Do Roses Come With Thorns, or Do Thorns Come With Roses?

It’s getting to the end of the year, and my annual two week holiday.  I will blog this week, and then take off for two weeks.  My first post of 2009 will appear on Monday, January 5.  So that means I will be working very hard at providing you with my best end of the year ideas.

Speaking of ideas, I saw an interesting quote the other day.

“Instead of complaining that roses come with thorns, rejoice in the fact that thorns come with roses.”

I love this idea.  In a few simple words, it shows how a simple change in perspective can make a big difference in your life.

This has been a particularly thorny year – crises in the financial and auto industries, millions of people losing their jobs, housing prices falling, foreclosures rising, terrorism continues, Hurricane Ike.  I don’t need to tell you.  I’m sure you know all of this, and more, from watching the nightly news.

On the other hand, there are a few roses too.  We’ve elected a President who brings a message of hope.  We haven’t had another 9/11 in the US.  On the personal front, my mother recovered from a heart attack.  My business is solid, if not spectacular.  Cathy and I are both healthy.  My niece has found the love of her life and is getting married early next year.  Her sister graduated from college and landed a good job.  Penn State is in the Rose Bowl – good for me.  Oklahoma is playing for the BCS championship – even better for Cathy.

The important point in all of this is that you can choose to focus on the thorns — all of the negative things that happened this year.  Or, you can be an optimist and focus on the roses – all of the good things that have happened, to the world, your country and you personally.

If you read this blog, you know that I am a huge fan of the Optimist Creed.  I’ve given away hundreds of copies this year.  If you want a copy, go to

The first point of the Optimist Creed says:

“Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”

The last point says:

“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."

There is some great wisdom in between as well.

If you subscribe to the ideas in the Optimist Creed, you’ll be more likely to become someone who rejoices that thorns come with roses, not someone who complains that roses come with thorns – a small difference, but a very significant one when it’s comes to your world view.

The common sense point here is simple.  Self confidence is the first key to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.  Optimism is the foundation on which all self confidence is built.   If you start from the place of rejoicing in the fact that thorns come with roses, you’re bound to do better and go further in this life.  As we approach the end of 2008.  I urge you to resolve to choose optimism in 2009.  If you do, you’ll be on your way to creating a life full of personal and professional success.

That’s my take on how a simple change in perspective can greatly enhance your chances of success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, I thank you for reading, and am humbled that you choose to take the time to read my thoughts.


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