In Memory of a Friend

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence.

Last Thursday, I flew from New York to Denver.  When I got off the plane, I had two messages from a friend, saying that he had something that was “urgent, but not business related” that he wanted to discuss with me.  When I called him, he told me that a mutual friend of ours had committed suicide.

I was shocked.  The friend who died seemed like one of the least likely candidates for suicide.  He seemed to have a good life.  Then I was sad – for him and his family.  Then I was angry – while suicide may have solved the problems that seemed overwhelming to him, it created many more for his wife and daughter.  Then I went back to being sad.  I’m still sad because my friend saw suicide as the only alternative.

To me, suicide seems like the ultimate statement of a lack of self confidence.  Self confident people are optimistic.  They face their fears and deal with them.  They surround themselves with positive people.  By his suicide, I’m assuming that my friend had become deeply pessimistic, had lost the strength to deal with his fears, and didn’t reach out to the people in his life who might have been able to help him.

As I think about this tragedy, I keep returning to The Optimist Creed.  I keep thinking that maybe it could have helped my friend through his despair.  It helps me when I’m down, or worried.  That’s why I’ve decided to post it here in memory of my friend, Doctor Bob.

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.

It seems that in the end, worry and fear overwhelmed my friend, and he saw no way out except to end his life.  What a tragedy – for him and everyone who knew and loved him.

The common sense point here is important.  Life throws a lot of stuff our way.  Sometimes we lose hope, become fearful and withdraw from the people close to us.  Self confident, successful people fight these urges.  They are optimistic.  They face their fears and deal with them.  They run to, not away from, the positive people in their lives.  Say a prayer for my friend, Doctor Bob and for his family.  And, as The Optimist Creed says, “promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”  We all have the strength to get through whatever problems life throws our way.  We just need to be self confident enough to face our problems and deal with them.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter “Common Sense.” 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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  1. In NDE I saw many souls flying between these worlds. Love and Compassion gives them wings to enter the Light.

  2. To me, Bud, an interesting aspect of the use of your creed involves habit. By choosing, long-term, to uphold principles that are positive, a person is creating the subconscious equivalent of a life insurance policy.
    It’s not just that we need to be careful what we ask for, because we will surely get it, but that we can be wise in what we ask for or even joyful in what we ask for. Repeatedly, we do strengthen where we put attention in our lives.

  3. Rose:
    Yes, the Optimist Creed is all about habit. I have it sitting on my desk and read it at least once a day — more often when things are not going so well.
    I work hard to live up to all ten points in the Optimist Creed. By so doing, I think I am a better person, and I am doing my part to make the world a slightly better place.
    Thanks for your comment.

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