Rethinking Happiness with Dr. Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Professor

Rethinking Happiness with Dr. Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Professor

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I'm. Really happy to be here this morning, and. It's. The first session right so. Yeah you guys are in a good mood right I mean it's morning it's, the first time, we're. Actually another way to frame, this talk which. Is around. Sort of rethinking, happiness, and a. Lot of this work is, actually. Based on our research on, meaning, and purpose, and, some, nascent, work on humor, as well and. And. A lot of this is done and codified in two classes I teach with Naomi bad doughnuts called, rethinking purpose, and, humor. Serious, business so. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about the, research but first does, everyone have a piece of paper can they take a piece of paper out cuz I'm gonna ask you a bunch of questions and give, you like 30 seconds to respond to very kind, of thought-provoking, questions. All. Right. Here's. What I find I find, that if I just talk at you you're. Gonna think, this is. Entertaining. Or interesting, but if I force you to write something down you all have a piece of paper that you will take home and maybe show someone, and the. Behavior, change that happens afterwards, is dramatically, different, all. Right you got a piece of paper right, all. Right this is gonna be pretty fast but, if you have any questions, just email me, they're. Also, all, of this research is posted. On. My. Website. At Stanford, so you can go and download anything, tell your grandkids kids. Whatever. Alright, so what we're gonna do in a, fairly short period of time is go over a brief, history, of, the. Happiness, research. I'll put, forth, another. Way of rethinking, our approach. To happiness. Anchor, on that new destination. Which. Is. Is focused. On purpose, and then, talk, about what, to pack for the journey and then what to do on Monday all. Right so, the happiness research has long. Been well. Documented. And. Not. Only academic, papers but a ton of books, there. Is no shortage, of data. In, an anecdote, about the power of being. Happy, and certainly a being. Happy does correlate with a lot of really positive, things like productivity, and creativity and, oftentimes. Meaningfulness, etc, however. There's. A hitch, in. All of this research that's teaching. Us the power of being, happy. We. Oftentimes. Overshoot. There's. A lot of misperceptions about, happiness, and the, reality, is can. We just can, we just take a moment and just say it is a shitshow, out there right now. Seriously. In the last month, just think about it in the last month we've had hurricanes.

We've, Had earthquakes we've, had mass shootings, and the threat of violence is very real. Every. Morning you wake up and, you think. It's. It's, pretty, hard to be happy if if happiness, is our goal how, are we going to take on big, challenges in life how, do we absorb, what's happening, on our world and how do we actually, figure. Out how we want to contribute, in positive, ways so. What does drive happiness, if our instincts. Aren't always aligned with what, makes us happy this. Is this. Is some research that's pulled together from a line of different papers, and the, thing that's really interesting is, that oftentimes the things that we believe, brings. Us happening happiness, don't, as much as we think so we often think religion, will bring us happy happiness. And it does but, not as much as we think now if you go volunteer. And not. Just go to church temple, synagogue. And, you actually volunteer and help others that actually, correlates, with happiness more than we think but, just going, and. Showing up doesn't, as much as we think and, you've seen all of this research money. Over and above, a certain threshold. Doesn't. Matter. As much as we think it does matter, but maybe not as much as we think what does matter are things over here this right. Hand side so. If you give your children anything. That would be a sense of self-esteem that, wouldn't matter more than we think. Dancing. And social skills so that you have. Thriving. Relationships. Matters more than we think. You, know free time isn't you, know you got fired so you have a lot of free time it's, the, feeling, that you can control your time that. Matters more than we think and, the, second may. Be misperception. And trap of happiness, has, a lot to do with this hedonic adaptation, that. Once we finally, arrive at that promotion, that, within three very short days, we're back at our base, levels. Of happiness so we, adjust surprisingly. Quickly the, good news of course is that the things that we fear, the most in, life, oftentimes, when they happen don't, hurt as badly. Or, as long as we think they will so. There's both good and bad news with this um the. Third, misperception. Or trap of happiness, has. A lot to do with this idea of valuing. Happiness maybe, too much, there, can be paradoxical. Boomerang. Effects, which. Sound fun but they can also hurt, iris. Moss and her colleagues, do. Studies. Where they they tell half of the subjects, you, know basically, in a default condition, you don't have to do anything differently, and another, condition they'll, say you know happiness. Is really important, you should value happiness. And seek it and then, they'll expose the. Two conditions, to. You, know sort of videos that normally, would make you happy puppies playing etc, and the, individuals, in the happiness, condition, are significantly. Less happy, than the, individuals, in the control condition and, what, seems to be happening is, that you know we have these expectations, that, that. Rise up and if we, expect, to be happy and we are valuing. Happiness so much that. Our. Expectations, raise the, gap between expectations. In reality, or performance, is significant. And that drives down. Happiness. Levels by the way this little model, very simple model is, something that I use. All of the time, get home I constantly. Burn, things take a picture myself burning, things invite, my kids to see me burning things and then, say well you know I just don't cook and their, expectations. Of me cooking are at, all-time low. Low, levels, so, if I ever cook, they. Are just like giddy. Giddy. With glee so you, can use this tool at home as well. Forth. We. Think happiness is one thing we think it's relatively, stable either have it or we don't but, the meaning of happiness changes. In very systematic, ways over our, life, course and even within the day I have. Researched with. Cassie McGill nur and sepka, bar in. One of the data sets we, we pull from the we field find data set that SEP converge, at Jonathan, Harris. Created. And separate, algorithm. That, combs the blog of the blogosphere, for all mentions of I feel and I am feeling, and this. Single slide combines, 12 million data points global. Data points of blogs because. Blog, based data. Has. Demographics. Associated, with it. We. Can start, to understand what people are. Talking. About when they blog and what they're feeling, so the. Way to read this is we, start out simple and these. Are 11, to 14 year old bloggers, and how many, of you have teenage. Kids, all. Right so when you say how are you feeling they say.

