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Mr. Bright Side

Author: Matthew Boulton

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Never has there been a better time to be alive in human history. If you’re not feeling it, it’s essential that you discover why. Health, wealth, happiness, and other components of successful living are not achieved by accident. Everything has a cause. This is the weekly show that seeks and discusses impactful ideas, systems, and inspiration---the thinking---to fuel your pursuit of a flourishing, thriving life.

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58 Episodes
“Giving is getting” but this popular idea does have a qualifier that must be highlighted and properly understood, as it is often mistaken to refer to some kind of losing in the short term to gain in the long-term—which it kind of is yet isn’t. In this episode, Matthew distinguishes “giving” from “losing” so that we’re not trying to say anything paradoxical like “losing is winning.” There need be no losers for everyone to win.In this episode, Matthew relays two recent experiences to help describe a benevolent view of goodwill and generosity towards those around us versus the uninspiring concept of duty towards others. He also highlights what kind of mindset is necessary to create perpetual “organic” win-win relationships. Properly conceived, it’s a beautiful thing.Listen to Matt Hill's interview on the Boulton from Boulton podcast: on YouTube: more at or
What stories are we telling ourselves and the people we love? Are they serving us or hurting us? And them? In today’s show, the power of story is made alarmingly clear—I mean powerful at the neurochemical level, and I mean alarmingly in that many of us are mostly passive in allowing old, unchecked, and disempowering stories about ourselves drive us—and not anywhere we want to go.But fear not, as Rich shares with us his four-step story-evolution process to help us access our brain’s filter database and take an active role in creating new filters to rewrite the stories that are holding us back to ones that promote our happiness and values, as well as creating systems that defend our good habits.This interview was loaded, as we are the beneficiaries of Rich’s “personal Ph.D” in happiness he earned over an intense two-year period, as he beckons to us from atop the shoulders of giants in neuroscience, positive psychology, and behavioral psychology with clarifying and directly actionable advice that I really think is an extra level of what I’ve been looking for in terms of, “Now, what do I do?”Get in touch with Rich at: his book, 'Change Your Story, Change Your Life': on YouTube: more at or
At minimum, you will leave this interview feeling confident and optimistic about yourself, your world, and the prospects in it, as Christmas Hutchinson convincingly reminds each of us that we're worth more than we give ourselves credit for. Not a little more...way more.Throughout, she repeatedly gives refreshingly novel takes on what self-preservation and resilience mean, and if you pay good attention, you'll walk away with the thinking and tools to achieve them. Check Christmas out at: Instagram: on YouTube: more at or https://www.facebpodcast/mr-bright-side/id1503114628
Why do some people thrive in the face of hardship while others are crushed? To this challenging listener question, Matthew answers essentially that it’s about building resilience through the method of optimism versus the default of passive pessimistic resignation. On a deeper level, it’s about free will (optimistic) versus determinism (pessimistic).Through his search into Viktor Frankl’s “focused optimistic purpose” and “tragic optimism”, Matthew came across a phenomenon known as “toxic positivity,” which sounds awfully similar to his own concept identified as “subjective optimism.” Neither pessimism nor subjective optimism is an effective method for dealing with hardship, or even regular life, and Matthew goes deep into why only Objective Optimism is a potent antidote to the toxicity of all the others.He also refers to two previous interviews, where guests Lewis Page and Dr. Fleet Maull contribute relevant insights on this issue, which includes the question of whether “waking up” necessitates deep adversity. (Hint: It doesn’t.)Read 'What is Objective Optimism?": to Lewis Page on Mr. Bright Side: to Fleet Maull on Mr. Bright Side: on YouTube: more at or
Are we basically good or evil? How can we transcend our culture of "blame and shame"? Why do we give away our power to others? How can we be less reactive and more proactively responsible for our own actions and well-being? What does it mean to take full ownership for our circumstances, and why is this empowering? What are the physical benefits to mindfulness training, on top of the obvious mental and emotional benefits?Dr. Fleet Maull, renowned mindset growth teacher and meditation teacher, has the answers to all of this and much more. Learn about mindfulness training from Matthew's rookie perspective with expert advice. If anyone has the credibility earned through personal experience on top of his vast teaching and clinical experience, Dr. Maull also has a tremendous history which is at once fascinating and heartbreaking. He not only talks the talk; he's walked the hard walk and proved that his approach truly empowers. Visit Dr. Maull: Mind Institute: Mindfulness Institute: in Public Safety: about the book and get a FREE chapter: on YouTube: more at or
