Books I’ve Loved | Alain de Botton on the Tim Ferriss Show

 Check out The Tim Ferriss Show Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  •  Home Is Where We Start From by D. W. Winnicott
    • It’s a collection of essays by the English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott
    • Key lesson:
      • You don’t want to be a perfect parent. In fact, being one is dangerous because essentially the job of a parent is to disappoint a child bit by bit and induct them into adult realities.
        • Alain recites a quote from the book: “No one needs a perfect parent. All they need is a good enough parent.” 
  • The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer
  • “He is the most miserable person on earth. However, reading him is a joy.”
    • Schopenhauer also encourages people to make friends with despair and other dark truths:
      • Many of your dreams likely won’t come true
      • Your career won’t be as smooth as you think
      • You will be disappointed by friends and loved ones
        • “This is your man at the moments of real despair. He is the friend in darkness. And oddly, strangely, he is immensely consoling.” 

Intro

Books Mentioned

First Book Recommendation

  • Home Is Where We Start From by D. W. Winnicott
    • It’s a collection of essays by the English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott
  • Lessons from the book:
    • The true self is when you express yourself without any filtering or editing.
      • Think of a baby: It will cry when it gets hurt and laugh at anything it thinks is funny.
    • The false self is when you express yourself in a manner that meets the expectations of others. This can lead to compliance where an individual becomes more attuned to the demands of others than to their own needs. 
      • “This can give them lots of difficulties in later life when they can no longer be authentic, they lose touch with what they really want because what they really want has been censored so heavily by those around them.” – Alain de Botton
    • To navigate the adult world, you need both your true and false self. 
  • Another value lesson:
    • You don’t want to be a perfect parent. In fact, being one is dangerous because essentially the job of a parent is to disappoint a child bit by bit and induct them into adult realities.
      • Alain recites a quote from the book: “No one needs a perfect parent. All they need is a good enough parent.” 

Second Book Recommendation

  • The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer
    • “Arthur Schopenhauer is perhaps the most pessimistic of all the panoply of very pessimistic German thinkers that philosophy produced in that country in the nineteenth century.” – Alain de Botton
      • “He is the most miserable person on earth. However, reading him is a joy.”
        • Alain shares that Schopenhauer writes beautiful prose
        • Schopenhauer also encourages people to make friends with despair and other dark truths:
          • Many of your dreams likely won’t come true
          • Your career won’t be as smooth as you think
          • You will be disappointed by friends and loved ones
            • “The world will seem ugly and dumb. Schopenhauer is saying, “I know, I know, I’ve been here. Let’s cry together rather than alone or rather than escaping into a sentimental bromide that shields us from the fundamental reality that we’re engaged with.”
              • “This is your man at the moments of real despair. He is the friend in darkness. And oddly, strangely, he is immensely consoling.”
Tim Ferriss Show : , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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