Michael Meade is a mythologist, storyteller and author best known for books like The Water of Life, Fate and Destiny and The Genius Myth. In this episode we discuss:
- How to find and tap into your inner genius
- How to tell transformative stories that move people
- The most valuable life lessons from world mythology
We also cover Michael’s near fatal run-in with a gang aged 13 and his experience going on hunger strike after being drafted into the Vietnam War. This episode will fuel your imagination and help you discover and tap into your own genius.
Luke Burgis is an entrepreneur and author of the book Wanting, The Power of Mimetic Desire and How to Want What You Need.
In this episode, we cover:
- How to turn blind wanting that leaves you unfulfilled to intentional wanting that supports your values
- The different kinds of role models and how they affect your desires and behaviour
- How conflict often comes from similarities, not differences and the tactics to break the cycle in your life
This conversation will help you better understand what you want and why you want it, giving you the power to find more meaning in your work and life and transform your life for the better.
Thomas Moore is an author and psychotherapist, best known for the NYT bestseller Care of the Soul. His latest book, Soul Therapy is focused on therapy that actually makes a difference.
In this episode we discuss:
- What therapy or "soul care" is and how it works
- The myths that to help you through dark times in life
- The modern obsession with childhood trauma
This conversation will give you a fresh perspective of therapy and help you separate the signal from the noise in a world of shallow conversations about mental health.
Joel Christensen is a Professor of Classics at Brandeis University and author of the book The Many Minded Man. He also posts regularly on the popular Classics-oriented website Sententiae Antiquae.
The Many Minded Man explores Homer's Odyssey through a modern psychological lens, focusing on how it reflects the workings of the human mind and provides a model for coping with the challenges of chance and fate.
In this episode we discuss:
- The concept of agency and how The Odyssey helps us to understand what we can control
- How to use the power of storytelling to make sense of your life and the world around you
- What modern psychology can learn from Homer's Odyssey and Iliad
This was a wonderful conversation centred on some of the greatest stories ever told, which will show you how storytelling can shape a sense of agency and provide solutions to help you avoid destructive patterns.
Uri Bram is the bestselling author of Thinking Statistically and speaks about using data and statistical thinking effectively in the real world. In this episode we discuss:
- The key statistical principals that everyone should be aware of
- How understanding music theory makes you a better musician
- How to learn complex skills from experts
So whether you’re math-phobic or already consider yourself a stats maverick this conversation will give you a whole range of useful insights that.
Barry Schwartz is an acclaimed Professor of Psychology who recently retired after 45 years of teaching at Swarthmore College. Barry has also written three bestselling books on the Paradox of Choice, the Meaning of Work and Practical Wisdom and has done a series of popular TED talks on those subjects.
Practical wisdom is something we could all do with more of. It’s close to what the Ancient Greeks called phronesis - a general understanding of how to live a good life and the decisions we should make.
Barry has spent years studying the subject and even had the opportunity to teach a class on it at Swarthmore, which makes him perfectly placed to offer insights into the topic of wisdom.
In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:
- How to become wiser using tools to learn from our everyday experience
- How practical wisdom could be applied to improve the educational system
- How to make better choices in a world of infinite possibilities
So whether you're looking to make better decisions in your life, learn from your everyday experience or just get a little bit wiser across the board, this episode has you covered with actionable principles and strategies you can apply now.
They're two words that get thrown around a lot but what exactly is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?
Knowledge is something closer to what the Ancient Greeks called Episteme – a specialised knowledge in a particular field or an ability in a skill that's descriptive or explanatory in nature.
Wisdom is something that’s harder to define but it’s closer to what the Greeks called Phronesis – it’s a more general understanding of how to live a good life and the decisions we should make.
In this episode I discuss the differences between knowledge and wisdom, and the insights we can draw from them, including:
- Knowledge comes and goes but wisdom lasts
- Knowledge is additive and wisdom is subtractive
- Knowledge Can Be Taught But Wisdom Must Be Learned
So whether you're looking to make better decisions in your life or become more practically wise, this episode will give you actionable insights that will help you think smarter and make better decisions.
In ancient cultures, mythology served a number of other important functions on an individual and personal level which may not be immediately obvious.
On a personal level mythology created a sense of awe about the mystery of human existence. By creating this sense of wonder, mythology helped people to learn about their own lives in a way that few other fields could.
On a social level, mythology educated people about how they fit into the group they lived in. Rituals would help to mark the different stages of life and would help to define the roles of the different members in that society.
In this episode I discuss the insights we can take from mythology including:
- My interpretation of the myth of the Trojan Horse in Homer's Iliad
- The danger of hubris, drawing on the myth of Icarus and Daedalus
- The hero's journey, drawing on Homer's Odyssea
In this episode you'll learn to look beyond the surface of mythology and find far more than literary entertainment - because mythology is at the core of ancient wisdom and points at what it means to live a good human life.
Dr Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and writer who is committed to exploring the mysteries of the brain and mind. He is best known for his book The Master and His Emissary in which he explores the differences between the brain's right and left hemispheres and their effects on history and culture over the centuries.
Most scientists have long abandoned the attempt to understand why nature separated the brain's hemispheres. But anyone who knows anything about the area would say there are differences: it’s just that no-one seems to know why.
Iain has spent years researching the subject in depth and has made some remarkable findings about the differences between the left and right hemispheres and their impact on society in the Western World.
In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:
- The true differences between the left and right brain
- The impact our left brain dominated world has had on the educational system
- How to apply what cognitive science has established about the learning process
So whether you're looking to understand the mechanics of your brain a little better or find out how our thinking affects the society we live in today this episode will give you all that and much more.
Shane Parrish is the founder of Farnam Street, an online intellectual hub that covers topics like human misjudgment, strategy, and philosophy to help readers make better decisions.
We all make decisions every day which ultimately affect the results we get in our lives. But so few of us ever stop to think critically about the process we use for making those decisions, let alone try to improve it.
Shane has spent years thinking and writing about decision making, drawing on multiple disciplines and interviewing thought leaders in the field. Add to this his experience as an investor and he's perfectly placed to offer valuable advice that can help you make better decisions in your life.
In this episode we discuss a variety of interesting topics including:
- Shane’s process for making decisions and how it’s evolved over time
- What Shane has learned from his heroes Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger
- The importance of multidisciplinary thinking and learning in a complex world
So whether you're looking to make an important career decision or want to decide whether you should buy shares in that company you've been following, this episode will give you the actionable strategies needed to make that process more structured and increase the chances of a positive outcome.
Josh is a mental and physical health expert with qualifications in hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming and mindfulness meditation. He also blogs at the Huffington Post on mental health, entrepreneurship and economics.
Josh and I go back to Oxford where he was in the year above me on the same economics course and after bumping into each other a few times since then, we've since become good friends and shared a bunch of fascinating conversations.
Learning is a much more holistic process than most people realise and often, the most important factors in learning anything are psychological and emotional. Put simply, the physical and mental state we're in when we're learning is crucial and Josh has some great insights in these areas.
In this episode, we discuss a range of topics including:
- The amazing techniques that you can use to prime your mind for learning
- How to build a morning routine that sets you up for the day ahead
- The insights we can draw from Eastern Philosophy in the Western World
Whether you're looking to be more productive, build stronger habits or shift your mindset to overcome limiting beliefs, this episode will give you all that and more.