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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Nov 25, 2021

The contemporary world is saturated with ways in which we can experience rewards that were historically much more difficult to access. Although this idea of a world filled with dopamine fixes is not new, it can be continually surprising just how extreme this reality has become. Here on the show today to talk about this issue and her most recent book, Dopamine Nation, is Dr. Anna Lembke, and we have a fascinating and important conversation in which she unpacks the human body and mind in relation to the world around us at present. One of the main points from this chat is the weakness of humans, and how unaware we can be of the way our brains compel us to engage in behaviours and seek pleasure. We get into some strategies and solutions for healthier ways to exist, talking about mindfulness, awareness, and dopamine fasting, in the face of accelerating tech and overabundance. Dr. Lembke gives us a great introduction to dopamine and how it functions in our bodies, unpacks the four properties of addictive substances and activities, the different ways to frame and understand addiction, and shares some realistic ideas about moderation. So to hear all this and much more, tune in to this great episode of the Rational Reminder Podcast.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to dopamine and its functions in the human body. [0:03:03.2]
  • The human brain and the current overabundance of addictive experiences and substances. [0:05:36.1]
  • Contemporary increasing in different types of addiction. [0:08:13.8]
  • Considering the inherently negative connotation of the word 'addiction'. [0:11:44.4]
  • The reasons that make gambling so addictive to the human mind. [0:14:12.7]
  • Applying what we know about addiction and gambling to speculation and the stock market. [0:18:03.2]
  • Why working also falls into the category of addictive behaviours. [0:21:46.8]
  • Looking at the addictive nature of spending money and shopping. [0:24:01.5]
  • A shocking story about water addiction from Dr. Lembke's practice. [0:25:12.1]
  • Thoughts on recognizing addiction and possible ways to stop the behaviours. [0:26:22.2]
  • Using in moderation; Dr. Lembke comments on the realities of this idea. [0:29:32.7]
  • Long-term decision making versus a dopamine-laden environment; the battle of our time. [0:31:00.4]
  • Understanding hormesis, seeking pleasure through pain, and embracing volatility in a portfolio. [0:34:54.6]
  • The impacts of increased leisure time and the question of what we need. [0:38:47.6]
  • Lembke's advice around retirement and the dangers of dopamine deficit states. [0:42:43.3]
  • How the era of the pandemic has affected these trends in addiction. [0:45:20.2]
  • The relationship between radical honesty and dopamine; how lying is related to reward pathways. [0:48:39.6]
  • Radical honesty and better parenting; Dr. Lembke's thoughts on transparency. [0:54:01.3]
  • Weighing the value of shame and its power as a socially regulating force. [0:55:51.2]
  • Lembke's definition of success and its connection to being a good parent and becoming a positive force in the world. [1:00:01.6]