Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Bright-Side Of The Web: Danielle LaPorte

It is hard to describe Danielle LaPorte but these words come to mind: vivacious, inspirational, cut-to-the-chase, motivational, energetic, Canadian…and the list goes on, and on, and on.

I do not know Danielle personally and only discovered her a few months ago through some random kismet connection through another site. Don’t ya love those! I immediately subscribed to her site and created a folder in my email system to save every post I received.  (Her site is one of my links in Positive Websites I Like →)

Although all of her posts are thought provoking, I have selected this post as this week’s Bright-Side of the Web. Enjoy!

From celebration to devastation, who can you call at 2 a.m.?

Who would you call?

Where Did All The Happy People Go?

Are you happy?

On a scale from one to ten, one being ‘I want to crawl into bed and sleep for a week’ and ten being ‘I want to rise with the sun and explore this beautiful wonderful world around me’, where do you rank?

I think about this question sometimes and I find it depends on what part of my life I’m thinking about.  In some parts, I’m a solid 8, even creeping toward a 9, and in other parts, dependent on the day or time of the month (I love you, Mother Nature), I’m a sure-fire zero — don’t worry dad, it doesn’t last.

So what is ‘happy’ and should we even be searching for happy all of the time?

If we didn’t have difficult times, would we appreciate the happy moments? I would like to think that we would – looking on the bright-side.

When I think about my friends and acquaintances, I wonder how many of them are happy.  They seem happy.  They laugh and joke and I enjoy their company.  Do they think the same of me?

Are we happy on the outside and sad on the in?  How can that be? If that’s true then we all deserve Academy Awards.

A quick search on under ‘depression’ finds 45,675 results but then realizing that includes ’The Great Depression’ (not referring to Jen and Brad’s break-up) a search of ‘mental health’ reveals 145,051 results.

I am often struck by people who visit third-world countries and come back and say ‘they have so little but they are so happy’.

Is that our problem? Do we have too much?

Our houses are larger than ever before, our televisions are larger, our desires are larger but it still doesn’t seem like enough.  People keep wanting more and bigger and better in the hope that they will be happy.

But is it working?

Maybe it is true that less is more.

Smaller houses would mean that you would actually have to see the other people living in the same home.

Smaller televisions, or at least less of them in one home, would mean that families would have to converse more and watch quality (hopefully) family programming.

Perhaps then our desire for more would be diminished because with all of this new-found family time, we would be filled with actual, true, emotional connections to the ones we love…

…and in that case, more is always better.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

What do you think of this quote? Is it relevent to your life?

Is Classic Children’s Literature Really Appropriate for Children?

I love to write but I am not a voracious reader.  Never have been.  I want to be learned and quote passages from famous novels but have never put aside the time to read on a daily basis.  Having said that though, when I come across a book that interests me, I cannot put it down.

In my quest to walk on the brighter-side of life, I recently picked up a children’s classic which I have always intended to read: Anne of Green Gables.

I have seen the movie (if you haven’t, rent it, now!) and the stage play, have visited the house on Canada’s Prince Edward Island and have, I admit, read an abridged version but I have never read the official full-length work.

Fifty million people in twenty different languages had preceded me in my venture so there must be something to it.  And of course, they were right.

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel is as delightful today as it must have been when she first penned it.

Her vivid descriptions of the pristine landscapes of Canada’s east coast, how she captures Anne’s irrepressible childhood imagination, Anne’s trials and tribulations as she tries so hard to conform to what is expected of her, and the friendships and bonds that are formed as she warms even the coldest hearts of all those around her, captivate and endear the reader.

Anne and Pollyanna are no doubt kindred spirits.

Had I read this book as a child, I am certain I would have been a devout reader.  As an adult, I appreciate it even more and resolve to make time for more classic literature, including the Anne of Green Gables sequels.

Thank you, Ms Montgomery, for bringing Anne Shirley into my life.  She is a friend I am glad to have met.

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day
with no mistakes in it yet?”
– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Have you read a children’s book that changed or shaped you somehow? Share it below.

Positive Ponderings: Perfection

Here’s a little something to think about as you start off your week:


What does perfection mean for you?copyright Carolin Grandin

What does it look like, feel like, taste like?

Will you ever achieve perfection
or will it be something you strive for your whole life?

Why is PERFECTION so important to you?  Is it an excuse to not try?
It’s not ready yet. I can’t present it.” 

or is it an excuse because you are SCARED?

What would happen if you stopped chasing perfection and presented your art, your project, yourself, AS IS?

photo credit: Carolin Grandin

The Bright-Side of the Web: Rhonda Lowry

Fridays will be “Bright-Side of the Web” days when I will share some positive items that I have encountered on the web.

For today’s topic, as I am entering into this new (to me) and unfamiliar (to me) world of blogging, I question the value of this venue.

Who will read it? What affect, if any, will it have on any one person?

I came across the following video on TedxTalks by Rhonda Lowry explaining her perception of the networked society.  I found her insight intriguing and uplifting.

I’d love to hear about your perception of virtual communication and/or the compartments in which you have put yourself.  Leave a comment below.

Visit Rhonda’s presentation here: Rhonda Lowry, Literacy in a Networked Society.

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

How To Choose The Words That Define You.

