Kieran Setiya: How To Live Well When Life Is Hardest

You might not think a book on philosophy could be a bestseller these days, but the title of MIT professor, Kieran Setiya’s new book, “Life Is Hard” clearly has wide appeal.  We’ve just come out of a two-year global pandemic, have experienced record inflation due in part to a seemingly endless war in Ukraine – and are heading into a recession that could put many workers’ jobs in jeopardy. And these are just the headline issues that make our lives especially difficult today.

It’s rather confirming (soothing even) to hear a respected academic say the words, “life is hard” if for any reason that we’ve all been influenced to believe that, when it comes to dealing with life’s challenges, we’re just supposed to suck it up, plow through and keep smiling.

Setiya’s book (and the focus of this podcast) is about making the best of a bad lot. It offers guidance for coping with pain, grieving loss, getting older, failing with grace, confronting injustice and searching for personal meaning. Pop psychologists simplistically advise us to “find our bliss” and “live our best lives,” while Setiya acknowledges that, at times, the best can often be out of our reach. As a contrast, he asks how we can better weather life’s adversities, find hope and live well when life is hard?

Our first episode of the new season welcomes an educator from one of the world’s top universities. A philosophy expert and a philosopher in his own right, Setiya joins us to share wisdom of the ages we can apply to better manage all of our life’s challenges. And since many of our biggest difficulties and daily stresses too often occur at work, we’ve asked Setiya to share wisdom that can directly help you become a more grounded and confident leader…no matter how hard your life gets.

It’s a truly brilliant and inspiring conversation you won’t want to miss.