242 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

    219 Dr Jonathan Murphy on Free Speech, Psychology, Future of Work, AI, & Identity

    219 Dr Jonathan Murphy on Free Speech, Psychology, Future of Work, AI, & Identity

    Subscribe to Sunday Letters for freeBecome a paying supporter with this discount.In this week’s (lengthy) episode, I’m in conversation with Dr Jonathan Murphy, Senior Executive and Programme Manager in Leadership at Enterprise Ireland. His work is in programme design and delivery for management and leadership capability development. His expertise is in the areas of cognition, decision-making, human performance, creativity, innovation, critical thinking and communication with the aim of growing psychological literacy in decision-makers and bridging the gap between research and practice. We discuss the concept of free speech in the digital world and its importance for a healthy, functioning society. We also discuss work, social responsibility, meaning and purpose in work, motivation to work, inclusion and diversity, remote working, work and personal identity, past and future of work, AI and the loss of manual jobs.Get in touch with Dr Jonathan MurphyTimestamp02:50 Free Speech23:00 Education & Critical Thinking28:00 Psychology as a Discipline32:00 Trusting Expertise38:00 A Place for Violence40:52 What’s your work?45:20 How does work make you feel?48:40 What did you want to be when you were a kid?52:33 Meaning & purpose in work53:20 Social & environmental responsibility57:15 Micheal Porter on CSR01:03:18 Remote working, well-being at work01:05:00 Work and Personal Identity01:13:20 What would you do if all your financial needs were met?01:14:30 Past and future of work, universal basic income01:28:40 AI, the Turing Test, Redefining WorkThe Sunday Letters Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. https://sundayletters.larrygmaguire.com/subscribe?coupon=849ce4d3


    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

    • 1 hr 33 min
    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.

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