Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Todd Kashdan: What's Lurking in the Basement of Your Personality? (Episode 68)

Todd Kashdan: What's Lurking in the Basement of Your Personality? (Episode 68)

Topics We Explored:

  • While we like the idea that we can simply think ourselves into certain beliefs and instincts, the truth of the matter is that our personality is partially determined by our evolutionary history.

  • There might be some things lurking down there in, what he calls, the ‘basement of your personality’ that we don’t want to address, but we can’t ignore them either.

  • If you’re looking for change, maybe it’s time to look in the basement of your personality. Ready? Let’s do this!

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

About Todd Kashdan:

is a public speaker, psychologist, professor, and author. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles about the meaning of life, strength and development, stress, and more. He is the author of Curious? and, his most recent book, The Upside of Your Dark Side.

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Episode Timestamps

[2:04] Charlie tells us about Dr. Todd Kashdan’s body of work.

[3:52] Todd talks about his work and the field of positive psychology.

[5:14] Many people don’t think about how our evolutionary history affects the development of our personality.

[6:42] Why do we avoid the evolutionary psychology background underlying character development?

[8:17] Charlie talks about Vanessa Van Edwards’ work on subconscious behavioral cues.

[9:23] The link between in-group/out-group preferences and our biological responses.

[14:02] Todd shares research findings on xenophobia & pregnant women in the 3rd trimester.

[15:10] The first benefit of evolutionary psychology is understanding who we are.

[16:26] What can we do about the constraints on the body & what the brain can process?

[21:26] Cultural differences in cheerfulness, optimism, and positivity – Japan vs. US.

[23:57] Would you prefer to be more cheerful most of the time or to be more resilient…?

[26:42] How do we deal with the friction of everyday life?

[29:25] Creativity is about seeing things from a different perspective than others.

[31:58] Todd shares findings from a study that looked at the personality dimensions of about 15,000 entrepreneurs.

[34:28] Charlie & Todd discuss the profile of a creative person.

[35:53] What are the personality traits of creative people?

[39:58] Todd reiterates on the importance of culture.

[41:44] Todd shares his insights on what you can do to build up your stress tolerance.

[48:33] Todd’s 3 tips, summarized:

  1. Choose curiosity over criticality.

  2. Persuade people by asking why something is important to them and listen.

  3. Be precise in describing your emotional state when you are stressed and upset.

Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.