Show cover of A Bit of Optimism

A Bit of Optimism

During these times, we are all having to find new ways to connect.  Join me every week as I talk with people that inspire me, about love, life, leadership, and silver linings. The hope is that we all leave with something I think we need these days… A Bit of Optimism.


Determination with Steven Pressfield
Creative success is notoriously elusive, but those who have made the journey insist it comes down to three factors: hard work, luck, and talent. Steven Pressfield wants to add one more thing to that list: a muse. And he should know.His muse guided him to incredible success as an author of fiction, nonfiction, and movies including hit books like: The Legend of Bagger Vance, The War of Art, and Gates of Fire. Steven’s story of the long and bumpy road he took to find his muse and his success can help the rest of us find ours a little quicker. This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Steven and his work, check out: his new memoir, Govt Cheese: his other published works:
32:20 06/06/2023
Rewarding Kindness with Jimmy Darts
On the path to fame, most rising stars abandon their morals.Not Jimmy Darts. He’s done just the opposite.  Jimmy started his career as a YouTuber pulling ill-advised pranks. Two decades later, he and his 20 million fans now make the world a kinder place by donating life-changing money to unsuspecting strangers who are spontaneously kind, compassionate, or generous.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Jimmy and his work, check out:
25:13 30/05/2023
Love Without Judgment with Ana Kirova
Dating doesn’t have to be about finding “The One.”  At its most rewarding, modern love can be about growth, curiosity, and authenticity.  Ana Kirova is the CEO of the dating platform 'Feeld’, a revolutionary app that helps people break free from traditional norms, explore alternative relationships, and discover the boundless potential for love that comes with accepting yourself and others without judgment.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Ana and her work check out:
33:53 23/05/2023
The Soul of an Idea with David Copperfield
“Soul” is a word that I've never really used, but it perfectly encapsulates what has made David Copperfield the most successful magician of all time.  He has filled global audiences with awe for over 40 years.  He made the Statue of Liberty disappear, escaped from Alcatraz, and walked through the Great Wall of China.  And it turns out, the key to great magic is also the key to any great work: a visceral, emotional connection between the act and the performer.  You have to find and honor the soul of the idea.  This is…A Bit of Optimism. For more on David and his work check out:
29:35 16/05/2023
Molly's Game with Molly Bloom
Molly Bloom’s life story is one-of-a-kind.  Her Olympic dreams were dashed, so she planned on going to law school. Instead, she wound up running a high-stakes poker game where hundreds of millions of dollars would change hands in a night.  Molly made a lot of money. Celebrities, mafias, and federal informants soon took an interest in her and her game.  Eventually, she lost everything and had no one to blame but herself.Her story later became the Academy Award nominated movie, Molly’s Game, and the lessons she learned from her extraordinary journey have tremendous value for the rest of us.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Molly and her work, check
49:54 09/05/2023
The Courage of Compassion with Robin Steinberg
How would you like to be judged for the rest of your life by the worst thing you’ve ever done?Robin Steinberg was a public defender, where she had to learn to see her clients – who were often accused of heinous crimes – as human.  The lessons she has learned about how to find compassion for people with whom we vehemently disagree are absolutely essential for this divided world.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Robin and her work check out:
43:29 04/04/2023
A Goofy Episode with Bill Farmer
There is a very good chance that Bill Farmer has already made your life brighter and you had no idea.That's because Bill is a Disney Legend. He has been the voice of Goofy since 1987, among countless other Disney and Looney Tunes characters. What started as a simple impression sparked an amazing career that has influenced millions with a message of optimism.He views his work as an act of service. As a result, he brings his audience joy that they carry with them for the rest of their lives.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Bill Farmer and his work, check out: 
26:10 28/03/2023
Insane Vacations with Mike Reiss
When you get one of the most successful comedy writers in television history to come on your podcast, naturally the first thing to talk about is...his trip in a homemade submarine to visit the ruins of the Titanic.You see, Mike Reiss isn't just the funniest guy in the room — he's also the most well-traveled.  He's been to Iran, the North Pole, North Korea, and everywhere in between.  Whether he's sharing travel anecdotes or writer's room memories from his 600+ episodes of The Simpsons, one thing is very clear: when Mike tells a story, things are going to get animated.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Mike and his work check out: His travel podcast "What Am I Doing Here with Mike Reiss":
36:16 21/03/2023
Down A Rabbit Hole with Seth Godin
Our time, energy, and emotions are valuable because they are finite.And yet conversations with Seth Godin always leave me feeling more patient, energized, and full of love.  Seth is a prolific author and a marketing genius who knows first-hand how love can take an interaction from transactional to transformational.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Seth and his work check out: Song of Significance, out May 2023: 
