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Culture

Alain de Botton — A School of Life for Atheists

On the latest On Being podcast with Krista Tippett, philosopher and best-selling author Alain de Botton talks about his new book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. Alain de Botton is an atheist, but his perspective on religion is far more complicated. Instead of debunking religion in thinking that all […]

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Productivity & Work Quotes

Alain de Botton: When the work begins

“Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.” Alain de Botton

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Books Quotes

Alain de Botton: ‘Cynics are only idealists with awkwardly high standards’

“…a decision to avoid people shouldn’t imply that one has no desire whatever for company. It may simply reflect a dissatisfaction with what is available. Cynics are only idealists with awkwardly high standards. In Chamfort’s words: ‘It is sometimes said of a man who lives alone that he does not like society. This is like […]

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Quotes

‘The only people we can think of as normal are those we don’t yet know very well’

The only people we can think of as normal are those we don’t yet know very well. — Alain de Botton

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Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

If you’re struggling to get started, do it badly

“Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly,” advises the author Alain de Botton.  Perfection is the antithesis of inspiration — it prevents you from getting started. The trick to getting going is to do it badly. To do that, one must be intentionally messy. The art of […]

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Cool Products Life & Philosophy

Know Yourself prompt cards from The School of Life

More introspective goodies from the School of Life folks, led by philosopher Alain de Botton. These prompt cards remind me of those Brian Eno Oblique Strategies (Amazon) cards that help creatives get unstuck from thinking blocks. 

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Books Creativity Quotes Writing

‘Writing a book is like telling a joke…’

Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years to know whether or not it was funny. Alain de Botton True, books can’t be instantly graded like a Tweet. But giving a book at least two years of work enables the author to go deeper and explore the magic wand […]

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Cool Products Creativity

Prompt cards

Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies has been helping people defeat their creative block since the mid-1970s. But Alain de Botton’s The School of Life is taking the concept a bit further and applying the deadlock to other life’s philosophies such as a career crisis, kindness, self-knowledge, calm and confidence.