Haiti, Optimism and Success

Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional success that is part of my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Star Power, I want YOU…To Succeed, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart your Professional Success. 

You can become self confident by doing three things.  First, choose optimism.  Believe in your heart of hearts that today will be better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be better than today.  Second, face your fears and act.  Procrastination and inaction feed fear and rob you of self confidence.  Action cures fear.  Third, surround yourself with positive people.  Don’t let the naysayers into your life.  Hang around with people who are positive about themselves, their careers and life in general.

When I was a young guy, I participated in the Optimist International oratory contest.  The topic that year was, “Optimism, Youth’s Greatest Asset;” which is hard enough for a ninth grader to say, (Think Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinnie.) let alone to write and deliver a 10 minute talk.  It was a great experience for me; one that gave me some of the confidence I needed to become a professional speaker. 

Optimist International is a great service organization.  Their mission is to bring out the best in kids; and to help them develop to their full potential by providing hope and positive vision. 

The Optimist Creed is their touchstone.  It some of the best common sense advice I’ve ever seen.  I have a copy of it posted in my office.  See for yourself.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself:

  • 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.

Friday night, I saw a great example of optimism in action.  Cathy and I watched the Hope for Haiti Now telethon.  There were some great performances.  I particularly liked Cheryl Crowe, Keith Urban and Kid Rock doing Lean on Me, and Jennifer Hudson singing Let it Be.  I downloaded both of them to my iPod. 

Besides the musical performances, the show told the story of many people involved in the tragedy in Haiti.  Most of the pictures and stories were devastatingly sad.  Some were happy.  One man survived ten days in a collapsed building.  Another survived 11 before he was pulled from the rubble.  Unfortunately there were more sad stories than happy endings. Yet, the people in Haiti seemed to be as upbeat, positive and optimistic as possible given the situation.  Haiti is a poor country and it has always suffered from natural disasters – none of the magnitude of this earthquake though. 

Don’t worry.  I’m not going to ask you to donate to help the people of Haiti.  I’m sure that if you’re going to, you’ve already done so by now.  But I do want to comment on the spirit of optimism that came through on the television a couple of nights ago.  If the Haitian people can persist, if they can be optimistic in the midst of such devastation, you and I can too. 

As I write this, I’m reminded of one of Humphrey Bogart’s famous lines in Casablanca, one of my favorite movies….

“It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

And that’s the way I look at it.  When I see the devastation in Haiti, people in the US losing their jobs and homes, people losing their lives in wars, I realize that my problems and troubles are small in comparison.  I bet if you look at your problems and troubles and compare them to what’s happening in this “crazy world,” you’ll agree.

That’s why I think that The Optimist Creed is so important.  Optimism is the foundation on which all self confidence is built.  And self confidence is an important key to creating the successful life and career you want and deserve.  So become an optimist.  When things start to get you down and you feel overwhelmed, “Promise yourself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, to strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are self confident.  Optimism is the key to self confidence.  The Hope for Haiti Now telethon showed the resilience and optimism of the Haitian people.  When I see the optimism of the Haitian people in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, I’m reminded that my troubles and problems are small in comparison.  That’s why I keep a copy of The Optimist Creed hanging right above my desk.  I read it and think about it when I begin to feel overwhelmed.  If you would like a copy of The Optimist Creed to frame and hang in your office, go to https://budbilanich.com/optimist.  Choose optimism.  Believe that today will be better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better than today.  Then do whatever it takes to create the successful life and career you want and deserve and to “make your optimism come true.”

That’s my take on the disaster in Haiti, optimism and success.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


PS: If you liked this post, you’ll love my free 90 minute DVD on career and life success.  To get your free copy, go to www.CareerSuccessDVD.com.  That’s www.CareerSuccessDVD.com.  Go there now and get started creating the successful life and career you want and deserve.

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  1. I am a huge optimist. The Optimist Creed guides my life. If you want a copy that you can frame and hang in your office, go to https://budbilanich.com/optimist.

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