241 episodes

The Sunday Letters Podcast is the weekly audio newsletter on the meaning & purpose of daily work and our oftentimes paradoxical relationship with it. We explore how human beings may break free from tiresome means-to-an-end work and finally take command of their own working lives. Topics include solo working, careers, entrepreneurship, economics, society and culture. Content follows the written newsletter, which goes out to subscribers every Sunday.

sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com

Sunday Letters Sunday Letters Journal

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

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The Sunday Letters Podcast is the weekly audio newsletter on the meaning & purpose of daily work and our oftentimes paradoxical relationship with it. We explore how human beings may break free from tiresome means-to-an-end work and finally take command of their own working lives. Topics include solo working, careers, entrepreneurship, economics, society and culture. Content follows the written newsletter, which goes out to subscribers every Sunday.

sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The Need For Luxury [Bonus]

    The Need For Luxury [Bonus]

    In 1892, Petr Kropotkin published The Conquest of Bread, where he outlined his vision for a fair and equitable society. He contrasted his views against that of the Communist system, which advocated for the basic needs of all human beings to be met and little else, with the addition that humanity’s creative needs also be met. He said that food, shelter, and shoes on one’s feet would not suffice to meet human needs. The need for creative expression and the joy of luxury must also be met. There are basic physical human needs, but there are also psychological needs—this is what. Remarkable that over one hundred years ago, we had the likes of Kropotkin advocating for these changes in society. The Conquest of Bread is a leftist manifesto but worth consideration for what it asks of us as we consider a society that is fair to all rather than the privileged few.

    “Man is not a being whose exclusive purpose in life is eating, drinking, and providing a shelter for himself. As soon as his material wants are satisfied, other needs of an artistic character will thrust themselves forward the more ardently. The aims of life vary with each and every individual, and the more society is civilized, the more individuality will be developed, and the more desire will be varied.

    “Even today, we see men and women denying themselves necessaries to acquire mere trifles, to obtain some particular gratification, or some intellectual or material enjoyment. A Christian or an ascetic may disapprove of these desires for luxury, but it is precisely these trifles that break the monotony of existence and make it agreeable. With all its inevitable sorrows, would life be worth living if, besides daily work, man could never obtain a single pleasure according to his individual tastes?

    If we wish for a Social Revolution, it is no doubt in the first place to give bread to all; to transform this execrable society in which we can every day see robust workmen dangling their arms for want of an employer who will exploit them; women and children wandering shelterless at night; whole families reduced to dry bread; men, women, and children dying for want of care and even for want of food. It is to put an end to these iniquities that we rebel.

    But we expect more from the Revolution. We see that the worker compelled to struggle painfully for bare existence is reduced to ignorance of these higher delights, the highest within man's reach, of science, and especially of scientific discovery, art, and artistic creation. It is to obtain these joys for all, which are now reserved to a few, to give leisure and the possibility of developing intellectual capacities, that the social revolution must guarantee daily bread to all. After bread has been secured, leisure is the supreme aim.”

    Read about Petr Kropotkin, the Anarchist Prince: https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/p/216-kropotkin-and-the-conquest-of

    Read The Conquest of Bread online: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/toc.html

    Purchase The Conquest of Bread:https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Conquest-of-Bread-Peter-Kropotkin/9780141396118

    Support The Sunday Letters Journal: https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/subscribe?coupon=849ce4d3

    218 Thoughts on Resilience

    218 Thoughts on Resilience

    In last Sunday’s article, I wrote about four ways to build resilience and offered a step-by-step process for each tool. These tools work, however, if you find yourself in a difficult place, they may not always be as simple to apply as they may seem at face value. When life kicks us around, we may not always have the energy or ability to focus as we would ordinarily, and tools like these can be overwhelming. That’s where a professional can come in and become a facilitator for change. On a more practical note, I thought I would talk about resilience and offer a few more straightforward means of building resilience.

    Check out these four practical ways to build resilience and listen to this week's episode where I flesh out these ideas a little bit more and discuss the mindsets that promote resilience and those that don’t.

    The Sunday Letters Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a patron and supporting this work.

    Practical Ways To Build Resilience

    What resilience is in research terms is not always agreed upon. However, for practical purposes, we can refer to it as the human ability to bounce back from adversity. What contributes to any given person’s innate ability to bounce back from adversity is also not entirely agreed upon. Still, it is agreed that there are things we can do to build resilience within ourselves.

