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What is a Good Life? #42
Embracing The Mess Of Life with Pranay Sanklecha
On the 42nd episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast, I am delighted to welcome Pranay Sanklecha as our guest. Pranay is a philosopher, the founder of The Philosophy Practice, and a former philosophy professor at The University of Graz.
In this episode, Pranay looks to explore my own perspectives as well as sharing his own. We discuss the motives I had for starting this project, our realisations of the pitfalls of striving for particular states or experiences, and that real change may appear slow in the moment but can be considerable when viewed over time.
He also breaks down bigger concepts and questions into more relatable and applicable chunks, like a good life into a good day, and notions of oneness and loving everyone to focussing on truly loving your partner in the more trying moments of life (see 🎬 below).
Much of what Pranay is pointing to in this conversation is that if love, beauty, or God, are to be found anywhere, or if there is a good life to be experienced, it is right here in the mess of daily life, and not from escaping it.
This episode will give you plenty to consider in terms of where, and how, you are looking to experience a good life!
The weekly clip from the podcast (3 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (72 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
During this discussion, Pranay provided an example of what he believes has led to a significant change in his life: expressing love even in the act of arguing or fighting with his partner. This resonates a lot with my own experience. All too often, once we get into an argument with someone, we decide to fully commit to that position and see it through to the end by trying to win, and very quickly our, and their, humanity goes out the window.
What could just be a silly and petty squabble carries on for hours.
What makes a stunning difference in my life is not so much fixating on whether I’ve lost my cool, apportioning blame, on winning the argument, or what the other person is even saying once tempers have been raised, but paying attention to the risings and fallings of my own emotions. And when my anger invariably ebbs and flows over the course of an argument, expressing something that comes up in these gaps or through these cracks in the anger.
It can be, as in the case of Pranay’s example where it is expressing love, I’ve also had experiences where I take accountability mid-argument for how irrational and unfair I am being, where I express the source of my pain, or even comment on the pattern or loop I seem to be stuck in from a trigger. Even if after these admissions I still get swept away by my emotions again, it greatly reduces the disconnection experienced between us as well as the length and impact of a conflict.
Whereas more often than not, the energy of the argument can unravel like a meteor coming into contact with the atmosphere, and be reduced to a steaming, small, and much less destructive, rock.
One of the beauties of developing more self-awareness is noticing the transience of the emotions we are experiencing. And even while I remain a wonderfully flawed human being who loses his temper, and can be swept along by my emotions, I can also become aware of the opportunities to extricate myself from the loop (or even just slowing down its speed), even after it has been initiated.
As someone who has always had a temper, just knowing that this is possible, significantly reduces the pressure I put on myself not to lose my temper at all, which in turn has made actually losing my temper a less frequent occurrence.
And all it may take is being honest about what I am observing and experiencing, and communicating that to the other person (admittedly a process in itself to get there).
If you’d like to work with me to awaken your own lines of self-inquiry, message me here to a arrange a free 30-minute 1-on-1 consultation
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3. Full Episode - Embracing The Mess Of Life with Pranay Sanklecha - What is a Good Life? #42
4. This week’s Questions
What ares of your life are you experiencing much more growth than you are giving yourself credit, when you zoom out and look at it over the longer term?
What parts of your life could you love and accept more without them changing at all?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around answering some of the bigger questions in life. I started this project in 2021, for which I’ve now interviewed over 170 people, to provide people with the space to reflect on their own lives and to create content that would spark people’s own inquiry into this question. I am also trying to share more genuine expressions of the human experience, beyond the facades we typically project.