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People crave hearing about what others have learned about life’s ups and downs, writes Craig Oliver
29 January 2024, 07:49
Craig is the host of the Desperately Seeking Wisdom podcast where well-known people talk about what they’ve learned from life - particularly the tough times.
I started the podcast Desperately Seeking Wisdom after realising two things:
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- When I was vulnerable with people and shared how I was feeling, they opened up.
- People crave hearing about what others have learned about life’s ups and downs – and how the wisdom gained might apply to their lives.
I approached some well-known people like George Alagiah, Richard Curtis, Amber Rudd, Lyse Doucet and the Rev Richard Coles. I was amazed by how many of them said yes – each taking the time to explain how and why they had been vulnerable.
Several themes began to emerge. Many had experienced events that were traumatic, from serious illness to the loss of a loved one in tragic circumstances.
And while they would never wish what had happened to them on their worst enemies, they spoke about how they felt like better, more rounded people because of what they’d learned and wanted to pass it on.
Another major theme was gratitude. Yes – life can feel like a trial at times, but viewed from another perspective, you realise it is blessing just to be alive.
We live on the most beautiful planet in the known universe – that is extraordinary and worth valuing.
The new series of Desperately Seeking Wisdom has more amazing guests. In the first episode, Rory Stewart, talks about how he was so ashamed of a mistake he made he considered taking his life. It took him a few days to get some perspective.
Emily Maitlis discusses the bravery and the empathy she needed to tap into as she interviewed some of the most famous and powerful people in the world, from Donald Trump to Russell Brand and – of course – Prince Andrew.
The playwright James Graham opens up about how he finally sought help from a therapist after the break-up of a relationship and realising he was a workaholic.
The insights he gained helped him write Dear England, a play that is as much about our mental health as it is about the national football team.
The BBC journalist and Mastermind host, Clive Myrie, talks about still facing racism and James Cracknell explains how he got over a personality-changing brain injury.
All of them recognise how important it is to share what we’ve been through and learned. I’m grateful to all of them.
You can listen to the new series of Desperately Seeking Wisdom with Craig Oliver From Monday, January 29th on GlobalPlayer.