We all carry baggage of some sort.  Hurts from failed marriages, failed relationships, failed conversations.  Choices we’ve made that we wish could be reversed.  Things we’ve said that cannot be withdrawn.  Words we wished we said before it was too late.  Regrets, missed opportunities, unpleasant moments, sorrows, losses, pain, guilt, grief.  Negative emotions that we carry with us and let define who we are.  

We forget all the positives that we are:

…and the list goes on.

We get stuck on the one thing that makes us feel less than.  And that is one heavy suitcase to lug around – a steamer trunk of doom.

Words have power.  They have the power to hurt and the power to heal. They have the power to uplift, motivate, shape and destroy.  But is it the words themselves or is it the tone they are presented in?

We’ve all learned that email messages can be misconstrued. The intended tone of the writer is lost on the reader.

Or, is it our perception of ourselves that define how we interpret the words?

How did we achieve our self-perception? From the words we heard as children or by the non-verbal messages such as the look, the touch or the smile of our parents? One could argue equally on both counts. Regardless, words have power.

I’m a quote person – not a person likely to be quoted, although that would be an honour I hope to one day have bestowed – but a person who collects quotes.  Not just any quote that a particular famous person said or quotes about a specific topic but quotes that I hear or read and say “Oooo, that’s good”.  Quotes that make me see myself in a different light, a different angle. Quotes that empower and uplift.

I recently came across a young poet/artist named Shane Koyczan and his YouTube video entitled “We Are More” (below) in which he describes what it is to be Canadian.  His poetry, voice, imagery and delivery are beautiful and uplifting.  His words are powerful and positive.

Being a Canadian myself, I may be a bit biased with regards to his subject matter but I not only came away with a revived feeling of national patriotism, I came away with a quote that made me pause and reflect:

“Don’t let your luggage define your travels.” Shane Koyczan

It’s time to unlock that steamer trunk.  Blow off the cobwebs, flip up the latches, lift the lid to let in some light and see what’s inside.  Take each item out and look at its value.

Discard your preconceived notions about yourself and view yourself through the eyes of your children, your spouse, your friends and colleagues.

Remove all the heavy stuff – the disappointments and regrets.

Throw away the negativity, especially the demeaning words that you repeat to yourself – regardless of who said them first.

The journey is yours to make.  Pack carefully, take only what you need, dress in layers.

The lighter you pack, the further you can travel.

Link to Shane Koyczan’s video We Are More 



Quotes That Make You Go Hmmm…

I am a quote person – more on that soon.  In my quest to release Pollyanna, I find that the words of others can inspire deeper thought and internal reflection.  During the course of this blog, I will share quotes that I have come across that make me go hmmm… Perhaps they will do the same for you.

And so we begin…

Welcome to the Bright-Side! A blog celebrating the good in humanity, inspiring quotes and life observances.

For years I’ve been wrestling Pollyanna – struggling to stay positive in a world of negativity, trying to shield my children and myself from a bombardment of negative news and media images only to feel like it was a loosing battle – one against the masses – but that’s life. What can you do? Well, this…

I, for one, am going to turn negatives into positives, stop wrestling with my inner Pollyanna and let her shine and begin to refocus on the good in life.

As a child, like most I suppose, I was overwhelmingly positive – the quintessential Pollyanna, always looking on the bright side of life.  If I fell and scraped my knee (which I did with remarkable frequency), I thought, “Well, it could have been worse, I could have scraped my nose too.”

But as I matured and the many things I hoped would happen, didn’t; the many things I imagined would happen, didn’t; the many things I expected to happen, didn’t; my Pollyanna braids unfurled and disappointment transformed them into a tight pony-tail of conformity or neatly constructed bun a-top my head while a that’s-life-what-did-you-expect attitude took shape.

As much as I have tried to suppress it, a Pollyanna-ness still flickers inside me, the warm embers of which help me to maintain an overall positive attitude, believing that things happen for a reason and there is a lesson to be learned from it all but from the vantage point of age (or what some might argue as ‘wisdom’), I wonder why I’ve accepted that adage.

Sure things happen but the reason might be because of my attitude toward it so just because it happened, do I need to accept it?

  By changing my outlook, perhaps disappointment could turn into gratitude.

So I haven’t travelled to Italy, nor do I have the money to do so in the near future.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t get there at some point.  Instead I should be grateful that I can afford to put a roof over my head and can make spaghetti whenever I want. Italy is something I have to look forward to, and what is life without dreams?

Am I the only one out there yearning for the bright-side in life?

According to one recent listing of the top ten tourist attractions in the world, Disney theme parks took two of the top spots with a third at number eleven.  Are we so discontented with reality that a combined 32,952,000 of us annually spend our hard-earned tax dollars to live a week in a fantasy world rather than in the world we created?

Perhaps it’s time to change our perspective.

Join in my observations as I share my findings — things I see around me to celebrate, the good in humanity, the quirky, things that make me smile or things that I’m pondering in my quest for what’s good out there — and send me some of your own ‘brighter-side of life’ observances for as that originator of all things zen said:

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Buddha

  Let’s focus on the good in the world. Fasten your pig-tails Buddha, this is going to be fun!


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Any links associated with blog posts are for your reference only.  I am simply sharing my brighter-side-of-life findings and receive no compensation for such recommendations.

I’m spreading the positive, people. What you put out, you get back. Please keep all comments to a positive tone.  Negative comments will not be posted.  

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photo credits: Carolin Grandin
© Carolin Grandin 2012