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A positive attitude empowers the soul and strengthens the bottom line. A positive attitude keeps our minds at ease, lowers stress, and improves physical health. Tell us how you, your leaders and managers are working together to build a more positive, optimistic, empowering culture to make your company, your city and the world a better place. Tell us about it and inspire others. Let’s feature your unsung heroes or the projects you are passionately working on to show others by example that people and organizations are engaged in remarkable, uplifting and inspiring work all over the world. Write to me at

1. The Optimism Bias Tali Sharot, Pantheon Books, 2011

About the Author
Caela Farren, Ph. D.
, is President of MasteryWorks, Inc., - a leading Career Development consulting organization offering innovative solutions to large and mid-size companies, including Sony, Northrop Grumman, Bayer, Lockheed-Martin and Capitol One. MasteryWorks provides enterprise web portals, training, consulting, and an assessment framework for employees and managers. For more than thirty years, Dr. Farren has been a passionate leader around complex issues redefining the workplace. She envisioned the current workplace climate more than a dozen years ago, when she published a cornerstone compendium on career selection, “Who is Running Your Career: Creating Stable Work in Unstable Times” (Bard Press, 1997). Through MasteryWorks, Inc., she oversees solutions that create the foundation for impact-filled “career conversations” - centered on increased contribution, performance, and fit. Her strategic approach consistently delivers on employee engagement and retention goals for her clients. Visit or contact Tom Karl, Executive Vice President for more information - or (703) 256-5712.

in the Remarkable People series

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Remarkable People Are Positive People
A Call to Action
by Caela Farren, Ph.D., MasteryWorks, Inc.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

—Singer, Willie Nelson


A positive attitude is contagious. Everybody wants to associate with a positive person.
The Optimism Bias
A positive attitude empowers the soul and strengthens the bottom line. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that optimism is hardwired by evolution into the human brain as a survival instinct. We all start life afresh with our brains tilted toward the positive. You might think that optimism would wane in the tide of one calamity after another; the economy, public debt, jobs, global floods, foreclosures, disease, morbidity, etc. But social scientist, Tali Sharot says private optimism about “our personal futures remains incredibly resilient.” And while print and broadcast media serve up the same sour fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we continue to believe in our own sweeter tomorrows. “To make progress, we need to imagine alternative realities –better ones – and we need to believe that we can achieve them. Such faith helps motivate us to pursue our goals. Even if that better future is often an illusion, optimism has clear benefits in the present.” A positive attitude “keeps our minds at ease, lowers stress, and improves physical health.” It produces engagement and innovation.[1]

So Much Bad News, Where’s the Good News?
Why are so many people joining with gen Xers and Yers, - who steer clear of newspapers and network news? What do they know that the rest of the country doesn’t? They know that the stream of negative media news is disempowering and stressful. They want to avoid the daily media’s hyper-fascination with aberrant and negative behavior. They also know there’s an alternative source for news. Instant TV news is being outpaced by the information on the net. Many spend their time on the internet blogging information or on social sites networking news that matters to them. They can google or yahoo information, or skype friends and families for the news that really matters to them - or they can go to the news on you-tube and see it as it happens.

We are surrounded with good news and it’s on the net. There’s always uplifting stories on the Good News Network at or you can select something good for the mind, soul, body and business at You can also find inspiration in remarkable people or remarkable organizations that help make the world a better place through their good work and positive actions

So why do we continue to buy into the media’s negative news? Perhaps somewhere in the reptilian vestige of our brains, we watch and read about bad news as a survival mechanism. Watching tsunamis, floods, and earthquakes around the world piques our basic survival instincts and consciously or subconsciously makes us think about strategies for survival. We avoid walking in the city at three in the morning after reading about shootings in the early hours. We choose alternate routes of travel because we read about all of the accidents on a particular highway. We don’t buy houses with pools because of the tragedies we read about or see on TV. Maybe we feel safer or better knowing the bad news has happened to others. After a funeral, we feel more focused on being alive and well. After bad news, we feel our lives, as difficult as they may be to us, are wonderful compared to the misery we see on TV and read about. Whatever the reason, a continuous flood of bad news contributes to skepticism, stress and fear. Living in the shadow of negativity cannot be healthy for the mind and body.

The Prescription - Attitude is More Important than Aptitude.

Click on image to viewPositive thinking is powerful medicine. Try this experiment. Hold out your arm and recite only positive things about yourself while having someone try to push your arm down. Try the same thing while saying negative things about yourself. See how positive thinking empowers and gives you strength. Think of yourself as a body of energy ready to be released. Think about the person you once wanted to be and still can become. Let this video clip empower and inspire you.

You Get Out of Work What You Put In
A positive attitude is contagious. Everybody wants to associate with a positive person. Here are five daily mental and physical exercises to help create a positive attitude -

  • Smile more and frown less.
  • Open your eyes wide and always see the glass half filled.
  • Look at your work through kinder eyes. Find and hold onto the positive aspects of your work that can make you thankful.
  • Think, talk and focus on what does work. If things aren’t working, make recommendations that improve.
  • Associate with people who have smiles on their faces, who look to the future with optimism, who talk about possibilities, and who show a zest for life. Positive energy is catching.

Tell Us About Your Journey
Everyone on earth has the potential to walk the road to greatness. To find the key to open the door to becoming remarkable, to make your mark, to make a difference, to leave your legacy by choice not chance, do what you do best with all your heart, might, and strength to make the world, your company and your city a better place. Remember that remarkable people are positive people. Their optimism promotes engagement and retention in the workforce, educates, sparks creative fires, produces innovation, provides a healthy sense of joy and well-being, generates profitability and empowers others to become remarkable. Please write to us about your personal journey or your organization’s or about someone you think is remarkable. Inspire others with your words. Write us at


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