He was upstairs in a bookstore.
Twenty years old at the time, he had climbed a ladder set against a bookcase and was searching for the newly-arrived Western books: Maupassant, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Ibsen, Shaw, Tolstoy…
This is the opening paragraph of a short story called The Life Of A Stupid Man by Ryunosuke Akutagawa.
This paragraph hooked me into the work of the father of the Japanese short story because of the author’s vulnerability.
His short stories offer several mental health and creative insights:
Continue reading “Mental Health & Writing Insights From The Father Of Japanese Short Stories”
Great to chat Ben and to see all the work you’re doing with philosophy. What were your earliest experiences with philosophy and has your perspective changed over time?
It’s changed a lot throughout my life. I studied philosophy at school, starting back when it was called theology and philosophy for GCSE, and then at A level and what captured me was the philosophical aspect.
So we ran through things such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Epicurus. The big hitters of the time. It was very much Western philosophy and that interest then flowed naturally into my university degree.
The real reason why I ended up doing it at uni was because, at that time, I didn’t know what to study. My background was military, so my intention was to join the Royal Marines. But I wanted to get a degree and enjoy university at the same time.
My perspective was that philosophy, because there are no right or wrong answers, would be perfect. I thought: “I basically can’t get it wrong! I just have to argue really well”. That was my illogical teenage reasoning for choosing philosophy. Thankfully, I got really into it as I realised how well it teaches you to think.
Continue reading “Ethical Leadership & Philosophical Training At Work With Ben Wilberforce-Ritchie”
Philosophy crosses over into all walks of life and when put into practice, it enables the practitioner to create positive change in their lives and the lives of others. This has certainly been the case for Andrew McConnell, the CEO of Rented and author of Get Out of My Head: Creating Modern Clarity With Stoic Wisdom.
While Stoicism has been an influential philosophy in his life, McConnell doesn’t limit himself to only one train of thought, preferring to cherry-pick from different wisdom traditions. In this interview, we dive into how that shaped his journey as an entrepreneur, building a business with a philosophical mindset and being a parent.
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Listening is arguably the most important life skill we can have. It’s how we show we’re connected to each other, how we process information and turn knowledge into wisdom.
It’s also about more than just hearing someone and Colin Smith has dedicated his life to helping people become better listeners and developing their own philosophy of being connected to someone else.
In this interview, we delve into listening techniques, the musicality of listening and how leaders can get better at paying attention.
Continue reading “Colin Smith On The Philosophy Of Listening And Forging Stronger Human Connections”