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2021 What makes The Rotary Club of St Ives Optimistic?

Quotable Quotes from Rotary Club of St Ives Members and Guests answering Victor's question "What Makes you Optimistic?"


"Experience with people. That probably, in the end, things work out as long as you've got good people surrounding you. It gives you faith."

Matthew Cross

"Thinking about the future makes me optimistic. And I think, deeper to that, the reason why it makes me optimistic is I've got control over the future. That's opposed to what doesn't sometimes make me optimistic is learning from my mistakes. So yes, the future makes me optimistic."


"I have a strong sense of family and connections with people. And on your survey, I put down that I felt that I was naturally optimistic, and I think I was just brought up in a family that... Surrounded by people like that. So, super exciting."

Harold Morgan

"The opposite of optimism is being depressed, and I don't like being depressed, so I stay optimistic."

 John Steele

"That's an interesting question. I was going to say, like Harold, I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist. I make sure I'm not a pessimist. I like to consider I'm an optimist because I like to encourage optimism in the people I mix with. And to me, it's a reward if I can get an optimistic point of view across and encourage their optimism. So I've given them something, as well as myself."

  John Waterhouse

" Health, good health. Health is the most important thing in enabling us to be optimistic. People that aren't healthy tend to be negative, I find."


"All my life, whether it's sporting, professional, or family, whether it's anything to do with dealing with people, I've always thought of them positively. Of course, if I'm disappointed, I then go back and re-examine it again. But I still think of everything positively. It's the only way to exist."


"Yeah. Hello, Victor, thanks for your presentation. I've really enjoyed it. It's been great. Thank you. I must admit, occasionally, I do feel pessimistic, and I do get a little cynical and critical of some of our leaders in our world. But then I think about some of our young people and hear them speak.

"It's definitely young people who make me optimistic that there will be a better future. Hopefully, they're going to take a better view of the world. And some of the people are out there at present. So, it's the young people, Victor."


" Oh, thanks, Victor. Look, I grew up in a family which was very pessimistic. My father reckoned if you didn't go out, you didn't have an accident. So, you stayed at home, and everything was okay, and it just drove me insane. 

"And one day, I decided that I would give up all that and change my way. And I was trained as a scientist. So I spent many, many years in science, where you're always looking at facts. 

"The significant change for me occurred after I left the Education Department and got a job training people with whom I had no experience. They were salespeople. And they were infectious. I couldn't understand why these people drew a graph. "Today, my sales are this, and tomorrow they're going to be that."

"And I used to say, "That's madness. That's not going to be possible."

"But it was infectious for me because it taught me that if you don't have that attitude, it will not happen.

"And these people drove me "insane" because a fact person looked at these people drawing their graph and saying, "Tomorrow I'm going to have sales up to that." And it was a world that I had never had anything to do with, but it was good for me. But the expression I put in the report I sent you is, "Today's the tomorrow that you thought about yesterday, and all is well."

"And it was just such a very good thing to think about, because every so often you worry about things, and they don't happen. It's the worrying that drives you crazy. 

"So, forget about worrying and say, "We're going to live for today and do the best we can." 

"And the important thing I've learned is this: if it does happen, is there something you're going to benefit from that happening? And I think that that changes your whole attitude. So, okay, if the worst comes to the worst, is there's something good that's going to come out of it? And ever so often, that gives you a very positive attitude and result."

Bobby Redman

"Well, thanks, Victor. I was born optimistic, like Pip, and I've lived all my life as an optimist, but just it's people. People continually surprise you and bring out the best, I think. People have challenges. Lots of us have challenges, and we could sort of wallow in the challenge, but we choose to carry on. 

(Birds singing) "That's my budgie. He likes Zoom, and he's joining in. I'm optimistic that he'll stop talking in a minute, and you can hear what I'm saying.

"But just as an example, we've just been through COVID, or we're still going through COVID, but who'd have thought... We hear so many people talking about how stuck Rotarians are in their ways, and they're not moving on. Who would ever have imagined a meeting like this where we're all sitting on a screen, we're all interacting? All these Rotarians that couldn't possibly change their way of doing things have changed beautifully over the last year, and that makes me so optimistic for the future of Rotary and the future for all of us. 

"We're okay. We're going to be okay. Rotary's going to be okay. We're all going to be okay because we'll get through COVID, we'll get through any other challenges that are thrown at us, and we'll keep coming out on top."


"Barry and I both are optimists. I'll speak for me, but I, like Pip and Bobby, was born that way. I knew no differently. And I had a family who always shone that light. And I was raised with faith. And so, therefore, that had an impact, of course, too.

"But everything in life, you have a choice. It isn't what happens. It's what you do about it. And so, I believe in NLP, and I've done a lot of reading about that kind of thing, and the power of a negative thought is not something I choose. And so, what you think matters. And so, every day, you get up, and I'm optimistic about beginning anew. And like everyone else has said, the people you are around and connect with inspire you to continue to be that way, making a difference for yourself and those around you."


