INTRODUCTION: Reading is a great way to escape from reality; to get away from what’s happening now and pretend that you’re living in the past, or exploring a new world in the future. But when the story’s over and the last page is turned, are you going to be able to face the present with the same sense of adventure? Author Dani DiPirro knows that while the journey might be difficult, a positive attitude makes all the difference.
7SR: What inspired you to start the Positively Present website?
In 2009, I hit a low point in my life and I knew I had to make some changes. It felt like everything—my career, my friendships, my love life, etc.—was going wrong. I’d tried everything I could to make myself happier, and nothing seemed to be working. One day it suddenly hit me: nothing outside of me could change me. I had to change myself—and that would have to start with changing my attitude toward life. At that point, I started spending a great deal of time thinking about what I really, truly wanted in my life, and I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be positive and I wanted to be present (two things I’d never really been before). It was then that PositivelyPresent.com was born.
7SR: You’ve created the 2016 Every Day Matters day planner that has inspirational quotes and plenty of room to write down reminders and to-do lists. Do you recommend that people use planners and stick to a schedule as part of maintaining a positive focus on the day?
I’ve used a planner for as long as I can remember, and I can’t recommend it highly enough! There’s something so fulfilling about writing down a to-do list and crossing tasks off as they’re completed. For some people, keeping track of this on a (mobile or computer) screen can work, but I find it much more effective and engaging to track my tasks on paper. Plus, with the Every Day Matters planner, you get the added bonus of inspiration content and thought-provoking prompts, which makes the weekly planning more of an empowering experience!
7SR: What sorts of things are on your daily schedule? Do you set aside any special time to read?
My daily schedule consists of a lot of writing, editing, and designing. In addition, I spend a lot of time supporting the Positively Present brand on social media, particularly on Instagram, where I post daily bits of inspiration. On really nice days, I’ll take time out of my workday to spend time reading outside, which is one of my favorite things to do. On an average day, I usually spend a nice chunk of my evening curled up on the couch with a good book.
7SR: You’ve written several books, including The Positively Present Guide to Life. Which authors do you turn to for wisdom, insight, and reflection?
I spend so much time reading and soaking up the wisdom of other authors so it’s hard to pick just a handful that I enjoy, but some of my favorite sources of inspiration come from Byron Katie, Richard Carlson, Danielle LaPorte, Eckhart Tolle, and Don Miguel Ruiz.
7SR: Our readers are interested in self-improvement. Do you have any advice on how to stay positive when they feel as if they’re not making progress towards their goals?
It’s certainly challenging to stay positive when you’re struggling to meet your goals, but one of the best things you can do in this situation is focus on what you can accomplish right now, in the moment. So much of our worry and stress comes from thinking about the future (and, in this case, envisioning unmet goals), but when we focus on the present moment and do whatever we can to move in a positive direction, it becomes much easier to stay optimistic.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments