Jun 30, 2017
An undefeated mind isn’t one that never feels discouraged or despairing; it’s one that continues on in spite of it - Alex Lickerman
Over the last twenty years Dr. Alex Lickerman has watched thousands of patients struggle with sickness and issues from colds to cancers. He has extensive experience treating the sickest of the sick at a renowned academic medical center located in the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. Caring for and observing his patients he says taught him the most important lesson he’s ever learned:
That our capacity to suffer may be immense, but so is our ability to endure it—if we've taken effective steps to develop our strength.
Alex Lickerman is a former assistant professor of medicine, director of primary care, and assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago. He currently leads a direct primary care private practice called ImagineMD in Chicago.
Alex’s first book, The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self. Alex has been quoted in Crain’s Chicago Business, Playboy, The Chicago Tribune, Men’s Health, The New York Times, and TIME, and has had articles appear in Psychology Today, Crain’s Chicago Business, USA Today, Slate, The Huffington Post, Counselor Magazine, and Medicine on the Midway. He’s also been a guest on NPR’s On Point.
I loved talking with Alex. He reminded me of Sam Harris. Smart and articulate. His message is a simple one and a reality check for all of us.
Stop hoping for easy lives and instead to focus on cultivating the inner strength we need to enjoy the difficult lives we all have.
We talk about this is in detail on the podcast. How does he cultivate inner strength? How do we cultivate it?
Alex thinks your purpose is not an endowed one but rather an evolved function. He says eventually you find all reasons lead to the same place, to the one core reason for living, the reason against which we measure the value of everything we do:
To - Be - Happy
Want to find out more? Give the show a listen, you’ll be glad you did.
[00:05:38] On concierge medicine
[00:10:30] How he came to write the book “The Undefeated Mind”
[00:13:35] On Nichiren Buddhism
[00:16:54] A discussion about chanting, it’s benefits, differences from meditation.
[00:23:49] Summarizing what chanting does for him personally.
[00:35:29] Turning poison into medicine
[00:39:34] Dealing with loss and grief
[00:45:07] On the ultimate goal of human development
[00:46:00] Why happiness supersedes the goals of survival and reproduction
[00:50:55] On the benefits of adversity
[00:55:52] On dealing with discouragement and the writing exercise