The Optimist Creed — Part 9

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

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 eighth point of The Optimist Creed.  Today, I’d like to discuss the ninth point: “Promise yourself to give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.”

This is great common sense.  I know that I have a lot to learn.  There are many things about me on which I can improve.  I’m just guessing here, but I bet that’s true for you too. 

I remember back in college when I first learned about Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.  It was structured as a pyramid.  The need at the base of the pyramid was basic survival, safety and security needs are next.  Once survival and security needs are met, Dr. Maslow suggests that people’s needs for affection and belonging come to the fore. These are followed by the need for self esteem.  Once all of these needs have been met, Dr. Maslow suggests thatself actualization needs come into play.  Self actualization needs are at the top of the pyramid.   Dr. Maslow defined self actualization as “being all that you can be” – something the Army stole for TV recruiting commercials several years ago.

According to Dr. Maslow, self actualization is an unattainable state, because no matter what you achieve, you soon realize that you can achieve even more.  This holds for superstar athletes like Michael Jordan, as well as superstar business people like Warren Buffett.

You can take this one of two ways.  You can see it as negative and frustrating in that you’ll never reach a goal of being self actualized.  Or, you can see it as positive and inspiring in that you’ll always have another dream to chase, a goal to reach.

I choose the latter.  I was telling someone the other day that the whole web 2.0 phenomenon has been great for me, because I have begun really learning lately.  I’ve always kept up in my field, but I’ve felt for the past few years that most of my learning was incremental.  I wasn’t making any quantum leaps forward.

However, since I’ve begun blogging and am getting ready to podcast, I’ve learned a lot – really a lot.  And, as the ninth point of the Optimist Creed points out, I haven’t had the time, nor the inclination, to spend a lot of time thinking about what others are doing, much less criticizing them.  I’m busy learning and growing -– and that’s cool and fun and exciting.

The common sense point here is simple.  If you want to build your self confidence, work on achieving whatever you can.  Don’t worry about what others are doing, or comparing yourself to them.  Be too busy with your own growth to worry about anyone else.


If you’re an American Football fan, by now you know that the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl yesterday.   It was quite an exciting game.  Very few of the “experts” thought that New York would win.  The odds makers in Las Vegas had them as 11 point underdogs.  The commentators on the pre game show all picked New England.  Most people I know thought that the Patriots would win. 

I think that self confidence played an important part in the Giants victory.  They believed in themselves, and fought to the very end when they scored the winning touchdown.  It was an impressive victory.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting .

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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