 months ago from Karachi Pakistan

dont worry, be happpay
JACK 5 months ago from AUSTRALIA

Reji 5 months ago from Sydney

Life is full of Optimism, when life is up and down at the same time and you see that you like something and you can do it right. You find out in the same sport, or something fifteenth about it.
Emory 8 months ago from Georgia

Been a fan of your inspirational emails and website for about a year after seeing your TV commercials. Saw my first billboard in person today on Rt. 291 in Western, MA today and it made me smile! Thank you!!! :)
Joe 8 months ago from Barre, MA

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