Category Archives: work

How to empathise with a telesales caller

What kinds of life experiences open us up to empathy? One of my own, which in part inspired me to write my new book, Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution, took place when I had a horrible job working in telesales in Sydney after I left university. Here’s what I learned… Something like this has probably happened to […]

Also posted in conversation, empathy, empathy through conversation, ethics | 2 Comments

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, love, money, philosophy, religion, simple living | 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. […]

Also posted in belief, conversation, creativity, deathstyle, emotions, empathy, ethics, family, history, literature, love, money, nature, philosophy, politics, religion, senses, simple living, time, travel | Leave a comment

Have we all been duped by the Myers-Briggs test?

INFP? ISTJ? You’ve probably taken a personality test at some point. But here’s the bad news: even the most popular tests, such as Myers-Briggs (MBTI), are not to be trusted. Retake a Myers-Briggs test after just a five week gap and there is a 50% chance you’ll be put into a different personality category. In this […]

Also posted in emotions, mental health, psychology, science | 1 Comment

Four Ways to Rethink ‘Having It All’ (Without Leaning In)

Here’s an article I just wrote for the Wall Street Journal on the dilemmas of balancing work and family life. Is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, author of Leaning In, right to think that women can ‘have it all’ if only they really believe in themselves? My approach is not to answer the question ‘Is it possible […]

Also posted in belief, family, history, money, politics, psychology, public policy, simple living, travel | Leave a comment

Six Ways to Stop Worrying and Find Work You Love

To celebrate the launch of the US edition of my book How to Find Fulfilling Work, I’ve written a short essay that draws out what I think are the most important, useful and hopefully inspiring ideas within its pages. It’s called Six Ways to Stop Worrying and Find Work You Love, and is published by […]

Also posted in conversation, emotions, history | Leave a comment

The Human Zoo: The tyranny of group-don’t-think

There’s a fascinating new BBC Radio 4 series called The Human Zoo, looking at the ins and outs of who we really are – are we led by the head or the heart? what are the quirks and qualities that drive human behaviour? Episode 4 focuses on why human beings find it so difficult to admit when […]

Also posted in belief, creativity, emotions, ethics, podcasts, psychology, science | 2 Comments

Who Are You Trying to Impress? How to Escape Status Anxiety

In the eighteenth century, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau warned against ‘the universal desire for reputation’. And yet so often we seek to be admired by others, pursuing careers and lifestyles that offer the lures of social status. In this article in Psychology Today magazine, I put the idea of status under the spotlight, and ask whether […]

Also posted in emotions, ethics, money, philosophy, psychology | Leave a comment

Five Ways to Make Work Matter Again – Without Changing Jobs

Finding fulfilling work isn’t always about making a drastic career change. In this article for the Wall Street Journal, I suggest five ways to make your existing job more meaningful and stimulating – with a little help from John Maynard Keynes, E. F. Schumacher and  Brené Brown.

Also posted in conversation, creativity, emotions, money, psychology, simple living | Leave a comment

Working from home: the five golden rules

Yahoo’s new boss, Marissa Mayer, has just issued an edict banning her employees from working at home. In this article in today’s Guardian, I give my response, suggesting five ways to become an expert homeworker (and keep bosses like Mayer happy as well).

Also posted in family, money, simple living | 1 Comment
  • 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.


  • New Outrospection blog articles

  • Sign up to receive weekly email notification of new postings.

  • Upcoming events and talks

  • Topics

  • Archives

  • Meta