Personal Growth

On this episode, my focus is on finding peace of mind amidst persistent uncertainty. So many things that are directly affecting our lives are out of our direct control - and it can be maddening. Ancient Greeks used the term ataraxia, which means a state of serene calmness. Steven Gambardella writes in the Sophist “Ataraxia is not a positively-defined state such as “happy” or “excited” It was believed by the Hellenistic philosophies to be a “resting” state of serenity.” To achieve this state, the 3rd-century Stoic sages taught the need to discern between “things not up to us” vs. “things up to us”
What do you do when you're faced with a big decision? My guest is Annie Duke. Annie is an expert on decision fitness and is the author of two books on decision making, the bestseller Thinking In Bets, and her latest How To Decide, Simple Tools For Making Better Choices, is the topic of the show. This episode follows from our first conversation except here we shift from highlighting causes of bad decisions to discussing in more of the process for making better ones. We talk about her tools and heuristics to make quality decisions - and create your own crystal ball.
Dr. David Burns is one of the pioneers in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and largely responsible for its widespread adoption in psychotherapy today. Dr. Burns says that our negative moods do not result from what’s wrong with us, but rather -- what’s right with us. And paradoxically, when you listen and “hear” what your negative thoughts and feelings are trying to say, you won’t need them anymore, and recovery follows. The goal, according to Dr. Burns, is not just complete elimination of negative feelings, but the development of joy and enlightenment.
On this podcast, we talk about what happens after we make a terrible mistake. What is our response to our mistakes? Do we try to brush it off? Do we say screw it and double down?  Mistakes don’t end with the mistake itself - it can get worse, much worse. My guests are Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. They co-authored the book “Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me):
Rory Sutherland is a best selling author, ad man being the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy and Mather and co-founder of Ogilvy Change, a behavioral science practice where they believe the greatest gains to be made in business and society are psychological, not technological.  
James Altucher has been talking with a wide variety of experts about the Coronavirus, everyone from an immunologist, physicians, geneticist, economist to policy experts and super forecasters in the form of regular updates starting in February. He also lives in Manhattan, which is ground zero for the epidemic here in the states, which gives him another perspective I don’t have.
The Stoics’ realized that even though you have limited control over what setbacks you experience, you can develop considerable control over how you respond to them. The 1st century Stoic Seneca wrote about the differences between experiencing a setback and suffering from it, by changing the perspective of how one thinks of setbacks. 
This episode is about trying to understand our true capacity to cope with stress and how to arouse the dormant resilience in all of us. My guest on this show seems to be proof there are benefits from extreme physical challenges. In his case, actually seeking out stressors and using them to hack the nervous system - reprogramming it's response to those stressors.
As I publish this on April 6, 2020, there are 340,000 cases of the Coronavirus in the U.S. with over 9,700 deaths. Over 70,000 deaths world wide. The amount and velocity of information on the pandemic can be overwhelming and much of it is conflicting. Do this - don't do that, this works, no it doesn’t.
Dr. Steven M. Southwick, is the author of Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges. In this show he summarizes his research into the psychological, biological, and social impact of trauma, combining the latest scientific findings in the area of resilience drawing on two decades of work with trauma survivors