19 episodes

A podcast sharing the life wisdom of leading thinkers, artists and newsmakers of the past and present. Your host Sissi Wang turns them into practical takeaways to help you achieve deep fulfillment in your own life.
To learn more about each guest and to see pictures from the interviews, visit https://www.sissi-wang.com/

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Wiser Living with Sissi Wang Sissi Wang

    • Society & Culture

A podcast sharing the life wisdom of leading thinkers, artists and newsmakers of the past and present. Your host Sissi Wang turns them into practical takeaways to help you achieve deep fulfillment in your own life.
To learn more about each guest and to see pictures from the interviews, visit https://www.sissi-wang.com/

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Ep 19. William Irvine, Philosopher and Best-selling Author on Desire and the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

    Ep 19. William Irvine, Philosopher and Best-selling Author on Desire and the Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

    “A life of satisfaction is within your grasp if only you would change the way you think” - William Irvine

    If you’re addicted to chasing after the next best thing and want to learn how to get off the desire train and be satisfied with your life right now, then this episode is for you. William Irvine is an American philosopher and the author of a series of popular books written for a general audience on the Stoic philosophy of life and how it can help us find more joy in our day-to-day life. He stumbled upon Stoicism, an ancient philosophy that aims to minimize the negative emotions we experience while maximizing the positive emotions, during a mid-life crisis 20 years ago.
     
    "The insight of the Stoic and Buddhist is that there’s another solution. Instead of working hard for the thing you want to be satisfied, spend that time and energy working to appreciate the things you’ve already got,” says Irvine.
     
    Studying and practicing Stoicism have certainly helped him become a happier person and he encourages others to give it a try as well if you have a hard time being satisfied with what you have or would like to experience more joy in your daily life.
     
    We chatted about:
    ·     Desires, where they come from and why they never end
    ·     The gap theory of unhappiness: why we’re never satisfied
    ·     How to get off the desire train
    ·     Stoicism as a way of life
    ·     Stoic strategies for staying calm and satisfied
    ·     How to handle intrusive thoughts
    ·     And simple exercises you can try at home to boost your joy
     
     
    Additional Resources:
     William Irvine: https://www.williambirvine.com/
    On Desire: Why We Want What We Want: https://www.amazon.com/Desire-Why-We-Want-What/dp/0195327071
    A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG
     
     
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Ep 18. Lindsay Wong, Author of "The Woo Woo" on How to Rise Above Childhood Trauma and Get Along with Your Parents

    Ep 18. Lindsay Wong, Author of "The Woo Woo" on How to Rise Above Childhood Trauma and Get Along with Your Parents

    “People who’ve endured horrible things can laugh at anything”
     
    Our childhood shapes much of who we become as adults, so what happens if you had a really traumatic childhood?

    Lindsay Wong is the author of “The Woo Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family”, a memoir about her unusual childhood growing up with a mercurial and unreliable mother who’s obsessed with ghosts and once lit her foot on fire in the name of exorcising demons. Her father was away working most of her childhood, and called her terrible names as a way to motivate her to achieve in life.

    Lindsay's parents immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong, and much of the dysfunctional family dynamic came from their Asian immigrant experience and her mother’s mental illness arising from generations of trauma. It was a super strange childhood growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver next to Chinese drug millionaires and her “crazy” family, where her aunt once held the City of Vancouver hostage on Canada Day for eight hours after threatening to jump off a bridge. Given her family’s history of mental illness, Lindsay began questioning her own sanity once she became an adult. Her childhood experience had also left her maladjusted to face the real world. She had anger issues, and wherever she went, trouble always seemed to follow. It took her many years to unlearn her early conditioning and find peace within herself.

    Working on the memoir had helped her heal and forgive her parents, Lindsay told me. When I interviewed her, she looked happy and content with her current life. She said it’s resilience that helped her through it all; her difficult experiences had also given her a wicked sense of humor, which grips you as soon as you open “The Woo Woo.” For our interview, I wanted to know how Lindsay managed to rise above her traumatic childhood and went on to thrive and create a life for herself that she loved. I was also curious what insights she had to offer on navigating the difficult patches of our relationship with our parents that we all experience from time to time.