34:43 14/03/2023
How To Be An Entrepreneur with Jeff Rosenthal
Want to go fast? Go alone. Want to go far? Go together.Most entrepreneurs aren’t lone wolves. Founders like Jeff Rosenthal know that the greatest ventures come with partners, mentors, and communities.Being enthusiastic, generous, and kind attracts people who want to help—and together you can accomplish the unreasonable. This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Jeff and his work check out: 
34:12 07/03/2023
The Wisdom of Anxiety with Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
Anxiety is the crown jewel of human evolution. That’s the professional opinion of neuroscience professor and clinical psychologist Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, who is driving a paradigm shift in how we understand anxiety. The emotion isn’t a sickness or a flaw in human design – it’s an evolved advantage that protects us and strengthens our creative and productive powers. So even though anxiety doesn’t feel good…it can be good to feel anxious.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Dr. Dennis-Tiwary and her work check out:
34:16 28/02/2023
Guaranteed Joy with Richard Curtis
There are precious few moments in life that guarantee joy. That’s what makes time spent with Richard Curtis or watching his films so special – you just know you’re in for a great time.  Richard is the patron saint of love in the movies.  He’s a writer and sometimes director known for optimistic, funny, and uplifting films like: Love Actually, About Time, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Mr. Bean, and many more.I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Richard on Valentine’s Day of all days to talk about love, joy, charity, and optimism.This is…A Bit of Optimism.For more on Richard and his work check out:
32:49 21/02/2023
Exploration with Leland Melvin
Explorers discover new worlds and perspectives that change humanity forever.Leland Melvin has spent his life exploring.  He’s been a rocket scientist, an astronaut, and an NFL player.Now, he’s an educator who uses the dramatic ups-and-downs of his own life to inspire the next generation of explorers.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Leland and his work, check out:
32:59 14/02/2023
Taking Comfortable Risks with Scott Galloway
When is a risk worth taking? We have to learn to embrace the comfortable risks - the ones where the pain of failure is worthwhile or even valuable.  Podcaster, author and NYU professor, Scott Galloway and I talk about a lot of things, including our concern that the youngest generation is too afraid of the risks worth taking and how that may be adversely affecting them. This is… A Bit of Optimism. For more on Scott and his work check out:
38:44 07/02/2023
Digging Up the Past with Sarah Parcak
Sarah has the coolest job: Space Archaeologist.She uses satellites to find undiscovered sites buried deep beneath the ground. But the real interesting stuff is what we can learn about ourselves from studying our past.This is… A Bit of Optimism. Watch Sarah's first TED Talk: Egypt's Lost Cities on the BBC: 
39:28 31/01/2023
High Performance with Divesh Makan
Divesh is one of the most connected people I know. Charming and opinionated, he advises and invests the fortunes of the most successful and wealthiest people on the planet.  So I wanted to ask him what he's learned along the way and what we can learn from him.This is... A Bit of Optimism.For more on Divesh and his work check out:
43:17 24/01/2023
Embracing The Fall with Carla Hall
When you show up with love and aim only to give of yourself, everyone you interact with can feel it.Carla Hall has led a life and a career filled with zigs and zags. The two-time Top Chef contestant and current cooking contributor for Good Morning America went from accountant, to model, to author, to chef. She has done it all and shown up with love at every opportunity. She’s living proof that when you make decisions out of love—both for yourself and others—even your falls can be beautiful.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Carla and her work, check out:
38:20 17/01/2023
Gen Z in the Workplace with Jonah and David Stillman
Every generation is different, but one thing currently unites Boomers, Gen X-ers, and Millennials: they are all struggling to understand Gen Z.  David and Jonah Stillman are a father-and-son research team who specialize in generational differences and their impact on the workplace. David is Gen X, Jonah is Gen Z, and together they are helping today’s leaders understand the new generation.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Jonah and David's work, check out: genguru.com
26:55 10/01/2023
Ask Simon Anything: Part Two
New year, new opportunities, new questions!We’re ringing in 2023 with more answers to the hundreds of questions our listeners sent in from all over the world.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on my work, check out:
21:13 03/01/2023
Ask Simon Anything: Part One
A few weeks ago, I put out an open call on social media to see what questions my listeners have for me.  And there were a LOT of responses.So, as an end-of-the-year special, our next two episodes will be dedicated to answering your burning questions.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on my work, check out:
23:05 27/12/2022
Two Bits of Optimism with Brené Brown and Adam Grant: Part Two
Remember how it was an incredible idea to get Brené Brown and Adam Grant on a call, have absolutely NO plan, and hit record?Well, this is the second part of that lovely, free-flowing conversation where we talk about creativity, leadership, and if the three of us love each other.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on  Brené and Adam's work, check out:
