Dr. Marc Schulz is the Associate Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development and an award-winning professor at Bryn Mawr College, where he directs the Data Science Program and is the Sue Kardas Ph.D. 1971 Chair in Psychology. He completed his BA at Amherst College and his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. 

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  • “Relationships are at the core of human flourishing.”
  • Friendships – Map out your social universe. Are the connections uplifting or depleting? Ask, “what do I value about the person?” Be intentional about your relationships and how you invest in them.
  • Relationships require work. Think of it as “social fitness.”
    • All relationships will wither if we don’t work on them.
    • You don’t need to get everything from every friend.
  • Keys to being a great partner:
    • Be curious about them
    • Your attention and presence. Put the phone down. Ensure they are seen and heard.
    • Have fun together. Plan exciting events for the future. Do them together. 
    • Be the bedrock of affection and warmth
  • The quality of the relationship you have with your partner will determine how long you will live.
  • As we get older, we tend to get happier. We accumulate emotional wisdom. We should focus more on relationships that give us emotional sustenance.
  • This work is built on a bedrock of scientific research. At its heart, the Harvard Study of Adult Development. An extraordinary scientific endeavor that began in 1938, is still going Bob is the 4th director of the study, and Marc is its associate director.
  • Generativity” – In psychology, expanding our concerns and efforts beyond our own lives is called generativity and it’s a key to unlocking the vibrancy and excitement of midlife.
    • When asked at the end of their lives, “What do you wish you’d done less of? And more of?” The study participants often referenced their middle years and regretted having spent so much time worrying and so little time acting in a way that made them feel alive.
  • The story of John Marsden and Leo DeMarco… Leo lived a rich life because of the relationships he fostered with his wife, daughters, and close friends. John put all of his effort into becoming a lawyer, becoming well-known, and didn’t focus on his relationships. They ended up on opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to happiness.
  • Research has shown that people who have a close colleague at work are more engaged and productive than those who don’t.
  • Close to half of your waking moments are spent thinking about something other than what you are doing.
  • Loneliness increases your risk of death as much as smoking or obesity.
  • Evolutionary theories: Survival depends on us coming together as groups. We are social creatures.
  • How to handle remote/hybrid working environments?
    • There is a cost to not being together. There is a cost to working alone.
    • Friendships need repeated exposure. Doing tasks together builds friendships. You can’t do those well remotely.
  • Strangers on a Train: What do you want to do while on a train? Listen to music or talk with the stranger sitting next to you?
    • Most will say that they would rather put their headphones on, listen to music, or read a book.
    • However, the research suggests that you’ll be happier if you spoke with a stranger on the train.
  • Life/Career advice:
    • Think about the nitty gritty of a job. Talk to people doing the job. Spend extended time with them while they are doing the job. See what it’s like.
  • Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle

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