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In Conversation with Daniel Goleman (Episode #08)

Shannon Harvey

I know this sounds crazy but over the course of my latest project – My Year of Living Mindfully I spent more than $30,000 on scientific tests.

I'm often asked why I went to such lengths to get objective measures to see what, if anything, changed as a result of my daily mindfulness training. And my answer is simple. Because I believe that science matters.

You can read a piece called Why I Stopped Looking for Miracles and Started Reading Science to get the full story on this, but in essence, it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s, after I’d been sick with an autoimmune disease for a number of years that I finally realised that I needed to apply the critical thinking skills that I’d learned as a journalist to my health. And when it came to my experiment to see if daily mindfulness training could really improve my health and wellbeing – I felt that objective, hard science was important.

This week's podcast episode is my extended interview with science journalist, Daniel Goleman, whose 1995 best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence helped make the science of emotions mainstream.

More recently Dan co-authored a book called Altered Traits with neuroscientist Professor Richard Davidson, who was in episode four of my podcast. The two friends met in their university days at Harvard and in the book, wanted to set the record straight on what we do and do not know about mindfulness.

As a fellow journalist who has dedicated his life to writing about psychological science, Dan was a great starting point as I began to navigate my way through the sometimes murky waters of mindfulness research.

As you’ll hear throughout this interview, he also offers some helpful advice to people who are at just getting started with mindfulness training.

 


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