#567. Jonathan Haidt on: The Upside of Striving, How to Build a Stronger Mind, And What to Do with Ideas You Hate
Usually episodes of this show are organized around one big question, but today’s guest, Jonathan Haidt, is just too interesting for one clear focus. In this episode, we dig into a ton of fascinating topics, including: why it can make you happier to see your own irrationality and hypocrisy, the value of interacting with ideas you do not like, how to navigate social media sanely, how to get ahead at work (and stay happy in the process), the upside of striving, the wisdom of the Stoics, and more.
Jonathan Haidt is a renowned social psychologist from New York University’s Stern school of business and the author of many books, including: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Since 2018, he’s been studying the contributions of social media to the decline of teen mental health and the rise of political dysfunction.
One other note: heads up that this conversation includes mentions of self-harm and suicide.
In this episode we talk about:
- Haidt’s elephant and rider metaphor that explains how our minds’ operate
- How to use different techniques from hypnosis to Buddhist and Stoic practices to tame our unconscious
- Why we’ve evolved to be hypocrites and how admitting our flaws can help us come out ahead
- Buddhism as a counterpoint to our success oriented culture
- The deleterious effects of social media on democracy and young people’s mental health
Photo credit: Jayne Riew
Where to find Jonathan Haidt online:
- Twitter: twitter.com/jonhaidt
- The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
- The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
- The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
- Atomic Habits
Other Resources Mentioned:
- “Yes, Social Media Really is Undermining Democracy” in The Atlantic
- Greg Lukianoff
- #382. Stoicism 101 | Nancy Sherman
- Open Mind Platform
- The Five Minute Journal