fbpx Skip to content

Live Inspired Podcast: Cause for Optimism (Why the world is better than we think #121)

John O’Leary is joined by guest Gregg Easterbrook, New York Times best-selling author, on the Live Inspired Podcast to discuss the hard facts that prove the world is better now than ever before.

True or false: The world is worse than ever before.


My friends, today’s guest shares hard facts as to why this is the best time in human history. He’ll expose which elements of your life are making you feel otherwise. Most importantly, share the value of recapturing a true, positive perspective + what it could mean for your relationships, business, life + world.

Gregg Easterbrook is a New York Times Bestsellingauthor of the book It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear.  Today, Gregg reminds us it’s great day + that the best is truly yet to come.

Subscribe &  listen on Apple Podcast, SpotifyStitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio or listen here:



  • The United States is in its best condition it’s ever been: Pollution, discrimination, rate of heart disease + cancer are trending down. Life expectancy, education, living standards, middle class income, human freedom are trending up.
  • Globally, we are better off: Global malnutrition and extreme poverty are at the lowest levels in history. Twenty five years ago, 40% of the global population was malnourished. Twenty five years ago, global extreme poverty was 40% v. 10% today.
  • So why do we feel like things are worse today?
    1. Social media exaggerates the negative and buries the positive.
    2. The physical proximity (and frequency) of social media to our faces enhances its psychological impact.
    3. Negative news sells, distorting its pervasiveness and our reality.
    4. We allow personal anecdotes to sway our overall outlook.
  • Optimists think problems can be fixed. Pessimists thinks we are doomed. Being optimistic is a choice that we make. Our country was built on optimists.
  • It’s easy to feel bitter—it’s the path of least resistance. Being an optimist is hard but rewarding.
  • The trend of civilization is forever upward, we should be hopeful because the best is yet to come.
  • Get Gregg Easterbrook’s book It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear.
  • Get Gregg Easterbrook’s book Beside Still Water: Searching for Meaning in an Age of Doubt.
  • Check out Gregg’s weekly “Tuesday Morning Quarter Back” column that he’s written for 17 years, here.


  1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Willa Cather’s My Antonia 
  2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Besides being slender? More outgoing.
  3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? My flash drive with my next book which grows out of Beside Still Water.
  4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Jesus, the greatest moral philosopher of the sapiens and the first question would be, “is there hope?”.
  5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? I view myself as an artist, not a journalist. “Listen to your muse.” A muse often tells you things you wish you didn’t hear. Follow your muse wherever she leads you.
  6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? If you want to make a lot of money as a writer, chose one genre and stick to it.
  7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? He was debonair.


If you enjoyed today’s episode: Subscribe, rate & review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. See you here next Thursday!

Live Inspired with John daily on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterest, Instagram + get his Monday Motivation email.


3 replies on “Live Inspired Podcast: Cause for Optimism (Why the world is better than we think #121)”

Great conversation! A much needed dose of perspective in a world overwhelmed with negative news. It should be required listening for everyone

Enjoyed the podcast. My first ever podcast—yes. My daughter has been hounding me to try podcasts. Meet you at a Rotary event last year and have been receiving your e-mails Completely dodged the podcasts. I’m glad I took the time. I plan to make this part of my weekly routine going forward. Foremost because I enjoy the content in a world where so much is about only the negative in our world. So THANK YOU—what a great way to start my morning. Julie from Wisconsin.