    Along the way, we also chatted about how she accidentally became an author | How she’s a magnet for bad luck | The friction between immigrant parents and their children | How writing helped her heal | How she forgave her parents | What her current relationship is like with her parents | Whether we can truly escape intergenerational trauma | How to get along with difficult parents

    Lindsay Wong (Twitter): @lindsaymwong
    Lindsay Wong (Instagram): @lindsaywong.m

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    • 54 min
    Ep 17. Patrick de Belen, Toronto Spoken Word Artist Speaks Up about Mental Health

    Ep 17. Patrick de Belen, Toronto Spoken Word Artist Speaks Up about Mental Health

    “If depression is more normalized then we wouldn’t have to wait to interfere… Mental wellness and mental health is just health. Just like your body and physical health, it requires a whole spectrum and a whole list of things to keep healthy." 

    Patrick de Belen is a Filipino-Canadian spoken word artist based in Toronto, Canada, who’s well known in North America and the Philippines.
    As an artist, he’s praised for his wit, creativity, passion and sharp social commentary. He’s done commercial work for the Toronto Raptors, NFL Players Association, World Vision and Elections Canada, but it’s his personal digital poetry collection In Between Lines  (2020) that spoke to me the most and made me want to reach out and interview him.  

    The spoken word album has been called his most confessional work as an artist. In it, he bravely talks about his deepest fears and insecurities, and opens up about his longstanding mental health struggles. Patrick and his brother Jordan both struggled with mental health issues growing up. In the Filipino culture, mental health problems are often dismissed and never talked about in the open. In 2021, Patrick found Jordan dead in his apartment after committing suicide. Jordan’s passing affected Patrick deeply. Since then, Patrick has been working on a documentary about Jordan’s life to remember him, volunteering at Bereaved Families Ontario, and writing poetry to help him cope with the tragedy. Patrick says he’s doing everything he can to stay too.

    Patrick tells me he has always turned to writing and art to help him cope with his inner struggles, and today’s episode is a story of two brothers and their bond, mental health, art and healing.

    To see pictures from this episode and to read my thoughts on mental health, visit https://www.sissi-wang.com/episodes/ep-17-patrick-de-belen
    Patrick de Belen: http://www.patrickdebelen.com/

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    • 27 min
    Special Ep 16. How's your 30s?

    Special Ep 16. How's your 30s?

    This special episode is a roundtable discussion about the reality of being in our 30s put together by my three close friends and me. The idea was born out of my curiosity about how today’s 30 year olds are really doing versus the expectations that come with turning 30. It’s an honest conversation where we share our aspirations and fears, triumphs and struggles, and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years about how to face life and ourselves.

    If you’re currently in your 20s, this episode will give you a peek at what’s in store in your 30s and help you prepare ahead of time. If you’re already in your 30s, I hope this conversation will make you realize that you’re not alone in your struggles and give you new ideas on how to face the remainder of your 30s.

    Now let me introduce you to my friends:

    Nina – my boss lady friend who’s killing it at work as a senior manager in tech. I like to tell people that she has a master’s degree in efficiency because she can’t stand not putting her time to good use. Nina is a huge planner and a strategic thinker. She has a toddler son and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Sophia or Sophie – my artistic friend who values creativity and stability equally. Professionally, she’s a meticulous pharmacist, but her one big dream is writing. She’s currently working on her 11th middle grade novel and trying to get her books published. She also has a toddler son.

    Yusur – my fearless friend who for our master of journalism’s thesis fought to go to Syria at the height of the Arab Spring. Yusur used to have no qualms about packing her life and getting on a plane to pursue her passions. Now in her early 30s, she has come to value her newfound stability. Yusur lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories with her dog Mila.

    The four of us chatted about: turning 30: expectation vs. reality | The big surprises and struggles | The perks | Personal stories | Motherhood | Goals for this decade | Finding joy in our 30s | And what we’ve learned so far

    To read my personal take on our thirties, visit: https://www.sissi-wang.com/episodes/special-ep-16-how-s-your-30s

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    • 52 min
    Ep 15. Marc Garneau, The First Canadian to Space on Embracing Life’s New Challenges

    Ep 15. Marc Garneau, The First Canadian to Space on Embracing Life’s New Challenges

    “We do only have one life and if I really do want to accomplish certain things that I think would be great and that really motivate me, I’m gonna give it a go. And so I gave it a go in many cases and ended up doing three different careers.”

