Everyday absurdity

In this engaging How to Fail podcast with Alain de Botton, he talks about his approach to confidence. He looked at most confidence training and saw a lot of mantras about believing in yourself and reinforcing your sense of being special.

He talked about an alternative approach which is to see past other people’s apparent perfection. Instead, you could see the weaknesses and follies beneath, and embrace your own absurdities. This might allow you to go out in the world with an easier sort of confidence that might be a bit more relaxed and joyful. De Botton also talks about the need to appreciate ordinary life, resisting the pressure to be a success in a society that seems to favour competition.

I also listened to another show in the same series, with the actor Andrew Scott. He observes that one of the things that distinguishes humans from other mammals is our sense of the absurd. He talks about how humans are able to find humour, even in the darkest places.

Sometimes working with people, I find it quite energising to invite absurd ideas and suggestions as it can be quite energising, and helps get us out of trances.

1 thought on “Everyday absurdity

  1. Andrew Sidwell

    de Botton’s comments remind me of Freud’s project theory and Jung’s use of others to understand ourselves better. The absurd is both fun and instructive.


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