What is a Good Life? #5 (Podcast)
Building a Personal Life Philosophy with James Cussen
Good day to you all,
I hope life is treating you well.
On the fifth episode of the “What is a Good Life?” podcast, I am joined by James Cussen, the Creator at The Living Philosophy.
I discovered James’ work through his well-received YouTube channel of the same name, The Living Philosophy. I’d strongly recommend this to anyone with a curiosity for philosophy or a desire to broaden their thinking.
Since devouring a copy of Albert Camus’s, The Outsider, as a teenager, philosophy has taken James on a journey from despair to immense purpose. His content, guidance, and ideas, around philosophy have a strong emphasis on embodying its wisdom and learning the art of the good life, so I felt he’d be an ideal guest for this podcast.
The structure for the newsletter is:
Short video clip from the podcast (68 seconds)
My weekly reflection related to the weekly video clip (1 min)
Full podcast episode - both video and audio (75 mins)
Two content related questions to prompt your own reflections on life
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
In this increasingly binary world we inhabit, in terms of public discourse, I often feel what we are lacking is the subtlety of personalising and owning our own views and opinions, while belonging to a group.
I understand the desire to be part of a group and the desire to fiercely oppose a force that we deem as harmful. However, if that comes at the cost of surrendering the nuance of our own views, we end up in this heightened state of fear - having lost ourselves in the group and therefore not knowing what we are without the group.
Nowadays many groups appear to demand more binary thinking and make the social rules or norms for membership more narrow or stringent. It is not enough that we share 7/10 perspectives, it must be 9 or 10/10, or else you are one of them, not one of us.
I suspect in a lot of public debates we are not so far away from large swathes of people who we perceive to be on the other side. If only we could lay down our label or our group membership for 5 minutes, curiously talk with each other, and to know and express our own personal views.
Whether the philosophy of a group, a thought, or a movement, it’s essential for me to know where I personally stand in relation to them, so that I don’t get lost in them, that I don’t lose my ability to regularly reflect on my own, and the group’s, behaviours and beliefs. I have flaws, you have flaws, our groups have flaws, willfully suggesting otherwise won’t change that reality or lead us to a better place.
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3. Full Episode - Building a Personal Life Philosophy w/ James Cussen - What is a Good Life? Ep. #5
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4. This week’s Questions
What are the core pillars of your own personal life philosophy?
What are the strengths and flaws of the groups you are apart of, and in what ways do they represent and not represent your perspectives?
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 what life, myself, and existence are all about.
I work with high-performing, individual clients who have hit their material goals and are trying to understand what comes after performance. I have also created a Corporate program (based on the question What is a Good Life?) for teams to foster greater trust and human connection within high-performing teams (click here for reference).
If you would like to work with me, or you simply want to get in touch, here’s my email and LinkedIn.