The really cool thing is that their story is not just one that teaches about optimism – it is about what optimism itself can do.

Last week, I featured a YouTube video about a t-shirt company called, Life is Good. Bert Jacobs, one of the brothers who started this successful company, did a TED Talk in which he talked about how the company got started and the difference it is making in the world.

In that TED talk, he mentioned something about his mom that caught my attention. According to Bert, his mother started every evening dinner by having him and his seven siblings tell the family something good that happened that day. He goes on in his talk to explain how that simple ritual changed how he and his brother saw the world.

As we look for ways to encourage our children to be optimistic, this easy-to-implement little step could be a game-changer like it was for these brothers. As Bert says in the video, maybe it could be something we do at the dinner table and other times of the day. Why not take it to the office and start our meetings with everyone saying how “life is good.” Maybe we can ask a friend to “tell me something good” when meeting up for coffee; or individually we can think about something good that happened each day before going to bed.

The key to this little idea becoming transformative is focusing on the good things that happen and consistently doing it. We all need to eat dinner, why not make it more than just something about food?

So go ahead – start tonight. Try it for a week, and see how it goes. Maybe this will be something that catches on, and your kids will use it as the inspiration for a million dollar business. But even if they don’t, I still think it might be a million dollar idea.


Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
Ms. Shawna Wood is dedicated to mentoring and discipling the next generation. Shawna has a Master of Education and has been at Dalat since 2012, first as Middle School principal and now as Deputy Head of school.
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