    1. BUILD YOUR NETWORK

    Prioritise your personal and friendly relationships. Find and hang out with people that have the same interests as you. This can be done in tight online communities, but it's better in person. Connect with people who understand you and can help you navigate difficult times. Fellowship helps support the growth of resilience.

    In addition to close personal relationships, being active in community groups and religious or sporting organisations provide valuable social support. Visit your local community centre, charity or church and find out about where people with similar interests gather.

    2. MIND YOUR MIND & BODY

    Keeping your body fit and healthy is a legitimate practice for maintaining good mental health and building resilience. That’s because stress has both a physical and an emotional component. Anxiety and depression can be countered by the brain, a veritable chemical factory, prompted into production by physical activity.

    Get centred by developing a meditation practice and finding a private space to be alone. You don't need to understand how it works, but it does. So practice journalling, meditating, or praying, instead of ruminating on negative aspects of life. Also, avoid drugs, alcohol and other stimulants. These things tend to exacerbate our negative states.

    3. GIVE OF YOURSELF WITHOUT EXPECTATION

    Find a local charitable organisation where you can volunteer. Give your time, even if it's only a couple of hours per week, to help people in difficult situations. Helping others in need builds a sense of purpose, self-worth, connection, and resilience.

    What about the local school or even an elderly neighbour? How can you contribute and foster in yourself a sense of purpose and meaning by providing simple tasks to others like doing their shopping, cutting their grass or walking their dog?

    4. ASK FOR HELP

    Having the bravery to ask for help when you need it is a crucial component in building your resilience. For many of us working alone, using the kinds of strategies listed above may be enough to build resilience. But it's not unusual to get stuck or have difficulty making progress on the road to resilience. If that's you, there are resources that can help, so reach out.

    Did you enjoy this episode? Give the show a review on Apple Podcasts

    The Sunday Letters Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive member-only content and free digital books, become a paid subscriber.

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit sundayle

    • 24 min
    On Goal Setting [Bonus]

    On Goal Setting [Bonus]

    I have disliked going with the herd for as long as I can remember. Although, that didn’t stop me from taking up smoking as a teenager. I wanted to be cool, just like everyone else. But in my later life, doing my own thing, like working for myself, became more important than blending in. Worldly achievement and success in business became a priority. And in that pursuit, goal setting was my means. But something felt off about it all. It felt like far too much effort with little reward. Faced with this situation, the response was to double down—double the effort for even less reward. What is going on, I thought. This isn’t how it is supposed to be. Looking at my business, I didn’t feel very S.M.A.R.T. I later discovered that my initial feeling about goal setting was nudging me in the right direction, only I didn’t follow the prompt.

    Goal Setting can be an effective tool in getting things done, but if the fundamentals are not in place, all our efforts are usually in vain. In fact, results may run counter to what we expected. In this Bonus episode of the Sunday Letters Podcast, I’m talking about the pros and cons of goal setting and how you may be able to tell when your desire for fame and fortune may be taking you down the garden path.

    Read this essay on Goal Setting; https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/p/the-dark-side-of-goal-setting

    217 Owen O'Malley on Commanding Your Own Money

    217 Owen O'Malley on Commanding Your Own Money

    In this edition of Sunday Letters, I met with Owen O’Malley from The Investment Club Network (TICN). The company teaches ordinary people how to successfully trade the stock market by investing in high-quality, cash-rich companies and then renting the shares to other investors via contracts known as Options. After taking the training course, TICN helps groups of people form Investment Clubs — legal entities run by its members that allow the club to trade the markets. Read more about Investment Clubs here. TICN have helped people set up and operate investment clubs worldwide that use their investing system.

    In this episode, Owen speaks about his background in the Irish fisheries industry and how, when the company he worked for was bought by a Norwegian outfit, he considered going into business for himself. But when he discovered that the chances of making over 50k profit per year were so slim, he began to reassess. Subsequently, he discovered a method of investing that changed the course of his career and shaped the organisation that he later formed - The Investment Club Network.

