Mind the Dash: Forging a Meaningful Life with Dean Rickles PhD

Original Air Date Wednesday, April 19, 2023 

Most teenagers’ default setting is mimetic desire. Before online technologies were ubiquitous, teens would mimic the behavior of familial or social influences to shape their morality and conduct. During times of quiet reflection, they indulged in self-assessment.

But with social media algorithms designed to manipulate the mind through wasted time, there are entire age groups that are becoming externally referenced. To discover ways to retain our individualism, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with author and professor Dean Rickles PhD. Dean offers a philosophical and psychological look into the damaging effects of social media on social connections. He shares the core principles from his book Life is Short: An Appropriately Brief Guide to Making it More Meaningful as examples of how death can be a driver to embark on a richer, more meaningful life.

Dean Rickles PhD — Forging a Meaningful Life:

  • Dean describes the focus of his Seneca-esque book Life is Short: An Appropriately Brief Guide to Making it More Meaningful and shares why he canceled his social media accounts. [1:56]
  • Capturing the mind’s attention is the capital that is paid to use social media. [8:31]
  • Lisa and Dean discuss distractions, dopamine hits, social connection, and death. [19:13]
  • Philosophy is the ultimate self-help tool about how to live and how to die. [28:14]
  • Derived from his book, Dean describes the ideal balance between wise and childish poles. [30:52]

Podcast about social media effects and the impact on a meaningful life with Dean Rickles and Lisa Cypers Kamen sponsored by Nutrafol and SKIMSDean Rickles PhD is a professor of history and philosophy of modern physics at the University of Sydney and the co-director of the Centre for Time. Dean briefly trained as a concert pianist at the London College of Music. He is the author of many books, including histories of String Theory and quantum gravity, and two recent books: Life is Short: An Appropriately Brief Guide to Making it More Meaningful (Princeton University Press, 2022) and Dual-Aspect Monism and the Deep Structure of Meaning (Routledge, 2022 – co-authored with Harald Atmanspacher).

Book: Life is Short: An Appropriately Brief Guide to Making it More Meaningful





This podcast episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about declutter and creating a space for joy to flourish is sponsored by: 

Nutrafol — Thinning hair is common, even normal, due to hormonal shifts, stress, habits, and aging. Nutrafol goes beyond genetics to target the factors that impact hair growth. In addition to beautiful hair, the ingredients help improve sleep, stress response, skin, and nails. Take the hair wellness quiz at Nutrafol.com and use promo code Happiness to save $10 off your first month’s subscription. This offer is available to US customers with free shipping on every order. 

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Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.



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