For episode 23 I was joined on the phone by the always excellent Oliver Burkeman. Burkeman is an award winning columnist and author, writing about the self-help culture, social psychology, philosophy, and the negative path to happiness.
During the episode we discuss, among other things:
- The pitfalls of modern positive thinking.
- How the Stoics can help us face the toughest parts of our lives.
- The benefits of embracing insecurity and vulnerability.
- How to reduce our fear of death, even slightly!
As well as his excellent column in the Guardian, Oliver has written 2 books, the latest of which, The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, explores society’s obsession with positivity and how this obsession might actually make us less happy.
Oliver’s writing addresses the real human fears that drive the massive self-help industry, but he treats these fears with the seriousness they deserve. Helping ourselves is a great idea, but attempting to do this by following faulty doctrines is, well, stupid. It’s this stupidity that Oliver exposes while trying to direct us toward more useful paths to contentment/fulfilment/happiness.
Enjoy the episode. Dave.Follow @InspirePod
Oliver's talk at the RSA can be viewed here. Check out Oliver's personal page here. His brilliant column "This column will change your life" is here. You can follow Oliver on twitter here. You can buy his book here.