Todd Kashdan is Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. He conducts research on anxiety, positive emotions, purpose in life, mindfulness, gratitude, how personal strengths operate in everyday life, social relationships, self-regulation, and how to foster and sustain happiness and meaning in life.
Via Psychology Today, he published his recipe for becoming a “killer scientist”. It´s a great piece to read. Here, you´ll find the short version:
Let passions and curiosity be your compass
Don’t look at public opinion polls about what people are studying. Focus on activities that ignite your passion. Don’t study areas because they are hot and sexy. Ask questions that ignite your passion.
Impact is Everything
It is more impactful to get your work featured in an article in Parade magazine than the top journal in your field. Hang around scientists who understand this principle.
Be James Bond (impact part II)
Show your stuff in a way that can be understood by teenagers. Think like a human. Be an exceptional presenter. How? Concrete. Sticky. Stories.
Create Strong Partnerships
Retain people that ensure you stay humble. Be generous by always giving more than you take. Complementarity is righteous.
Create Meaningful Time
Think of work in 15-minute intervals. It´s not complicated. Discipline slowly accumulates into major accomplishments.
Also, you might want to watch his TEDx talk on “Becoming a mad scientist with your life”: