In this interview, I speak to Jud Brewer MD PhD (“Dr. Jud”), one of the world’s foremost experts in habit change, addiction, self-mastery and mindfulness. Dr. Jud has more than 20 years of experience in research and clinic, and we discuss the very fundamentals of building and breaking habits, the importance of mindfulness, paying attention, and how curiosity can change our lives.

Thought Economics

Work relationships can be hard. The stress of dealing with difficult people dampens our creativity and productivity, degrades our ability to think clearly and make sound decisions, and causes us to disengage. We might lie awake at night worrying, withdraw from work, or react in ways we later regret—rolling our eyes in a meeting, snapping at colleagues, or staying silent when we should speak up. Too often we grin and bear it as if we have no choice. Or throw up our hands because one-size-fits-all solutions haven’t worked. But you can only endure so much thoughtless, irrational, or malicious behaviour—there’s your sanity to consider, and your career. Amy Gallo is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work.  She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, a how-to guidebook about handling conflict professionally and productively, and the forthcoming Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People). In this interview, I speak to Amy Gallo about the archetypes of people we encounter in the workplace and how we can understand and deal with challenging workplace relationships more effectively. We discuss the principles that will help us build stronger, more resilient relationships, and look at the tools we can use to rebuild fractured ones.

Thought Economics

In The Upside of Uncertainty, INSEAD professor Nathan Furr and entrepreneur Susannah Harmon Furr provide a sweeping guide to embracing uncertainty and transforming it into a force for good. Drawing from hundreds of interviews, along with pioneering research in psychology, innovation, and behavioural economics, Nathan and Susannah provide dozens of tools—including mental models, techniques, and reflections—for seeing the upside of uncertainty, developing a vision for what to do next, and opening ourselves up to new possibilities. In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, uncertainty is on the rise. We face it every day. But few of us have been taught the techniques to navigate it well. In this interview, I speak to Nathan & Susannah Furr about the importance of uncertainty, why we must embrace it, and how understanding uncertainty can dramatically improve our lives.

Thought Economics

In a society that pushes conformity, how can you courageously choose to be who you really are—with yourself, in your relationships, and at work—despite the fear of judgment? In The Authenticity Principle, award-winning leadership and diversity expert Ritu Bhasin gives you the tools to make this happen. Combining the latest neuroscience, leadership, diversity, and mindfulness research with a wealth of practical exercises, Bhasin unveils a cutting-edge framework for living and leading more authentically. She also reveals inspiring insights from a range of leaders who have overcome barriers to being authentic – including her own personal journey from lawyer to entrepreneur. In this interview, I speak to Ritu Bhasin about how her years of work has led to her developing a model for authenticity that helps to empower people, fearlessly, to choose how and when to show-up as their authentic selves, adapted selves and performing selves. We discuss how choosing to live life authentically is the most important step we can take to thrive in life, relationships, and our careers.

Thought Economics

Many of us believe that the great turning points and opportunities in our lives happen by chance, that they’re out of our control. Often, we think that successful people—and successful companies and organizations—are simply luckier than the rest of us. Good fortune—serendipity—just seems to happen to them. Is that true? Or are some people better at creating the conditions for coincidences to arise and taking advantage of them when they do? How can we connect the dots of seemingly random events to improve our lives? In The Serendipity Mindset, Dr. Christian Busch explains that serendipity isn’t about luck in the sense of simple randomness. It’s about seeing links that others don’t, combining these observations in unexpected and strategic ways, and learning how to detect the moments when apparently random or unconnected ideas merge to form new opportunities. Busch explores serendipity from a rational and scientific perspective and argues that there are identifiable approaches we can use to foster the conditions to let serendipity grow. In this interview, I speak to Dr. Christian Busch about serendipity, how it works, and how we can all train our own serendipity ‘muscle’ to turn the unexpected into opportunity. Once we understand serendipity, Busch says, we become curators of it, and luck becomes something that no longer just happens to us—it becomes a force that we can grasp, shape, and hone. Busch’s serendipity mindset offers a clear blueprint for how we can cultivate serendipity to increase innovation, influence, and opportunity in every aspect of our lives.

Thought Economics

Inauthenticity is a uniquely 21st century issue, which has become an increasing part of society on every level – from governments and big tech, down to our everyday purchases. It seems like there’s never a week without a media storm about some aspect of authenticity, and we are fascinated by it – from NFTs to Barnard Castle and ‘Partygate’ lies, to Inventing Anna and The Tinder Swindler, and of course most recently the propaganda used to justify Russia’s war in Ukraine. The lines between reality and illusion are increasingly blurred; the need to distinguish between the two is an urgent daily challenge. Alice Sherwood is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London and a director of an open-source intelligence company, Alice spent 5 years extensively researching the subject, culminating in the witty, timely, and insightful new book, Authenticity: Reclaiming Reality in a Counterfeit Culture. In this interview, I speak to Alice Sherwood about what authenticity means, why our culture has become so obsessed with authenticity, impostor syndrome, the dangers of authentic leadership, and how we truly can be more authentic in our lives.

Thought Economics

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

“No regrets.” You’ve heard people proclaim it as a philosophy of life. That’s nonsense, even dangerous, says New York Times Best Selling Author, Daniel H. Pink, in his latest bold and inspiring work, The Power of Regret. Everybody has regrets. They’re a fundamental part of our lives. And if we reckon with them in fresh and imaginative ways, we can enlist our regrets to make smarter decisions, perform better at work and school, and deepen our sense of meaning and purpose. Pink argues, operate as a “photographic negative” of the good life. By understanding what people regret the most, we can understand what they value the most. And by following the simple, science-based, three-step process that he sets out, we can transform our regrets in a positive force for working smarter and living better. In this interview, I speak to Daniel H. Pink on The Power of Regret and why regret, our most misunderstood emotion, can be the pathway to our best life. We talk about the types of regrets we have as individuals and societies, how we can best use regret to our advantage, and the extreme danger of no regrets culture.

Thought Economics

In country after country, conspiracy theories and religious dogmas that once seemed to have been overtaken by enlightened thought are helping to loft authoritarian leaders into power. The effects are being felt by women, ethnic minorities, teachers, scientists, and students – and by the environment, the ultimate victim of climate change denial. We need clear thinking now more than ever. Christer Sturmark is a crusading secular humanist as well as a Swedish publisher and entrepreneur, and The Flame of Reason is his manifesto for a better world. It provides a set of simple tools for clear thinking in the face of populist dogmas, anti-science attitudes and pseudo-philosophy, and suggestions for how we can move towards a new enlightenment. In this interview, I speak to Christer Sturmark about the characteristics of knowledge and truth, why we are facing a crisis of reason, and the mental tools we all need to navigate our world.

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

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