The Human Flourishing Project

The Human Flourishing Project

anchor.fm/humanflourishingproject
Hi, I’m Alex Epstein. I started the Human Flourishing project to tackle the problem I care about most: human beings lack reliable access to the knowledge we need to flourish.


44: No Means Yes
Jul 12 • 21 min
Alex Epstein discusses how saying “no” to most requests is essential to saying “yes” to your most important values.
43: Recalibrating standards of success
Jun 28 • 31 min
Alex Epstein discusses how to recalibrate your standards of success in work and in personal life.
42: The Joy of Reverse Procrastination
Jun 21 • 24 min
Alex Epstein discusses “reverse procrastination” and how it can lead to increased creativity, joy, and “time choice.”
41: The lesson I relearned from my new dog
Jun 7 • 8 min
Alex Epstein discusses one of his favorite lessons he’s learned about learning—which he has recently relearned with his new puppy, Sherlock.
40: The wisdom of The Fountainhead (part 1)
Jun 1 • 43 min
Alex Epstein discusses what he has learned about the psychology of human flourishing from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
39: The case for achieving 80% of your potential (part 2)
May 17 • 16 min
Alex Epstein continues his discussion of “80%” actualization, focusing on how it creates productive momentum and increases productive enjoyment.
38: Clear thinking and human flourishing
May 10 • 61 min
Alex Epstein is joined by his friend and fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Matthew Blasdel to discuss some interesting questions he had about clear thinking and human flourishing.
37: Life recipes
May 3 • 10 min
Alex Epstein discusses his favorite new “life recipe” and how you can create your own great life recipes.
36: The case for achieving 80% of your potential
Apr 26 • 20 min
Alex Epstein discusses the counterintuitive idea that you can get better results with more enjoyment by consistently striving to achieve 80% of your potential.
35: The search for truly great content (part 3)
Apr 19 • 27 min
Alex Epstein shares some of the fascinating recommendations of truly great content he’s gotten from listeners so far.
34: The search for truly great content (part 2)
Apr 12 • 16 min
Alex Epstein shares the new and improved survey he’s created to get recommendations of “truly great content” from you, the listener, about crucial, complex, confusing issues. Everyone who fills out the survey will get access to all the recommendations.
33: Cultivating appreciation
Apr 5 • 11 min
Alex Epstein discusses three recent experiences that have motivated him to cultivate the habit of appreciation.
32: 2019 resolutions—progress report and lessons learned
Mar 22 • 19 min
Alex Epstein discusses how he’s made rapid progress on his 2019 New Year’s Resolutions through “weekly altitude time.”
31: How I learn from other people’s systems
Mar 15 • 22 min
Alex Epstein discusses, using last week’s interview as an example, how he learns as much as he can as quickly as possible from other people’s successful systems.
30: An innovative psychotherapist
Mar 8 • 105 min
Alex interviews Brent Charleton, an innovative psychotherapist and executive coach, about how he developed a system that has yielded dramatically positive results with his clients.
29: The search for truly great content
Mar 1 • 17 min
Alex Epstein shares a new survey he’s created to get recommendations of “truly great content” from you, the listener, about crucial, complex, confusing issues.
28: The wisdom of Arnold Bennett (part 2)
Feb 22 • 49 min
Alex Epstein discusses some of Arnold Bennett’s positive insights on: personal finance, finding life interesting, taking control of one’s own mind, and integrating the present with the future.
27: The wisdom of Arnold Bennett (part 1)
Feb 15 • 38 min
Alex Epstein discusses why he loves the century-old self-help writings of Arnold Bennett, a master of “wise ridicule.”
26: The search for superior systems
Feb 8 • 28 min
Alex Epstein discusses the rare value of “superior system builders” and three attributes they have in common.
25: Q&A on resolutions, contexts, and personal assistants
Jan 25 • 33 min
Alex Epstein answers listener questions on how his New Year’s Resolutions are going, how to think about other people’s contexts, and how to make the most of a personal assistant.
24: The benefits of a time-blocked life
Jan 18 • 33 min
Alex Epstein discusses how he is applying “time-blocking” to every major category of life.
23: How to evaluate controversial technologies
Jan 11 • 37 min
In this episode of The Human Flourishing Project I discuss my framework for evaluating controversial technologies such as AI, genetic engineering, and, of course, fossil fuels.
22: The “altitude walk”
Jan 4 • 15 min
