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The Music of Optimism: A Conversation Led by Kay Clancy and Adam Thompson of Chocolate Starfish

Adam Thompson, lead singer and songwriter of ARIA winning band Chocolate Starfish has long understood the power of music through his career that spans over 30 years in the music industry. Kay Clancy is The Centre for Optimism's Music Queen of Optimism.

Victor Perton: What makes you Optimistic, Adam?

Adam Thompson: "

"I believe optimism for me is something that I would only say that I can put my hand up and state is one of my virtues in the last 10 to 20 years.

"I've had optimistic moments through my younger years, but considering myself an optimistic person is something that's really only happened in my middle years of my life. And I think that for me, the thing that has changed that point of view, that I would now call myself an optimistic person, is the journey of the gathering of tools that enable me to have that platform of optimism.

"It is things like meditation. It is things like songwriting. It is the joy of experiencing my own voice, and you'll hear me sing later.

"So, all these tools that I've gathered over this long period of time, and I'm still gathering them, by the way. The toolkit is never, ever complete. It's a bit like the Nike, there is no finishing line.

"I believe that my toolkit is ever-evolving, it's ever-changing just as we all are as human souls, but all those tools now have given me the ability to see life as an optimistic person, to be able to answer a question optimistically, to be able to be involved old in a conversation and take the optimistic line rather than cross my arms and join in with a negative throng.

"All right? So, all those things I think go towards what makes me optimistic... The opposite to that, not being optimistic or being pessimistic or being negative just doesn't appeal. It just does not appeal. And once you're on that path of optimism, once you're on the path of positivity, and I'm looking at a screen of beautiful people right now who are on the path; the thought of going back to where you were scares the absolute crap out of you. And I wouldn't want to go back to that fragile learning young man who doesn't have as many tools. So, I'm glad right now that I can call myself an optimistic person. I'm glad I'm on the path."


Victor Perton: What makes you Optimistic, Kay?

Kay Clancy: "Rippling makes me optimistic. You know I'm passionate about ripples. And for those of you who don't know what I mean by rippling, I mean the words I use and the actions I take have impact far beyond the moment in which the words are spoken or the action taken. And I realized very early on in my leadership journey that I have an impact on people.

"So as a human, I have an impact, and as a leader, I have an impact as well.

"And I also recognize that I have a choice about that impact. And so, music's always been in my life, and I use that to shift my ripple. And I also use it to shift the ripple of that around me, and I've been doing it for so long that I'm often doing that unconsciously.

"I still get emails now from people I've worked with 30 years ago who say, "Do you still sing in the office?" And the answer would be, "I do. Yes."

And sometimes it will be triggered by something somebody says or a sensation that things are a bit flat, and the need to own the fact that I'm impacting others is really, really important.

And so, what makes me optimistic is the knowledge that I have the power to shift my mood. And I also am accountable and responsible for the impact I have on those around me. And that's a free choice that I get to make. And so, there's something around consciousness and choice and creating ripples. So, that's what makes me optimistic.

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