What follows are my history and credentials—what I’ve done—but they’re not who I am. I’m a born optimist who passionately believes in the power of transforming negative thoughts and actions—changing the perspective to find the positive. As a therapist, I don’t want my clients to just survive; I want them to thrive. So I work with them to first resolve their past issues and then discover the power and passion to recreate their unique lives. These are the two stepping stones to POWER Optimism—release the negative; create the positive. I’ve seen it proven out time and time again in my years as a therapist, and now as a motivational speaker.
More importantly, I’ve seen it happen for myself. Those two steps changed my life. I carried around negative patterns for years—issues about body image, relationships and career. I allowed my joy to be diminished. But no longer. Once I chose to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, my life has been on an upward spiral. That’s why I live the work, and why I spread the word.
Dr. Dana Lightman is an accomplished motivational keynote speaker and trainer specializing in the field of optimism and positive psychology. She brings over 20 years experience as a presenter, psychotherapist, coach and educator to a wide range of audiences at conferences and conventions, corporations, hospitals, non-profits, universities and schools. As the founder of POWER Optimism in 2001, Dana published her first book, POWER Optimism: Enjoy the Life You Have…Create the Success You Want in 2004, followed by Power Optimism Playbook in 2007.
After obtaining a Master's Degree in Education and teaching for ten years at the University of Pennsylvania, Dana turned her focus to psychological services. Earning her Doctorate in Behavioral Science, Dana is an expert in positive psychology. As a practicing psychotherapist, Dana has worked with a wide range of clients on issues including self-esteem, marriage and family, relationships, eating awareness and body image, substance abuse and grief. As a consultant and trainer, she has designed and conducted psychoeducational training programs, workshops and seminars. Topics include stress management, adjusting to change, building self-esteem, resiliency, maintaining healthy relationships, substance abuse prevention and sexual harassment awareness and prevention. As an educator, Dana has lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Arcadia University.
Dana currently focuses her energies on POWER Optimism. Her mission is to increase and release the optimist in each of us. She is a member of The National Speakers Association, an Advanced Toastmaster and past president of the Professionally Speaking chapter of Toastmasters International, and has studied dramatic presentation techniques at the Walnut and Wilma Theaters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dana has been a guest speaker on television and radio.
POWER Optimism Quick Tips
Start A Positive Bank Account
Say “thank you” for the little things that happen throughout your day, like finding a great parking spot, seeing a beautiful butterfly or meeting a deadline. Making daily “positive deposits” pays off…you can draw on your positive surplus to offset setbacks.
Freedom from Fretting
Create a worry box to curtail constant rumination. Write your worries on a piece of paper and put them in the box for safekeeping. Set aside a worry period to read the papers in your box and remind yourself that these thoughts are off limits while they are in the box.
Whistle A Happy Tune
Take a catchy tune, one that really gets your toes tapping and your blood flowing. Now, create your own positive lyrics to go with that tune and have some fun singing your new creation. Before you know it, you’ll be humming the “positive” throughout your day.
Mental Rehearsal Pays Off
Tap into your imagination’s positive potential by rehearsing your desired performance in your mind. Be sure to put yourself in the visualization. Now, play the scene in your head as if you were watching yourself in a movie. Enjoy the scene. Smile and feel the satisfaction of success.
Turning Your Desires into Reality
To turn your new desires into your current reality, try creating a collage that describes your desires in pictures and words from magazines or clip art. Hang the collage in a prominent place where you can easily see it. Look at it often and feel yourself growing into the ideas expressed in the collage.