Interview with Dani DiPirro and Book Giveaway: The Positively Present Guide to Life

Positively Present Guide to Life

Update: The winners for this giveaway are:

If you’re a fan of uplifting, action-oriented blog posts, you may have stumbled upon Positively Present at some point in time.

I “met” the site’s founder, Dani DiPirro, around the time I started Tiny Buddha. Over time, I grew to admire her dedication, both to personal development and her blog.

Since 2009, she’s shared countless helpful, inspiring posts, empowering readers to live mindfully and positively in the face of life’s inevitable challenges.

Now she’s preparing to launch a new book, The Positively Present Guide to Life, which offers practical ideas to enhance our home life, work, and relationships for an all-around happier, more fulfilled life.

I’m grateful that Dani took the time to answer some questions about herself and her book, and that she’s provided two copies for Tiny Buddha readers.

The Giveaway

To enter to win one of two free copies:

  • Leave a comment sharing one thing that always helps you stay positive.
  • For an extra entry, tweet: Enter the @tinybuddha giveaway to win a free copy of The Positively Present Guide to Life http://bit.ly/17oIQDY

You can enter until midnight PST on Friday, February 27th.

The Interview

 1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog, Positively Present. 

I’m an author, blogger, and designer living in a suburb of Washington, DC. In 2009, when I was at a particularly low point in my life—I didn’t love my job, my relationship status wasn’t ideal, and I was struggling a lot to feel happy—I launched PositivelyPresent.com with the intention of documenting my journey toward a more positive and present life.

In 2012, I left my full-time job in Marketing to pursue a career as a blogger and writer. While working to create a beautiful online space for my readers, I discovered how much I loved illustrating and graphic design.

Last year, I launched my design studio, Twenty3, where I work with individuals and business to create modern, uplifting design. My love of design and my desire to help myself and others live more positive, present lives comes together in my latest book, The Positively Present Guide to Life, which pairs inspiring illustrations with action-oriented advice for living a more positive, more present life.

 2. What inspired you to write The Positively Present Guide to Life, and how does it differ from your blog?

Books have been my greatest teachers, and I love the tangibility of them of in our digital world. I’ve learned so much about life—and about myself—from books, and writing The Positively Present Guide to Life was the best way I could think of to take the lessons I’ve learned from PositivelyPresent.com and explore them at a deeper level.

And my blog has inspired this book in another way: all my advice here is presented in easy-to-follow lists, to make sure this guide is as simple to use and as practical as possible.

3. What have you found to be the biggest obstacles to being positive and present—and how have you overcome them?

One of the biggest obstacles for being positive and present can be other people. Just because you’re trying to live a more positive, present life, that doesn’t mean that those around you are striving for the same thing, and the negativity of others can be draining.

Overcoming this can be difficult if it’s not possible to avoid negative people. If possible, I’ve found it helps to limit your interactions with them. If that’s not an option, I recommend reminding yourself that you do not have to be ruled by others’ moods or attitudes. Even when others are negative, you can choose to focus on the positive and to stay in the moment.

4. I think there’s a misconception that “be positive” means “don’t ever feel bad.” What are your thoughts on this?

This is definitely a huge misconception when it comes to positivity. It’s for this reason, in fact, that I focus on positivity rather than happiness.

When you are happy, you are in a state where you don’t feel bad and when even the not-so-great things seem bearable. Positivity, on the other hand, is not about putting on rose-colored glasses and pretending that everything is okay. It’s about accepting whatever’s happening in your current situation and trying to make the most of it.

No matter how difficult the situation, it’s possible to find something of value—even if the value is only that you’re getting stronger by going through difficulties.

5. In Chapter One of your book, you talk about creating a positive home. What advice would you give to someone who wants to create a positive home but lives with people who are often negative?

Living with negative people can really challenge efforts to live a more positive, present life, but there are things you can do to make the most of the situation.

I’ve dedicated an entire section of my book to this topic because I believe it’s something many people encounter. Even if people at home are generally positive, we all have our bad days (or weeks!). When dealing with negativity at home, I recommend trying your best to speak with love, and not to mirror the tone or attitude of those who are in a negative state of mind.

This can be difficult (we tend to react in a way that mirrors others), but choosing loving words and tone can make a huge difference.

Also, it’s important to try not to take others’ negativity personally. Often, stress and negativity between cohabitants is a result of issues that take place outside of the home (such as work), and it can be helpful to consider that another’s negative reaction or snippy tone might be related to something that has nothing to do with you.

6. In the next chapter, you talk about being positively present at work. What do you think is the most important thing someone can do to stay positive and present when they’re not happy at their job?

Even if you don’t love your job, you can learn from it. Any job offers the opportunity to learn how to cooperate with and overcome challenges.

Being around others—some you like, some you don’t—teaches important people skills, from how to collaborate, negotiate, and compromise with those who view things differently, to how to get a job done with someone who would rather chat away the day.

Processing so many viewpoints and opinions from coworkers opens our eyes to new ways of thinking. If you like your industry but not your position, you can also learn a lot by talking to those you admire or who hold positions you aspire to.

7. In the chapter on relationships, you talk about learning to say no. Why is this so important to staying positive and present?

There are many reasons why saying no, negative as it sounds, can be a more positive response. For example, it might save you from having to spend time with people who bring negativity into your life, or it might ensure that you don’t overload your schedule.

It can also strengthen relationships because it lets other people know you have boundaries and will enforce them. It helps others know where they stand—and if they don’t cross the line, your relationship is all the more positive for it.

Keep in mind: when you say no to one thing, you’re really saying yes to something more worthy of your time and energy.

 8. What do you think is the most essential habit for staying positive and present?

One of the most essential habits for living a positive, present life is to cultivate gratitude. No matter how difficult a situation, there is always something to be grateful for. It’s very difficult to be negative or distracted from the moment when you’re focusing on what you have to be thankful for.

 9. What’s the main message you hope people take from your book?

When people read my book, I hope they’ll realize how important a shift in attitude can be. It can transform all aspects of your life, from home to work to relationships to love to how you cope with change.

I hope readers will see that, even if positivity and mindfulness doesn’t come easily to them, with the right tactics and inspiration, it’s possible to cultivate a positive attitude and stay in the moment more often.

I’m not a naturally positive person and I work hard at staying positive and present. If I can do it, anyone can—and I hope this book will inspire readers to see that they, too, can live more positive, present lives.

You can learn more about The Positively Present Guide to Life (and pre-order a copy) on Amazon.

FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site. 

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

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