Nov 212018
 
Stress May Be Unavoidable... but you can make it better for your health

This is an interesting speech by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who has been studying stress and its effects on people’s health. In short, studies found that stress can cause harm to your health IF YOU BELIEVE that stress is causing you harm. But in new experiments, for people who believe that stress is a normal part of life, people who believe that the stress symptoms that they feel are simply messages that their [more…]

Oct 252018
 
Code Your Own Operating System

Most people don’t appreciate that we code our own brain’s “operating system” by choice. A more common way to articulate this is that we are a product of our habits, and most of us find that habits are difficult to change. But they are well worth considering, designing, and changing. Aristotle observed quite accurately that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I have found a trick that really works to build [more…]

Sep 102018
 
Finding Optimism in One's Final Chapter

Aging, ailing health, and dying are tough topics in our society. We seem to ignore the realities, we tend to only put the spotlight on the young, on the hungry, on the vibrant, on the bold, and we don’t spend much time with elders as they fade. I think its hard because the candle of optimism struggles to stay lit as a person becomes weak and frail. For many, there’s little to look forward to, little purpose in life, little [more…]

Aug 182018
 
Most Anything You Want vs. Wishful Thinking

Our ability to do new things, our capacity to learn new skills, is far beyond most people’s imaginations. The problem is that most people decide to not take action, to not even try. If I had a dollar for every time I overheard the words “I wish I…” I’m certain I’d be a multi-millionaire.  People wish that they could speak a second language, or understood and had great investments, or could paint beautiful pictures, or could climb mountains, or run [more…]

Jul 092018
 
A Meaningful Life

I have always maintained that discerning your purpose and finding meaning in your life are crucial to understand your own true north.  Once you know your true north, all decisions, all challenges, all setbacks become easier to overcome.  A fulfilling life is more than simply finding a state of happiness — meaning helps you achieve lasting happiness. If you only read one personal improvement book, I believe “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” should be considered. Stephen Covey did a [more…]

May 292018
 
Want to Help People? Consider Just Listening

There are millions of ways to help those in need. Some are harder than others. Few people think of listening as important, but here is evidence that it is crucial. There’s over 7 Billion people in the world. If you want to make an impact, there is little stopping you other than taking initiative and sticking to it. I.M. Optimisman  

May 142018
 
Look for the Good News

A few weeks ago, an engine on a Southwest 737 shredded in mid-air, killing one passenger. It made all the headlines and everyone, myself included, is sad for that family’s loss. But, hidden in the sensationalism of modern news coverage is an amazing stat: This was the first U.S. commercial airliner fatality since February 12, 2009. In the U.S., there are about 26,000 flights on the average day according to the FAA. If you do some rough math, 26,000 X [more…]

Apr 222018
 
The Real Answer to the Pursuit of Happiness

There is no perfection in this world. Between occasional big problems and frequent little annoyances, issues dominate our days which can lead to stress, complaints, and unhappiness. If you listen to the news, the sky is falling and the world is ending. If you watch your social feeds, it seems like everyone else is living a near perfect, all-too-fun life, and you are missing out most of the time. If you watch the tele, the celebrities are traveling to far [more…]

Mar 152018
 
Do you use Gmail?  Helpful Tip...

This article has little to do with optimism, tenacity, or seeing the bright side of anything. It is simply a good tech hint, if you are one of the billion people on this planet that uses gmail as your ‘free’ email account. I found out that sooner or later, as promotional email continues to grow exponentially, you will bump up against gmail’s 15 GB limit, after which time Google would like you to start paying for more storage. In my [more…]

Jan 152018
 
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In this day and age, marked by hate — on both sides — distrust — on both sides — and blind partisanship — on both sides — here is a quote that I think people should keep in mind: It is up to each one of us to rise above, to think and plan wisely, to compromise, to get things done, to make a better America for all Americans, especially the coming generations. I.M. Optimisman 

Jan 122018
 
A 2018 Resolution Worth Taking On -- Mental Sharpness

How often do people say “I’m bad at remembering names…” Oh, if I only had a quarter for everytime I have heard that. On the other hand, I have said it a few too many times myself, although I have made some progress in recent years. This trick is to have a memory strategy, a technique that helps take that short-term thought and anchor it in long-term memory cells. The human mind is more than capable of incredible feats, whether [more…]

