Category Archives: love

Have you tried the six varieties of love?

We’re all pretty sophisticated when it comes to ordering a cup of coffee – do you want a latte, a cappuccino, a mocha or maybe a double espresso? But we are incredibly crude in the way we talk about love, using a single word to describe so many kinds of relationship. Those clever Ancient Greeks, […]

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Six Life Lessons from Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy was more than just a great novelist with one of the best beards of the nineteenth century. He was also a radical social and political thinker who was constantly grappling with the problem of how to live. I’ve just written an article about his approach to the art of living called Six Life Lessons […]

Also posted in belief, empathy, ethics, family, literature, money, philosophy, religion, simple living, work | 3 Comments

How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life

It’s launch day for my new book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life, which has just been released in the US. Previously published in the UK under the title The Wonderbox (sorry, a bit confusing, I know), it’s about what history can teach us about the art of living. […]

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17 Ways to Seize the Day

I’ve just finished writing a new book on empathy, due out early next year, provisionally titled Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. In my effort to get the manuscript in on time, I’ve been neglecting answering emails and dealing with bills, and my study is piled with bits of paper that I’ve been meaning to file […]

Also posted in conversation, creativity, emotions, empathy, family, mental health, money, philosophy, psychology, senses | 1 Comment

Valentine’s Day Video: The Six Varieties of Love

The Ancient Greeks would have considered us modern creatures incredibly unsophisticated in the way we talk about love. We tend to use a single word to cover so many different kinds of relationships and emotions. On Valentine’s Day you may well whisper ‘I love you’ to your soulmate over a candlelit meal, but then the […]

Also posted in family, history, philosophy, psychology, videos | 1 Comment

How Goethe can change your life – 3 lessons for 2013

So you’ve drawn up your list of New Year’s resolutions. Some are probably achievable, like giving up eating chocolate for breakfast. Others may be more daunting because they represent a long-held desire to take your life in a new direction, anything from changing career to renewing family relationships. If you’ve resolved to make a big change, I suggest […]

Also posted in belief, history, travel, work | 7 Comments

Is your job big enough for your spirit?

Here is the video of a talk I gave on my latest book, How to Find Fulfilling Work, at the Union Chapel in London in May. Filmed live in front of nearly 1000 people, it was part of the launch of The School of Life’s practical philosophy book series, edited by Alain de Botton and published […]

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Ready for a vulnerability hangover? Five ideas from Brené Brown

I recently had the great privilege and pleasure of interviewing Brené Brown, one of the world’s most original and exciting thinkers about emotional life, before a packed audience at London’s historic Conway Hall. It was no surprise that the event, organised by The School of Life, sold out its five hundred tickets within a record […]

Also posted in conversation, emotions, empathy, ethics, family, interviews, psychology | 14 Comments

Can reading a novel change the world?

‘It was through books that I first realised there were other worlds beyond my own; first imagined what it might be like to be another person,’ wrote novelist Julian Barnes in a recent Guardian essay. It’s an enticing thought that reading fiction might help us escape the straitjacket of our egos and expand our moral […]

Also posted in art, belief, empathy, empathy through education, empathy through experience, ethics, family, history, literature, philosophy, religion | 2 Comments

The lost history of the househusband

The following article originally appeared in The Guardian. The great tragedy of modern parenting is that we’ve forgotten its history – and mothers are paying the price. Contrary to popular belief, the superdad who takes on a serious share of childcare and housework is not a new invention. Before the industrial revolution – a mere couple of […]

Also posted in belief, ethics, family, history, work | 2 Comments
  • Welcome to OUTROSPECTION, my blog on empathy and the art of living. You'll find articles, interviews and news on the fundamental questions of how to live, with an emphasis on outrospection, which is about discovering who we are by stepping outside ourselves and exploring the lives of other people and cultures.

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