Published on: 09/19/2022
In an age when Americans seem to be divided, Paul Johnson and Dr. Basha, focus on the important idea that, “It’s we, not me.” Service and belonging are connected! They help answer the question, “with all the things I have going on, with everyone else seemingly looking out for themselves, why should I focus on giving anything back? What is it for me?” They examine what makes being an American special, and why owning who we are, being proud of our past, and giving back is a key part of your path to owning your own agency. The discussion starts with why the wealth and prosperity in the USA is second to none, then it goes to the individual vs the collective. The power created when our founders decided to break from the monarchy and to create a “more perfect union”, not promising to create a Utopia, but instead to prioritize the individual. This results in the benefit to the greater good over time. Individuals have the innate ability to determine their own destiny, however, so many Individuals put the collective over their own interest. Fire fighters, police officers, teachers, people who serve in our military, and ordinary people, who struggle to pay their bills, keep their kids in schools, but who work hard to make ends meet. Lastly, the entrepreneurs who test the standards, who challenge the status quo, who push the thinking to cure cancer, extend human life, and create cars that drive themselves. The idea of self made men is a myth. No one has made it alone. How do we repay these great debts? By being kind to other Americans! We pay it back through service in our jobs, to our friends, families, to our customers.
Published on: 09/16/2022
This episode explains why gut-wrenching poverty exists, which leaves 1.29 billion people in the developing world struggling to live on less than $1.25 a day. And in what could be a depressing subject, Professor James Robinson, gives a very hopeful, ambitious prognosis on how the US is leading the world moving forward the human condition. The interview is based on the two internationally acclaimed, masterpiece books, “Why Nations Fail” and “The Narrow Corridor,” written by him and MIT Professor, Daron Acemoglu, both widely respected development scholars. The books start with how, even in today’s economic climate, the average American is seven times as prosperous as the average Mexican, 10 times as prosperous as the average Peruvian, about 20 times as prosperous as the average inhabitant of sub-Saharan Africa and about 40 times as prosperous as the average citizen of such particularly desperate African countries as Mali, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. What explains such wild disparities? The books take you on a journey, with nations today, and throughout history, showing not only why Nations Fail, but why they prosper. A journey based on facts and data. The interview gives a wonderful recap of the basic conditions for why we are so successful and what we need to do to stay successful. Professor Robinson argues that when you combine rotten regimes, exploitative elites, “vampire capitalists” and self-serving institutions with frail, decentralized states, you have something close to a prescription for poverty, conflict and even outright failure. “Nations fail,” the authors write, “when they have extractive economic institutions, supported by extractive political institutions that impede and even block economic growth.” This hopeful interview, by experts who have studied most major economies on the planet, and a number that are long gone, give Americans reasons to be grateful, and other nations the information regarding the stuff that can make them prosperous.
Published on: 09/05/2022
Join Dr. Bashah and Paul in this series regarding the 7 steps to regain your agency. Addictive ideologies promoted by the nightly news, political parties, candidates and social media can rob you of your ability to see the world clearly, and benefit from its opportunities. This episode begins with Viktor Frankl’s experience in Nazi Concentration Camps and the development of his Logotherapy that is very successful in helping people deal with fears and suicidal thoughts through meaning. We then transition to how we can unknowingly be in a victim mindset, how to break free, to motivate ourselves and find true happiness, that can only come from meaning. To support the podcast, please subscribe and forward this episode to others you think it may be helpful too.
Published on: 09/03/2022
In this discussion with Paul Johnson and Peter Zeihan you will gain an understanding of the changing global order, and why you can be optimistic about the future of America. Many Americans have surrendered their agency to the negative nightly news, candidates, political parties and social media, who prosper from “if it bleeds it leads.” This has created a view of the world and America's position that is distorted, and conceals America's true strength. Learning the truth about America’s position in the world will make you a lot more optimistic. Peter is a world renown Geopolitical analyst whose background in economics, energy, and demographics. His work indicates significant problems for Russia, China and other world powers, and major advantages for Americans as globalism is replaced by regionalism. Millennials and American workers will benefit from the re-industrialization of the United States and this will be one of the best decades for job and wage growth. Peter talks about America's leadership role in the world over the last 80 years, possible recession, inflation, the Ukrainian war, advice for policy makers, and advice for American workers on how to benefit from the new world order. Make sure to like this episode to see more content like this.