    Marc Garneau is a Canadian politician and also the first Canadian astronaut to fly to space in 1984. Mr. Garneau has had not one but three stellar careers. He started out in the Canadian Navy, then got chosen out of 4,000 applicants to be part of Canada’s first astronaut program. In the next decade, he rose up the ranks and was appointed president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in 2001, but left four years later to enter politics.

    “I can’t tell you how many times people have said I wish you’d stayed out of politics, we liked you when you were an astronaut,” Mr. Garneau tells me during the interview. His foray into politics certainly surprised many people, myself included. In many ways, Mr. Garneau appears to be the opposite of the typical politician, and his big gamble in leaving CSA initially didn’t work out. He lost his first federal election and spent the next two years volunteering in politics before finally winning a seat in the House of Commons.

    Mr. Garneau admits that it took him some time to get used to his new position, but he slowly learned and through his efforts was appointed the Minister of Transport in 2015 by Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, and more recently the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2021 during the Meng Wanzhou – two Michaels crisis and the Afghanistan evacuation crisis. During our interview, he recounted each of his three distinguished careers and we talked about how one thing led to another.

    In this episode, Mr. Garneau talked about what it was like to be the first Canadian to space | How that experience gave him a new perspective of the world | Why he decided to enter politics | The initial shock and how he got over it | Being Canada’s foreign minister during the Meng Wenzhou – Two Michaels crisis and the Afghanistan evacuation crisis | How he’s adjusting to life after leaving the cabinet

    To learn more about Mr. Marc Garneau and to see pictures from the interview, visit https://www.sissi-wang.com/episodes/ep-15-marc-garneau


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    • 33 min
    Ep 14. Masterchef Canada Winner Christopher Siu on Building a Successful Dessert Chain

    Ep 14. Masterchef Canada Winner Christopher Siu on Building a Successful Dessert Chain

    “Being resilient and stubborn is very important in business. It’s quite normal when you’re faced with a high stress situation to feel like you can’t do this, but I don’t think it should be a deterrent because we all adapt and learn how to deal with these situations and improve ourselves”

    Christopher Siu is the newest winner of Masterchef Canada (2021) and the owner of Daan Go Cake Lab, a popular Asian Fusion dessert chain in Canada, which will soon open in the U.S. as well. Chris’s childhood dream was to open up a bakery store, but he initially thought it was going to be much later, after he retires from working as a pharmacist. In 2015, when Masterchef Canada put out a call for amateur chefs to compete in Season 2 of the reality cooking show, Chris applied and got in. Although he didn’t win the competition then, that experience inducted him into the culinary world and turned him from someone who baked for fun to thinking seriously about the culinary arts – the preparation, innovation and presentation of food. 

    Chris’s smiling demeanor and one-of-a-kind dessert creations on the show won him both the adoration of the judges and the show’s fans such that when the show ended, he was already fielding request from viewers who wanted him to bake cakes for them. Two years later, Chris was at a point where he was struggling to fulfill all the cake orders and decided to quit his job as a pharmacist to open up Daan Go Cake Lab. Today, Daan Go has grown to 7 stores across Canada with two new stores slated to open soon. Speaking to Chris, I learned that he’s not only a talented baker but also a gifted entrepreneur. His ability to navigate through chaos in a calm manner and his strong problem-solving skills combined with his passion for desserts are why Daan Go is so successful.

    If you’re looking to start a business someday or to make a name for yourself, then you’ll definitely benefit from listening to this episode. Chris talks about how he went from someone with zero business knowledge to building a thriving dessert chain | The initial days of Daan Go: what it’s like to build a business from scratch | Daan Go’s marketing secrets to gaining a large fanbase | How Daan Go went from one store to seven | The right mindset to succeed in business | How he handles pressure and manages his time | How to determine if you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur and the rewards of entrepreneurship

    To learn more about Chris Siu and to see pictures from the interview, visit https://www.sissi-wang.com/episodes/ep-14-christopher-siu
    Daan Go Cake Lab: https://daango.com/

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    • 40 min

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