ML179: Luke Burgis on The Power of Mimetic Desire, Choosing the Right Role Models and How To Want What You Need
Luke Burgis is an entrepreneur and author of the book Wanting, The Power of Mimetic Desire and How to Want What You Need.
He has co-created and led four companies in wellness, consumer products, and technology and is the Managing Partner of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator that builds, trains, and invests in people and companies that contribute to a healthy human ecology.
What do you want? And why do you want what you want? Most people are fine with answering the first question but terrible at answering the second. Why?
Contrary to what most people think, humans don’t desire anything independently. We are social animals and imitate each other. We are mimetic and copy what other people want. This affects how we choose partners, friends, careers and even the clothes we wear and places we go on holiday.
Once you understand the idea of mimetic desire, you start to see how powerful it is and how it shapes so much of what you do. As a keen student of classical philosophy, and author of a book on the subject, Luke is the best person to talk about understanding the things you want, and to find more meaning in our work and lives.
In this episode, we cover:
- How to turn blind wanting that leaves you unfulfilled to intentional wanting that supports your own values
- The different kinds of role models from celebrities to bosses and siblings to friends, and how they affect your desires and behaviour
- How conflict often comes from similarities, not differences and the tactics to break the cycle in your personal life and as a society
This was a really great conversation and at the core of it is a very simple, but powerful idea that if you understand what you want and why you want it, you have the power to transform your life for the better.
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