Whether you’re depressed or not, none of us are operating in perfect mental health. And in any case, we all need to be better educated for those around us who may be struggling and for whom we might make a difference. Lewis Page, successful and respected soccer coach, loved father, husband, friend, and all-around popular and healthy guy, does not fit one’s typical image of what depression looks like. Yet he lives with it.Hear how shocked people were to see his 2016 Bell Let’s Talk Day video in which he revealed his struggle, and the overwhelming reaction that he couldn’t have been prepared for. Then learn about his most recent video, in which he shares his current state of successful dealing with depression, including all the reasons why. In this outstanding interview, Lewis tells us how the “silent thief” steals one’s joy, energy, and ambition, but then how to employ tools and practices to live happily in spite of mental health problems. Learn something for yourself and for those around you, because “every action matters.”Find Lewis on Twitter: on YouTube: more at or
Most personal finance perspectives focus on savings and investment, and offer advice such as “don’t buy coffee every day.” But such practices are not conducive to living a liberated and happy life, and it’s not what moves the needle in one’s financial well-being besides.“The goal is to enjoy your life,” says guest David Veklser, “not to die sitting on a big stash of cash.” Listen to learn more about David’s integrated philosophical perspective on personal economy, with plenty of relevant and practical advice and examples. He’s achieved all that he preaches, and his wisdom can help you think more fundamentally and effectively toward the end of living your own optimal life. Matthew claims this interview is going to be a multiple re-listen in years to come.Read the article: David’s website for more resources and empowering content: on YouTube: more at or
It’s weird to me that anyone is ever against capitalism.”Hear why Tim thinks it’s weird, and hear loads of other inspiring stories and ideas in this packed episode. Let us just lay it on you in points. Tim goes off entertainingly on:-his lifelong obsessions with persuasion as leading him to a career in marketing-dropping out of uni to the devastation of his parents without any real plan, and the pressure that put on him to make good-how starting a marketing agency is not what you imagine-college degree as a social-class symbol-self-education, original ideas, and first break after multiple rejections-childhood entrepreneurship and lessons, including the thrill or high of making sales and profit-why capitalism is not well-defended for lack of moral arguments-profit is noble and good (“leaving the world better than you found it”)-almost all attacks on capitalism are on strawmen-how the US is a geographically and culturally rich nation that few venture to see and understand-the diversity of the US’s culture reveals the genius of federalism-Tim’s upcoming “Happy Capitalist” podcast-way, way more than thisRead Tim's book: on YouTube: more at or
No, it’s nothing to do with The Killers.In this early milestone 50th episode, Matthew reflects a bit by sharing a brief history as to why he proceeded to call the show “Mr. Bright Side,” knowing full well that it would always be confused with the 2004 mega-hit Killers song. He also shares a few personal stories over the years which have reflected back to him his natural tendency to optimism and enthusiasm, long before he ever developed his mature and formal philosophy. Listeners can take a lesson in self-awareness from these reminiscences.He wraps with some well-deserved thanks to listeners, guests, a friend, and his wife in a sincere delivery of appreciation and gratitude for their part in making this podcast at all possible, as well as a quick announcement about upcoming shows.(*Please note that Mr. Bright Side will be temporarily moving to a bi-weekly schedule. Listeners are encouraged to review some past episodes they may have missed if they’re looking to fill the gap. In any case, weekly schedule will resume before too long, no doubt!)Watch on YouTube: more at or
At what age does one become a fully-formed individual? One modern-day comedian and one sage character from a short story published in 1939 have both offered a similar magic number. How is that two people from distinctly separate eras and experience have both identified the same thing?In this episode, learn where Matthew heard Ricky Gervais and Parker Pyne, respectively, how he recognized in his own life the truth of what they say, and what advice he has for younger and older people alike.Watch this episode on YouTube: Ricky Gervais on SiriusXM podcast: Parker Pyne stories by Agatha Christie: more at or
Free time gets old quick.Retired people know this. So what’s the cause of that antsy, anxious feeling that makes it so that you just can’t enjoy your leisure time anymore? And how can we remedy this?Planning endless celebrations and leisure activities are like using sugar for energy. They seem to extend the good feeling for a moment but are not long-lived or give us anything authentic. In this episode, Matthew shares his recent experience that reminded him of what is true for all of us—of what we need, by our nature, to fully enjoy our free time.Read Atlas Shrugged: on YouTube: more at or
How does charity fit into a life dedicated to gaining—not surrendering—values? If healthy human relationships are about win-wins, and charity is about gaining nothing for oneself, then is it good? And why do many of us feel so unfulfilled after engaging in sacrificial charity, if it’s the right thing to do?Matthew answers all this and more on this week’s episode, as he outlines a positive image of what non-sacrificial charity can and ought to look like. Duty is ugly, so relieve yourself of the burden of guilt this holiday season and beyond, and see that charity is a beautiful and rewarding thing when properly conceived.Watch this episode on YouTube: more at or
