Carol from Falmouth, Massachusetts, is curious about this bit of wisdom from her father: As you travel through life, whatever your goal, keep your eye on the doughnut, and not on the hole. The Mayflower Coffee Shop chain, based in New Jersey and New York in the 1920s and 1930s, had a similar slogan. Word historian Barry Popik has collected other versions, including Between optimist and pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist the doughnut sees, the pessimist the hole. An earlier version: As you ramble through life, Brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eyes upon the doughnut and not upon the hole. This is part of a complete episode.