The School Of Life Posted on 1 Sep 14:00

When I first came across The School of Life I couldn’t wait to add their range to our collection. Founded by Alain De Botton, the ‘everyday philosopher’, the School of Life promotes accessible self-development - for a fulfilling, more resilient, and self-aware life. Whether it is through De Botton’s writing (which has advised me through many an emotional crisis!), their wonderful video series, or their unique products, I would recommend their work wholeheartedly! 

When it comes to business advice, I always point people to these three books - all of which have deeply impacted my working life. ‘How to Think More Effectively’ is the ideal guide for anyone looking to optimise their productivity and hone their creative thinking -  covering many styles of thought; there is no one-size-fits-all approach to productivity! Perhaps the most important aspect of anyone’s work is our co-workers, and ‘How to Get On With Your Colleagues’ is a witty, practical guide to an often neglected topic in the world of business. Finally, ‘The Emotionally Intelligent Office’ was, for me, a breath of fresh air - this guide recognises that, even at work, we are emotional creatures! 

We can’t let the grown-ups have all the fun! Children are natural philosophers, and the fantastic ‘Big Ideas For Curious Minds’ is the perfect book to introduce them to the greats, from Buddha to de Beauvoir. Thought-provoking and fun, without any condescension or over-simplification.  Created for ages 9 and up (though I’m not ashamed of learning a few new things myself!).

For those who prefer a blether over a read, the 100 Questions Card Game is guaranteed to spark thought and discussion. No matter how well you know someone, I have found that these cards will always reveal something new. As well as the original version, there are also 100 Question Toolkits for Relationships, Careers, and Families.

For a card game with a twist, ‘Am I Normal?’ is both hilarious and oddly comforting. With a wide range of statements - many of them dark or embarrassing - this game invites you to compare your own normality with others. Whether you are alone or with friends, in the end the only ‘normal’ lies in our shared strangeness!

One of the newest additions to our School of Life collections is this beautiful Inspiration Card Set. I always find that my creativity deserts me as soon as I have time for it, so these prompts have been so helpful in coaxing the creative spirit back! There are 52 exercises to try - something to smash even the most stubborn creative block.

 

For the aspiring polyglot looking to expand their vocabulary, the ‘Untranslatable Words’ card set makes the perfect gift. From the hilariously absurd to the deeply moving, these beautiful cards show off some hidden gems from languages around the world.

This quirky wooden structure has become a mainstay of my desk decor - a representation of ‘Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs’ that is simple and aesthetically pleasing. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it makes a great reminder of the important things in life.

If, like me, you are proud of your philosophical tendencies, why not wear your pride on your sleeves (or anywhere else) with one of these brilliant pin badges. This stoic pin badge is my personal favourite, but there is also a philosophical pin badge for those not yet committed to one school of thought, and a ‘School of Life’ pin badge so you can display your alma mater!

Browse our full collection here, or find out more about The School of Life at their website.