“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

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

The average human lifespan is absurdly, outrageously, insultingly brief: if you live to 80, you have about four thousand weeks on earth. How should we use them best? Oliver Burkeman is author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, and a columnist. In his new book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver undertakes an uplifting, engrossing, and deeply realistic exploration of our battles with time. Adam Grant has described Oliver’s new book as being, “The most important book ever written about time management.” In this interview, I speak to Oliver Burkeman about our relationship with time, and how best we use the astonishingly brief moment we are on this earth. Oliver draws on philosophy and psychology together with his own deep research to help realign our relationship with time, liberating us from the tyranny we face.

Thought Economics

Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group completely reinvented circus arts and went on to become a world leader in live entertainment. Established in Montreal, the Canadian organization has brought wonder and delight to over 180 million spectators with productions presented in 450 cities in 60 countries. Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group currently employs 4,000 people, including 1,300 artists, who originate from nearly 80 countries. In this interview, I spoke to Daniel Lamarre, Cirque du Soleil’s Executive Vice Chairman on creative leadership, how creativity can transform business, and his learnings on entrepreneurship from leading one of the world’s most creative businesses.

Thought Economics

Does power corrupt, or are corrupt people drawn to power? Are entrepreneurs who embezzle and cops who kill the result of poorly designed systems or are they just bad people? Are tyrants made or born? If you were suddenly thrust into a position of power, would you be able to resist the temptation to line your pockets or seek revenge against your enemies? To answer these questions, I spoke to Dr. Brian Klaas, who is Associate Professor in Global Politics at University College London, a columnist for The Washington Post, and who has advised governments, US political campaigns, NATO, the European Union and multi-billion dollar NGOs. In his latest book, Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How it Changes Us, Brian combined decades of research with over 500 interviews with leaders including presidents, philanthropists, cult-leaders, dictators and entrepreneurs. In this interview, I speak to Dr. Brian Klaas about why our societies concentrate power into hierarchies and why our power systems attract certain types of leaders. We also talk about how we can design systems that can prevent corruption and abuses of power together with how we can attract, and empower, a better class of leader.

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

Robert Greene is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, and Mastery. In addition to having a strong following within the business world and a deep following in Washington, DC, Greene’s books are hailed by everyone from war historians to the biggest musicians in the industry (including Jay-Z, Drake, and 50 Cent). In this interview, I speak to Robert Greene on power, mastery, success & understanding human nature.

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

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