"I'm Barry. And I've been thinking about this question since you posed it, and to be frank with you, I don't know what makes me optimistic. I am optimistic. 

"If I look at my upbringing, it was neither optimistic nor pessimistic. There were those parts of my life, the optimistic parts, I fitted into nicely. The pessimistic parts hit a nerve which I did not like. 

"And it's always been something with me that I'd never warm to pessimism. And I always attempt to turn it into something positive. 

"I don't know what makes me optimistic. I think it's innate, but I'm waiting to listen to hear from you if that's possible."


"Well, I did send in my survey to you, and I spoke about working with people... And hello, Bobby Redman. I just saw you there. We were optimistic together at Australian Rotary Health, so for many years. But look, I talked to... I put in my survey that I was optimistic, running a service for people who were deaf and blind from rubella. But I think it started a long way before that. And even as a child, my sister and I had loving parents in Melbourne, and I think that's cast from early on with some people, not everyone, but with me. 

I just love being with happy people. I love beautiful things. And to balance that with people who are deaf and blind, they taught me more about optimism because they take so many knockbacks and disappointments, and yet they never, ever become pessimistic. So, I learned true happiness through people with disabilities. And I think I sleep well. I wake up in the morning, and I'm ready to go, do whatever in the day. And so, I've got positive energy, and I think I'm fortunate that... So, I do agree with you. Optimism does protect us."

Bruce Farnsworth

"I don't know. I think I'm just naturally optimistic. Sometimes I wonder why."

Mrs K

"Well, I'm naturally optimistic, too, though I do get in the dregs of depression quite quickly, quite often. But I think being with positive people and living in the moment is an excellent way of approaching life. And there's always someone with a different story that you can relate to."


"Well, initially, I think waking up in the morning is about the most optimistic thing that happened.

"I'm even more optimistic now because, Victor, you've told me that at the age of 85, I'm going to get another seven years of the good life by being optimistic. (laughing)

"And to be serious for a moment, I don't know. It's the fact that all my years... I was born just before the Second World War. And I lived through, most of my childhood, in London during the Blitz, and the rockets, and all the rest of it. And yet, we always went off to school or whatever it was, the following day. And we sort of made fun of what had happened. Maybe we'd found a bit of shrapnel or something on the way to school. And so, there was always a positive thing you could put on. And my experience over the years is that this always happens. If you've had bad things happen, then there's always a... The sun shines at the end of the rainbow or whatever the phrase is. And I think if you allow bad things to depress you and get you down, then it's a road to nowhere eventually. So, you develop an attitude in which you're totally positive that things will get better and that tomorrow will be a better day than today."

In preparation for the presentation at The Rotary Club of St Ives, we asked the members to fill out our global optimism survey.   

Rotary Club of St Ives

Global Word Cloud

Do any of these 'optimisms' describe your optimism? 

St Ives Rotary and Rotary in general seems to have more natural optimists than the average.  Worth talking about.  It may be due to the number of Rotarians in business and in SMES.

Rotary Club of St Ives

Rotary Generally


What if anything supports your optimistic outlook?

We ask, "What if anything supports your optimistic outlook?" and offer a series of options derived from our first global survey and the answers we have received from thousands of people.    

The top answers globally in order are Mindset; Life Experience; Most people are trying to do good; Gratitude; Faith in God; Family; Faith in Humanity; Hope; Science; Young People; Things will work out in the end; Belief; Friends; The Future; History; Medical Science; Good Government; and, The Economy.

For St Ives Rotary it's even more about mindset than the average globally.   

St Ives Rotary

Rotary Generally

Global Results

What makes us Optimistic?

"Life is for living and enjoying, always try and look on the bright side

"I am optimistic because I learned to be that way running a charity for adults with congenital deaf blindness for 25 years."

"Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, and all is well!"

"Life experiences have validated that what I think and what I believe matters.  I have a naturally positive disposition (as nurtured by parents, childhood and life experiences).  I believe it's not what happens in life,  but what you do about it that really matters.  Holding a belief that there's no problem so big that you can't find a solution reinforces positivity and a positive disposition towards solving problems.  Sometimes you will need help from others, but there is always a solution.  The saying "it isn't what happens in life, but how you react and what you do about what happens that matters.  Learning to reframe negativity, understanding NLP and reinforcement that what you think, say and do matters in determining outcomes."

"I naturally see glasses half full with a positive mindset."

"Experience of living through bad times."

"Seeing groups of people getting together on Zoom for a variety of reasons, orchestras, performers, artists, families, pets, neighbours during lockdowns."

"Adventurous people recounting their successes."

"The "Kindness Pandemic" on Facebook was inspiring as too was a knowledge that my actions can positively affect others (sharing and showing care for others ... the more you give, the more you receive). 

"Just connecting with friends and family - we are all in this thing called life together!"

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