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

Wiser Living with Sissi Wang

10-11-2022 • 1 hr 2 mins

“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

Support the Show and Stay in Touch:

Follow Wiser Living on: Instagram | Facebook

Thank you for listening and I hope you found something useful!

If so, please consider sharing it with others.


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

You Might Like

Stuff You Should Know
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
Under the Influence with Terry O'Reilly
Under the Influence with Terry O'Reilly
Apostrophe Podcast Network
This American Life
This American Life
This American Life
Roz & Mocha
Roz & Mocha
Frequency Podcast Network
Three Little Words
Three Little Words
Folding Pocket Productions
Radiolab
Radiolab
WNYC Studios
Literally! With Rob Lowe
Literally! With Rob Lowe
Stitcher & Team Coco, Rob Lowe
The Shrink Next Door
The Shrink Next Door
Wondery | Bloomberg
Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
Emma Chamberlain and Ramble
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher
Revisionist History
Revisionist History
Pushkin Industries