Loneliness rates have doubled since the 1980s and Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, says loneliness will be the next major epidemic. So if loneliness is being alone and sad … then what’s being alone and happy?
Last year, I picked up an incredible book called Solitude by Michael Harris, bestselling author and winner of the Governor General's Award for his writing. It completely blew me away. Why? Because in our era of endless machine-gun blasts at our brains, I feel strongly that the ability to be alone, and to be alone well, is a muscle that is quickly atrophying.
Michael shares why we need to develop the strength and capacity to live and be by ourselves and how exactly we go about cultivating a rich interior life. I think after this conversation you’ll agree the benefits are enormous and this true “strength of mind” is a crucial aspect of living an intentional life.
For Chapter 29 of 3 Books, I flew to Michael’s home in Vancouver, BC. We discuss: How do we cultivate the area between wakefulness and sleep? What does a healthy media diet look like? Why shouldn’t you talk about anything serious over texts? And how do parents and children navigate the conversation about coming out of the closet?
Welcome to Chapter 29 with Michael Harris.
Listen to Chapter 29:
What You'll Learn:
What’s the difference between solitude and loneliness?
How do you find love and intimacy in a world of pornography?
How can we help children become more self-sufficient?
Why can’t you improve your connection with other people until you improve your connection with yourself?
How can you prime your brain for creativity?
How can we learn to live more intentionally?
What is the gateway to help people get into different genres of books?
Why is it important to invite ‘weirdness’ into our cultural consumption?
Why should you never trust Netflix’s recommendations?
How can we avoid miscommunication with people online?
Should any books be banned from children, and should we censor content from kids?
Ideas Worth TWEETING:
“In the same way that you can’t fall in love unless you love yourself, you can’t really engage with other people unless you’re deeply and generously engaged with who you are.” @vancouverharris #3bookspodcast
CONNECT With Mark:
word of the chapter:
Michael’s first book [19:02]
Michael’s second book [33:54]
Michael’s third book [59:55]
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
I have forgotten how to read by Michael Harris (The Globe and Mail)
Solitude by Michael Harris
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Dark Heart: The Meetings Sextet by Tina Daniell
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
The End of Absence by Michael Harris
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
My ex died of AIDS - but that’s not what killed him by Michael Harris (The Globe and Mail)