Published on: 07/31/2022
In this special episode of the Optimistic American, Joe Polish shares insights and transformative lessons from his upcoming book ‘What’s in it for them.’ You will learn about his journey to massive success, and how he overcame overwhelming personal and professional challenges to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs, coaches, and networkers in the world. If you’re a small business owner (or know someone close to you that is) looking to generate lasting success and abundance, this episode is for you. Joe will teach you the art of networking with meaning. Growth comes from optimism, serving others, and building genius networks.
Published on: 07/26/2022
Dr. Emily Bashah, a psychologist focused on trauma and related challenges, and Paul Johnson, host and founder of The Optimistic American podcast, discuss the “7 Codes” designed to help listeners/readers successfully navigate this divisive world. Their 7 Codes: - Make Space for Optimism - Begin Anew and Start with Love - We Not Me – We Belong to Something Bigger - Strength Over Safety - Real Power is Within Us –We are Not Victims - Exit the Box We Build for Ourselves – Stop Labeling/Comparing Others - Building a Better You In Episode 3, Dr. Bashah and Paul discuss putting strength over safety. Strength means resilience, courage, bravery. All of us need to face our fears, at times confronting others with difficult conversations yet looking others in their eyes and humanizing. The American founders created a country that remains a work in progress, designing America to progress towards a “more perfect union.”
Reclaiming your Authentic Self by Letting Go of Addictive Ideologies & Negative Perspectives – Dr. Emily Bashah
Published on: 07/16/2022
This is a new series focusing on helping you reclaim your sense of "agency." Agency refers to the human capacity to influence one's functioning and the course of events by one's actions. You may not be able to control your destiny but you can control your fate. There are three forms of Agency one can influence others: Individual - You bring your influence on what you can control Proxy - You bring your influence on others who have knowledge or resources Collective - You pool knowledge, skills, and resources to work with others Our Theory: To own your agency, you must be able to use the neo-cortex portion of the brain where you can access rational thoughts, creativity, innovation, and optimism. Without this, you are doomed to serve a master other than yourself. You can lose your sense of agency through fear, despair, and depression. These can be affected by others who manipulate you and your negative bias to steal your agency. The goal of those groups is to make you afraid so you will not think, you will only react. In this series, we will be going over ways to get it back!
Published on: 07/11/2022
This is a new series focusing on helping you reclaim your sense of "agency". Agency refers to the human capacity to influence one's functioning and the course of events by one's actions. You may not be able to control your destiny but you can control your fate. There are three forms of Agency one can influence others: Individual - You bring your influence on what you can control Proxy - You bring your influence on others who have knowledge or resources Collective - You pool knowledge, skills and resources to work with others Our Theory: To own your agency, you must be able to use the neocortex portion of the brain where you can access rational thoughts, creativity, innovation, and optimism. Without this, you are doomed to serve a master other than yourself. You can lose your sense of agency through fear, despair, and depression. These can be affected by others who manipulate you and your negative bias to steal your agency. The goal of those groups is to make you afraid so you will not think, you will only react. In this series, we will be going over ways to get it back! We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This episode reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead.
Published on: 07/02/2022
Regina Revarova, a Russian émigré, journalist and podcast consultant, experienced first-hand the terror of Russian stormtroopers crashing down her doors, taking computers and planting drugs to intimidate her journalism family. Raised in a small mining town in Siberia, she learned journalism and experienced the horrors of Russian destruction of Chechyna, including the burning of innocents in a school. She immigrated to the United States and decided to learn American journalism and our devotion to free speech. While Russia has a constitution that includes free speech rights, the difference with America’s version is that Russia never internalized its constitution and few even know its rights. Moving to America was hard; learning English and our culture harder still. She believes that polarization in the US is here to stay and we should simply lean into the different views, respecting those differences and moving towards understanding. She uses her talents today to help individuals create an effective podcast based on (1) great ideas, (2) a keen focus on listeners, (3) just launching and fixing as you proceed. Find Revarova’s work at openconversation.com.
