Episode Date March 14, 2023
Featured Guest Laurel Braitman
Featured Book "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi

Episode Summary

Laurel Braitman reading from Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air, and discussing becoming comfortable as a risk-taker, to live a meaningful and nourished life.

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I’ve been very lucky to work with some of the TED Fellows, a program where young people of promise are given access to the TED world. For three years, I attended a gathering of these extraordinary young people to offer some support, facilitation, and coaching. What became obvious to me over the years was the commonness of brilliance, achievement, and disintegration. They were often exhausted, overwhelmed, and struggling with their so-called success. Of course, there was a range of coaches and experts who were able to provide support and accelerate most of them to the plateau of sustainability. As you know, I love good questions, so: What does ‘sustainable’ success look like? How do I not sacrifice my life for my ambition?

Laurel Braitman is a best-selling writer, secular clinical chaplain-in-training, and the Director of Writing and Storytelling at the Stanford School of Medicine where she teaches those in the medical field to communicate more clearly and vulnerably with their patients. She’s also a TED Fellow, which is where I met her a decade and some ago.

Laurel reads two pages from ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi. [reading begins at 20:15]

Hear us discuss:

  • “There’s really no such thing as happiness, only happy-sad, or sadly happy.” [14:10]
  • Gaining a lived understanding of love. [24:30]
  • “Let life surprise you, maybe it’ll surprise you in a good way.” [29:03]
  • Learning to dance with your limitations: “My drug of choice is excellence.” [30:52]
  • What success really means. [35:52]
  • The mission for What Looks Like Bravery. [40:32]
  • “There’s nothing like the gift of believing in someone when they don’t believe in themselves.” [45:58]

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Laurel Braitman | Website | Twitter | Instagram | What Looks Like Bravery | Animal Madness

Paul Kalanithi | When Breath Becomes Air

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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