Doughnuts and Holes


"As you ramble through life, brother,

whatever be your goal.

Keep your eye upon the doughnut,

and not upon the hole."

This cheerful message, created more than 100 years ago, was first published in the New York Sun newspaper in 1904.

In 1929, a restaurant in Charleston, West Virginia, revitalized The Optimist's Creed's wording and message. The Optimist's Creed was displayed in the restaurant's window and written in more contemporary language for the patrons. The targeted audience was customers who drank coffee and ate "sinkers," another word for donuts.


keep your eye on the donut not the hole

In 1931 this verse was adopted by Adolph Levitt, an immigrant from Russia who invented the first automatic donut making machine, for his Mayflower Donuts chain of shops.

He had the adage printed on every donuts box, showing two men dressed as old-fashioned jesters, facing away from each other. One was smiling at a fat doughnut with a small hole and the other was frowning at a thin doughnut with a large hole.

This philosophical gem became so popular that both Franklin D Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, campaigning in 1932 during The Depression, worked The Optimist’s Creed into their campaign speeches.

The Mayflower Donuts chain closed in the 1970s but the verse lives on.

Why am I sharing this information with you today you may be asking... Well it's such a simple but strong message, and something we can apply to our daily lives to improve productivity.