Overcoming pessimism through action

(Photo above by Anna Shvets / Pexels)

Today’s topic is pessimism, which can be defined as a lack of hope or confidence in the future. At different times in our lives, all of us might experience pessimism, especially if our future is uncertain or we find ourselves in a situation where the odds seem stacked against us.

This can be compounded by societal conflicts and current affairs, and increasingly, teens and young adults feel a sense of worry, anxiety or futility about the future. Today, we’ll unpack the Buddhist perspective on optimism. Our guest is Stuart Adams, a firefighter in California who shares the story of how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped him transform pessimism into a life of confidence and action.

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Cheat Sheet

1:47 Why Stewart started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

6:17 How he discovered his dream to become a firefighter

9:56 What it took to challenge his fear

16:52 What faith means in Buddhism

23:32 How chanting helped him take initiative

32:05 Addressing mistakes without hesitation

36:33 The role of Buddhist friends

40:28 The Buddhist perspective on optimism

45:53 Advice for anyone who struggles with pessimism

References mentioned:

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