Arthur C. Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Prior, he was the president of the American Enterprise Institute for ten years, where he held the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. He has authored eleven books, including the bestsellers Love Your Enemies and The Conservative Heart, and writes the popular How to Build a Life column at The Atlantic. He is also the host of the podcasts How to Build a Happy Life and The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on happiness. His new book, from Strength to Strength, was described by The Dalai Lama as a book that ‘…helps people find greater happiness as they age and change.’ In this interview, I speak to Professor Arthur C. Brooks on how we can find purpose, meaning and success as we age. We talk about how to understand and fight our demons, and how to overcome the sense of professional and social irrelevance that often accompanies ageing. In our conversation, he helps unlock happiness in a meaningful, and beautiful way.

Thought Economics

Fearne Cotton is one of the best known and most popular broadcasters in the UK and is most recently known as the Founder of the wellbeing brand, Happy Place. Fearne’s podcast, Happy Place, has featured guests including Ellie Goulding, Hilary Rodman Clinton, Java Pickett Smith, Russell Brand, Gary Barlow, Alicia Keys and Elizabeth Gilbert and has over 53 million downloads, continuing to top the charts. Fearne has spent much of the last decade seeking the insight and advice of wise minds to explore what they can teach us about achieving happiness, connection, and hope. She talks about this journey in her book Bigger Than Us where she explores everything from intuition and energy to manifesting, ritual, prayer and signs. Fearne’s hope is that by following her journey of peeling back layers of her own anxiety and self-limiting beliefs, that we can all find contentment and deeper meaning. In this interview, I speak to Fearne Cotton about why our world feels so messy, the power of love, compassion and acceptance, the importance of ritual, why we need to confront the darker aspects of ourselves and what it truly takes to be happy.

Thought Economics

It’s time to start asking the right questions about happiness. The West is facing a happiness crisis. Today, less than a quarter of adults (in the west) rate themselves as very happy—a record low.  False views of happiness abound, and the explosion in “happiness studies” has done little to dispel them. Why is true happiness so elusive, and why is it so hard to define? In this interview, I speak to philosopher, Professor J Budziszewski, one of the world’s foremost experts on human happiness and fulfilment, on what it means to be happy, what we misunderstand about happiness, whether wealth and fame can ever make us happy, and how we best need to understand the differences between pleasure, fulfilment, and happiness.

Thought Economics

We are all experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and burnout. Exhaustion is at an all-time high. Leaders are depleted, employees are burning out at an alarming rate, and parents met their breaking point long ago. We are struggling and in desperate need of a new path forward. In this interview, I spoke to Nataly Kogan, author of The Awesome Human Project, about burnout, stress, and balance. We discuss how to strengthen our emotional fitness, create a more supportive relationship with ourselves, reduce self-doubt and become the boss of our brains! As Nataly says, “There is an Awesome Human within every single one of us.”

Thought Economics

In The Sweet Spot, pre-eminent psychologist Paul Bloom explores the pleasures of suffering and explains why the activities that provide most satisfaction are often the ones that involve greatest sacrifice. He argues that embracing this truth is the key to a life well lived. Drawing on ground-breaking findings from psychology and brain science, he shows how the right kind of suffering sets the stage for enhanced pleasure, and how pain itself can serve a variety of valuable functions: to distract us from our anxieties or even express them, to help us transcend the self or project our identity, or as a gateway to the joys of mastery and flow. In this interview, I speak to Paul Bloom on the role of suffering in our lives. Paul argues that, deep down we all aspire to lives of meaning and significance, and that means some amount of struggle, anxiety, and loss. After all, if the things that mean most to us were easy, what would be the point? Paul’s conversation gives an unexpected insight into the human condition.

Thought Economics

All of us face challenges, rough patches and struggles in life. During these times we are often our own worst enemy, experiencing unwelcome emotions, thinking and behaviours. Professor Steve Peters is author of the bestselling book, The Chimp Paradox, which has sold over 1.4 million copies since release in 2012. In his latest book, A Path Through the Jungle, he has created a practical self-development program to help readers and listeners attain psychological health and wellbeing and to find empowerment, robustness and resilience. In this interview, I speak to Professor Steve Peters on The Chimp Paradox, A Path Through the Jungle, how we can focus and empower ourselves, be better leaders, and find a path to robustness and resilience.

Thought Economics

Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature. She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers; Outer Order, Inner Calm; The Four Tendencies; Better Than Before; and The Happiness Project. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. On her top-ranking, award-winning podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she explores happiness and good habits. She is also a CBS News contributor, providing weekly solutions for living a happier life. In this interview, I speak to Gretchen Rubin about how we can get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

Thought Economics

Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of the UK’s best known singer songwriters. She first came to prominence in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the indie rock band Theaudience, and went on to achieve huge solo success with her unique blend of mainstream pop, disco, nu-disco and 1980s electronic influence. Her debut solo album Read My Lips went double-platinum, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide with her follow-up albums Shoot from the Hip, Trip the Light Fantastic,  Make a Scene, Wanderlust and Familia achieving significant success and critical acclaim. Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Instagram Live Kitchen Disco’s during the Covid-19 lockdown were a means of virtual escapism for many, and became weekly moments of united sequined catharsis for the hundreds of thousands tuning in (the concept was so successful that Sophie now has a tour and album of it). In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Sophie about the power of music & dance and why music has been such a powerful force for good during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Thought Economics

Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award®-winning actor and producer who has played starring roles in some of the most seminal, and commercially successful films in recent history including A Time to Kill (1996), U-571 (2000), the Wedding Planner (2001), Failure to Launch (2006), Magic Mike (2012), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Interstellar (2014), The Dark Tower (2017) and The Gentlemen (2019). In 2009, Matthew and his wife, Camila, founded the just keep livin Foundation, which helps at-risk high school students make healthier mind, body, and spirit choices. In 2019, McConaughey became a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Minister of Culture/M.O.C. for the University of Texas and the City of Austin. McConaughey is also brand ambassador for Lincoln Motor Company, an owner of the Major League Soccer club Austin FC, and co-creator of his favourite bourbon on the planet, Wild Turkey Longbranch. McConaughey has led a charmed and full life. His recent memoir Greenlights takes the reader along with him as he tries to work out this riddle called life but unlike most, he fills it with practical advice and lessons from his life to ours. As Matthew wrote his memoir, the process revealed a theme- an approach- to living that gave him satisfaction at the time, and still today. He calls this process, ‘catching greenlights’ and in this exclusive interview, I spoke to Matthew McConaughey about how we can apply the lessons from his life, to our own. As he says himself, “…hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.” 

Thought Economics

Brad Montague is a writer and director on a mission to create meaningful things for kids and former kids. He is creator of the hit web series “Kid President”, author of ‘Becoming Better Grownups’ and the New York Times bestseller ‘Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome’. He is a popular storyteller both online and in real life with stories of birds, balloons, and floating people which have captured the imaginations of classrooms, boardrooms, and households throughout the world. As an illustrator his work is regularly featured in Joanna Gaine’s The Magnolia Journal. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Brad to learn more about what we lose when we become grownups, and why we need to perceive the world through the eyes of our inner child.

Thought Economics

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