A Bit of Optimism

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The future is always bright…if you know where to look. Join me each week for A Bit of Optimism - I talk to inspiring people who teach me more about life, leadership and general interesting things.

  • 32 minutes 15 seconds
    Be Necessary with war journalist Sebastian Junger

    War reporters risk their lives to document conflict. And yet, after a career living on battlefields, Sebastian Junger's closest brush with death was surviving an aneurysm.

    Sebastian's story of his sudden internal hemorrhage and making sense of what he saw while dying is the subject of his new book In My Time of Dying. As someone who usually writes as an outside observer, it's an atypical and personal exploration of death.

    I was privileged to speak with Sebastian about the fragility of life and why being necessary to others is one of our highest needs of all. 

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    To learn more about Sebastian and his work, check out:

    sebastianjunger.com

    his book, In My Time of Dying



    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    21 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 34 minutes 57 seconds
    Invention is Reinvention with entrepreneur Eric Ryan

    Starting a company from scratch isn't easy. Doing it multiple times seems downright impossible.

    Eric Ryan is one of those serial entrepreneurs. Most known as the co-founder of Method soaps, he's also the founder of Olly vitamins, Welly first aid kits, Cast jewelry, and he has more ventures planned. 

    I sat down with Eric to ask him about his creative process. What follows is a conversation about serial creativity and why reinvention is the key to repeating creative success.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    To learn more about Eric and his work, check out:

    methodproducts.com

     

     

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    14 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 34 minutes 16 seconds
    The Definition of Success with author Neil Strauss

    In 2005, Neil Strauss published The Game, a book about his years living in the pickup artist community. The Game sold millions of copies, stirred up huge controversy, and made Neil a bestselling author. 

    Neil has totally reinvented himself since writing The Game, and I wanted to talk with him about walking away from that identity of success. This led to a much deeper conversation about what success even is. Is meaning tied to outcomes, or is intention enough? 

    Neil and I don't see eye-to-eye on everything in this conversation, but I love talking with him because he challenges my ideas. I hope this episode challenges you as well, to continue questioning what the definition of success should be. 

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    To learn more about Neil and his work, check out:

    neilstrauss.com

    The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    7 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 25 minutes 59 seconds
    Happily Friended with author Rhaina Cohen

    Society treats marriage like the end goal of human intimacy. Platonic friends can never be as important as romantic partners. 

    What would life look like if we made friendship the goal? Journalist and producer Rhaina Cohen tackles this question in her book The Other Significant Others. She tells the stories of people who made platonic friends the closest people in their lives, doing things together like buying houses, executing a will, and raising children. 

    I wanted to talk with Rhaina because redefining what friendship means in our lives lets us connect in new and deeper ways outside the rigid boundaries of a marriage or relationship. And it might take the pressure off our romantic partners to fulfill every one of our social needs.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    To learn more about Rhaina and her work, check out:

    rhainacohen.com

    her book The Other Significant Others

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    30 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 35 minutes 16 seconds
    How To Eat with Glucose Goddess Jessie Inchauspé

    It's not just what we eat but how we eat it that counts. Eating the same meal in a different order can dramatically change how we feel!

    Glucose Goddess is the viral Instagram account of Jessie Inchauspé, who's inspired millions of people to change how they eat. With simple and easy dietary hacks, Jessie teaches people how to prevent glucose spikes -- large influxes of sugar into our bodies that make us tired, stress our organs, and cause us to age.

    Since adopting her eating habits, my energy has never been better. I was thrilled to talk with Jessie about creating Glucose Goddess and her personal story behind showing people a better way to eat.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    For more on Jessie and her work, check out:

    @glucosegoddess

    glucosegoddess.com




     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    23 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 48 minutes 16 seconds
    Love Is Not Enough with couples therapist Shawn McBride

    Relationships are hard. No matter how much we like, respect, or love someone, conflict seems inevitable.

    But even as we fight and disagree, we can also learn the skills we need to resolve our problems. For over two decades, Shawn McBride has helped thousands of couples do the work to strengthen their relationships. And he has tons of practical advice.