Jan 032018
 
Fountain of Youth: Part One

I’m realizing that folks decide to become old. It is subtle, but your habits usually change from decade to decade.  Old sets in when a person stops doing all the things that help keep a person young. Consider this thought for part one: I plan to create a number of quotes in 2018 all around this top. Staying young, hungry, passionate is a choice. Be younger in 2018 that you were in 2017. I.M. Optimisman PS. Don’t ever retire — [more…]

Dec 102017
 
Facebook’s Unstoppable Power to Polarize

This year, I have posted several articles observing how the vocal few, amplified by online social networks, have an outsized voice in the political discord that swirls all around us. A few thousand like-minded activists are being heard while 350,000,000 others shake our heads in disbelief and sigh, while sipping our beverage of choice, remote control and smartphone in hand. Simultaneously, I believe the remainder of this decade will be the true dawn of machine learning algorithms. While the concepts [more…]

Dec 042017
 
Investing, and your Caramel Cocoa Cluster Frappucino

Saving just a few dollars every day can make a big difference, if you invest it.  This lesson is lost on many teens, but it is worth talking about. I don’t care how you save it — I’m not trying to pick on Starbucks per se — you can do the same thing by drinking water in restaurants or simply comparing prices of everything you buy on your shopping app — but saving and investing early in your career is [more…]

Nov 102017
 
What Makes a Great Manager?

Life is too short and there is too much opportunity, to work in the wrong environment. I’ve had a bit of time to ponder this question, having worked for nearly a dozen managers of all different types, from John Wayne, to Yoda of Sales, to a master ambassador diplomat, to Rambo of customer service, to a micro-manager that meant well, to Action Jackson, and more. Most became lifelong friends and role models, each with an important lesson to teach. Looking [more…]

Oct 292017
 
Have a Daughter? Part 5

As part of my Have a Daughter series, check out this speech by Reshma Saujani at TED. I have written plenty of articles talking about the value of taking prudent risks and failing forward without loss of enthusiasm, but not in any specific context of helping daughters grow up well. Reshma opened my eyes to an important difference between boys and girls and how they are nurtured, and what must be done to encourage girls to take more risks at [more…]

Oct 082017
 
Expectations are a Parent's Choice

I believe expectations are a surprisingly important factor in success, no matter if the context is sports, business, politics, or parenting. This is evermore true now, in the selfie and social media driven generation. Social media and short barely-legible texts are often misunderstood, yet linger on mediums like Facebook, Instagram, and Messages on a person’s iPhone for days, weeks, even years later. How often have I seen parents screaming like crazed banshees at their young soccer players and basketball players, [more…]

Oct 012017
 
Crucial Ideas and Ideals -- We the People

It starts with “We the people…” America is not about one leader dominating the agenda, getting stuff done for the other 350,000,000 of us. Yet, it seems that we (and everyone in the news business and even everyone at Saturday Night Live) have forgotten this truth. Here is a brilliant speech, barely 12 minutes long, by a British Rabbi — believe it or not — that does a great job in reminding us why the selfie generation is confused and [more…]

Sep 292017
 
Social Media, the Millennials' Dilemma, & Real Relationships

If you are a frequent reader of OptimismMan.com, chances are you already realize that I believe there is a significant dark side to social media, beyond just the time that it appropriates rather insidiously. Every technology comes with positives and negatives, but often, the negatives are ignored until the evidence is overwhelming, common sense be damned. Simon Sinek is one of my favorite thinkers and speakers. In the interview below, he covers an amazing amount of ground, primarily focused on [more…]

Sep 102017
 
Idea Meritocracy for Better Decision-making

Much of my life, I have seen myself as an enthusiastic ideaman. I have more ideas per day than most people, I take the time to write a fair share of them down, I outline them into more than a fleeting thought, and I test them on friends and family all the time.  Unfortunately, I have found that people rarely tell me one of my ideas stinks… even though I’m certain that some of them do.  In most situations, true [more…]