November 27, 2014

Giving thanks

Every year, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day there seems to be an outpouring of gratitude. People begin to openly express their thanks for their families and friends and their health and happiness, among other things.

As an active Optimist Club member, I am also thankful for the opportunity and ability that I have been given to help others.

But all of these things happen throughout the year, not only on the fourth Thursday of November. For that reason, I remind you that there is always, every day, something to be thankful for. I encourage you to share your gratitude aloud, if only to yourself, every day.

Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for being you. I am grateful for your interest and support.

If you live in the US, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and if you live elsewhere in our beautiful world, please find joy in the rising sun and allow its brilliance to warm you through the day.

November 24, 2014

Say what?

You may remember the 1980's television show "Different Strokes" where young Gary Coleman popularized the skeptical rhetorical reply, "What you talkin' bout Willis?"

When something sounded sketchy or hard to understand, he'd squint, puff out his lips, and tilt his head to the side as the question came forth asking for clarity to whatever situation presented itself that day.

As I was scrolling through my Google alerts for Optimist Clubs today, I found myself in the same pose. What are you talking about, I asked, as I read this quote:
Optimists believe that deep unbreakable faith forged into a fundamental attitude of positive self expectancy is the eternal spring from which all creative, inspirational energy flows. Please take a minute to read our creed; It is the key to maintaining an Optimist's positive mental attitude.
Wow. What an incredibly hard way to say that Optimist Clubs promote a positive vision and that members are hopeful and cheerful, among other optimistic attributes.

This is a good time to remind you about KISS: keep it simple, sweetie.

Share optimism. And be sure the average person can understand what you are sharing.

November 23, 2014

The ROI of joining an Optimist Club

So often, when asked to join a membership association, people will ask, "What's in it for me?"

They wonder:
  • Will it advance my career? 
  • Will it make my workload any easier? 
  • Will it give me more time to be with my family or friends? 
  • Will it help me make more friends? 
  • Will it give me influence?
  • Will it help me make more money? 

The questions continue, both verbal and nonverbal, while someone weighs the value of giving their time to a particular group as the membership recruiter struggles to point out how wonderful it is to associate with a group of like-minded individuals for yes, all of the above will happen if you allow it to happen. Yet despite all the fine attributes of joining, the decision often defaults to no.

How sad it is that in a world where individual advancement is valued so highly, the concept of return on investment is missed by so many. When you invest your time by giving of yourself in service to others, you are rewarded with a positive understanding of self-worth. It makes you feel good about being you.

Flora Edwards said, "In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us."

Kindness begets kindness. Be kind and join an Optimist Club today and share your kindness through service.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you or contact me and I'll help you organize a new Optimist Club in your community.

November 18, 2014

Project energy and enthusiasm

One of the biggest concerns or challenges that I hear from Optimist Club members is that they have trouble getting noticed by the news. Without going into details in this post about what would make an Optimist Club project newsworthy, I'd like to share a recent television interview scored by the Optimist Club of Lafayette, Louisiana. Its spokesperson was invited to share the details about the Optimist Club's haunted hayride during the morning show.

My concern on watching this interview was that the newscaster was more enthusiastic than the spokesperson. The spokesperson got the details of the event out there, but  she didn't give any of the positive emotions that one would want to feel about going to a community event.

Some tips for giving interviews:

  • Be prepared. 
  • Be ready with a soundbite - Succinctly state two or three key points that you want everyone to know.
  • Be enthusiastic about what you are promoting. Project energy. Smile.
  • If it is a serious story, share the gravity of the situation with the proper inflection of your voice. 

Engaging with the audience is an important element of public speaking whether one be in-person or on-camera, and every spokesperson gets better with experience. Kudos to the Optimist Club of Lafayette, Louisiana for making news.

November 16, 2014

Celebrate every day

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Fireworks are always magical. They light up the sky, showering the black night with red, white, green and gold bursts of awe. It is sad that the wonder is saved for the Fourth of July, New Year's eve and other special days of the year.

Fortunately, one need not wait for fireworks to celebrate their lives. Oprah Winfrey said, "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is to celebrate."

I find this quote so true. It's like being happy; you have to choose to be happy and then all that you see around you becomes a positive reflection of your perception.

Joining an Optimist Club can create a perception of positivity as well. By joining with like-minded individuals, you share your good thoughts and deeds to make the world not only a better place, but a happier place. Together, you celebrate every day for every day, just like every person, is special and worthy of joy.

I invite you to join with me in the celebration. Join an Optimist Club and see just what I'm talking about.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you. If you don't see an Optimist Club in your community, let me know and I'll help you get one started.

November 8, 2014

The world needs more optimists

join an optimist club | www.experienceoptimism.orgI'm traveling this weekend for Optimist International. As part of the preparation for serving as an International Vice President, the organization hosted a "Coaches Clinic" where the leadership team shared their individual game plans for encouraging growth within their region. We spoke of how important a communications plan was to success and for most, social media was a key component of their plans. Of course, I encouraged the use of blogs in order for more people to share their enthusiasm for belonging to an Optimist Club. It is an avenue that I will promote throughout the year.

Of special interest to me was a program, or push if you will, to build mission driven Optimist Clubs. Can you guess what the mission is? I am happy to report that the mission is optimism. What is the one thing that your Optimist Club brings to the community that is not provided by anyone else?

A positive outlook.

Many organizations provide services for children. Many organizations perform projects and community service that make their communities a better place to live.  However, only the Optimist Club starts first with a feeling of hope and optimism and we do that better than anyone else. That's a mission that should be shared with others.

Mission driven Optimist Clubs will encourage the start-up of new Optimist Clubs that put optimism at the top of the list of services they provide to their communities and that in itself is a positive thing. It will help deliver the brand message that many have so long struggled to define. Putting optimism first will lead to more members, happier communities and provide a sense of purpose among members far and wide. We need more Optimists. Won't you join an Optimist Club today?

Please click here to find an Optimist Club near you or send me a message and I will help you start a new Optimist Club in your community.

November 1, 2014

Optimist Club members have their hands out

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Something that I've noticed about Optimist Club members is they always have their hands out. Those hands are extended in friendship and service.

Optimist Clubs perform many projects annually including, but not limited to, the Optimist International Scholarship Programs, Youth Appreciation Week, Respect for Law, and Optimist Junior Golf. And they always do projects that impact their local community as needed, like building a park or donating to school programs among other things.

They will never fail when asked to do just a little more. Need drivers for your Meals on Wheels program? Ask the Optimist Club. Looking for chaperones for the school dance? Ask the Optimist Club. Are the leaves out of control in front of the Food Bank? Ask the Optimist Club. There is no project too small or too large for the helping hands of your local Optimist Club - that's what being a community service club is all about.

To get involved, find an Optimist Club near you and join. If there is not a club near you, contact me and I'll help you get a new Optimist Club started in your community.


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