Optimism isn’t something that comes naturally, especially after living through a global pandemic and the adverse effects it causes in vastly every facet of life. But that exact obstacle was one of the driving forces behind ‘21 Days of Optimism’, a new, comprehensive virtual series exploring the power of optimism that began earlier this month.
The program was started by author and speaker Kimberly S. Reed, and if you’re wondering how well she knows optimism, you can rest easy knowing she literally wrote the book on it.
Reed’s book ‘Optimists Always Win’ was born out of her own hardships in life, but she got her start in the professional world years ago before going on to become an award-winning international speaker and nationally recognized thought leader, author, corporate trainer, diversity, equality and inclusion strategist and advisor. Reed has spent the greater part of the last two decades working with some of the world’s most iconic brands and influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries.
However, it was after her mother and maternal grandmother passed away within five months of Reed also being diagnosed with breast cancer that her book was conceived.
“Many people go through stuff, right? Many people go through tragedy, people are going through it right now,” says Reed. “I say this with humility and great gratitude, people were inspired by my journey…They admired how I dealt with that. [But my mother] was such an amazing example of perseverance, graciousness, grace, courage, strength, unyielding faith, kindness… All of the attributes and more that I would need to go on my journey. And who knew? Only God.”
‘Optimists Always Win’ went into the making three and a half years ago before COVID-19, but the practices are something that Reed says go hand in hand with tragedy such as this.
“My hope for this book is to really help those who suffered not just a challenging year of pandemic lockdowns and all of that, but [those] who have suffered life…But have also celebrated because the book is not doom and gloom,” explains Reed. “It’s optimism always wins, but I have to be real with people that life isn’t always rosy and optimism is not about a bowl of sugar. It’s just looking at life with a different perspective and the power of optimism.”
The book officially released in January of this year, and the video series, ’21 Days of Optimism” was an added feature brought on as a result of the pandemic. The videos, which began April 12, are posted every day at 9 am. Through the series, participants are taught everything they need to make their own optimistic goals a reality. Using the program, participants will have the opportunity to watch a video series of motivational talks, learn positive day-to-day coping techniques, and master the skills they need to move forward on their own journey.
As an additional facet, the series is free and even after the original 21 days, all of the days of optimism will still be up for people to check out as well as additional content.
“Successful people aren’t all optimists, you know… But one trait many of them share is the ability to see opportunity in unlikely places,” explains Reed. The author also explained that the series is in addition to the book, not in place of, but it’s there to be an accessible way to digest the info at any age. The book is something with its own set of benefits, but Reed also recognizes that the pandemic strapped many people down financially.
The series features a few notable speakers as well, including Jennifer Freeman, actress and former star of ‘My Wife and Kids’, and Thomas Smith, a 3 times paralysis survivor and motivational speaker.
“The panel is talking about how they never stop learning and how it’s not just tragedy or things that they went through that helped them find purpose. [It’s] really self reflection and continuously to look inward instead of looking outward to what was happening to them, which was pretty powerful even to me hearing it,” explains Reed. “We also talk about how sometimes life circumstances can spoil our dreams. And you know what? We can get let down by a global crisis like this and the reality of being an optimist sometimes isn’t there. So we talk about training. We talk about how you have to pivot in your mind to focus on positive circumstances yet to come. A lot of the tools that we talk about is really mind over matter, mindful intent and purpose because that is the power of optimism and how to approach hardship in a productive manner. Being optimistic doesn’t mean you ignore life stresses, but you accept hardships as they occur.”
Reed is donating proceeds from the book to the Hope Lodge in Philadelphia and a premiere health care institute, here in Philadelphia for breast cancer, integrative breast cancer research and patient care.
Not just for a month or so either, but for life.
Ultimately, what the book and the series aim for is a better way of life for all of us—because in the end, optimists always win, no matter what the circumstances.
“I want people to go to the series because being optimistic… It lets us believe that the future will be better than our past,” says Reed. “I want us to look forward to what’s to come with excitement and anticipation, not trepidation. And it will be. This is temporary. What we are going through in life, no matter how bad our adversity is, it is temporary.”
To learn more about Kimberly S. Reed, ‘Optimists Always Win’ and ’21 Days of Optimism,’ visit optimistsalwayswinseries.com