Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine

This episode is a conversation about A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine.

Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:

"One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. 

In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Readers learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have. 

Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows readers how to become thoughtful observers of their own life. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life."

Friday, 30 September 2016

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

This episode is an old conversation from 2015 about the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?

In the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.

The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships today, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work.

Podcast episode

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Happiness Advantage: The 7 Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

This episode is an old discussion from October 2014 about the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.

Here is a description of the book from Amazon:

Most people want to be successful in life. And of course, everyone wants to be happy. When it comes to the pursuit of success and happiness, most people assume the same formula: if you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you'll be happy. The only problem is that a decade of cutting-edge research in the field of positive psychology has proven that this formula is backwards. Success does not beget happiness.

Based on the largest study ever conducted on happiness and human potential (a survey conducted by the author of more than 1,600 students), Harvard lecturer Shawn Achor shares seven core principles of positive psychology that each one of us can use to improve our performance, grow our careers, and gain a competitive edge at work. He reveals how happiness actually fuels success and performance, not the other way around. Why? Because when we are happier and more positive we are more engaged, creative, resilient to stress, and productive. The Happiness Advantage will appeal to anyone who wants practical advice on how to become happier and also more successful.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Guilt, Shame and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions by Peter Breggin

This episode is a discussion about the book Guilt, Shame and Anxiety by Peter Breggin.

Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:

With the first unified theory of guilt, shame, and anxiety, this pioneering psychiatrist and critic of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering from the perspective of biological evolution, child development, and mature adult decision-making. Drawing on evolution, neuroscience, and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Breggin analyzes what he calls our negative legacy emotions—the painful emotional heritage that encumbers all human beings. The author marshals evidence that we evolved as the most violent and yet most empathic creatures on Earth. Evolution dealt with this species-threatening conflict between our violence and our close-knit social life by building guilt, shame, and anxiety into our genes. These inhibiting emotions were needed prehistorically to control our self-assertiveness and aggression within intimate family and clan relationships.

Dr. Breggin shows how guilt, shame, and anxiety eventually became self-defeating and demoralizing legacies from our primitive past that no longer play any useful or positive role in mature adult life. He then guides the reader through the Three Steps to Emotional Freedom, starting with how to identify negative legacy emotions and then how to reject their control over us. Finally, he describes how to triumph over and transcend guilt, shame, and anxiety on the way to greater emotional freedom and a more rational, loving, and productive life.

Podcast episode

Thursday, 28 April 2016

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin

This episode is a discussion about the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin.

Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
Expanding on her viral post that has become an international phenomenon, a psychotherapist offers simple yet effective solutions for increasing mental strength and finding happiness and success in life.
As a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist, Amy Morin has seen countless people choose to succeed despite facing enormous challenges. That resilience inspired her to write 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, a web post that instantly went viral, and was picked up by the Forbes website.

Morin’s post focused on the concept of mental strength, how mentally strong people avoid negative behaviors—feeling sorry for themselves, resenting other people’s success, and dwelling on the past. Instead, they focus on the positive to help them overcome challenges and become their best.
In this inspirational, affirmative book, Morin expands upon her original message, providing practical strategies to help readers avoid the thirteen common habits that can hold them back from success. Combining compelling anecdotal stories with the latest psychological research, she offers strategies for avoiding destructive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors common to everyone.

Like physical strength, mental strength requires healthy habits, exercise, and hard work. Morin teaches you how to embrace a happier outlook and arms you to emotionally deal with life’s inevitable hardships, setbacks, and heartbreaks—sharing for the first time her own poignant story of tragedy, and how she summoned the mental strength to move on. As she makes clear, mental strength isn’t about acting tough; it’s about feeling empowered to overcome life's challenges.

N.B. Apologies for the reduced sound quality in this episode. We were in a very echoey location and had a couple of technical hiccups at the time of recording.

Podcast episode