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Choosing Optimism as a Philosophy of Life. A Skills Development Module by Michel Listenberger WEB-WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES To learn and to recognize the choices we have in adopting optimism as a philosophy To learn techniques to foster positive relationships. Workshop Overview.

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Choosing Optimism as a Philosophy of Life

A Skills Development Module

by Michel Listenberger

WEB-WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES

To learn and to recognize the choices we have in adopting optimism as a philosophy

To learn techniques to foster positive relationships

Optimist International


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Workshop Overview

  • Optimist Self Assessment Quiz

  • Promise and Commitment

  • Developing Self-Esteem

  • Sharing Optimism with Others

  • Your Unique Gifts

  • Your Mission for a better World

  • Sample Materials

Optimist International


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An Introduction to Optimism

OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM

Pessimism: “More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” - Woody Allen

Optimism: Live a positive life and develop relationships guided by the “Optimist Creed”

As Optimists we share a common philosophy and Creed that can lift our spirit, can lift the spirit of others, and can ultimately affect attitudes of all for a better World.

The acquisition of “optimism” goes beyond acceptance into any organization. It is a journey, an endeavor to make a choice between optimism and pessimism in every situation we face and with every word we utter.

Optimist International


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I.Optimist Assessment Quiz Where are you Now?Complete this quiz to assess your personal reaction to situations.

Usually Sometimes Seldom

I am in control of my life. _____ _____ _____

My destiny is in my own hands. _____ _____ _____

I set goals for myself. _____ _____ _____

I achieve my goals. _____ _____ _____

I don’t abuse chemical substances. _____ _____ _____

I am at my ideal weight. _____ _____ _____

I have a positive mental attitude. _____ _____ _____

I value the benefits of being optimistic. _____ _____ _____

I greet each new day with anticipation _____ _____ _____

I see the negatives but choose positives _____ _____ _____

I don’t worry about yesterday _____ _____ _____

I don’t get angry with those close to me _____ _____ _____

Optimist International


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Optimist Assessment Quiz Continued

Usually Sometimes Seldom

I am not afraid of what others might say _____ _____ _____

Every day I welcome new challenges _____ _____ _____

I see positive solutions in difficult situations _____ _____ _____

I can see myself achieving the things I want _____ _____ _____

I learn by my mistakes _____ _____ _____

I laugh with people, not at them _____ _____ _____

I know what I can change and what I cannot _____ _____ _____

I recognize that I have special talents and abilities _____ _____ _____

I appreciate my friends and tell them of their value _____ _____ _____

I smile when I meet someone _____ _____ _____

I feel the power of optimism working in my life _____ _____ _____

I am happy and make other happy _____ _____ _____

I am making our world a better place to live _____ _____ _____

Add up your score: 2 points for each “usually”, 1 point for each “sometimes” 0 points for “seldom.” Repeat this Self-Assessment Quiz in one month for comparison.

Optimist International


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What is Optimism?

What is Optimism in your view?

“the power of positive thinking?”

What is the value of Optimism to you and to those around you?

What specifically do you like about yourself?

Optimist International


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II. Choosing Optimism – Promise and Commitment

In “Dreams and Deeds” the founders of Optimism made choices:

  • Founders chose our first Optimist Club in Buffalo, NY in 1911

  • Optimist International formed in 1919 Louisville

  • “Optimist Creed” adopted in 1922 in Kansas City

    For each of us life holds many choices. Choices can be as complex as choosing a career or as simple as how we greet every new day.

    Upon waking we can face the alarm with a smile, leap out of bed, throw open the window sash and say, “Good morning, God,” or we can curse the alarm, shun the new born sunlight and say, “Good God, it’s morning.” We can choose optimism or choose pessimism.

    To emphasize the fact that these choices may be conscious, pioneers of “Positive Mental Attitude” Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone consider the mind as carrying an invisible coin. The letters PMA are emblazoned on one side, and NMA (negative mental attitude) on the other.

    Choosing “Optimism” is choice, not chance.

Optimist International


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Pollyanna Optimism

Of course, not every choice is easy, nor will every choice produce the results you hope simply because you take the positive tact. Pollyanna Optimism expects positive outcomes without regard for practicality.

“There is a soft-headed type of thinking from the practical approach that brings success. Some people who believe things are getting better feel foolish when things get worse. As a result, they often become disillusioned and cynical. But tough-minded optimists are aware that they live in an imperfect world in which love ends, innocent people are cheated, and sick people die; the true optimist sees the negative possibilities but chooses the positive.” Alan Loy McGinnis in “The Power of Optimism.”

Optimist International


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Promise Yourself

At one time you chose to be a member of Optimist International. You now have the opportunity to make a deeper commitment adopting and living its principles. You can promise yourself to not only recite, but to habitually live by the tenets of the “OPTIMIST CREED.” That is why we begin our Creed with “Promise Yourself.” The benefits you gain from our Creed are in direct proportion to your dedication to live by its tenets.

“If it is to be, it is up to me!”

Optimist International


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III. Developing Self-Esteem

  • Removing Barriers is part of developing a positive self-esteem.

  • Individually List

    • things that you worry about

    • things that are causing anger

    • things that you fear

    • things that are causing trouble in your life

  • Activity for Letting go

  • Write on paper a personal worry, fear or trouble that you would like to get rid of right now

  • Now fold it and tear it up and throw it away

  • Optimist International


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    Don’t Sit on Your Buts

    • Language as a barrier

    • “But” is an argument for our limitations and a justification for retreat.

