What if you or your company, could be improved by crisis?

On the podcast I have conversations with thought leaders from a variety of fields to get their experiences, ideas or research on how people and companies handle present day challenges or problematic futures. If there are concepts, systems or pragmatic philosophies that can help, I want to learn them.

The show is long-form and despite the fact that I’m scratching my own itch and even through frequently dumb questions, the guests are game, very insightful and often inspirational.

I’m learning a lot, I think you will too.

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Latest Episodes, Show Notes, and More

A discussion on the benefits of embracing uncertainty, specifically the tools outlined in their book, The Upside of Uncertainty: The Guide To Finding Possibility In The Unknown. How do we move forward when we don't fully know what we are dealing with? 
Kieran Setiya is a Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kieren’s newest book, Life is Hard, How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way, is the topic of this podcast. In this episode, Keiran challenges the idea that happiness should be life's primary pursuit. Instead, he argues that we should try to live well, and living well means how one lives in relationship to difficulty - not without difficulty.
This podcast is about what happens chemically to our brains when we are severely depressed, traumatized or anxious. And for those stuck in that state, what are the latest clinical treatments using medication that can help someone get unstuck. Dr. John Krystal's work links psychopharmacology, neuroimaging, molecular genetics, and computational neuroscience to study the neurobiology and treatment of these disorders.
Dr. Lindsay Gibson has written a best-selling series on dealing with emotionally immature people, the first of which is Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from the Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved. On this podcast, Dr. Gibson sheds light on the high-conflict personality type and gives great psychological and tactical advice for dealing with the emotionally immature.
For profound loss, we often say we are heartbroken, but it is more accurate to say we are brain broken given the primacy of the role our brains play in how we feel about loss. Mary-Francis is a professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Arizona and is the Director of the Grief, Loss, and Social Stress Lab, where she and her colleagues are creating new frameworks for understanding grief and the grieving process. 
A.J. Jacobs is the king of self-experimentation and participatory journalism. He is an author, journalist, lecturer, and human guinea pig; the results of which have led to some extreme field experiments like living the rules of the Old Testament for a year, thanking over a thousand people who served him coffee, reading the Encyclopedia Britannica to acquire knowledge about everything, and ...
Oliver Burkeman is a British journalist and author. He writes and publishes a twice-monthly newsletter called "The Imperfectionist." His most recent book is "Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals," which is also the topic of the podcast. 
Robin Dunbar is an eminent anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist famous for "Dunbar's Number". He is the head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Robin is also the author of Friends — Understanding the Power of Our Most Important Relationships. Robin's research involves ...
The great resignation is all over the media of late; it's an economic trend born of the COVID pandemic in which employees (In the U.S. for our purposes) are voluntarily leaving jobs in huge numbers—starting around the end of 2020, ramping in 2021 and increasing now in 2022.
This podcast is about the power of dealing with negative thoughts and emotions more obliquely. It's a central shift from focusing on what you think and feel to how you relate to what you think and feel. My guest is Steven Hayes PhD...
My guest is Dr. Paul Offit, a world renowned expert and medical pioneer in the field of immunology and virology. This is my remedial course on one of the greatest medical achievements of modern civilization.
Your mind shapes every experience you have and trying to be happy by exerting more control over external forces is futile. You need to spend time on ordering your inner world. This podcast is about doing just that. My guest is Loch Kelly. Loch is an author, meditation teacher, psychotherapist....
This podcast is part biography of our current pandemic, and part admonishment on how to live through one. Nicholas Christakis is a physician and social scientist at Yale University who conducts research in network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics.
On this podcast, I delve into what cognitive science is learning about the conversations we have with ourselves - and how to manage them. My guest is Ethan Kross, Ph.D. An award-winning professor and the author of the just-published book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It. Ethan says...
Tommy Chong is a grammy award-winning comedian and is legendary for his invaluable contribution to American counter-culture as part of the iconic comedy duo Cheech & Chong. During their reign, the twosome recorded six gold comedy albums. In 2003 a fully armed SWAT team raided the comedian's home, culminating with Tommy being sentenced to 9 months in federal prison.
This podcast is an exploration into the mental processes that enable survivors to cope with extreme post-traumatic stress that sets in after an almost fatal event. Take, for example, Debbie Kiley. Debbie's sailboat went down during a hurricane, and she floated in deep ocean for five days watching three of her friends die before rescue. But rescue was not the end of the story;
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. Massimo Pigliucci is the author or editor of 14 books, including the bestselling "How to Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life." The key to much of our neurosis is not understanding what’s in our control and what’s not. Crazy making is treating outcomes as objects.
What do you do when you're faced with a big decision? Annie Duke is an expert on decision fitness and is the author of "How To Decide, Simple Tools For Making Better Choices", which is the topic of the show. We talk about her tools and heuristics to make quality decisions and how to 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.