Segments in this Video

Meet the Panelists (03:22)


Host Michael Crick explains the format of the debate and introduces writer Oliver Burkeman, author Erwin James, and comedian Helen Lederer.

Oliver Burkeman: The Pitch (03:26)

Burkeman thinks living in the moment is difficult, but important. The Yale Study of Goals turned out to be fictional. Evidence suggests that goals can depress creativity and create dishonesty.

Helen Lederer: The Pitch (01:48)

Lederer thinks that goals are essential because completion of tasks is vital. She speaks of Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now," which she finds to be impossible.

Erwin James: The Pitch (04:24)

Erwin James served twenty years in prison after living a criminal life with no goals or ambitions. Now a writer, he speaks about his one goal in prison: to live a decent life.

Theme One: Are Dreams as Dangerous as They Are Fulfilling? - Part One (08:00)

Burkeman says that dreams can be dangerous if there is too much fixation upon them. Achieving a goal does not ensure that other parts of life will not be neglected.

Are Dreams as Dangerous as They Are Fulfilling? - Part Two (06:45)

James believes that the human condition necessitates goals, as people need things to work towards and that his criminal activity was related to not having any goals. His goal in prison was not to be released but to lead a decent life.

Theme Two: Are We Happiest in the Moment of Being? - Part One (05:50)

Lederer says there is something joyous in doing something engaging. Burkeman thinks that the present moment can bring the most joy but in the same way that the present moment can be wasted by worrying. Lederer jokes about a spiritual journey being dangerous.

Are We Happiest in the Moment of Being? - Part Two (06:11)

James says that he learned about the basic principles of humanity while in prison. When he got out of prison he bought a car, but it did not deliver what he anticipated. The panelists agree that it is not possible to live without goals.

Theme Three: What Are the Most Valuable Dreams? (05:21)

James finds the most valuable aspect of his life is loving and being loved, but he feels that there is a dangerous media focus on winning and competition. The panelists agree that goals are necessary for human progress.

Credits: Dreamland: How to Live Your Life (00:06)

Credits: Dreamland: How to Live Your Life

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Dreamland: How to Live Your Life

Part of the Series : Institute of Art and Ideas: Cutting Edge Debates and Talks from the World's Leading Thinkers
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Fulfill your dreams and make the most of your life! So advocate headmasters, moralists and revolutionaries. Yet poet John Betjeman's principal regret was that he did not have more sex. Is life not about goals and ambition but about the moment of being? Or is making our dreams real the only way to fulfillment?

The Panel

Writer of The Guardian's This Column Will Change Your Life Oliver Burkeman, author of A Life Inside Erwin James, and Absolutely Fabulous star Helen Lederer debate the best way to live.

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL115740

ISBN: 978-1-63521-099-6

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Only available in USA and Canada.