There is a war on against Christmas. And it’s coming from all directions. From one point, it is attacked for being too “commercial” and “material.” From another, and right in step with the general cancel culture that’s pervaded our society, Christmas is maligned for being “exclusive,” as it is taken as the purview of a single religion (and a majority one in the West, which is an even graver sin today): Christianity.But what if we separated the holiday from religion?Matthew argues that this is precisely what we ought to do, as when we sift out the essential characteristics that define the benevolent Christmas spirit—earthly joy and material pleasure (i.e. commercialism)—we find that what we all love about Christmas are such secular elements, which are in fact incompatible with explicit Christian morality.Taken for what it truly is, Matthew can't imagine anything more lovingly inclusive.Read the article upon which Matthew’s class mini-lecture was based: this episode on YouTube: more at or
How are billionaires and trillionaires regarded in our culture, and what does it say about us?Last week, Matthew referred to a children’s science textbook outlining three symbiotic relationships in nature: mutualism, parasitism, and commensalism, and argued that only win-wins (mutualism) are good while win-lose/lose-wins (parasitism) are immoral.This week, he shows how commensalism (win-neutral) as defined in that text reflects the symbiotic relationship between giants of innovation and production in any field and all of humanity, as he compares the former to sharks. But far from emphasizing that animal’s predatory characteristic, he argues that they are the great benefactors of humanity to whom we all owe a solemn debt of gratitude.Watch on YouTube: more at or
If win-win relationships are possible, why should we want any part of a win-lose or lose-win? Yet lose-win is what conventional morality offers us explicitly if we take it seriously. And we ought to take it seriously. Our self-esteem and mental health depend on it.Hear how an elementary school science textbook made this issue clear to Matthew during a private lesson with a Korean junior high school student, as the text discussed the three symbiotic relationships: mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. And hear why only mutualism is fit for human beings.Watch this episode on YouTube: more at or
What is a personal “culture” or identity? And is it ours to shape as we like, or is it determined by factors beyond our control?How did a Bob Dylan quote from an interview in Netflix’s Rolling Thunder Revue encapsulate an answer to this idea that gave Matthew to cheer?In this episode, Matthew gives a (revised) talk from his English conversation course at Hansin University in Korea, “Defining and Developing Your Own Personal Culture.” While many people today seek to find their identities in a group culture, both Bob Dylan and Matthew encourage otherwise.Watch this episode on YouTube: 'Rolling Thunder Revue' on Netflix last week's 'Mr. Bright Side': out ‘Boulton from Boulton’ podcast to this podcast on:Apple/ Spreaker/ Google podcasts/ Castbox/ Podchaser/ Podcast Addict/ Deezer/ Spotify/ iHeartRadio*If a link is not available in your area or otherwise has an issue, try another for now and come back to try again!Get involved in the conversationVisit the Mr. Bright Side Facebook page and get involved in the optimistic conversation!Learn more at or
Matthew had been feeling less than optimal for the past several months, but with one small change, his world has brightened again. The change was dramatic and almost immediate.Hear how revisiting the powerful ideas of a couple outstanding thinkers prompted Matthew to drop Facebook (almost entirely), and hear about the positive change in his life since.Learn what power there is in the question, “Does this promote my agenda?” and quiet the noise in your own life while turning up the things you love. It is a joyous place to be.Listen to Alex Epstein’s Human Flourishing Project, ep. 20: Deep Work by Cal Newport: on YouTube: more at or
Who is the imposter who grows inside us all, trying to evict us from our own bodies and lives? Why and how do we empower him?In the previous episode, Matthew discussed the importance of conviction in achieving health goals (and in all aspects of human flourishing). Here, he highlights and dissects a verse from Andrew Bird’s “Masterswarm” which encapsulates the issue and motivates Matthew when he’s on the road running.Hear why we must arrive at more clarity in our positive goals and then act with more conviction toward achieving them if we’re going to evict the would-be evictor.Listen to 'Masterswarm': on YouTube: more at or
You can make your unwanted cravings disappear. Matthew has. And he’s here to describe how.The process requires regular introspection and reflection, and it is all about conviction. One negative: that you are convinced that the unwanted thing really is toxic to your agenda, and one positive: that you are convinced of the good of your agenda.In physical health, this means understanding clearly how and why the foods and behaviors that are thwarting you are actually thwarting you, and then how and why the state of optimal health feels and is so good for you that it’s addictive.Read the article upon which this show was based: to Alex Epstein’s Human Flourishing Project, ep. 20: on YouTube: more at or
We don’t want to see our kids hurting. We certainly don’t want to be the cause of their pain or the object of their hatred. This is the fear that keeps parents and teachers from showing their disappointment, anger, or indignation to kids, instead attempting to explain things to them in a gentler way with no expression of how their actions have made us feel.But kids need to feel some emotional pain in the form of guilt or shame when they are in the wrong.In this episode, Matthew recounts an anecdote from his childhood and how his father’s indignant and angry reaction impressed the lesson in him and forged an admirable character trait that serves him still today.Read the article upon which this show was based: Boulton from Boulton special episode: on YouTube: more at or
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