Maria's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Full Circle

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Brooklyn, NY

MARIA POPOVA

Writer/Founder
Brain Pickings

“The most important thing that a person can decide-that should dictate what they do in life-is what matters in the world and why.”

INTERESTS:

Journalism Philosophy & Religion

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Fulfillment Hobbies & Pastimes Passion Values Focus Money & Financial Security Desire

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

attitude, brain pickings, Bulgaria, career, class, college, communism, desire, flow, happiness, journalism, materialism, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, passion, privilege, psychology, purpose, school, start up, University of Pennsylvania

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up in Bulgaria; saw the end of communism and the rise of a new democracy.
  • Watched as new classes emerged; was fascinated by people starting to define themselves by the wealth and "things" they accumulated.
  • Went to college at the University of Pennsylvania to study this capitalist phenomenon.
  • Majored in consumer psychology and worked in the campus newspaper's marketing department.
  • Found that she was much more interested in the materials she was reading in the library than she was in the actual field of marketing.
  • Didn't enjoy college, but says the silver lining was realizing she didn't want to be someone who simply went through life hitting certain benchmarks of "success."
  • She'd started an email newsletter for her friends and coworkers that was essentially a record of the various ideas that piqued her interest.
  • As more and more people started to read and enjoy her work, she realized she needed to make this publication "the centerpiece of her life."

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