May – Turning the Impossible into Possible
Walt Disney is one of the most iconic entertainment figures of the 20th century, but his career got off to a rocky start. At age 22, Disney was fired from his first job as a newspaper cartoonist because, according to his editor, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Walt Disney did not let that stop him.

Just a few years after being fired and declaring bankruptcy of his own animation company, he created Walt Disney Animation Studios, a wildly successful venture that produced instantly classic films, a global theme park empire, and a galaxy of world-famous animated characters, including Mickey Mouse. Disney made what others saw as impossible into a reality with hard work and perseverance. As his story shows, the journey to do “the impossible” can yield something magical and can be surprisingly fun along the way.

This month, 32 years ago, two things happened in my life that were instrumental in where my life’s journey is today.  
  • First, My mother began “coercing” me into joining my Optimist Club so that I could sponsor my young daughter's cheerleading team. This 32-year journey of giving back to my community has been incredible. This memory caused me to remember and honor all who are “Moms” – those responsible for the Care of children in any way. I wish you all a wonderfully “Happy Mothers Day.” 
  • Second, I decided to retire from Jack Cooper Transport Co., Inc. The automobile industry has changed drastically since I was first employed 32 years earlier. During my employment, I experienced dozens of “re-tooling” in the automobile industries, which required replacing machines and equipment used in their factories to meet the growing demands of a future world.  History will show that General Motors, and the city of Detroit, became the biggest war boomtown during WWII simply by re-tooling the automobile plants into tank and aircraft builders. It was about doing the impossible for survival.  
This past week, Executive Director Cheryl and I completed the One Degree More Tour thru Canada. At the same time, Mark Weinsoff and Jim Boyd attended the first Asian-Pacific Optimist Conference in Nepal. We were able to personally connect with over a thousand Optimists during this past week – something that a couple of years ago wouldn’t have been possible.  
The week was full of stories from our members, sharing their experiences of being an Optimist. Hearing stories of personal growth thru Leadership Development; events created to create purpose and passion, changed lives of young people; stories of how being an Optimist produced meaningful, lifelong friendships. It was a time to share how every one of us isn’t “Just Optimists” but influential individuals connected through our organization to a Creed, Our purposes, our structure, and as Optimists believing in the impossible.
Let’s take a step down memory lane. Do you remember as a child how we believed that anything was possible? When people asked us what we wanted to be someday, we answered with things like an astronaut, fireman, a famous athlete, or singer. Do you ever ask yourself how we lost that imagination we used every day as children? The same gift of vision that allows a child to turn pillows and blankets into a fort is the power that we adults need to tap into to imagine ourselves as the people we want to become. Children’s imagination and vision are limitless because they have not yet been repeatedly told that their dreams are too difficult or unrealistic – that anything is possible.  
Now that our world is returning to a New Normal, it’s time to “re-tool”, be brave, and intentional in our actions. It’s a time that we do not let our doubts and fears keep us from attempting to reach our dreams. Doing the ”impossible” can yield something magical and can be surprisingly fun along the way.
I’m incredibly proud of each of our members! Every one of you is changing lives, working together to help others worldwide, and showing that we can do the impossible. Thank you for Being an Optimist!

 #OptimistInternational #BeAnOptimist #212OneDegreeMore
Important Days coming up:
First Gentleman, Ken and I wish you an Amazing May, and we THANK YOU for BEING AN OPTIMIST!
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