Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Socrates and Self-Knowledge
Question everything... that's a key insight from the great Greek philosopher Socrates. We may think we know ourselves and what makes us happy... but that's not always true.
Yale professor Tamar Gendler says that by harnessing our "inner Socrates" we can ask ourselves why we think or feel certain things. We might then find that deeply-held convictions that money or status or accolades are a reliable route to happiness aren't correct, and can then start to pursue the things that might really make us happier.
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More episodes from "The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos"
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: The Trauma of Troy
37:21In Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid, few Trojans survive the destruction of their city at the hands of their Greek enemies. A prince, Aeneas, leads a band of those fleeing Troy - but the journey is fraught with deadly storms and hungry monsters. But Aeneas takes a positive view of the struggles he and the other Trojans face, telling them to be proud of their resilience and courage. With the help of MIT classics professor Stephanie Frampton, Dr Laurie Santos explores how The Aeneid can be read as a tale of post-traumatic growth and how we can sometimes emerge happier and stronger from tragic events. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: The Anger of Achilles
32:12Achilles has anger issues. The great Greek warrior sits out most of the Trojan War because he's angrily sulking. When he finally enters battle, he does so in a fit of rage that causes him to commit atrocities and bring dishonor on himself. So what can we learn from this angry character in Homer's epic poem, The Iliad? With the help of Harvard classics expert Greg Nagy and anger counsellor Dr Faith Harper, we look at how anger can creep up on us and what we can do to defuse this sometimes explosive emotion. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Aristotle and Plato ICYMI
56:02The Greek thinker Socrates was put to death for encouraging his students to question everything - from their own beliefs to the laws and customs of Athenian society. But his ideas didn't die with him. Here's a chance to hear two episodes from our archive examining the legacy of Socrates, and how he influenced the thinking of Plato and Aristotle. Turns out the Ancient Greeks had a lot to say about how to live a happier life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Happiness Lessons of The Ancients: Socrates and Self-Knowledge
44:41Question everything... that's a key insight from the great Greek philosopher Socrates. We may think we know ourselves and what makes us happy... but that's not always true. Yale professor Tamar Gendler says that by harnessing our "inner Socrates" we can ask ourselves why we think or feel certain things. We might then find that deeply-held convictions that money or status or accolades are a reliable route to happiness aren't correct, and can then start to pursue the things that might really make us happier. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Happiness of Silence
32:20We're surrounded by noise. That "noise" can be actual sounds - but also other annoyances and distractions that make it hard for us to concentrate or think clearly. And it's only getting worse - we're all being bombarded with more sirens, more pings, more chatter, more information. And then there are our internal monologues. Silence is just harder to come by. Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn (co-authors of Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise) join Dr Laurie Santos to discuss the benefits of silence and how we can all seek out more moments of quiet and recognise their value. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Stop Looking for the Perfect Job - a "Good Enough Job" is Just Fine
31:34We can put huge amounts of physical and emotional energy into our jobs - even basing our self-worth on our achievements at work and letting ourselves be defined by what we do. So have our careers taken over too much of our lives? Simone Stolzoff (author of The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work) argues that we should stop hunting for the "perfect" job - that idealized career that will prove to others how smart, industrious or virtuous we are - and instead find an occupation that allows to us live happier and more rounded lives that don't revolve only around work. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A Daily Workout to Tackle Nagging Self-Criticism
24:44Lots of us hit the gym in January to get fit - but should we also be exercising our minds in preparation for tough times? A daily "self-talk workout" might be just as beneficial as squats and push-ups, says Seattle University psychology professor Rachel Turow. By practicing simple self-compassion exercises each day - such as breathing techniques - we can prepare for future challenges when we'll need those tools to help us tackle crippling self-criticism or paralyzing sorrow. Further reading: The Self Talk Workout by Rachel Turow See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
How to Eat Intuitively
33:52Everyone has a view about what you should eat and how much. We're so bombarded with fad diets, fasting plans and nutritional advice that we can bounce from one way of eating to another without stopping to think: "What do I want to eat?" Psychotherapist Andrea Wachter endured years of disordered eating and obsessing about her weight, until she decided to heed her inner voice and what her body wanted to consume. She explains to Dr Laurie Santos how so-called intuitive eating can free us from both diets and overeating. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
From Ten Percent Happier: The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness | Part 1
5:27Here's a preview of another podcast we love, Ten Percent Happier. Host Dan Harris flies to Dharamsala, India to spend two weeks in the orbit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is the first installment of a five-part audio documentary series. Over the course of the episodes, Dan talks to His Holiness about practical strategies for thorny dilemmas, including: how to get along with difficult people; whether compassion can cut it in an often brutal world; why there is a self-interested case for not being a jerk; and how to create social connection in an era of disconnection. He also gets rare insights from the Dalai Lama into everything from the mechanics of reincarnation to His Holiness’s own personal meditation practice. In this first installment, Dan watches as a young activist directly challenges His Holiness: In a world plagued by climate change, terrorism, and other existential threats, is the Dalai Lama’s message of compassion practical — or even relevant? Want more of The Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness? Listen to the Ten Percent Happier podcast here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Stop Endlessly Chasing the "Next Big Thing"
34:41We're often looking into the future... hunting for the "next big thing". That could be an exciting new job or a new relationship. We can get so fixated with these events and the happiness we hope they'll deliver, that we forget to look for joy right now. Actor and author Tony Hale (Veep, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Arrested Development) was always chasing new accomplishments, until he realised he was missing the chance to be happy living in the moment. He used his experience to write one of Dr Laurie Santos's favourite children's books Archibald's Next Big Thing. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.