By Rigel Patterson: Host and Blogger

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Join us every other week for interviews with experts and thought leaders about topics related to resilience, purpose, and human values. Explore questions like: How can we live our lives with more purpose? How can we create good and lasting habits? How can we live more conscientiously? What is our potential? We dive into these topics—and many more—as we discuss the pressing dilemmas of our time and ideas that science is just starting to uncover.

Episode Date
Where Most of Us Don’t Go

Fariba Nawa is a journalist who covers war, corruption, cultural trends, and human rights. She is drawn to the dire situations that war creates—the victimhood, the violence, and the people who are silenced by their circumstance. Mostly she wants to tell the stories of people who aren't able to share their own. But for her going back to Afghanistan, eventually to live there, had another dimension: she was going home. I ask Fariba questions that we all, at times, wonder about: What does belonging look like to you? Do you feel at home? How have you been shaped by feelings of guilt? Fariba reported on the U.S. War in Afghanistan and researched what became her book: Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman's Journey Through Afghanistan.

Jul 14, 2018
Being You

Paula Stone Williams is a pastor and speaks nationally on issues of gender equity, LGBTQ rights, and religion. Her TEDx talk "I've lived as a man & a woman—here's what I learned" has received over 800,000 views. Today we talk with Paula about her search for authenticity, her experience being transgender and, given that she has lived as a woman and a man, what she’s observed about gender equity.

Jun 24, 2018
Getting Work Right

Dr. Ron Friedman is an award-winning psychologist, business consultant, and the author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace. He writes for the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and CNN. Dr. Friedman's research sheds light on how to build healthy workplaces, which includes embracing failure, giving up the mindset of perfection, and taking care of yourself. We start the interview with Ron talking about what motivated him to pursue such an extensive project—what became his book.   

Jun 08, 2018
What We Can Learn with Barbara Oakley
Barbara Oakley, the author of Mindshift, offers a fresh perspective. She shares stories about people who buckled down and pursued what for them seemed like long shots, if their pasts were any indication of what they could be good at. We talk with Barbara about learning, grit, and the challenges people face when changing careers.  And, in case you’re wondering, Barbara knows a lot about learning. She is the co-creator of the wildly popular Coursera Course Learning How to Learn. The course is the largest MOOC (which stands for “Massive Open Online Course”). It has totaled over two million enrollments. 
May 26, 2018
How We’re Wired
As humans we have an emotional life that is always active. And if you’re like me, you might find yourself wondering: Why is my mind so busy all the time? Does my brain really know what is best? Are my judgements accurate? I am very excited to have Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett joining us. She is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, and the author of the book How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. The Harvard professor of psychology and bestselling author Daniel Gilbert has this to say about her work: “A brilliant and original book on the science of emotion by the deepest thinker about this topic since Darwin.” We begin with Lisa explaining how we as humans shape each other. 
Apr 28, 2018
A Different Way to Meet Goals
Reaching our goals is partly what makes us feel good about life—we want to contribute, we want to feel competent at what we do, and we want to feel like we are learning and growing. But so often we face a problem: what we need to accomplish feels like the last thing we want to do, so we procrastinate or create all kinds of tricks to try to get ourselves to work harder that often don't work. Today we talk with someone who says our overemphasis on a topdown approach to self-control is faulty. In fact, too much of it will harm us in the long run. David DeSteno, a professor and researcher at Northeastern University, talks about a different approach in his new book, Emotional Success. There are three emotions we can cultivate that not only enrich our lives, but they help us be more gritty without the longterm consequences. 
Apr 14, 2018
The Deadly Sin That Helps Us Thrive
The theory of emotion, through much of the twentieth century, was dominated by the idea that emotion is learned through the culture you grow up in. But a man by the name of Paul Ekman, thought this thinking was faulty. He believed Darwin's theory of emotion was correct, which supports the idea that there are basic emotions that are a product of our biology. In other words, they’re universal, something we all have in common. So Ekman and his colleagues set out to test this idea in 1967 and, after traveling across the globe to run cross cultural experiments, they found support for six emotions that we all share: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise. But today the study of emotion is a burgeoning field. It’s believed that all of our decisions and actions are spurred by emotion, so researchers are studying other emotions—ones that go beyond our basic need to survive and look at how we thrive. We talk with Jessica Tracy, a researcher and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, about her new book, Pride. 
Mar 30, 2018
Listening to What We Know

We are joined by bestselling author Robert Fulghum. It is hard to wrap our mind around a precise meaning of life, but Robert's words lead us to a river of sustenance—to places that nourish, heal, and help us go beyond ourselves. Through the experiences he shares, you get a sense of his perspective and the values he holds that make his life full of rich experiences and adventures that span time, relationships, and space. We hope you enjoy the conversation. 

Mar 15, 2018
The Stories We Tell
The majority of people say they want to write a book, as much as 80-90% by some estimates, so today we’re diving into what makes a good story. It turns out, there are some rules that writers use, and once you know them, you will start to recognize them in the books you read, the movies you watch, and—hopefully—in the stories you write. Matthew Bird, the author of Secrets of Story, shares some insights. And, yes, I recommend his book because it is not only brimming with ideas, it is laugh-out-loud.
Feb 11, 2018
The Big Questions: a (mostly) unedited conversation

In her book, Grace Without God, Katherine Ozment explores how we can bring the best of religion into our lives without the parts that clash with our secular beliefs. She drifted away from religion as an adult, but after having children she realized that she needed to create a space where her family could explore the big questions: Why are we here? Where are we going? What happens when we die? On a quest to answer how secular people are exploring a world without religious faith, Katherine visited churches, discovered nonreligious communities, and spoke with scholars about the increasing trend of being religiously unaffiliated. 

Jan 05, 2018
How to Rethink Your Problems
If you ever find yourself banging your head against a wall because you can't solve a problem in your life, it’s you and everybody else, which brings us to our expert today. As a business consultant, speaker, and co-author of the book Innovation as Usual, Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg has worked with managers all over the world to reframe how they think about their problems and how they go about solving them. 
Dec 13, 2017
Just Listen: Connect Better with People You Care About

So often we are distracted and not present in the conversations in our lives and as a result we miss opportunities to connect and to build a better part of ourselves. Today we learn how to shift our attention, how to expand the breadth and depth of our relationships, and how to overcome some hurdles we have within ourselves. Joining us is Dr. Mark Goulston, a psychiatrist, business consultant, and the author of the widely acclaimed book Just Listen. 

Oct 25, 2017
How Power Changes Us

Dacher Keltner is a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkley and the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center. He has authored several books on human emotion and he is here today to talk with us about his most recent book: The Power Paradox.

Oct 02, 2017
Why Compassion Belongs at Work

Monica Worline, a business consultant and researcher at Standford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research, joins us to talk about her new book, Awakening Compassion at Work. The book is coauthored with Jane Dutton, a professor emerita of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. 

Aug 23, 2017
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Andy Molinsky, a professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University's business school, talks about his new book, Reach, and shares ideas about "just right" challenges that help us expand our comfort zone.  

Jul 20, 2017