Laurie Santos is a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University. She has been a featured TED speaker and has been listed in Popular Science as one of their “Brilliant Ten” young scientists in 2007 as well as in Time magazine as a “Leading Campus Celebrity” in 2013. In January 2018, her course titled Psychology and the Good Life became the most popular course in Yale’s history, with approximately one-fourth of Yale’s undergraduates enrolled. In September 2019, she became host of the podcast The Happiness Lab, published by Pushkin Industries.
FORBES recently called WELCOME TO MANAGEMENT, “the best leadership book of 2020.”
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- Sustaining excellence:
- Good habits: Form consistent routines
- Healthy: Exercise regularly
- Socialize with others
- They “offload dumb decisions”
- Create a morning routine – Limit the wardrobe (limit mental energy spent on trivial things).
- Harness the power of habits – “Set you exercise clothes out the night before.”
- Do it at a consistent time each day no matter what. This decreases anxiety.
- For writing: Stop in the middle of a sentence. This will help you get started the next day (and avoid seeing the blank screen)
- Laurie is the head of a college at Yale. She lives and eats with the students in the dining hall.
- She built her class based upon hearing the complaints of students daily (they were unhappy)
- Important behaviors:
- Social connection
- Random acts of kindness
- Students didn’t realize their misconceptions about happiness
- It’s not about your job, house, or money.
- Happy people are:
- Socially connected – They spend a lot of time with others. They prioritize connecting with others.
- They don’t focus on themselves – “Others oriented.” They do more for others.
- Grateful – They look for the good. They have a mindset of gratitude. They write down 3-5 things they are grateful for everyday. They are mindful.
- The GI Fallacy – It’s more than just knowing… “You must DO IT.”
- Be deliberate about connecting with others. Hang out with people you care about. Set up Skype calls with others.
- Do NOT complain – It’s awful.
- Laurie’s class has become the most popular class in the history of Yale…
- Her lectures have been filmed for the Today Show
- Created The Happiness Lab
- It’s given more meaning to life
- Advice for mid-level managers:
- Doctors find happier workers use less than 15 sick days a year
- Work with your employees to do what they’re best at
- Find out what they’re getting out of the job
- “Your emotions can be contagious. If you embody calm, they will be calm.”
- Affective spirals – The leader can turn emotions positive
- How to run excellent meetings:
- Infuse it with gratitude – Say what you’re grateful for. Grateful team members are more productive.
- Regulate your emotion. Don’t transmit negative energy to your team.
- At home: Regulate emotion. Take time to pay attention to your emotion. What are you bringing home?
- Be present. Express gratitude to your family. Shift from complaining to being grateful.
- Say what you love about each other at your family dinner table
- The best way to learn is to teach it.
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[…] Habits allow our brains to engage in more and more complicated behaviors without much effort. Laurie Santos states “sustained excellence boils down to good habits…as you do things over and over, it […]