    • Relatives of “But”

      • Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve done such and such

        Source: Les Brown

    Self-Talk Cycles

    • Affirmations

      • If you say it

      • Your subconscious mind will believe it

      • And you will achieve it!

    • Language of Affirmation

      • Use the pronoun “I”

      • Use present tense verbs

      • Use action modifiers

    Optimist International


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    Affirmation Exercises

    • Change this negative “self-talk” to positive

      • I’m no good at remembering names.

      • Every time I talk with him we end up arguing.

      • I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.

      • I can’t seem to control my weight.

      • We tried that before and it didn’t work. Write something you would like to achieve in the next few weeks.

    • Write something you would like to achieve in the next few weeks

    • Write down one or more Affirmations about yourself that will set the stage for the realization of this goal.

    Optimist International


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    Seeing with the Mind’s Eye

    • Visualization or Imaging is the ability to see something in the “mind’s eye.”

    • “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” - Napoleon Hill

    • “To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.“

      Exercises in “Seeing”

    • Write a brief statement of the kind of person you would like to be.

    • Close your eyes and picture yourself as that person.

    Optimist International


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    Never Give Up!To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

    • Persistence moves mountains

    • “If someone told you life was going to be one smooth, easy ride, I’ve got a special announcement; they lied!”

      • Les Brown

    • “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

      • Thomas Edison

    Optimist International


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    Failure Breeds SuccessEvery failure teaches something: the more we fail the more we learn!

    Consider Abe Lincoln

    • Failed in Business

    • Defeated for Legislature

    • Failed in another business

    • Elected to legislature

    • Sweetheart died

    • Had a nervous breakdown

    • Defeated for Speaker

    • Defeated for Elector

    • Defeated for Congress

    • Defeated for Senate

    • Defeated for Vice President

    • Defeated for Senate

    • ELECTED PRESIDENT OF USA!

    Optimist International


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    Let the Past Pass

    • “To forget the mistakes of the past and press on the the greater achievements of the future”

    • Learn from our mistakes - remember the lesson but forget the incident

    • “When life knocks you down, you should always try to land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up!” - Les Brown

    Optimist International


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    Peace of MindTo be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

    The Serenity Prayer:

    “Lord grant me the courage to change what can be changed, the patience to accept what cannot be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    Make two lists:

    Things you can change Things you cannot change

    Optimist International


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    IV. Sharing Optimism with SynergismTo talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet

    • Founding concept was Networking

      • Mutual support of business and personal

    • “Win-Win” Optimism

      • Traditional confrontation produces a “winner” and a “loser”

      • “Win-Win” looks for circumstances that allow all to win!

        Stephen Covey, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”

        Win-Win Exercise

        An Optimist member is inviting a friend to join his club.

        Set up a win-win situation for both:

        How does the friend win? How does the Optimist win?

    Optimist International


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    Friendships – Reciprocal Empowerment

    To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

    Exercise: Tell the next three people you see what you like about them.

    Optimist International


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    Smile

    Exercise: Give the next person you see your best smile and hold it for 4 seconds!

    Will they wonder what you’ve been up to or will they want to know what you know?

    To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

    “You can’t get out of life alive. So why not enjoy it and help others to enjoy it as well.” – Les Brown

    “A Smile” by Monica Hunter (age 10)

    To give a smile means, “You’re O.K.”

    To get a smile will brighten your day.

    A smile can turn the world around,

    Or cheer up someone who’s feeling down.

    And, if you happen to disagree,

    Just give a smile and you will see!

    Optimist International


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    Humor as a Healer

    • Laugh Therapy

      • Humor shows medical results

    • Exercise:

      • Think of the funniest joke or story that you’ve heard lately.

      • Tell someone your joke (optional)

    Optimist International


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    Being Enthusiastic

    • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own

    • Enthusiasm from Greek root “in God”

      • Showing an Enthusiastic spirit was showing a God-like quality that lived within that person’s soul

    • Activity: List the signs of an Enthusiastic person. Can these be learned as part of your behavior?

    Optimist International


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    V. Your Uniqueness – Self-ConceptTo give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

    Attitude determines Altitude

    • In aviation terminology “Attitude” is the upward or downward position of the nose of the aircraft. Altitude is how high the aircraft flies.

      • John Reel, Past International President

    • With the “wind” of Optimism beneath your wings, you can fly high like an Eagle and “Soar with Optimism”

      • Charles Wiles, Past International President

    Optimist International


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    Your Coat-of-Arms

    • Write down your Current Strengths, talents, skills and assets

    • Write down the strengths, skills and abilities you want to develop

    • Your Personal Legacy; Write your mission for a better World!

    Optimist International


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    Your Mission for a Better World

    • “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one”

    • “Will it provide:

      • Ultimate personal fulfillment?

      • Change in the lives of young people?

      • Foster a more caring community?

      • Will it make for a better World?

    • The path of Optimism may not always be easy but it can define your worth as an individual

    Optimist International


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    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.

    The Optimist CreedPromise Yourself -

    Optimist International


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    Choosing Optimism as a Philosophy of Life

    • Repeat the Self-Assessment Quiz in one month. Compare any changes in attitude or behavior.

      • The End

    Optimist International


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