Mort Zuckerman, the editor of U.S. News and World Report, wrote an article recently in the Wall Street Journal, entitled, The End Of Optimism in America. I received several calls from the press asking for a comment on the article, and have given my response on numerous radio and TV shows. I like Mort Zuckerman. He’s a smart guy. This time he’s wrong. I’m proud to be an American, but I’ll refrain from beating my chest too much on this one because I think the question extends far beyond our shores. There are so many great countries in the world struggling in this global recession. This isn’t really an American issue, it’s a global issue. That being said, watch this post I did in Pittsburgh before going on a late-night TV talk show at NBC and see what you think. As always, I’ll look forward to your comments.    Steve Siebold   ( 6:22 )

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

22 thoughts on “End of Optimism in America?”

  1. I am thoroughy convinced that this time is another “testing time” for America. If there is any time that we should be optimistic, it is now. Trials get rid of impurities and force us to focus with laser precision on what is REALLY important. This country will come out of the doldrums it is in now, and it will be better, stronger and SMARTER for what it has gone through. I have never been more optimistic than I am now! Thank you for NOT being a voice of reason, but rather a voice of SPIRIT!!

  2. I totally agree with you Steve. Who’s in the emotional drivers seat — me! We need to be proactive — not reactive. I teach this to my staff and it works. My business is up over 10% this year.

  3. I agree with Steve!!! We are just getting started. Americans are optimistic people, these economic times are the greatest times to excel, strive and thrive. There are more opportunities today than ever before. More millionares made their fortunes in economic times like these than any other time in history.
    Granted it is a time of change for many but with the change of thought and creation of great new ideas the world is a ever changing place. No doom and gloom here. Once again America WILL rise and rise up in stenghth. If your not optomistic beware of your future. James Allen wrote back in the early 1900’s As A Man Thinketh. Basic…. As a Man Thinketh in his heart, so is HE! We all have a choice. Choose wisely for you and your family. Business IS booming in my world! Its your turn…. make your move, step up, step out and excel!
    Its ANOTHER GREAT day!
    God Bless. Have Fun,
    Do something nice for someone TODAY!

  4. It’s not only about what the reality of a situation. It’s our attitude that transforms e tough times into great opportunities. You are so right.

  5. Shirley and I listened – got fired up, Coach, and decided to open the conference call we’re doing tonight with it – your energy is infectious and your message reminds me of when I set sprint records in HS in 1963: mentally and intellectually I did the work outs, the logical things to get in shape and improve and my motivation to do those things were 1. a vision of coming in first place and the 2. emotional buzz of psychic energy transformed into glory, and personal victory.

    Yesterday we got together as a family and celebrated my dad turning 90 who always says with a big grin, “Doing great! Couldn’t be better! Another day above ground is a good day. I feel like I’m calcifying,” and he laughs again.

    One question people have is how/when to use cool analytical and mental toughness strength that’s non emotional and how/when to use pure emotion each to their best advantage and potential.

    I project into the world my optimism and passion and expect that around the world millions of people are doing the same – I love it that you project and expect this same growing optimism universally. The strength of the human spirit to over come adversity and create is a power that’s unbreakable – it’s bendable but not breakable. And it can become infectious and produce a momentum of it’s own.

    Shirley was listening from the other room – I didn’t know she was listening – shouting, “Yes, I love it! Now is the time people need to be passionately and emotionally involved in life. Great!”

    EmotionallyCharged Mike

  6. Steve – thank you so much for keeping the optimism alive. Since I started following Mental Toughness great things are happening in my life. I now believe in myself and my ‘speak’, Living Without Fear, is going to go after media articles like Zuckerman’s. People are natural followers and when they hear that optimism is dying, theirs, too, will die. These fear floggers are driving me nuts and that is all it is – keeping people under control, present company excluded. Thanks for keeping hope alive. You rock!!! Ever thought of getting into politics??

