Happiness, Work, and CMU
David Kosbie, 11-Jan-2013
· Happiness: Sense of well-being
o Sense: Engagement + Mindfulness. Well-Being: Pleasure + Meaning
o What is important? Grades? Learning? Achievement? Social ties?
· The Limits of This Talk
o Beyond the scope: Depression? Other disorders? Get help --> CAPS!
· Why does happiness matter?
o Improves mental, physical, emotional states, academic outcomes, life expectancy.
· Happiness and CMU
o We have a broad happiness bell curve here
· What about Money?
o Very low correlation between wealth and happiness.
o Money-driven people exhibit…
§ Lower self-actualization, vitality, happiness
§ Increased anxiety, physical symptomology, unhappiness.
· Practical Happiness
o Eat well
o Sleep well (hint: Ear plugs! White noise! ), or…
§ Memory impairment, anxiety, increasing risk of depression
o Take naps
§ People who nap consistently may live longer, show a 30% lower incidence of heart disease
§ Ideal: 15 to 30 minutes, mid-afternoon
o Exercise regularly
§ Best time: after the most stressful part of the day. Worst time: before bedtime
o Socialize regularly
§ People matter most. For fun. For Emotional and academic support.
o Recreate regularly
o Escape + Indulge (once in a while)
o Balance work-play-rest
o Engagement + Mindfulness (Focus + Flow)
§ Pay attention. In class. Doing homework. Playing. Always BE there.
§ Study. Read. Follow directions.
§ Unitask (Do Not Multitask, since there is no such thing)
§ Meditate (5 minutes)
o Happiness Media
§ Happiness List (Simple, readily available things that make you happy)
§ Happiness Playlist (Songs, pictures, videos that reliably make you happy)
§ Happiness Show (Make your own happiness movie/slideshow)
§ And, of course… Don’t just create these, USE them
§ Clean your closet (and room, and inbox, and schedule, …)
§ Don’t oversubscribe. (Don’t take too many courses. Spread out the hardest ones.)
o Manage your time.
§ Time Maps: Estimated map, Actual map, Ideal map. Then, reconcile these.
§ No heroics (split tasks up, take breaks; start early, don’t procrastinate, don’t sprint it’s a marathon).
§ Intellectual Momentum: MV (M = intellectual mass (IQ), V = intellectual velocity (smart effort))
§ Intellectual Vector Sums: (Progress == directed effort, so don’t try harder, try smarter!)
§ Intellectual Satisficing (“bounded rationality”): Do your best given your limitations.
§ Use rituals and structure. Plan. Schedule. Respect your schedule.
§ Mornings are Magic
o Don’t be foolish
§ Don’t overindulge in mood-altering substances
§ Don’t over-control (perfectionism)
· 90% of CMU students are not in the top 10%
· You will get a CMU degree and a nice, satisfying, relatively high-paying job regardless
§ Don’t cheat!!!
§ Don’t put excessive emphasis on happiness
o Social Investment
§ Hugely important. Nothing matters more than the people.
§ Always find time for your friends. And use that time well.
§ Find Mentors and Exemplars
§ Use Your CMU Resources Wisely
§ Consume ALL of CMU.
§ Get out of CMU. See Oakland. Pittsburgh. Beyond.
§ Volunteer. A lot.
o Happiness Mindset
§ Accept personal responsibility. Own yourself. Be intentional. Be in control.
· Lower activation energy for habits you wish to adopt. Raise it for habits you wish to avoid.
§ Be outwardly happy. Ac-cen-tu-ate the positive! Smile. Laugh. A lot.
§ Be grateful. Be reflective. Be accountable.
o Carpe diem.
§ “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi
§ An extraordinary life is still composed of about 30,000 mostly ordinary days.
§ Each day make some small, meaningful, positive change. Start today. Here. Now.
o Scholar-Citizen Reflections: Blending service + learning (Advice to CMU students, to professors, to yourself)
Happy (the movie),
Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk, http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html
Dave Crenshaw, The Myth of Multitasking video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHQv1KdpI-8
National Geographic, Humans Cannot Multitask, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-UsdjFYfk
Tal Ben-Shahar’s Daily Show Interview, http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-9-2007/tal-ben-shahar
Penn’s Authentic Happiness site’s Test Center (registration required), http://tinyurl.com/gxjef
Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology
Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, http://amzn.com/B003F3PMYI (Kindle edition)
Tal Ben-Shahar’s book, Happier, http://amzn.com/B003XNTU5M (Kindle edition)
Pierce J. Howard’s book, The Owner’s Manual for the Brain (3rd Edition), http://tinyurl.com/howard-brain-book
David Brooks NYT Editorial, “It’s Not About You”, http://tinyurl.com/ac5acq8
Bridget Booher, Duke Magazine, “Pressure Beneath the Surface”, http://tinyurl.com/bzbefc2