Published on: 06/25/2022
Solange Whitehead serves on the 7-member Scottsdale City Council. An “accidental politician,” she ran for office to protect the largest preserve in the country, the McDowell Mountain Preserve. Like most city elections across the country, candidates run as non-partisans. Whitehead supported her candidacy by knocking on thousands of Scottsdale doors. She notes that effort not money drives successful city campaigns. Knocking on doors uncovered much unity in city voters, with problems raised and solutions offered. She underscores that councilmembers serve as public servants, who need great listening skills and fewer opinions. These skills helped the diverse council pass LBGTQ anti-discrimination protections unanimously. Whitehead notes that a government that represents the community earns the community’s trust to pass small and big initiatives. And she notes: “One thing cities always can do is answer the phones!” She and they do. Her city public service lessons: 1. Understand that your purpose is to serve the people. 2. Listen to those people. 3. Act honorably, always. Whitehead optimistically notes that when you listen to residents, you understand how nice and smart and optimistic they are, something our national politicians need to learn!
Published on: 06/18/2022
Larry Summers, the 71st US Secretary of the Treasury (under President Clinton) and President Emeritus and professor of economics at Harvard University, sees more than most that America’s best days are ahead. Dr. Summers predicted America’s current tussle with inflation, the highest profile person to so. He observed excess liquidity, high savings and low interest rates likely would pressure prices and he was right. Now, America must raise interest rates and print less money. For individuals concerned today he suggests we (1) take a deep breath and look around, (2) note we are in a world of abundance not shortages, and (3) recognize that while America current challenges are tough, we live in the most tolerant times ever. Americans should focus more on their strengths than weaknesses and be cautious about short term spending until this inflation phase ends, which it will. We live in a great time and country. A simple test is to ask, where do investors want to invest and where do talented people want to live? The answers are mostly America, not China or other nations. We have numerous advantages, including great universities, inventions of drugs and vaccines and clean energy tech, and cultural factors that other countries desire. Many predict America’s doom, but few countries actually use such predictions to improve – we do! Listen to and watch one of the world’s financial experts opine optimistically about America!
Published on: 06/11/2022
Kevin Cherilla, co-founder and owner of K2 Adventure Travel, leads groups to summit mountains like Mt. Kilimanjaro. His team guides groups of 30-40 individuals to surmount their fears and limitations and climb higher. He and his colleagues teach their clients to put forth the efforts needed for success, be present in the moment and work together in teams, and instill patience in people who otherwise run in various rat races of life.
But Kevin’s and K2’s successes go well beyond. He led various disabled individuals, including those with blindness and no hands or feet, to reach higher than they could imagine. His proudest achievement led 8 individuals with blindness (and 25 in total) to summit Kilimanjaro together. And these achievements helped various non-profits raise funds to support their work.
Kevin, an accomplished climber himself, first summited Mt. Everest in 2007. He discusses how he achieved that, including his 11 months of training and living and climbing for many days at high altitudes. Those accomplishments helped K2 survive and have its own successes, even after Covid 19 almost cratered its business in 2020. He expects 2022 to be a record year. In addition, K2 founded a non-profit (“K2 Adventures”) to give back to those communities that share their resources to support K2’s adventurers.
Published on: 06/04/2022
Dr. Michael Crow, 16th President of Arizona State University, discusses how he and his team transformed ASU into one of the world’s best public research universities over the past 20 years. 145,000 degree-seeking students attend online, in person, or via other methods. ASU’s new model is accessible, excellent and impactful to local communities, and hosts among other successes the largest engineering college in the USA. ASU today tackles complex challenges in education, business, and communities for better outcomes. Anyone today can learn almost anything at little to zero out-of-pocket cost. Dr. Crow drives his team to “innovate, innovate, innovate to optimize human potential and happiness.” He notes that everyone’s “life space” should be determined by them rather than from where they come from. Everyone needs robust, accessible, ongoing education all their lives. A product of humble means (including government-provided food and low-cost housing), Dr. Crow achieved what the vast majority of Americans never have, but he’s not finished! An Optimistic American he is, believing that America’s and the world’s (led by the USA) days lie ahead. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead.