  7. To me, this is a perfect example of why mental toughness is so important. Fear can create such a mental “virus” that pretty soon, even people who aren’t heavily impacted by the economic downturn get infected and start to accept that fear as their reality. “Rich” thinkers, on the other hand, engage their creativity, determination and imagination to see and create opportunities that others miss. So keep “preachin'” your message, Steve – it’s needed now, more than ever.

    Best wishes to you and Dawn for your continued success!


  8. Thank´s Steve for reacting and inspiring !
    Wake-up calls should make us aware about problems and inspire us to take action to solve solve them…..Otherwise it´s not a wake-up call but a Good Night call..triggering people to give up !

    The wrong type of Alarm-calls can be more dangerous than the problem it self.
    All through history problems has occured, and all through history solutions has been found !
    Problems is part of life and so is solving them !
    It´s up to us !



  9. Give’m hell and hope Steve! Now you’re talking! Its time for hope, inspiration and trust along with all the energy, innovation and creativity that comes with the purposeful cultivation and focus of and on postive emotions and experiences real or imagined! Its time to relentlessly put our attention, intention, focus and habit forming follow through on managing and mastering our energy, emotions and expectations! And the beauty and best part as you know as well as anybody in the world is these are skills can be taught, learned and mastered!

    Bravo! Keep up the good logical, emotional and world class work!

  10. The end of optimism? Of course not! It may be a redefinition of what optimism means. Over the recent years we’ve grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle… now the rules have changed… the environment has changed around us all. When the rules change, we have to make different decisions. This is giving us all a chance to operate at a higher level… a WORLD CLASS LEVEL!

  11. Right on, Steve!

    I have been using your Mental Toughness book for the last year and a half, and recently got your How Rich People Think book for myself and my 16 year old daughter. Your boisterous enthusiasm is the perfect example of what we can be when we decide to take charge of our own minds and make our own economic boom regardless of what is going on around us.

    I am making more money now in this economy than I ever did before because of the kind of thinking that you describe so clearly.

    Keep up the great work!


  12. Steve, Great Message.

    “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

    “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”

    Winston Churchill

    England it seemed was about to lose everything, but they never gave up, they never lost hope, they never lose their will to WIN. They resolves was important not only for themselves but for the future of their country and the free world.
    We need that kind of resolve.

  13. Steve,

    When you say, “We’re just getting started”, who exactly are you talking about? Though people who get your message and understand, on some level, that that at the end of the day all you can control is your own thinking may have their moments, their losing optimism would be totally abandoning the teaching.

    The rest of the world will continue to operate at it’s current level of consciousness… show me first, then I’ll believe it. The message I’ve heard from you and most personal development teachers has been, ‘believe it first, take action and you’ll see it.’ It seems to me “this economy” provides the perfect opportunity to create the proof.

    If someone ‘breaks through’ now, no one they know will be able to argue with their success and what’s possible when you learn to control your thinking. Napoleon Hill said that fortunes were made during the depression in the ’30’s. Maybe we should send Mort a copy of “Think and Grow Rich”? 😉

    Blessings and Be Well,


  14. Great Post! You are so right. We are just getting started! This too shall pass! I am excited and motivated and ready to take on the world. My business is rising to an all new level in the midst of a recession. I am so grateful. It’s Possible!!! THANKS STEVE.

  15. E-motion; to set in motion. What moves people? An idea, that is congruent with our locus of belief. But what is our belief based on? Ourselves. It is our human spirit, errant, greedy, selfish that got us in the socioeconomic mess. I propose we as a nation and globe submit ourself to the Holy Spirit, which is God Himself, who will get us out of ourselves and into that which is right, pure, generous and eternal. His omnipotence in us through the person of Jesus Christ, who is the only person qualified to cleanse us from all “our sins and unrighteousness”, more than just our character flaws will indeed empower us triumph. Jesus (Emmanuel-God in us), will set us “in motion” with a worthy ideal, which is real and true optimism.

  16. You nailed it Steve! Great video and so true. This is the time when champions are born. The economic downturn is a blessing; it is causing more people, businesses and governments to think critically and play at a higher level. We will all be better in the end.

    I love the energy and enthusiasm! Classic Steve Siebold…

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