UntitledContagious Optimism LIVE is a suite of uplifting and motivational talks by real people from around the globe along with coauthors from the bestselling Contagious Optimism book series. The purpose is to foster inspiration and to help people find their own silver linings—all bundled into a fun afternoon and evening.

We have had two events already: April 4th, 2014 and October 11th, 2014. David Mezzapelle personally funded these events along with tickets sales and some sponsorship monies we received. We are looking to raise capital in order to launch our 2015 event season and to help fund the cost of marketing and promotion to beef up sponsorship sales.

We are tremendously grateful for your support so far; we are nothing without you, and we hope to have your continued support!


The Contagious Optimism Team


Sherry Hursey is an American actress known for her recurring role as Ilene Markham on the sitcom “Home Improvement.” She also appeared in the movie “Bring it On” and the shows “Happy Days” and “Days of Our Lives.”

Sherry will speak at Contagious Optimism LIVE!, a daylong event with inspirational talks, music, and entertainment. Contagious Optimism LIVE! is taking place at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society on the Jupiter campus on Friday, April 4, 2014, from 2 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a reception following the event. Group discounts are also available. All attendees will receive a free copy of the bestselling book, “Contagious Optimism.”

Get more information by visiting www.contagiousoptimismlive.com, and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Joachim De Posada speaks both English and Spanish and has a Ph.D in psychology. He has enlightened and entertained audiences in more than 60 nations. He was declared the Most Distinguished Hispanic Speaker by the Latino Speakers Bureau and has been recognized as one of America’s 25 Hot Speakers by the National Speakers Association in 2009. He is also the author of “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet!”

Dr. Joachim De Posada will speak at Contagious Optimism LIVE!, a daylong event with inspirational talks, music, and entertainment. Contagious Optimism LIVE! is taking place at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society on the Jupiter campus on Friday, April 4, 2014, from 2 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a reception following the event. Group discounts are also available. All attendees will receive a free copy of the  bestselling book, “Contagious Optimism.”

Get more information by visiting http://www.contagiousoptimismlive.com, and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Exciting announcements

December 26, 2013

A couple of months ago, we posted a picture of David Mezzapelle on location with Smile TV in Los Angeles. Smile TV was working on our media reel and now it’s finished! Check out the video below and see how the “Contagious Optimism” movement is spreading across the country.

And here’s more good news:

We are happy to announce the title for the next volume of “Contagious Optimism”:

10 Habits of Truly Optimistic People

Power Your Life With the Positive

Stay tuned for more! We hope you’re having a great time with friends and family during this holiday season.

happy-new-year-photo-cards-wallpapers-2014-096As we head into the holiday season and prepare ourselves for the new year, we reflect on everything that had happened to us. We are sure that you are smiling widely at some memories. We are sure that you are cringing at some not-so-fond memories.

But relax: Many people, including David Mezzapelle of “Contagious Optimism,” think there are so many reasons why we should look forward to 2014. Skip to number 20 for David’s message, or enjoy yourself and click through slides from people like Mitch Albom (author of “Tuesdays with Morrie”), Dr. Sanjay Gupta (medical correspondent for CNN) and Wally Lamb (author of “She’s Come Undone,” which was selected for Oprah’s Book Club).

This feature is published in the January 2014 edition of “Reader’s Digest.”

Today’s the day

June 15, 2013

book cover current small

“Contagious Optimism” is officially released! Buy a copy here.

To wrap up our daily excerpts from co-authors, here are  a few words of reflection from David Mezzapelle on the “Contagious Optimism” experience:

As you can see, we all have stories.  What you may consider boring or uneventful is actually inspirational and motivational to others around the world.

Harvesting stories over the past three years, and continuing to do so today, has been a labor of love.  Meeting with people and hearing their stories of perseverance is not only inspirational and supportive of this project, but it is also educational in the wisdom it generates for our readers.  When you read stories of how others have overcome obstacles and made it through many of life’s challenges, you realize that anything is possible with optimism and effort.

Both my team and I have had the benefit of connecting with people of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds throughout the world.  It is humbling and something we never want to stop doing.  When we visit schools, senior living communities, villages, clubs, religious groups, support organizations, or anywhere else, we are constantly welcomed. People are excited to share their stories and they are excited to take part in spreading optimism.

Now that volume one is published on a global scale, we are looking forward to releasing additional volumes at a rate of one every nine to 12 months.

So, consider sharing your stories and remember: we are all naturally mentors just by the sheer impressions of our footsteps.

Journeying by train

June 14, 2013


Meet Mona Tippins.

Mona wanted to be remembered for something unique. A “bucket list” did not appeal to her, and her award-winning pineapple upside down cake was not enough. So she decided that she wanted to combine her love of train travel with a world record.  And she did it!  She traveled through 33 countries by rail and never traversed the same place twice.  Her mileage was enough to have circled the globe three and one-fifth times.