26:28 20/12/2022
Two Bits of Optimism with Brené Brown and Adam Grant: Part One
What separates exceptional ideas from good ideas?  Here’s an example of a good idea: Book two podcast guests and meticulously plan a conversation about creativity.Now, here’s an exceptional idea: Get Brené Brown and Adam Grant to join you on a call, have absolutely NO plan, and hit record.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Brené and Adam's work check out:
38:03 13/12/2022
Being Yourself with Kathryn Finney
Daring to be different feels risky. There’s constant pressure to “read the room” or “tone it down.”Kathryn Finney discovered at a young age that – when it comes to being authentic – the rewards are actually far greater than the risks.Kathryn is a model for how being yourself can get you ahead in both business and relationships. She is: an author, an entrepreneur, a fund manager, and a celebrated non-conformist. And she does it all in incredible style.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Kathryn and her work check out:kathrynfinney.com
23:27 06/12/2022
Live A Long, Happy Life with Mark Hyman
Turns out laughter isn't the best medicine. Medicine might not even be the best medicine. If you were to ask Dr Mark Hyman, he would tell you that food is the best medicine. Some would say Mark is a modern age miracle worker. In reality, he has figured out ways to help the body perform its own miracles. From curing diseases to extending our lifespans, his approach to wellness is unlike what most of us are used to. His work is inspirational, anthropological and downright fascinating.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Mark and his work check out: his forthcoming book, Young Forever, at www.youngforeverbook.com
41:34 29/11/2022
The Value of Interruptions with Janis Burl
Most of us think that social media is the bastion of our younger generations. Until a middle-aged woman named Janis Burl proved that assumption completely wrong. She oversaw the team that built the TSA’s Instagram account (yes, the TSA has an Instagram account and it’s brilliant) into one of the most popular accounts on Instagram. And the best part of her story is how she got the job. The non-linear career path she followed may be a better way for us to find joy in our careers.  So if you would kindly take off your shoes, take your liquids and gels out of your bag and throw away your water bottles, this is...a Bit of Optimism. For more on Janis and her work, check out:
22:36 22/11/2022
The Sweet Bitter with Susan Cain
There’s something profound in life’s bitter moments. The transformative beauty of a sad song, the anguished past of a story’s hero, the unexpected turnout of a crowded funeral. Turns out we often need darkness in order to appreciate the light.  In our modern world, we focus so much on the pursuit of happiness that we often forego an appreciation of bitterness. Susan Cain has found a way to celebrate both the sweet and the bitter… in fact she’s written a bestselling book about it.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Susan and her work check out: key music sample by Musictown from PixabayMajor key music sample by Trygve Larsen from Pixabay
25:19 15/11/2022
Kindness with James Rhee
You went to Harvard undergrad, you went to Harvard Law, you became a hot-shot Private Equity guy.  So your next move is obviously…?If you’re James Rhee, you walk away from all of it and discover what really makes a business grow: the intangibles.What started out as a six month project to help a company avoid liquidation turned into a seven year passion filled with new friends, compassion, and lots of goodwill. And the results were profound.  It turns out intangibles can be measured and kindness is good for business.  This is… A Bit Of Optimism. For more on James and his work check for news on upcoming projects, including a forthcoming book.
19:17 08/11/2022
How To Be An Optimist with Pat Berges
Don’t you hate it when you’re coasting along -- not a care in the world -- and then it feels like life comes out of nowhere and hits you like a car, almost paralyzing you? Well, for Pat Berges, that wasn’t just a feeling…that actually happened.  Like many of us, Pat is not a natural optimist. He had to learn how to find optimism during this dark period. Not only did it help him recover, but what he learned continues to help him be, well, optimistic.  This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Pat and his work, check out:
27:17 01/11/2022
The Labor of Love with Francesca Hogi
It’s what all the poets write about, all the musicians sing about, and all the brokenhearted cry about. That’s right… It's time to talk about love.  I was lucky enough to talk to Francesca Hogi, a love coach and all around incredible person, about how we can traverse through the world of digital dating, rejection, and modern day love.So… care to join us? Great. It’s a date.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Francesca and her work check out:
32:48 25/10/2022
Unreasonable Hospitality with Will Guidara
If you walk up to someone and say “you’re being unreasonable!” most people would be offended. Will Guidara, however, would take it as a compliment.  A renowned New York restaurateur, Will transformed Eleven Madison Park into the best restaurant in the world by reinventing how they offered hospitality....they made it unreasonable.  I had a chance to sit down and talk to him about how he learned the power of being unreasonable.This is… A Bit of Optimism.For more on Will and his work, check out his new book Unreasonable Hospitality below or wherever you prefer to buy your books:
33:01 18/10/2022