Focusing on the positive: Local residents publish book

FAIRMONT — Negativity seems to pervade our daily lives whether it’s in the news, at work, on social media or even in our own homes. It can leave us defeated, unmotivated and depressed.

Two local residents have published a book that uses simple guidelines to improve the way you think, the way you act and the way you live just by focusing on the positives in your life.

“If you’re having a bad day, it’s kind of amazing when you read something insightful or powerful, and it changes your mindset,” said Brittany Anderson, office manager at Sweet Financial Services in Fairmont.

She and business owner Bryan Sweet have shared their passion for positive quotes in the new book “Imagine. Act. Inspire.” The soft-cover, purse-size journal guides each individual through simple steps to make each day the best day possible without bogging the reader down with mundane cliches. It focuses on creating 365 days of uplifting thoughts and actions.

“We did not design it to be a 12-month calendar,” Anderson said. “There’s a blank space on each page to fill in the date so if life gets in the way and you miss a few days, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. You want it to be something you look forward to every day so just pick up right where you left off. Just put the date in there and continue on your journey.”

“We want to help shift people’s thought process to focus on what they can accomplish because life is truly remarkable,” Sweet said. “If you set your mind on something, it is amazing what one can accomplish in their lifetime. What we have found over the years is that with the right tools, systems and processes in place, you can do the things most important to you in a fairly short period of time.”

Each daily page has three components: a positive, thought-provoking quote, space to write two areas of gratitude and a section to list three things to accomplish that day.

A quote on one page by Winston Churchill, former British prime minister, states: “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” The following page carries words from NFL coaching legend Vince Lombardi: “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”

Anderson lives by her favorite quote from actress Audrey Hepburn.

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible.’ That’s the mantra I live by because it’s so powerful,” Anderson said. “The world is amazing if you focus on the positive. Focus on the good in yourself.”

The second component spotlights two things we are grateful for every day.

“Every day might not be good, but there’s something good in every day,” Anderson said.

“The third component focuses on three things each day that will help move you toward your goal, further you in your career or just create an even better life for you and those you care most about,” Sweet said.

“There’s a rule that if you have more than three priorities in your day, you have none. It goes back to spreading yourself too thin,” Anderson said.

Various pages include space for notes and suggestions for random acts of kindness, whether it’s giving a stranger a compliment or reconnecting with an old friend.

Anderson and Sweet had toyed with the idea for the book for a while before they decided to act.

“We’d talked about it long enough. We just needed to do it. What better time than right now?” Anderson said.

Anderson said some people who already purchased the book have been repeat customers.

“A handful of people that heard about it through the grapevine and bought the book have come back and purchased more copies for friends and family,” she said. “They found an ‘accountability partner’ to go on the journey with them.”

Anderson and Sweet will hold two book signings this weekend in Fairmont. They will be at the Good News Bookstore, 114 E. Third St., from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, and Sterling Drug will host an event from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. The book also is available at Sweet Financial, 1300 S. Prairie Ave., and will be available on Amazon. The cost is $14.99.