The Optimist Creed, Part 5

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence.  It’s also my first post of 2008.  I hope this year brings you peace, health, happiness and prosperity.  My thanks to those of you who have written and told me that you were looking forward to the resumption of my posts.

As you know, optimism is a key component of self confidence.  Several weeks ago, I did a post on The Optimist Creed.  It was a hit.  Several people asked for a copy.  The first post was so well received that I’ve decided to do a series of posts on The Optimist Creed.  This is another in that series. 

If you would like a copy of The Optimist Creed suitable for framing, please send an email to with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.

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.

Last week I focused on the fourth point of The Optimist Creed.  Today, I’d like to delve into the fifth point: “Promise yourself to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.”

This is an important point.  Too many people settle for mediocrity.  They take an “it’s good enough” attitude.  Good enough is certainly not the best.  In my opinion, it is not even good enough.

In 2001, Jim Collins published a great book, Good to Great.  The very first words in Chapter 1 are “Good is the enemy of great.”  Later, on the first page, he says, “Few people attain great lives, in great part because it is just too easy to settle for a good life.” 

And that’s what the fifth point of The Optimist Creed is all about.  Don’t just be good, be great.  Why not?  All it takes is a little more effort.

Here’s a personal example.  I have found that blogging is a great way to write a book.  I blog everyday, so I have a lot of material.  Last summer, I took many of the posts from this blog and tied them together into a book.  I was all set to publish it, when one of the people I had asked to read it said, “This is good, but it could be great.  It reads too much like a series of blog posts.  Your voice doesn’t come through well enough.” 

I didn’t want to hear that.  I wanted to get the book published.  My first thought was, “This is good enough, I don’t want to do a lot of rewriting.”  My second thought was, “I can write a great book, why settle for a good one.”  So I rewrote the book.  The first one wasn’t a total loss.  I published it is an e book called Star Power: Common Sense Ideas for Career and Life Success.  You can get a copy by clicking on the cover image at the top right of this post.  If you’re reading this post on a site other than my blog, please go there to download your free ebook.

I rewrote Star Power, and changed the title to Straight Talk for Success.  This book will be out in both hard cover and paperback editions in February 2008.  I’ll keep you posted.  I think Straight Talk for Success is a great book.  We’ll see.  It is certainly better that Star Power.  It’s better than Star Power because I took the time to rewrite, to make my voice come through.  I thought only of the best, worked for the best, and expected only the best of myself.” 

When Straight Talk for Success went to the printer, I was proud of what I had written.  I think it is great.  It is the best I could do.  In my heart of hearts, I knew that Star Power was good, but that I could do better.  Someone challenged me to go from good to great, and I have – in my opinion at least.  It will be interesting to see what other people think.

However, for now, I am proud of what I have accomplished.  I feel as if I have been true to myself by not settling for something that is merely good when I had the chance to be great by putting in a little more time and effort.

This is my first post of 2008.  I promise that every post I write this year and in the future will be the absolute best I can do.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I have decided to close down my other blog: to concentrate on this one.  If you want a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations, you can still get it there through January 2008.

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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