by Matthew Boulton: Student of human flourishing and proponent of objective optimism
We can derive tremendous benefit from associating with other people, but only under certain conditions. We can learn from, trade with, enjoy the company of, and share romantic love with others. Here, I share ideas, stories, experiences, and other content related to defining and choosing the kinds of people who add to our flourishing, helping us each think about what are healthy versus unhealthy relationships.
Does good etiquette lead to self-esteem? Or is etiquette just a social convention imposed upon us and a show put on for others?
Learn the “meaning behind the manners,” as Nita Patel distinguishes traditional and modern etiquette, defining the latter as “where outer actions and your inner awareness come together to achieve your best self.”
Why do parents dread the “teen” years? And should they?
Dr. Cam says that if you expect the worst, you get the worst. But instead, if you understand why your teens act the way they do and expect good things, adolescence can actually be an ENJOYABLE experience.
Are you “just living” or are you fully alive? The latter doesn’t have to mean you’re jumping out of airplanes and swimming with sharks. In this interview, best-selling author and sought-after speaker, Danny Bader, offers a tried and tested system for developing a vision of your best self and creating that reality–today and every day.
Do you feel frustrated with the changes you haven’t made yet? Do you know what to do, but you’re just not doing it consistently? If you doubt your ability to change, allow Elizabeth Benton to help you change your mindset.
Many of my friends in Korea who are not Nova Scotians (or Canadians) are unaware of the tragedy that has crashed upon many families in small communities in my beloved Nova Scotia. It has rocked the province as a whole, and any East Coaster around the world feels the horror, confusion, and anguish.
Happy wife, happy life? Maybe. It depends on what you mean. In this episode, Matthew submits that the usual way this expression is taken is subjective and therefore leads to mutual frustration and unhappiness. He offers instead an objective meaning, which gives the expression legitimacy and the power to help people achieve mutual happiness in a relationship.
And this wisdom isn’t just sound advice for a successful marriage, but for any long-term or close relationship.
In this episode, Matthew has fun dissecting the lyrics of a 2003 Ben Folds song, highlighting the wisdom within related to comparison culture. He discusses the repulsive nature of envy and bullying, and the futility of measuring one’s worth in relation to other people. See what messages you read in the sage words of Ben Folds. What’s your take?
The title is a summary version of a recent question from a reader, as it is more or less implied in what I say in a recent article, “There’s No Such Thing As a Necessary Evil. The reader quoted an excerpt from my article, then asked the question as follows:
The game day speech is a tough one. The epic battle speech is an even greater challenge. A leader has to assure his troops–calming their faulty nerves and relieving their anxieties and fears–while at once rousing their courage, passion, and determination to their fullest capacity just prior to the plunge. Aragorn nails his at the Black Gate of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The title may be familiar to some as the 2003 Ben Folds song it is. As a new experiment in my English conversation class this upcoming semester, I’m going to have students discuss these lyrics, while of course highlighting the lessons I take from it myself. As in many Ben Folds songs, the lyrics colorfully present a strong message, and I thought it would be a fun way to introduce a theme for discussion I think will prove relevant to them.
While comparing against others is a personal and social problem in Western countries, expressed (in one aspect) in the idiom “Keeping up with the Joneses,” Korea has its own distinct comparison culture. Korea is a hyper-modern economy that moves at warp speed. The uber-competitive education system centers all around scores and rankings based thereupon. And when they’re done with that, most feel enormous pressure at “getting a good job,” which means—if not a “doctor, lawyer, or judge”—at one of the bigger companies (e.g. Samsung, LG, Hyundai, etc.). Anyone can do the math to see that achieving this measure of “success” is not going to be a reality for almost everyone, so the stress is tremendous.