    Shawn sat down with me to discuss the three biggest problems couples face, why I'm a huge fan of his Instagram, and how love can keep relationships afloat, but it's often not enough.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    For more on Shawn and his work, check out:

    @couples_counseling_center
    @shawnmcbridespeaks

    and couplescounselingcenter.org

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    16 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 35 minutes 21 seconds
    We Cannot Heal Alone with Rabbi Sharon Brous

    Loneliness is now an epidemic, with devastating impacts on our health. How can we rekindle the deep human connection we need now more than ever?

    For Rabbi Sharon Brous, this question is the focus of her work. Considered one of the most influential rabbis in the U.S., she's founded her own congregation and has led multiple White House faith events. In her new book, The Amen Effect, Sharon explores how grief and heartbreak can be gateways to truly seeing each other.

    Sharon and I talk about what it means to be present to someone else's pain and how a 2,000-year old ritual taught her the meaning of healing together. 

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    For more on Sharon and her work, check out:

    her book The Amen Effect

    her congregation iKAR

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    9 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 39 minutes 20 seconds
    Ideas That Stick with advertising legend Lee Clow

    Apple's "1984" commercial, the Energizer Bunny, and the launch of Air Jordans all have one thing in common. They're all creations of legendary ad man Lee Clow.

    As creative director of Chiat/Day, Lee spent decades making work that transcended advertising and became cultural icons. He shared a close relationship with Steve Jobs, and his Think Different campaign revitalized Apple, transforming it into the brand we recognize today.

    As someone whose career started in advertising, Lee's a hero of mine, and I was thrilled to sit down with him. He shares the entertaining stories behind his most iconic work and some insights into Steve Jobs's leadership, his rare ability to fearlessly embrace creativity.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    For more on Lee and his work, check out:

    Apple's "1984" Macintosh commercial

    Lee in the Creative Hall of Fame


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    2 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 35 minutes 57 seconds
    The Anxious Generation with social psychologist Jonathan Haidt

    Anxiety disorders affect Gen Z at astronomically higher rates than previous generations. There's plenty to be anxious about in the modern world. But the reason behind Gen Z's mental health crisis might be simpler than you'd think.

    According to social psychologist and NYU professor Jonathan Haidt, the answer lies in growing up with a combination of smartphones and social media. In his new book The Anxious Generation, he argues that Gen Z's anxiety is a symptom of being the first generation to go through puberty on Instagram and TikTok, with iPhones available to access them constantly.

    Thankfully, Jonathan believes the problem is solvable. He shares some advice he has for concerned parents and tells me how we can fix the mental health crisis affecting our kids in just a few years time.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    To learn more about Jonathan's work, check out:

    anxiousgeneration.com
    jonathanhaidt.com

    And for parents, visit:

    letgrow.org


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    26 March 2024, 7:00 am
  • 42 minutes 37 seconds
    How to Live to 100 with Blue Zones explorer Dan Buettner

    Most of us would count ourselves lucky to live to age 80. And yet, there are places on Earth where people regularly live to 100, suffer virtually no chronic disease, and live life with a sense of purpose. 

    These "Blue Zones" are the focus of Dan Buettner's work. He's a National Geographic explorer, an author, and a documentarian. He spent years traveling and studying the Blue Zones to understand why these 5 places on Earth produce some of the happiest, and longest-lived, people in the world. 
     
    Dan and I discuss why happiness is the key to longevity, creating Blue Zones in our own lives, and how a longer life can begin with simply rearranging your kitchen.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.


    For more on Dan Buettner and his work, check out:

    his Netflix documentary Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones

    or bluezones.com

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    19 March 2024, 7:00 am
  • 38 minutes 21 seconds
    Going To Mars with NASA director Laurie Leshin

    As the private space industry races to colonize space for profit, where does NASA fit in to the equation?

    Laurie Leshin is just the person to answer that question. She's the Director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the first female director in JPL's storied history. To her, NASA's future is defined by its mission — exploring the cosmos for the greater good of humankind.

    Laurie and I discuss the role of Space X and Blue Origin in the new space age and why NASA should set its sights on Mars, and flying to even deeper space beyond.

    This...is A Bit of Optimism.

    To find out more about Laurie and her work, check out:

    jpl.nasa.gov

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    12 March 2024, 7:00 am
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