Doing What Needs To Be Done with David K. Reynolds, Ph.D.

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The opportunity to become who we want to become lies in this very moment’s behavior according to Reynolds, the Western authority on Japanese Morita and Naikan therapy. Instead of blaming our parents, being victims of our past and endlessly seeking insight into our current behavior, he advises the path of Constructive Living—realizing that we are what we do, and that our actions are more important than our feelings. This is a refreshing outlook for those who feel overwhelmed by traumatic personal histories. “It’s not about fixing feelings or getting oneself together.” Reynolds says. “It’s about being imperfect and getting done what you need to do in life.” He describes the “seven ways to be miserable” that we inflict on ourselves, and shares the remarkable story of his own self-induced suicidal depression and recovery. There is a Zen-like clarity present here. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Reynolds is the founder of Constructive Living.

He is the author of:

To learn more about the work of David Reynolds go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why action is more important than insight and analysis
  • How Reynolds deals with his fear of flying
  • The liberating power of a grateful attitude
  • The value of “healthy guilt”
  • Seven ways to be miserable that we inflict on ourselves
  • Overcoming blame and obsession about our parents’ shortcomings
  • The fallacy of trying to conquer fears and control feelings
  • The amazing story of Reynolds’ own experiment with suicidal depression

Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 3/23/1990        Program Number: 2188

Music Included

From Album: Music of Cosmos: Selections from the Score of the Television Series "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan
Artist: Various
RCA #ABL1-4003

From Album: Third Generation
Artist: Hiroshima
EK 38708
Track - 03 Ren

From Album: Apsaras
Artist: Apsaras
CBS Records CBS-FM 39559
Track - Apsaras