Desperately Seeking Wisdom

Desperately Seeking Wisdom

By Creators Inc Limited

Five years ago, Craig Oliver's high-powered job and privileged position at the heart of British government came to an abrupt end with Brexit.

In the aftermath of a bruising battle, he despaired at how divided society had become, but also came to realise something fundamental was missing from his own life. Outwardly he was still achieving, with an impressive career; but he realised he'd never felt comfortable in his own skin.

Life had always felt more of a grind than a gift – he'd always believed that if he only worked harder, he'd find fulfilment. Now he realised that wasn't the case. Like many others during Lockdown, he asked himself why he'd always had a constant feeling of unease and discontent?

He wondered what wise people had to say about how we can live better. Craig decided to try a different path to the one he'd travelled before, reading and listening to many people. Some things they claimed were obviously snake oil, some were revelatory.

Throughout this podcast series, Craig talks to some extraordinary people who have faced extremely difficult - often traumatic experiences - and finds out what they learned and what they believe will help others gain peace of mind and heart.

Episodes

Dr Sian Williams

As a reporter, producer and anchor of some of the most watched television news programmes, Dr Sian Williams has been an eyewitness to some horrific events. Like many of us, she often used to wonder how to deal with such trauma. But Sian took things one step further. She re-trained as a psychologist, so she could help people emerge from their worst moments to grow in wisdom and happiness.
21/03/2243m 9s

Lord Michael Hastings

When he was 16, Lord Michael Hastings decided he would dedicate his life to helping the poor. He went on to have a distinguished career in the public, corporate and non-profit sectors, as well as becoming an independent peer in the House of Lords. He believes that so many of our issues with life could be solved if we simply found ways to help others.
14/03/2241m 27s

Mo Gawdat

Mo Gawdat is the former Chief Business Officer for Google X and the author of the international bestselling book “Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy.” For years, he studied happiness as if it was a mathematical problem to be solved, and believed he had cracked the secret of being content.But when his 21 year old son, Ali, died suddenly during a routine operation, nothing made sense anymore. How could he even be alive, let alone happy, in a world where such a terrible thing could happen?Mo speaks about how he made peace with his son’s death and made his life worth living again.
07/03/2256m 23s

Lucy Kellaway

In 2016, aged 57, Lucy Kellaway quit her prestigious, full-time job as a journalist at The Financial Times to become a trainee teacher.Around the same time, she also left her husband of 25 years, with whom she’d had four children, moved house and stopped dyeing her hair. Lucy wrote about her experiences in her book, “Re-educated: How I changed my job, my home, my husband and my hair,” and co-founded the charity Now Teach to encourage older professionals to step into the classroom and change their lives in the same way hers was transformed.
28/02/2249m 3s

Kenny Imafidon

Two days after his 18th birthday, Kenny Imafidon was charged with a murder he did not commit. He spent the next 6 months on remand in Feltham Prison, and became the first person to complete his A levels there.He was eventually acquitted after a judge said there was no evidence whatsoever to support the charges against him. In the decade since, Kenny has forged a career as an award-winning social entrepreneur and campaigner, and is the co-founder & Managing Director of ClearView Research consultancy.Kenny talks candidly about what he learnt from his time in prison, the prejudice that still exists in our society, and what it feels like to get a second chance at life.
21/02/2240m 3s

Tom Bradby

Tom Bradby is an award-winning journalist and TV presenter, and currently the presenter of ITV News at Ten. In his spare time, he’s written 10 novels and several screenplays. But a few years ago, his life came off the rails, when he had a breakdown and was signed off work for 3 months with acute insomnia. He speaks about what led to his breakdown, and how he found a way to a more balanced life.
14/02/2242m 11s

Isabel Hardman

The award-winning journalist Isabel Hardman talks about dealing with extreme trauma and a public breakdown while covering the Conservative Party conference.What she’s learned has helped her not just to cope, but thrive in the often brutal world of Westminster politics.She is a big proponent of the healing power of nature, which she outlines in her book, “The Natural Health Service.”
07/02/2248m 5s

Justin Webb

The BBC Today programme presenter, Justin Webb, is known for mixing forensic journalistic skills with being a true gentleman.But he had a difficult childhood, brought up by a complex mother with lots of issues and a step-father with a severe mental illness.When he was eight, his mother told him the presenter he was watching on the news was his father Peter Woods, a man he would never meet. He talks openly about all of this in his fascinating new memoir, “The Gift of Radio, My Childhood and other Trainwrecks.”
31/01/2251m 23s

Dr Bruce Perry

Dr Bruce Perry is one of the world's leading experts on trauma.He recently co-wrote a book with Oprah Winfrey, in which he says for too long we have asked the question, “What’s wrong with you?” when we should be asking, “What happened to you?”He believes our lives would all be so much simpler if we really understood where each of us is coming from.
24/01/2246m 8s

Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson, the former Scottish Conservative leader, is known for her enthusiastic, joyful approach to life, but twice she’s suffered serious injuries. She also wrote candidly about her struggles with clinical depression in her book, “Yes She Can: Why Women Own The Future.” But she hasn’t allowed any of that to define her . She's found joy campaigning, and what she learned from all of that is really worth hearing.
17/01/2254m 29s

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis, the writer, director and co-founder of Comic Relief, is bright, optimistic, caring and a huge success at whatever he turned his hand to.His films are loved by millions around the world, and Comic Relief has had a positive impact on the lives of tens of millions of people.But like all of us, Richard has had his share of pain and uncertainty. He speaks about the wisdom he’s gained, and how he’s handled deep sadness in later life. A warning - there is a short discussion about suicide during this podcast.
10/01/2249m 2s

George Alagiah

Seven years ago, the BBC TV presenter and journalist George Alagiah was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The prognosis wasn't good, and he was told to get his affairs in order.George speaks movingly and frankly about coping with the knowledge that his life and relationships will be cut short, and what living in the shadow of a terrible disease has helped him appreciate.
03/01/2252m 14s

Introducing Desperately Seeking Wisdom

A podcast for people hoping to live a simpler, more fulfilled life - and want to hear the wisdom others gained after facing life's challenges. In this series, Craig Oliver talks to some extraordinary people who have faced extremely difficult - often traumatic experiences - and finds out what they learned and what they believe will help others gain peace of mind and heart.
14/12/212m 14s
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