HISTORY OF IDEAS: “Wabi-sabi” / The School of Life / Alain de Botton ☮

At the heart of Japanese philosophy and wisdom lies a concept called ‘wabi-sabi’; a term which denotes a commitment to the everyday, the melancholic, the somewhat broken and the imperfect. It’s a term we need a lot more of in our lives.

PSYCHOLOGY – PSYCHOANALYSIS: “What It’s Like Inside Our Minds” / The School of Life / Alain de Botton ☮

It’s remarkably hard to imagine what it might be like inside our minds. But doing so helps us to see that the real task of thinking should involve throwing a spotlight on our elusive vague thoughts.

PHILOSOPHY – POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: “Why Socrates Hated Democracy” / The School of Life / MUST WATCH ☮

We’re used to thinking hugely well of democracy. But interestingly, one of the wisest people who ever lived, Socrates, had deep suspicions of it.

HISTORY: “History as a Cure for Our Times” / The School of Life / Alain de Botton ☮

It can seem as if we are living in deeply, uncommonly troubled and crazy times. We should take a measure of consolation from the example of history, that teaches us that humans have always been cruel and mad – but that civilisation has progressed nevertheless.

PSYCHOLOGY – MINDFULNESS: “The Importance of Staring Out of the Window” / The School of Life / Alain de Botton ☮

We are so busy and so obsessed with our phones, we rarely take a break to do that vital and rather philosophical thing: stare out of the window. Looking achieve a better state of calm? Try our calm cards.

RELATIONSHIPS: “How Romanticism Ruined Love” / The School of Life / Alain de Botton ☮

The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognise that it’s a skill, not an emotion.