CHASING THE BRIGHT SIDE by Jess Ekstrom: A Review

This book’s subtitle, “Embrace Optimism/ Activate Your Purpose/ and Write Your Own Story” says it all. It definitely looks on the bright side, but at the same time it examines the value of fears, failures, and mess ups. The author is the founder of “Headbands of Hope” and uses stories of her business throughout the book to make a point or give advice. We follow Ekstrom from making silly little headbands for cancer patients at a local hospital to operating a thriving non-profit which gives headbands to cancer patients in every hospital in the United States.

Her philosophy, as stated in this book is: “In order for us to have a chance at making a dent in the universe, we have t0 be optimistic enough to see something better and to be confident enough to just begin.” Just beginning to follow a dream, taking that first step Is the hardest part of life. Cultivating enough optimism to do that can make all the difference . Another piece of advice from the author worth quoting is, “Success is not born out of skill, school where we’re from, or who we know…We are born with something even more important than skills. We’re born with optimism–the initial seed for success.”

As a new small business owner, this book not only encouraged me to follow my dream, it demanded I be optimistic about being successful, learn from my mistakes and refuse to lose my enthusiasm for what I am trying to do. It is an inspiring, engaging read.



Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

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