Published on: 05/28/2022
James Bates, an electrical engineer by schooling and CEO of a self-driving technology company, applies the artificial intelligence (AI) lessons he learned to retail healthcare (e.g., grocery store or pharmacy clinics). AdviNOW resulted, implementing AI tools that reduce upfront administrative burdens patients face, focusing the time of medical experts/providers actual care rather than paperwork. James discusses this journey, sharing the challenges in 2020 caused by Covid, where his thousands of contracted clinics stopped seeing patients. AdviNOW learned out how to survive and then thrive. AdviNOW believes its technology substantially increases the profitability of clinics, while creating additional time and availability of the key providers. And post-Covid (at least the Covid of 2020), AdviNOW’s results strengthened. James shares his opinions that AI adds value to human work, making both providers and their customers happier with better outcomes. James’ optimism and willingness to risk his reputation and wealth demonstrate much of what makes America the greatest place to live, work and thrive.
Published on: 05/21/2022
Professor Michael Beckley’s newest book details why common wisdom about America’s economic and military challenges – especially compared with China – fails when correctly analyzed. His data-driven book, “Unrivaled,” underscores why no rivals, today or tomorrow, truly challenge the United States, the #1 superpower. Professor Beckley, an associate professor of political science at Tufts University, demonstrates how economic and military efficiencies prove his points, especially as compared with China. Business leadership in America drives efficiencies. Moreover, we continue with three major advantages: (1) geography, including arable land and navigable waters, (2) demographics, with the USA one of only three of the largest economies with a growing workforce, and (3) seemly strong institutions. He shares his worries about some challenges to our leads, especially due to high debt and possible political missteps, including local military disputes such as in Ukraine, but believes other countries’ challenges are deeper. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead.
Published on: 05/15/2022
Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington and Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, once fierce political opponents, discuss robust learning from people whose opinions differ, and how to change your minds. Both believe that abundance, hope, and optimism must resonate with all Americans. America The Great!
Published on: 05/07/2022
Rep. Marcelino Quiñonez shares the inspiring story of his American journey. He talks about his transition from being a Mexican immigrant to becoming a U.S. citizen, the importance of education and how it impacted his family, his sources of inspiration and his unwavering belief in the American dream. He also expands on his success as a playwright, the responsibilities of being a public servant, why it is essential to collaborate with both sides of the political aisles, and why listening is the most critical part of great leadership.
Published on: 04/30/2022
Successful American entrepreneur Jerry Moyes, past CEO and founder of Swift Transportation, paints the pathways for others to build successful American companies. He faced his darkest days but emerged to the joys of business creation. And all as the adopted Dad of 11 children! Don’t miss this one!
Published on: 04/24/2022
Psychiatrist and Bosnian concentration camp survivor, Dr. Esad Boskailo, sheds light on the unimaginable inhumanity of war, the urgency of hope and optimism during the darkest times, and his heartfelt journey to U.S. citizenship. He draws parallels to current divisions in America and what we now need to do to strengthen our country.
Published on: 04/16/2022
Chuck Coughlin, an American pollster, lobbyist, and Republican operative discusses how voters with no political affiliation now rule American politics but are not yet organized. He argues all voters oppose overwhelmingly the current two-party political system. They resist the stranglehold that America's two-party system squeezes on American throats and demand change now.
Published on: 04/09/2022
Nataliia Baker evolved from a poor family in Ukraine, under Russian control, to American Democracy. She recounts her journeys in the “Orange Movement,” where Russians murdered or poisoned Ukrainian elected leaders. Why she left her country 14 years ago and today with unbridled optimism as an American entrepreneur.