– Are You Self-Critical Enough?
Being hard on yourself has gotten a bad rap. I want to convince you of the virtues of self-criticism, argue for why it can change your life for the better, and show you how to get the balance just right.
– New Year’s Resolution? Stop Writing Like a 5-Year-Old
Call me old-fashioned, but going into 2016, we have a serious problem in the way we communicate. Despite years of schooling, and hundreds of hours of English classes, many people spend their days writing in a way that wouldn’t pass for third grade. This is what we need to do about it.
Dr. Daniels teaches at LePort Schools – a network of private schools based on the Montessori program in southern California. Prior to moving to LePort, Eric was a professor at Clemson University’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism, as well as Duke University, and Georgetown University — completing his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.
We cover a lot of ground here, and it’s an all-around fascinating discussion.
In the first part of our conversation we cover:
– The incredible degree of self-awareness Franklin displayed, and the systematic approach he used to gain such clarity of thought;
– The concept of “moral ambitiousness” – defining what you want, figuring out the means of getting it, and going after an outcome with everything you’ve got;
– A reality-check on the hardships of success, and what you need to do to ready yourself as a young and ambitious person.
In the second we explore:
–The culture of ‘self-making’ and the ingredients that allowed for the breakthrough of social mobility in the American 18th Century;
–The dangers of societal inertia and the necessity for growth and continual improvement;
–Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, and what it means to have self-directed success.
It was a great honour to conduct this interview.
My hope is that it will cause you to consider what you want out of live more deeply than you ever have before, reset your “internal compass”, and inspire you to formulate your own code of virtues and values to live by. A tall order indeed!
For context in the second half of questioning, for those unfamiliar with Objectivism, here’s a definition from the back cover of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
Objectivism: an uncompromising defence of self-interest as the engine of progress.
Without further a do, here is the episode…
– A quote from Emerson which I think sums up the “crabs in a bucket” solution wonderfully: “Envy is the tax which all distinction must pay.”
To wrap up, I’d love to hear a) what you thought of the episode, and b) what peculiar rituals this has inspired you to embrace to make yourself a more effective person. Leave a note in the comments below!
Since speaking with Don Watkins for Episode #2, I’ve delivered a TEDx talk in Vienna, completed and published my first book, taken a month-long trip to Colombia, and moved back to London after being away for nearly two years.
It’s been a wild time, and I’m very happy with all that I’ve been able to accomplish. But I’m ready to get back to some serious reading and to ‘reboot’ things with the podcast.
With that, I couldn’t be more excited for the interview I have in store for you.
The recording will go live on July 19th. If you’ve ever wanted to read this book but are yet to, this now gives you good reason and a hard deadline.
I was personally blown away by the systematic approach to self-improvement Franklin outlined. His writing was the inspiration for a lot of success and personal development literature we see today, and though challenging in parts, it’s full of gems to help you live a more fulfilling and prosperous life.