Didier PERILLEUX is an elected Board Member of OWB International. He created Optimists Without Borders USA, Inc., as a daughter association and non-for-profit corporation in New York in 2015. The Board of Directors wants to focus particularly on the three following topics:

1. Optimism and business: how optimism is important and drive successful companies and
2. Optimism and Health: impact of optimism on health
3. Optimism and Sport: impact of optimism on the mindset and performance of athletes

Since the creation of OWB USA, we have had very positive and encouraging feedback from reputable authorities. To mention a few:

  1. ECOSOC / United Nations
  2. H.E. Johan VERBEKE, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, Washington DC
  3. Mr. Marc CALCOEN, General Consul of the Kingdom of Belgium in US, New York
  4. BELCHAM, Belgian American Chamber of Commerce, New York



    I am the master of each of my thoughts and not the opposite. To be an Optimist is to take a conscious decision for self-discipline, self-improvement and learning. We Optimists hold ourselves accountable to offer solutions to hardships and problems, and we know that we cannot avoid the personal responsibility for improvements to life. We are aware that the privilege of a good life is accessible only through one’s liberty and power to make these changes.


    “The one who waiting to be ready before starting will never be an entrepreneur” (Philippe Gabillet).

    Paradoxically, the more secure we are, the more fearful we tend to become, afraid of losing the security that we enjoy. We Optimists believe, along with Goethe, that there is a basic truth that we cannot ignore, at the risk of destroying a wealth of brilliant ideas and plans. This truth is that as soon as one is committed to positive action, Providence responds and acts as a catalyst for a chain of events that otherwise would never have occurred. We know that our personal commitment will be followed by fortunate coincidences, the unexpected encounter, even experiences which lie beyond normal senses and that no one would ever have dreamed possible. Daring releases genius, power and magic.


    We agree with Emmanuel Kant on the importance of considering the impact of our actions in a more profound sense. We should never hesitate to undertake activities that would change the order of the world should everyone act in the same way. 


    We share the opinion of Simone de Beauvoir. We consider that resignation is the most dismal of traits – we must shun that passive submission where aspirations born of our own free will are discounted and jettisoned as impossible fancy or inconsequential dreams. Those who really “live” are fighters. 

    They scale the “grim peak” with purpose in the soul, and on the brow, and they are inspired to a timeless high destiny by a vision of some supreme oeuvre or grand amour. Victor Hugo described such people as laborers and shepherds; like them we try to live each day to the full and in good heart.


    To be an Optimist is not to benefit from some kind of congenital isolation, set free from life’s sadness and pain. However we do take an active decision to look beyond those inevitable difficulties and vicissitudes, attentive to the beauty that also surrounds us. Kierkegaard put it this way; to be optimistic is to realize, not that life’s path is hard, but that difficulties inevitably pave the way. If daily life appears barren, or mediocre, let’s be poet enough to summon its riches – don’t blame life, look inwards and blame yourself!


    We intend to initiate a “cultural revolution” based on confidence in the future. We are certain that our desire to make positive changes, enhanced by the pleasure we take doing so, will result in greater humanity and beauty. Our Cultural Revolution will confidently opt for cooperation; inspired by the belief that there is plenty for all, and that it is possible to exclude competition born from fear of deprivation. Our confidence will be a source of enlightenment, counteracting trepidation and ignorance, fear of the next human being and social or cultural differences. It opposes concerns about unfamiliar language, religion, and color of skin. We certainly do not seek to convert pessimists, skeptics and cynics. Our association is for volunteers to optimism, that their combined enthusiasm may grow in force and effectiveness.


    It is proven that the likelihood of living a long and healthy life is significantly improved by cultivating positive thought and optimism. As Voltaire put it: I decided to be happy; it’s a healthier way of living!It is also now well documented that optimists tend to live longer and healthier. An optimistic attitude keeps us in better physical and mental health.


    The reality of the world is much nicer that what they show. Violence, criminality, redundancies, catastrophes and negative news of all kinds makes impressive television and press, but we Optimists require that the media be equally attentive to the good news which abounds, more commonplace that bad news we so often hear about. We don’t propose the suppression of this bad news, but we certainly want to hear about the many thousands of heroes who work ceaselessly and give their utmost every day to improve the world we live in.


    Optimism shall be practiced, can be developed, and shall be maintained as we maintain our body or 

    our mind.


    Optimism makes us more attractive in a professional setting. An optimistic employee will persist even if the objective is hard to reach, will stay motivated in case of failure, will accept difficult realities and thrive to find solutions, and will give the best of him/her in all circumstances. The main reason why optimists always end winning is that they are the last to be discouraged. Optimism creates favorable conditions for perseverance and resilience.
    Optimism has three main advantages for companies: it is a great selection criterion for recruiting employees; it is at the foundation of a collective construct of a positive attitude to work; it is a powerful management tool at the service of a positive and sustainable leadership (Ph. Gabilliet).