Press On — That’s What Optimists Do

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

As you know, optimism is one of the three keys to self confidence.  Facing your fears and surrounding yourself with positive people at the other two.  I’m a pretty optimistic guy, but as I was sitting down to write this post yesterday, I was having a tough time being optimistic.

My mother had a heart attack last Monday.  She has been in critical condition in intensive care ever since; not the best Mother’s Day either she or I have had.

Business is slow.  It seems as if all of my corporate clients are in a belt tightening mode.  This recession is hitting me harder than previous ones.

I have the Optimist Creed right above my desk.  I looked up at it and the first point jumped out at me.  “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”  My peace of mind was rather disturbed yesterday.

I was thinking, “That’s a week I’m glad is over.”  But then I remembered two e mails I received on Monday, May 5.  The first was from Kiyoshi Nagata, an executive coach in Japan.  The second was from Jeannie Hwang, a literary agent in Korea. 

Here is what they had to say…

“Dear Dr. Bilanich:
“This is going to be my first contact with you, since I’ve started reading your super-good blogs and weekly ezines. Hope it merit your attention.
“I’m a Japanese "exec. coach" and an educator, graduated from UIUC.  But as you may know, very few of us Japanese coaches are internationally minded, not to mention biculturally trained professionally. We seldom take a serious interest in reading and applying what’s ticking in English regarding the state of the art thinking on coaching, as you’re providing so freely and so timely!
“I therefore adore you as a holistically minded American coach, so unselfishly dedicated to spreading your good cause of the "Common Sense Guy" concept of coaching!I love your approach above all.
“I simply hope you’ll keep up doing more and more of it, and look forward to reading all future posts of yours on your book(s) and your 5-part success attributes.  Plus, of course, your attractively edited weekly ezines.
“One small request, if I may, for today.  Can you arrange for your "teleseminars" past and future to be put on a sort of audio archives so I can later on hook them up from Japan and listen as I like? Also–any future plan of doing YouTube pieces on your weekly posts and/or daily blogs? 
“The point of my request is, Dr. Bilanich, I’d love to absorb all of you–your readings!your writing/thinking styles!your audios!your videos!etc., etc. ipso facto.  May I take you for a role model for my kind of executive coaching in Japan?
“Thanks again so much.  And all the best to your future efforts,
“(Mr.) Kiyoshi Nagata, Japan Member Coach, ICF
“A Great Admirer of Dr. Bud Bilanich”

“Dear Bud Bilanich,

“It is nice to meet you via e-mail.  I’m Jeannie Hwang at EYA (Eric Yang Agency, Inc) which is one of the leading literary agencies in Korea.

“We have exclusively worked with HarperCollins, Little Brown and Company, Doubleday Broadway, Harcourt Brace, The Crown Publishing Group, W. W. Norton, Berrett-Koehler, Pocket Books, Bloomsbury, Harcourt, Walker & Company and etc.  I hope to have a chance to work with you.


“As for the title above, I have a Korean publisher who is interested. Please kindly confirm if the rights of the title is available with you and send me a review copy of the title (or e-file manuscript). We want to follow up the Korean publisher’s result as soon as getting a copy from you.

“Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

“Best regards,
“Jeannie Hwang”

Sure, things are slow right now.  The US economy is a mess.  And, my Mom is in the hospital.  But, I continue to work.  “Straight Talk for Success” is an bestseller.  And I received two completely unexpected e mails from people who like and admire my work. 

These e mails really helped me take to heart the advice in the Optimist Creed to, “Be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.”  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I spent a good part of Sunday working on several projects that I believe will keep me moving forward. 

In short, I’m optimistic.  I’m optimistic because of the kind words of a few strangers.  I can’t control the economy, nor my mother’s health.  I can control my reactions to both.  I choose to find new ways to grow my business so I am not as dependent on my current customers.  I choose to keep my Mother in my thoughts and prayers, and be as supportive as possible of my Dad. Today, I’m traveling to North Carolina to do a workshop at a Productivity Inc. conference. 

The common sense point here is simple.  It’s easy to be optimistic when things are going well.  It’s more difficult when you encounter bumps in the road.  Last week was not so good – it had several bumps.  However, I was able to find some brightness in the darkness.  I’m choosing to focus on the good things that happened last week – not the tough stuff.  I’m not ignoring problems, but I’m not letting them get the best of me.  I have promised myself to be “so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.”  My peace of mind allows me to go on and do what I need to do to continue my success.

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. Nice post Bud! pressing on or perseverance is key to accomplishing our vision. There will be challenges as we start executing our vision and the key requirement to accomplish it is to hang on to the vision.
    Success is moving from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm – Winston Churchill. Check my leadership blog at

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