Contagious Optimism by David Mezzapelle is a collection of short stories and articles geared towards positive thinking. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to be a glass is half empty type of person. I’m a worry wart by nature and I am constantly analyzing all of the things that can go wrong. In addition, I’m extremely self-critical, always beating myself up for my flaws and things I’ve done wrong. Thus, I thought if this book could help curb my negativity just a little, it would be well worth the few hours it would take to read it. After I read it, I realized two things. First, it was well worth the time! By the end of the book I was eager and motivated to start improving all areas of my life including my relationships, health, and financial future. Second, I realized that Contagious Optimism is more than a self-help book that you read once, absorb a few words of wisdom from, and then move on. It is a reliable tool box that you can draw from for years to come. I keep it at my desk (where I spend most of my time and is centrally located in our house so I walk by it constantly) as a reminder and a resource. After reading the book, I pulled it back out for reference several times:
- I got in an argument with my husband and re-read “Ready to Learn the Five Secrets of Love” and “The Importance of Revisiting the Moment” to remind myself of reasons why I should put my anger aside.
- I started a new job and fell out of my workout routine so I re-read “The Best Doctor For You Is You” to motivate myself to get back to doing what I need to do to stay healthy for myself and my family.
- Another result of starting my new job is that I am short on time left over for my other job, running this blog! Several articles from Contagious Optimism have helped me stay motivated and on track, including “What About You?” and “Achievement by Mind and Will.”
- Balancing two jobs and my family has left me little time for socializing as well, even though my friendships are extremely important to me. “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” provides me with easy tips for making the most of my interactions with them and with others.
- Despite my efforts to eat healthy (most of the time), age has finally caught up with me and my metabolism is slowing so I’ve been finding myself envying other women who don’t seem to be suffering the same fate. “On Attachment and Aversion” helps me focus on those feelings and dissipating them (via a fun mental exercise the author suggests).
The book is conveniently organized by topic so whether you are seeking motivation for Goal Analysis or advice on Maturing and Staying Young, it is easy to find wisdom within these pages. The variety of articles ensures that you will have no trouble finding several that you will enjoy. There are touching stories for those who prefer sentimentality and straightforward guidelines for those who appreciate a more direct approach. Most articles are 2-3 pages so you could easily tackle the book as a daily devotional of sorts. No matter how you put the book to use, you will certainly view life more positively and hopefully, you will radiate that optimism to others and spread the feeling.
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