Getting to Yes, And

Emma Seppälä: Sovereign


Emma Seppala

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Kelly welcomes back Yale professor Emma Seppälä to the podcast to discuss her new book: “Sovereign: Reclaim Your Freedom, Energy, and Power in a Time of Distraction, Uncertainty and Chaos.”

You write in the book, “Your smartphone is mostly just other people’s agenda for you.” Say more.

"If you look at your cell phone and you're scrolling through your social media, maybe there's a couple things you're interested in, but there's a lot of ads that are popping up right there where you want to be seeing other people's stuff. Your email: your inbox is filled with other people's requests for you. Hopefully, you'll enjoy a couple of those. But I think we all know how we feel at this point about email. And our text messages often as well. Look, phones are essential. They're a tool that we really need. But, if we are not aware, we can fall prey to being hooked into all kinds of things on our phone rather than living the life we want to be living in the present moment.”

And the title of your book, “Sovereignty,” is how you want people to reclaim the meaning of their own lives.

"With this idea of sovereignty, I'm inviting people to reclaim the reins on your life so you're actually living the life that you want to be living. 70% of people on their deathbed felt like they didn't live the life they wanted; didn't make the choices they wanted; didn't tell the people they loved that they loved them. And nowadays, with so much of technology that is distracting us from our lives, how many of us are living the life we want.”

I think it’s very brave that you share so much of yourself – your own fiascos – to share the importance of being sovereign.

“You know, we're all just humans stumbling along, making mistakes, living and learning and hurting. And you know, that's what we're up to over here. I'm not going to pretend I'm anything else other than that. Who cares if I'm, you know, teaching at Yale and doing research? How much use is that if I can't apply it to my life and help others with it, you know what I mean?”

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