Guest Optimist: Amy Spencer sees things BRIGHT SIDE UP

Celebrity Optimist is very excited to welcome Guest Blogger and Optimist, Amy Spencer to our site! I first came upon her Life Optimist site through social media, by accident. I was pleasantly surprised, though, to see that there was someone else out there writing about having a positive outlook. There is a sometimes overwhelming amount of negativity out there in the world, and it’s refreshing to hear about things from a more optimistic and healthy perspective. And so, I reached out with an email with the subject line, “From one optimist to another”! Amy responded quickly and we instantly clicked, I believe, because we are on the same page! Speaking of pages, among the many talents Amy possesses, including magazine journalist, radio host and app developer, she is a writer/author who is about to release her second book! I will let her tell you more about it below, but if it’s received a recommendation from O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, it’s sure to be a good read! Thank you, Amy, for being our Guest Optimist! Kendra


I’m such a fan of because Kendra is doing here what I think we could all be happier doing in life: Focusing on the positive.

I’ve always been an optimist. But I don’t always have a great day. Still, I rarely get through a day thinking it was an awful one. That’s because after I’ve sighed or cried or stomped out my frustration, I find that I feel much better moving forward and shifting my focus from the negative to the positive. Because the more I focus on the positive, the more I see the positive, and the more positive things I attract into my life!

Want to know my secret? Well, I have a lot of them. In fact, I write about 100 of them in my new book BRIGHT SIDE UP: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now. But to get you started thinking more positively, here’s my number one trick:

Say the words “The GOOD news is…” and then finish the sentence, however you can.

  • If you accidentally set your alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. and overslept, the GOOD news is…you finally got a healthy night’s rest so you’ll be more productive today!
  • If you’re stuck in traffic, the GOOD news is…it’s is a perfect time to call and catch up with Mom!
  • If you spilled ink on your new sweater, the GOOD news is…no one will have a sweater exactly like yours!
  • If you’re single and fearing you’ll never find love, the GOOD news is…you can fall in love with your life first, so when the right person comes along, they’ll feel luckier than ever to be a part of it!

This little “good news” secret works no matter what you’re facing. Whether it’s something tiny or huge, serious or hilarious, if you look for the good stuff, you WILL find it. Be creative: The longer your list and the more outlandish you get, the better!

I hope this helps you see your next tough situation BRIGHT SIDE UP. And here’s to shifting our perspective to the positive as often as we can — in celebrity’s lives and in our own.


If you want more ideas on how to see the positive, check out BRIGHT SIDE UP: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now (Perigee), which is like an “emergency optimism” guide for life: When your computer crashes, your relationship ends, or you gain ten pounds, these are 100 practical strategies for seeing those challenging experiences from a more positive place. You don’t have to change your life to be happier; you just have to change how you see the life you have!

BRIGHT SIDE UP: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now (Perigee)

To learn more about Amy Spencer and her numerous dimensions, please visit her website!

We are excited to introduce you to her book BRIGHT SIDE UP, coming out tomorrow, Tuesday, February 7th, with this trailer!

BRIGHT SIDE UP is available on!


Special Post: Oprah Winfrey’s South African school celebrates first graduating class

Oprah Winfrey is the epitome of philanthropy and someone who uses their platform to make positive changes in the world. I know I don’t have to explain it to you. We have seen it time and time again, and each time it happens, it warms the heart and spirit. Countless lives have been touched and transformed, for the better, by Oprah and her missions in life. When she created the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, it was a dream realized. Well, now, the students who started at the school in 2007, are the first class to graduate! 72 students will reportedly go on to study at universities in both South Africa and the United States.

Her feelings on this defining moment for these young girls who otherwise would not have had these opportunities and choices? “We’re taking a victory lap here, for transformation,” she said. “Every single girl is going to leave here with something greater to offer the world than her body.”

(Source: New Tang Dynasty Television’s YouTube page)

To learn more about the school and what else they are doing to help these young girls, please visit their website.

Please join us in congratulating the new graduates!

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa's first graduating class

(Source: Oprah Winfrey’s Twitter)

– Kendra Kabasele


Featured Celebrity Samaritan – Shaun Robinson: Giving girls a blueprint for success with “Exactly As I Am”

Not every young girl has an older sister to look up to, a mother willing to listen, an aunt who makes time, or even a mentor who reaches out regularly. So when girlfriends are too busy, or even a male friend or family member isn’t the person you want to turn to for advice, sometimes you just need some words of wisdom – from a book.

Shaun Robinson, known for her dynamic role as Access Hollywood’s TV Host, is also an author, and wrote a book targeting these young women. What is the book about, specifically? It’s in the title: Exactly As I Am: Celebrated Women Share Candid Advice with Today’s Girls on What It Takes to Believe in Yourself (Ballantine Hardcover). The book is an honest look at some of the challenges young girls are having to face, including self-acceptance, choosing friends, taking care of and staying true to yourself, and of course, the topic of boys. Shaun addresses each issue from her own point of view, writing candidly about her experiences and outlooks.

What’s nice about the formula for her book is that she intersperses her insights with the wise words of some very notable women, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Celine Dion, Diane von Furstenberg, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Queen Latifah, Nicole Miller, Julianne Moore, Mandy Moore, Martina Navratilova, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Sawyer, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Gabrielle Union, Meredith Vieira, Vanessa Williams, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Eva Mendes, and Nancy O’Dell among plenty of others. It’s like having that older sister, mother, aunt, mentor and girlfriend, at their fingertips! Another beautiful thing is that the book is also filled with quotes made by young girls.

And so, as we commend Shaun for her message, the young girls who read the book will gain insight, first hand, from some solid women who have experienced the things they are going through, first hand. You know, as much as the young readers will learn from the book, I think there are several things adults can take away from it as well. How do I know, you ask? Because it’s been a part of my collection too!

“A lot of people say that I’m smart, and they have high expectations for me. And when I sometimes fail, I’m afraid I’ll fail again, and I don’t want to disappoint people.” – Lorraine, sixteen

“Very early on, I became my own best friend.” – Diane von Furstenberg

You can go to the book’s website to learn more about it.

Kendra Kabasele