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Politics, the economy, souring relationships, low job satisfaction, poor health—those are only a handful of reasons that drive people to pessimism. I, too, used to have major bouts with pessimism, certainly never breaching the plane of a very cautious optimist. But now I am an unabashed optimist. What has made the difference is what I have allowed to be put into my mind. Below I detail some of the best material I listen to on an almost daily basis.
Dan Miller's Podcast - This podcast has been the most influential in changing my attitude. You cannot listen to a few episodes without feeling more optimistic. His is a question-and-answer show based a lot on career issues. No matter what the questions are about, though, you will find ideas that will help you follow your passion and change your life. At 48 minutes long, you can listen to it every day.
Dave Ramsey's Radio Show - Dave's podcast is centered around financial issues, especially getting out of debt. Dave has changed my wife and my financial lives. Instead of having credit cards, car payments, mortgages, and everything else that you "need," we live simply and within our means. How can you not be optimistic when you don't owe anyone a dime?
Think and Grow Rich - The author, Napoleon Hill, conducted a twenty-five-year study to find the formula of success. Think and Grow Rich, written during the Depression, is the findings of that study. This is one of my all-time favorite books.
Tony Robbins - My wife and I listened to Unleash the Power Within on a recent road trip and it was awesome. This, along with the rest, really stresses taking personal responsibility for the circumstances in your life. The event that we listened to is the one that you walk on hot coals afterward. I think we could have done it.
Brian Tracy - My wife and I are most of the way through Goals, and it is another transformative book. You can download the ebook of Goals for free on his website.
Zig Ziglar - You'll love his voice, too. One of his most famous sayings is "If you help enough other people to get what they want, you'll get what you want." Here is The Secrets of Closing the Sale, Goals, Success and the Self-Image, and See You at the Top. The only problem with these is that they have commercials every 10 minutes. But you can skip the commercial after 5 seconds.
Optimism isn't something that you're born with: it's something that you have to create within yourself. Optimism is letting go of fear—and that's all pessimism is—and embracing faith in yourself and in God. You control your future.
What are some secrets you have for being optimistic?