By age 65, Mona made it into the “Guinness World Records” and still holds the record today.

Image from  Scott Calleja


June 13, 2013


Meet Sharon Dunbar.

Sharon is a terrific caregiver for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and she always thinks outside of the box. She once cared for a gentleman from Maine who wanted a giraffe. Instead of saying “no” like most caregivers would say, Sharon said, “OK, let’s talk about it. Where do we get the giraffe? How do we transport it? Where does it sleep? How do we feed it?”  They even spoke about walking it around the courtyard of his community so that it could visit with other residents by sticking its big head in their windows.

Over time, of course, the giraffe never came. However, this gentleman showed amazing improvement in his Alzheimer’s therapy. He showed focus. He felt loved. He felt valued. And in the words of Sharon, it’s not about the giraffe at all. It’s about the meaning that we give to everyone around us— sick or healthy, black or white, rich or poor.

Image from Jeff Kubina

Friendly reminder: Make sure to order a copy of “Contagious Optimism”!


P1000353For more than ten years, Laurie Martin has been a teacher of self-love and personal empowerment. Laurie shares her wisdom and guidance as a speaker, certified life coach, yoga teacher, advice columnist and author of “Smile Across Your Heart: The Process of Building Self-Love” and her new e-book, “The Conscious Breakup Guide.”

Laurie is a contributing co-author in “Contagious Optimism.” For more information, please visit www.smileacrossyourheart.com. You can reach Laurie at LaurieM@SmileAcrossYourHeart.com.

Personal power is freedom. It means we are not looking to others for validation; we are not at the mercy of being defined by anything outside of us. My belief is that each person is beautiful, infinite and fully empowered.

Relationships help us see what is inside of us; they act as mirrors that reflect our insecurities, anger and disappointments as well as inner peace and joy. The more intensely we are triggered negatively by the external, the more important it is to explore why we reacted so emotionally.

Once we get to the “heart to the matter” within, we can use accountable communication skills in our relationships.  If we really want to build intimacy and feel empowered, we need to learn how to discern our feelings and how to express them in a responsible manner. The way we communicate during conflicts within our relationships is very important to the outcome.

I once had a client who arrived at our coaching session in tears. Christina, whose name was changed to ensure anonymity, was confused and worried because her husband had excluded her from participating in what he considered as “his” projects. His abrupt change in behavior made Christina feel unworthy.

I listened to her story. I tuned in to how this experience “triggered” Christina. I asked her questions like “What are you afraid of?” I repeated details of her story and asked her, “When he said that, how did that make you feel? Have you ever felt this way before?”

These questions helped her get to the bottom line of how she was feeling and take responsibility. She focused less on her anger and more on the cause of her anger, realizing that this situation was reflecting her own lack of self-love. There is always a bigger lesson in our conflicts—especially when they are triggering strong emotions within us. I helped Christina process her emotions by allowing them to be present, and she drew awareness and power back to herself.

Each time she confirmed her feelings, I had her write each one down on a piece of paper. Up until this point, she hadn’t expressed her feelings to her husband. She was so caught up in her anger; she didn’t sit down and process “why” she was so angry, so she projected her anger onto him. I asked her, “Did your husband express his feelings using actual feeling words?”

Christina said no; he gave his reasons but not his feelings. Christina agreed to stop blaming her husband and focus on her feelings.

Once we define our feelings, the next step is to use responsible communication techniques with others. To connect with others, we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share how we feel in an accountable and respectful way. As the speaker, the intention is to be authentic—to speak from the heart about his or her feelings, to create a connection and peaceful resolution. With this intention as the foundation, it alleviates the blame game. It’s also important that each person has the opportunity to speak without the other person interrupting, making faces or shaking his or her head.

I told Christina that when she talked to her husband, she should stick with expressing her feelings and needs and give her husband the same opportunity. One night Christina told her husband that her anger was coming from her own self-love issues. Christina’s husband listened to her and expressed sympathy. To Christina’s relief, he apologized and said that he did want her involved in the projects. Christina finally felt acknowledged by him.

I’m proud of both of them. They shared their feelings and needs, listened to each other, felt heard and came to a happy resolution. I spoke to Christina a couple of months after this incident, and she told me that they were doing great. Now she is helping her friends use this communication technique in their relationships.


June 12, 2013

Meet David Katz.

David survived the Holocaust on a very simple recipe, which wasn’t so simple to follow at the time: “Do what you’re told, never complain and most important, constantly visualize yourself being freed of this hell.” He shared this recipe with everyone around him. For those who listened, they survived and still thank him today.