Perseverance and Optimism


Guest Post by Brandon Todd

With the increase of information being transformed into a constant stream of bombardment, some relevant and often irrelevant material, oft times it is easy to be inundated with negative and hopeless emotions. Connectivity is increasing in a seemingly impossible rate, yet how alone have you felt staring into the glow of an electronic device connected to your 500 closest friends? It can be so easy to let the moods and opinions of others to impact ourselves and spiral into negativity. This time of the year is traditionally one of resolution and change, whether you chose to make new goals for yourself or not, we are all victims of change. Whether we allow the environment to change us, or if we change our environment (we experience both everyday) we can all become agents of change. The attitude that we have when we undergo change will make the difference in the outcome. Specifically, if we are optimistic during our goals, either successful or failed, we will be better off overall from the experience.


The ability to set clear objectives is essential in persuading others to join in the pursuit of deep change. In knowing what is expected, the inefficiency of uncertainty can be eliminated. Agents of change establish clear objectives and find that others are motivated by the sense of satisfaction of accomplishment.  Simply, we figure out what we want and get it, inviting others to join us.

Positivity is the elixir that will breathe life into stagnant environments where in-action or ignorance has its grip. In order to create an environment of learning, discovery, innovation, and self-improvement, positivity is indispensable. Criticism is effective when coupled with optimism. Failure is transformed into an effective learning opportunity when realistic hindsight is analyzed while planning for the future with renewed hope.  We have faith that the future will be bright.

As I write this, I feel inadequate, as I am not perfect in this aspect, although I subscribe to the school of thought that if we do not talk and aim to lofty expectations that we will never attain new heights. It saddens me that people tear others down for wanting self-improvement. Let us be happy for others.  I also think that every individual has something that they want to be better at whether it be family relationships, physical health, mental health, or anything else you can think of. My hope is that we can all be optimistic and keep trying even through failure.

Recently, I have watched a video about a really inspiring individual named Willie Burton. If you have 15 minutes, I highly recommend that you watch the video (click HERE for the video). If you do not, here is a short description of the story. Willie was born with cerebral palsy and had struggles with moving and walking. He decided that he would become a wrestler, he was determined to be treated like everyone else, and competed in high school in over 100 matches, and lost every single one. However, his last match right before regionals, Willie won. Eventually, he lost his match at regionals, and finished his wrestling career with one win.  Willie has become one of my heroes.  I love his “never say die” attitude.

How many times in our life do we have areas in which we feel like we can never win? How often do we throw in the towel, never realizing what our potential could be? We all are different, and have diverse goals and situations that allow us to be infinitely unique from each other. I think that everyone individually has to answer the question, “How will I handle this situation?” Sometimes life is easy. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes life is unfair. It can be hard to make the decision to be optimistic. I have recently came across the term “self-aware”. When we become aware of our perspective on how we are viewing life and making decisions we are becoming self-aware. We forgive mistakes, we give encouragement, we look for positive qualities in others, we choose not to be offended, we patch up broken relationships, we realize when we have done wrong, we start anew and we become alive.

We will win.

I hope that we all realize how we and handle our situations and do so with perseverance and optimism. I feel like we will all resolutely become happier individually, in families, and as a community.


Brandon Todd resides in Roosevelt, Utah where he was born and raised. After graduating High School, he served an LDS service mission to the people of South Korea. He is currently a graduate student at Utah State University studying Human Resources. He has a B.S. in Geography (Physical) and enjoys studying the geo-social factors in the world. He works for the USDA-NRCS as a soil conservationist, helping people help the land. He adores his family and considers himself to have the best family and friends a guy could ask for. He is an avid Utah Jazz fan, and enjoys dabbling in many different hobbies and trades.



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Angel was raised in rural Utah. In the small town of Roosevelt. Angel moved to Provo, Utah when she was 11 years old. She attended Timpview High School, and graduated from the school of hard knocks. Angel married at the age of 17, and had two lovely little girls. She later divorced. In 2001 she met the man of her dreams, and together they welcomed three more bouncing baby girls. Come along with us as we travel, cook, learn, and love.


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