Donald Robertson is is a Scottish psychotherapist and author, working mainly in the areas of Stoic philosophy, clinical hypnosis, emotional resilience and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). Donald specializes in teaching evidence-based psychological skills, and is as an expert on the relationship between modern psychotherapy (CBT) and classical Greek and Roman philosophy.
He is one of the Founding Members of The Modern Stoicism, a non-profit that aims to research and publish information on the application of Stoic philosophy. He is also the author of six books, including his latest book, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor. In this episode, Donald discusses Stoicism vs. stoicism, mental health, and the effect of cognitive behavior on leadership.
[3:20] In addition to being interested in Stoicism, Donald is a huge heavy metal fan.
[4:55] Donald became interested in this field and Marcus Aurelius through his father, who was a Freemason.
[11:20] When Donald’s father passed, he really wanted to find someone he could look up to and give him guidance on life.
[13:10] Donald shares the difference between Stoicism and being stoic.
[16:00] When it comes to Stoicism and mental health, it’s quite fascinating how these ideas have become lost over time.
[17:20] We tend to believe that cognitive reason and emotion are two separate things, but actually, they’re intertwined.
[21:50] Donald breaks down practical ways you can use Stoicism in your life and how you can implement it as a leader, especially if you’re someone who might be carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
[27:00] When people are overwhelmed by anger and anxiety, their attention tends to narrow and they engage in threat monitoring.
[33:55] Plato used his philosophy like being a soldier. It requires the same courage and the same self-discipline to execute. Life is like a battlefield and your philosophy is your weapon against it.
[36:20] If you lack self-discipline, you can be a prey to greed.
[42:35] Donald shares why he’s currently in Athens and an exciting project he’s currently working on.
[45:15] Philosophy was invented by a guitarist.
[49:10] It’s important to slow down and think. Be intentional with your actions.
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Quotable QuotesLife is like a battlefield and your philosophy is your weapon against it. Click To Tweet “Researchers are interested in lower-case stoicism because they’ve generally found it to be quite toxic, particularly over the longer term.” Click To Tweet “Repressing or concealing unpleasant emotions might be useful as a short-term strategy in a high-stress situation, but longer-term it tends to backfire.” Click To Tweet “Emotions, reason, and passions are intertwined.” Click To Tweet “If I’m anxious, it’s typically because I believe something dangerous or threatening is about to happen and I’ll be unable to cope with it.” Click To Tweet “We need strength of character if we are going to live in a cloud of wisdom.” Click To Tweet
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- Websites: Donaldrobertson.name & Donald on Patreon & Twitter @DonJRobertson
- Plato — Apology of Socrates
These are the books mentioned in our discussion with Donald