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Summit of Greatness 2024 | September 13-14 | Los Angeles, CA


Bert Jacobs

Optimism is a Superpower


Being an optimist instead of a pessimist is a choice.

You can wake up each day and focus on what’s wrong.

Or you can choose to be grateful. 

Whatever you focus on grows.

So if you are spending your time on things that make you unhappy, they will take over.

But if you can cultivate gratitude, simplicity, and optimism, that’s what your life will become.

Choose happiness.

For this 5-Minute Friday, I revisited a conversation I had with Bert Jacobs, founder of the Life is Good Company, where he shared a few of his ten Superpowers that are surprisingly simple and timeless.

Bert has appeared on CNN’s Tips from the Top, CNBC’s Business Nation, and The Donny Deutch Show. Life Is Good has been featured in the New York Times, on the cover of Inc Magazine, and on NBC’s The Today Show. Bert is the second youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA. He credits his mother with teaching his brother and him to face the bumps in the road with a smile. The Jacobs brothers see simplicity, humility, and a sense of humor as the three keys to Life is good’s continued success.

Learn how to live a good life the same way your grandfather and your grandfather’s father did in Episode 822.

“Optimism is a choice.” @LifeIsGood  

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why optimism is a choice (1:00)
  • How openness is a superpower (1:30)
  • What selling “Life is Good” t-shirts taught Bert (2:00)
  • About the tools for living a fulfilling life (3:00)
  • Plus much more…

Show Notes:

Connect with
Bert Jacobs

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis: This is 5-Minute Friday!!

Welcome everyone to the podcast and thank you so much for joining me today my name is Lewis Howes and I am your host. We’ve got an incredible guest his name is Bert Jacobs, he is the chief executive optimist of the company life is good.

He and his brother John began designing and selling t-shirt in the street in 1989 by converting 2 an old van and sold t-shirts dorm to dorm. They founded life is good together in 1994, their company has since become an internationally recognized lifestyle brand in thousands of retailers worldwide.

They focus on guiding the company vision, creating it and inspiring content growing a healthy business all while helping kids overcome poverty, violence and severe medical challenge.

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Bert: You know the word superpower is kind of tongue and cheek. The whole idea behind ‘life is good’ is that optimism is a choice, everybody wakes up in the morning and they can decide and focus on what’s wrong with their life or what’s right with their life.

Lewis: Yeah.

Bert: Whatever you choose is likely gonna be what grows.

Lewis: Right, exactly.

Bert: So you really want to pull your resources into a list of things that are wrong with your life or list of things that are gonna go wrong because that’s what pessimism is.

Lewis: Yeah.

Bert: And it’s not helpful. Now, rational optimism is not blind optimism we’re promoting. We know that there are challenges in the world, everybody has challenges we just choose to focus our energy on what’s working or what’s going right.

Lewis: Right.

Bert: And we realize we came to realize through all these years of selling life is good t-shirts. We have a big customer based millions and millions of people that write us letters and emails and share personal things and we realize that choosing to be around rational optimist opens you up to a series of values that we call superpowers. So, it enables you like when you’re a pessimist you [?] your head down.

Lewis: Yes.

Bert: So one of the superpowers is openness, just being open you know. If you’re a believer in what’s happening and you’re focused on the good things that are happening and you’re searching for the good things that are happening you’re more open, you’re actually more attractive.

Lewis: Right.

Bert: You’re more magnetic to people. So, that’s the first one openness. I mentioned the sense of humor so you know optimism enables all of these things. Gratitude one of the things that our customers taught that really surprised us and we didn’t know is that the people who face the most difficult challenges in their world, they’re the ones who have the greatest appreciation for life.

Lewis: Yeah.

Bert: If you and I had a sandwich today Lewis right it might just be a sandwich but if you spent 6 months in the hospital eating through a tube it wouldn’t be just a sandwich.

Lewis: It would be the best meal I ever had.

Bert: It would be the greatest thing on earth.

Lewis: Right.

Bert: And the people that are going through chemotherapy and are walking on the other side they don’t just eat sandwiches, everything they do, you could have a barbecue in the backyard and it’s the Taj Mahal to them. They value their friendship and the people that they love. So gratitude is a superpower, a tool that we can use. So, all 10 of these superpowers we call them superpowers but they are not like bullet speed or Herculean strength, these are accessible to anybody. I guess the other thing that is real about these 10 superpowers is that they’re timeless. We live in a day and age where you’re expected to be on trend. You got to be on trend and off trend.

Lewis: Yeah.

Bert: That’s really hard, we’re not on trend all the time at all. The basis of our organization and the basis of life is good in the book is that the most powerful tools that a human being has to live a happy and fulfilling life existed for your great grandparents. In fact, if they live a happy and fulfilling life they use their superpowers. These are timeless devices and it’s not rocket science.

Lewis: It’s not.

Bert: Simplicity is a superpower. We live in a complex world so we all have to call down to what really matters, we all have to choose what we love and choose who we love and put our limited time on this planet into that.

Lewis: Yeah.

Bert: So that sounds simple but it gets away from all of us.

Lewis: Hey guys if you enjoyed this inspirational clip from a past episode of the show then you’ll love the free book I’m giving away right now It’s called the millionaire morning and it includes some of my best tips for starting off your day with a millionaire mindset. Get your free copy at the and just pay shipping, again check it out right now the

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