The realization and adaptation of optimism into my life has had a more profound impact on me than any other collective experience. I had been relatively optimistic throughout my whole life, but I never really considered that fact. All of that changed when I met Dan, whom I met quite by accident. One summer day, in an attempt to call a friend, I dialed Dan’s phone number instead. After a few minutes of awkward confusion, we came to the conclusion that we did not, in fact, know each other. I was on the verge of hanging up, when Dan said “Erica, it was lovely to have met you in such an interesting and unique manner. Stay positive and love your life.” He quickly hung up after this farewell, but I just sat there, holding the phone to my ear. Stay positive and love your life. This farewell bidding could not have resonated with me on any higher a level. After that phone call, everything changed for me. Deciding to be more optimistic defeats the purpose, but after that phone call, I chose to realize my optimistic potential as fully as I could; I allowed optimism to permeate every part of my life. I realized that I wanted to live my life in a more positive manner, and this has helped me in so many ways. I don’t let the little things turn into big things. I know that in the end, everything will work out. I began to end conversations, phone calls, emails, and letters with “Stay positive and love your life.” More than just reminding my friends and family to be optimistic with this mantra, it reminds me multiple times a day that my life is great, and this helps me live up to my fullest potential. My optimism does not hinge on unrealistic anticipation for the best possible outcomes in life, but rather it is unselfish optimism; I know that good things happen because I am happy, not that I am happy because good things happen. A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, and I wrote her a note that ended with Dan’s, and now my, words of wisdom. She later told me that that note helped her more than anything. About three months after I first talked to Dan, I called him again. He remembered me as well as I remembered him, and we chatted for a while. I told him how glad I was to know him, even if I didn’t really know him. He told me that my random love brightened his life, and he looked forward to my next call. I smiled and said “Dan…stay positive and love your life.” Talking to him and making his mantra my own has impacted me on many levels, levels that I am still exploring. I look at everything with unbounded possibility and I know that when I smile, the world smiles back. Stay positive and love your life.