Episode Date March 1, 2022
Featured Guest Todd Kashdan
Featured Book "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" by Erving Goffman

Episode Summary

Todd Kashdan reading from Erving Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life and discussing the power of individual action.

Michael’s new book How to Begin: Start Doing Something that Matters is now available at www.HowToBegin.com.

With so much of the world struggling, it’s deeply tempting to throw up my hands and say, ‘It’s too hard! If someone else could sort this out for me, that would be great.’ Just the other day, I heard on the radio that it is the deepest form of privilege to say, ‘This is not my problem.’ But what can one person do to change the world? How do we find the courage to do something?

Todd Kashdan’s books have always intrigued me; they intertwine academic rigor with human insight. His latest is called The Art of Insubordination. To me insubordination brings to mind rule-breakers or rebels. Todd doesn’t see it as simplistically as that; to him, there’s a proper, principled way to be insubordinate.

Todd reads two pages from ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ by Erving Goffman. [reading begins at 19:13]

Hear us discuss:

  • Principled versus unprincipled insubordination. [8:18]
  • The different forms of self-presentation. [23:55]
  • When does efficiency take primacy over authenticity? [27:31]
  • Avoiding psychological exhaustion. [30:30]
  • Understanding your ‘dark side’: “It’s perfectly fine to experience anger and righteous indignation when we are concerned that perceived flaws in our character are the reason we’re being judged and rejected.” [33:25]
  • How to be a good audience member. [36:44]
  • Having the courage to do something: “In the long term, the suffering that accompanies the regret of inaction is so much greater than short-term moments of embarrassment and rejection.” [39:38]
  • “The singular acts of singular people are the cornerstones of creating large bands of people that stand up against tyranny and oppression.” [43:46]

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Todd Kashdan | Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively | The Upside of Your Dark Side

Erving Goffman | The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

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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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