Some Make Lemonade, Others Create New Drinks

This is the second in a series of four blogs which I will be posting about a 20 something who has embraced their natural strengths and created early positive movement on their crooked road of success.Dr. Success Challenge: Pick your favorite top strength from your VIA (Values In Action) results. I know you have now taken (http://www.authentichappiness.org/) the VIA and have your results, of course. The challenge is for one week, to observe every time you use your strength. When you notice you are using your strength, also take note of what you are doing, and how you are feeling as your use your strength.Featured Strength: Hope: Optimism, Future-Mindedness, Future-Orientation

When I began my study of optimism and its impact on life success and happiness, I was fully aware that although I viewed myself as optimistic, I was easily distracted by my ability to create negative, disaster thoughts. From the research, I knew I could train myself to be more optimistic, but I was always intrigued with those who appeared to be optimistic naturally.

The best way to describe what I was observing is to use the analogy of the difference between people who turn the lemons of life into lemonade and those who take those same lemons in life and create whole new drinks. When I met Las Vegas Personal Trainer, Branden Collinsworth, I knew I was experiencing someone who, at just 24 years old, had created a lot of new drinks out of a life of lemons.

Five years ago he was a homeless, high school dropout. Today, he is a college educated, personal trainer with a growing business and more business opportunities under development. It is not surprising that his top VIA strength is Hope.

Listen to him tell his story and see if you can identify the characteristics of optimism in how he answers my questions.

Branden’s top strength of hope is defined by the ability to keep your eye on the future and expect your desired outcomes to occur. No matter the current challenge, you expect the best. Yet, what I was most impressed with when first hearing Brandon describe his life, was his devotion and appreciation for his mother. I was reminded of an Italian adage, “If you want to know how a man will treat his wife, listen to how he describes the way he treats his mother.” In Branden’s case, even though the best his Mom could provide was section 8 housing and her personal life challenges were many, he still refers to her with love, appreciation and gratitude. Branden knows intuitively what Oprah has learned the hard way, “Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life.”

In this month of honoring mothers, Branden has done that by pulling himself up, never giving up, and continually seeing himself moving up.

Before closing I want to give an authentic endorsement of the fitness company that brought Branden into my life. Corefit (www.MyCoreFit) is truly the best pilates and gym organization I have encountered in my 25 years of using such services. They train their staff well, continue to critique their programs and have the ability to find people as great as Branden. If you want to experience a personal trainer who can build your spirit as well as develop your muscle, contact Branden at BrandenCollinsworth@yahoo.com

Remember, the road to life may be crooked, but you do not have to travel it alone.
With appreciation, Andrea
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About the author

Andrea Goeglein is part organizational psychologist, part entrepreneur, and all about success—your success. She understands both the pressures you face and the dreams that inspire you. Andrea merges her experience as a business owner with her training in Positive Psychology to provide effective, efficient and challenging personal development products and services. She combines an emphasis on objective assessment with an approach that is always powered by your spirit and guided by your goals. Her professional development offerings are based in theory and backed by direct business knowledge.

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