Alex Epstein discusses “the altitude walk,” a tool for improving the quality of your important decisions.
21: New Year’s resolutions for 2019
Dec 28, 2018 • 25 min
Alex Epstein discusses his resolutions for 2019, how he decided on them, and how he is going to ensure that he keeps them.
20: How no news leads to good news
Dec 21, 2018 • 20 min
Alex Epstein discusses his perspective on “news” and how avoiding it or time-blocking it can improve your ability to advance your own agenda.
19: Engineering your life routine
Dec 14, 2018 • 26 min
Alex Epstein discusses his specific “life routine” and guidelines for engineering your own.
18: Seeking stimulation vs. seeking nourishment
Dec 7, 2018 • 16 min
Alex Epstein discusses a concept he’s been refining this week as he’s been sick: the tendency to seek short-term stimulation when we’re uncomfortable—and why we should seek “nourishment” instead.
17: Focus and opportunity cost
Nov 30, 2018 • 24 min
Alex Epstein discusses his “secret project” and how working on it has helped him understand the vital concepts of focus and “opportunity cost.”
16: The art of self-experimentation
Nov 16, 2018 • 28 min
Alex Epstein discusses two thoughtful reader comments on his exploration of nutrition, both of which point to the value of self-experimentation to personal flourishing.
15: Nutrition (part 3)
Nov 9, 2018 • 24 min
Alex Epstein discusses the latest developments in his quest to get real knowledge about nutrition. To access the debate he recommends go to tinyurl.com/catodebate. Share your thoughts on the debate, as well as your questions for our upcoming psychology…
14: Nutrition (part 2)
Nov 2, 2018 • 27 min
Alex Epstein discusses how to understand the essentials of expert claims and expert disagreements through “reverse outlining.” At the end of the show, he invites listeners to create their own “reverse outlines” of content they like. You can submit your…
13: Nutrition (part 1)
Oct 26, 2018 • 28 min
Alex Epstein discusses two processes he is using to sift through self-proclaimed experts on nutrition.
12: The weekend crisis and the Playtime Planner
Oct 19, 2018 • 21 min
Alex Epstein discusses why he and others have difficulty flourishing on the weekend. To address this “weekend crisis” he introduces a new tool called the Playtime Planner.
11: Q&A
Oct 12, 2018 • 54 min
Alex Epstein answers listener questions about creativity, meditation, planning the week, and many other topics.
10: review and survey
Oct 5, 2018 • 21 min
Alex Epstein discusses lessons he’s learned from the podcast so far and asks listeners to answer four questions to help him improve the show.
9: Relaxed productivity (part 2)
Sep 28, 2018 • 38 min
Alex Epstein discusses two contributors to relaxed productivity, “cash confidence” and “collaborator confidence.” He also discusses the importance of “thinking through implications” in utilizing these ideas (and any ideas).
8: Relaxed productivity (part 1)
Sep 21, 2018 • 39 min
Alex Epstein discusses what “relaxed productivity” is, why it’s so desirable, and what practices can help us achieve it.
7: Rejuvenation
Sep 14, 2018 • 36 min
Alex Epstein discusses the role of rejuvenation in human flourishing and shares some methods to identify what will rejuvenate you the most.
6: Respecting context and independence
Sep 7, 2018 • 36 min
Alex Epstein discusses the importance of explaining ideas in a way that respects the context and independence of the other person. To accomplish this goal he suggests using “opinion stories” to explain crucial, controversial ideas.
5: Constructive conversations
Aug 31, 2018 • 41 min
Alex Epstein discusses how to have constructive conversations—conversations where two people combine their knowledge and abilities to build a better understanding—about controversial issues.
4: The science of explanation
Aug 24, 2018 • 46 min
Alex Epstein discusses why it’s crucial for the specialists with the best knowledge to have far better systems for persuasively explaining their views. He shares two parts of his own explanation system: the context-bridging model of explanation, and the…
3: How to enjoy growth and progress
Aug 17, 2018 • 35 min
Alex Epstein discusses the challenge of enjoying ourselves as we grow and progress. Most ambitious people are taught a self-defeating system for evaluating their progress—one that leads to a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. By changing how we evaluate…
2: Upgrading our knowledge systems
Aug 10, 2018 • 56 min
Alex Epstein discusses how we as individuals and as a society can develop the *knowledge systems* we need to flourish.
1: The problem I most want to solve
Aug 3, 2018 • 34 min
On the first ever episode of The Human Flourishing Project, Alex Epstein introduces the problem this project exists to solve: human beings lack reliable access to the knowledge we need to flourish.