Emma Seppälä, Ph.D is Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of the recently published book The Happiness Track. She is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, Huffington Post, and Scientific American Mind.
Emma, if you had to describe your book in a short analogy (“We’re the Uber for x…” or something like that): What would it be?
The hack for success without stress.
I’m a manager and reaaaaally busy. If I had time to read only one chapter: Which one would you recommend – and why?
Read the second chapter on how to build your resilience. We believe we need high levels of adrenaline to get things done – so we over-caffeinate, over-schedule ourselves, and wait until the last minute to get things done. The result is not productivity, it’s burnout which is why we’re seeing 50% burnout across industries, 80% of doctor’s visits due to stress, and 75% of the American workforce disengaged. You can’t talk yourself out of stress but there is something you can do at the physiological way that will help you manage your energy, be more productive and emotionally intelligent, and be resilient in the face of the pressure and demands coming your way – cultivating physiological resilience.
In all these years of studying Positive Psychology: What is the one scientific finding that intrigued you the most?
The finding that has intrigued – and inspired – me the most is that the best kept secret to happiness is to give it away. By uplifting others, supporting them, helping them and living a more compassionate life, not only will you be making everyone else happier, you will be happier, healthier and live a longer life too. It’s win-win!
Thank you very much and best of luck with The Happiness Track!