    What I like about Owen O’Malley is that he is understated. There is no bluster and no showmanship — you just get the facts. What he and his people teach, works. I know because I took the course and continue to take Owen’s advice today. I must also point out that I have no affiliation with Owen or TICN and receive no gratuity for promoting what they do. Get in touch with Owen O'Malley below to learn more about TICN and how you can begin to command your own money.

    Support Sunday Letters

    Contact Owen O’Malley; https://www.linkedin.com/in/owenomalleyshares/

    Visit TICN; https://www.ticn.com/

    The Sunday Letters Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/subscribe

    • 30 min
    Work: Struggling, Surviving, and Thriving [Bonus]

    Work: Struggling, Surviving, and Thriving [Bonus]

    This is a bonus episode of the Sunday Letters Podcast. Become a patron of Sunday Letters to listen. https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/subscribe
    Marx argued that the Capitalist system separated workers from the true meaning of their work and made them merely cogs in a machine. As such, they lose control over their work, are devoid of meaning and purpose, and become alienated. Capitalism aims to make money; in that scenario, people become a means to an end. Working conditions are, of course, better today than they were one hundred years ago or more, but many people experience the same psychological conditions in the workplace as they did 100 years or more ago. The solution? Command your own work. Work for yourself. Decide who to work for and at what to work. You’ll not be entirely free, but it’s a start.

    216 Kropotkin & The Conquest of Bread

    216 Kropotkin & The Conquest of Bread

    In today’s Sunday Letters essay, I’m taking a look at the Anarchist Communist philosophy of the Russian Prince and social activist, Petr Kropotkin. He envisioned a socialist revolution, a revolution of the people, but was his vision for society too idealistic to work? Is our society today any different from Kropotkin’s era? Most commentators suggest our working conditions and freedoms have improved one hundredfold. But large numbers of people are dissatisfied with work, still seeing it as a means to an end. So have things really improved? One hundred years after Kropotkin’s death, let’s examine his Anarchist philosophy and its parallels with today’s society.

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    If Socialism is a dirty word, Anarchism is outright filth. Where the former is a cynical means by which the lazy and inept in our society scheme to lie about all day doing little while hard-working citizens like you and me pay for it, the latter steals from our pockets and destroys everything we own. Of course, this is the Fox News or Daily Mirror version. The reality is very different. Anarchism, and by extension, Socialism, are not about you and I propping up wasters and wielding the wrecking ball on society. Rather, their fundamental premise was founded on equity and fairness for all and the removal of exploitation by dictators and bureaucrats of those in society who are weaker.

    Anarchism has its roots in the socialist movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, where its idealism centred upon ultra-democratic principles of fairness, economic equality, individual and collective freedom, the integrity of self-directed work, and non-hierarchical socially-led politics. Unfortunately, as it has been with most if not all social change through history, violence and destruction are never far away and served to taint the ideals that gave birth to those movements. Lenin’s version of socialism and corruption of Marxist ideas — the communist dictatorship of the proletariat—is a case in point.

    One of the modern era’s most recent Anarchist initiatives was the Occupy Wall Street movement post the 2008 global financial crash. People were irate with the boldness and arrogance of the political and financial elite that ran the show. These were and are the real pick-pockets of ordinary working people, not the unemployed and disadvantaged. However, in spite of the sympathy the movement received, its leftist ideology, which sought to address the imbalance, failed to drum up a long-lasting following. It was merely a flash of idealism that peered out from a gap in the capitalist fabric of US society. The reason to fight must become compelling and inevitable for real change to happen. It must be enduring too, and I wonder if most Americans, British, Europeans and others in the Global North, are simply too comfortable to fight even in spite of the raging inflation we’re currently experiencing.

    Anarchism’s 2011 display of rage against the machine of Capitalism and the inequality it breeds petered out, and people once again settled into their jobs (or their unemployment). Powerless to make a lasting change and alienated once again from the promise of work that might possibly bring about fulfilment and freedom, people got on with their lives. Although founded on the principle of freedom and liberty from the tyranny of hierarchical systems, some suggest that Anarchism may be too interested in making bold statements through violent action. It is argued that it has no lasting impact because it lacks the ability to think strategically about the change it wishes to see. As the populist idea goes, Anarchism is too interested in looting, burning, rioting and being a general nuisance to society to become a popular long-lasting movement for change.

    But perhaps this idea is too simple.

    The Sunday Letters Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid

    • 25 min

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