Courtesy Johnnie Walker
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October 01, 2015 05:10 PM

Today, Michael Strahan is all smiles, but there was time that the taller half of Live! with Kelly and Michael wasn’t as optimistic about his future.

“I was not always happy in a lot of different ways,” the retired football defensive end told PEOPLE at Johnnie Walker’s Joy Will Take You Further event at New York City’s Explorer’s Club.

Strahan, 43, says that mindset changed thanks to the power positive thinking, and now he wants everyone to enjoy the optimism he feels today. So along with Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end, TV talk show host and sports commentator, Strahan has added author to his impressive résumé.

The media personality recently released his book, Wake Up Happy, a guide to the simple ways you can build happiness into your life and become your own biggest fan.

“I wasn’t a guy who believed in myself at times. But once you put your mind to it, you can do anything you want. Why is there a limit on what your capabilities are? Limits are things that you put on yourself,” he said.

Once you make happiness and self-confidence part of your attitude, Strahan believes you can become unstoppable, achieving anything you set your mind to.

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Okay, how did you go from football to commentating to morning TV? You seem so happy.’ I truly am happy,” he said. “I respect waking up everyday and feeling fortunate to do what I do and having the people in my life that I have, but it’s something you have to train yourself to do.”

Part of that training involves music. It’s the one thing that has never failed to make Strahan feel good.

“I’ll go old-school with some Bill Withers and Chaka Khan. But then I’ll go some new school. I have the Weeknd, Daft Punk, Kanye, Big Sean, Drake, I am all over the place. It’s just the mood of that day,” he said. “Music has always been important to me. As an athlete, to get me going before the game or to bring me down from the excitement of the games, and now, to bring me up for the show or bring me down from the excitement of the show. It is the same premise, just a different job.”

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