Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.
Theme tune by David Vesey.
On podcast 420, I welcome back Stanford University School of Education Professor William (Bill) Damon who was one of the first guests on this year's schedule to discuss his new book, A round of golf with my father: The new psychology of exploring your past to make peace with your present. Among the topics we discuss on this bonus episode are the following:
- Different interpretations of what a life story is
- Life Studies by Robert Lowell
- Your intention for telling a life story
- What a life review is and why it can be done at any stage of life
- How William Damon adapted Robert Butler’s life review idea for his purpose.
- How to go about doing a life review
- Talk to people who remember your past
- Records (school and others, ancestry searches)
- Memory search
- Putting it all together – focusing on what gave you satisfaction and fulfillment
- Why he never met his father
- How school records have changed since the 1950s.
- How his father’s character developed over time, possibly through the demands and experiences of military service in World War II.
- What he learned about his own character from doing the life review
- Why character is a movie and not a snapshot
- Why he believes that psychological theories such as some of Freud’s work and the “big five personality traits” are wrong
- How he went about making a personal story interesting for an audience beyond his immediate circle of family and friends
- How a life review can help you find a purpose in your life
- How someone not looking for a purpose can find one
- His mother’s role in his life review
- His definition of purpose
- His memories of being taught by some of the pioneering psychologists of the twentieth century, including Erik Erikson and Jerome Kagan who was a guest on Inside Education a few years ago: Podcast 1 and Podcast 2 and who passed away in May 2021.
- Some of his earlier books: Some do care (with his wife, Anne Colby), Noble Purpose, The Moral Child and Greater Expectations.
- Why he called the book A Round of Golf with my Father when he never met his father!