Fine. What'd you do today, nothing. Right John's kind of internalized, that so, there's not this big. Emotional. Lexicon associated. With 11 to 14 year old and they. Don't, really a moat um but. Soon they soon they fill up with eggs so 15, to 18 they start to feel very anxious, when they do feel happy. It's equated. To excitement. So literally I feel happy means I feel excited, and then, feelings of confinement around 20 they start to feel unknown. Alone. Kind. Of empty until. We leave those feelings behind to go conquer the world at 25 they start to feel more powerful. And the allure. Money power or status starts, to correlate, with their happiness, before. Gradually trading ambition for balance around 30 they start to talk, more about not feeling balanced. Or wanting, to feel more balanced, developing. An appreciation for our physical body is at 35 they start to wonder why they feel overweight. Or out of shape they forgot to work out and all of a sudden magically, their bodies have, gone downhill and, then. Our children. They're, only as happy as their least happy child and evolving. Sense of connectedness, after, which we feel grateful happy calm and blessed and. Some. Of you know like, we. Don't die at 50 it's just that the blog based data you, know shrinks, substantially. So they just cut. It off I don't want any of us to worry. But. The migration, path of happiness, is from, excitement, all the way to, contentment. So if a 50 year old says I feel happy it means I feel content, peaceful. Grateful. Now. It's not always linear we can also experimental. E manipulate, these things so 50 year olds can act and behave like 18, year olds and 18 year olds can act and behave like, 50. Year olds and so if you go, into our research, program, you can see all of those studies but, to summarize this what we find is that individuals. Move from a mindset, of discovery, where, the promise of happiness is excitement, and then, they move into pursuit. Where, the promise of happiness is that feeling, of conquering the world and then, you move into balance, where the fueling, of happiness, is about alignment, or the, opportunity. To have work and health and family, all. Sort, of be thriving, then. You move to impact, where the meaning of happiness is, more aligned with feeling. Meaningful, or a sense of significance, much. More outward looking, and then. You move to savoring. Where the meaning of happiness is equated to as, I said contentment, or peacefulness, and because. People are making decisions based, on optimizing. Their happiness and our research is showing that the meaning, of happiness is. Shifting. And really, differ. Waise what, that means is when, you are optimizing, for happiness, as excitement, you're making really different decisions, about what, beverage.

To, Drink what, car to buy who to marry, versus. If you're optimizing, for, contentment. Or balance. So. It has dramatic, impact, on the choices, we make in our life. So. What this research shows is that we often pursue, happiness and, yet once we attain, it or you know what it is its meaning changes, and we start the pursuit, again so, the question is can we rethink our approach to, happiness. So. How. Might we create products. Cultivate. Organizations, and live lives that cultivate, happiness, if we can't aim. For it now here's where you're gonna hate me just briefly, I'm. Gonna contend, that it has a lot to do with destination. And journey, yes. New research confirms, what old, wise people told us forever. Ralph, Waldo, Emerson. Wrote. Life is a journey not a destination. TS, eliot writes the journey not the destination matters. Confucius. Roads were made for journey not destinations. So. First let's talk a little bit about destination. Or this concept. Of a North Star. So. Destination, in, our rethinking, purpose class when we have a whole bunch of, students. In the class feels, often, very daunting or elusive. When. We ask individuals what. Is your purpose they'll. Often say I have no clue in fact I'll just. Raise. Of hands how many of you in this room were. Just born with a sense of purpose or this idea of what you were meant to do raise, your hands. Okay. So usually it's about this like this is actually. Less. For you normally, it's about 5% and, I think there was like three people and. And. That's what we find right like the large majority people weren't you know gifted with this internal. Sense of like I must be a ballet you, know dancer or whatever. So. The question is how do we help this student. Anker. On purpose, if it's so elusive, what. Is this thing that's deeply. Meaningful to, you now. A little caveat, our, research, shows that happiness, and meaningfulness, are though correlated. Around, point five and by the way these constructs. Which are both very positive. Things correlate. Around point four when, you're younger all, the way to point eight when you're older, and so, that they become, more intertwined, and you start to understand, that what, is deeply meaningful for, you is in fact bringing.

You Happiness but not when, you're younger so, how are they different and. One, of our papers, we. Asked individuals, you know to what degree do you have a happy life to what degree do you have a meaningful life and then, we'll correlate, these metrics, and. Impartial. Out the positive covariance. So we're just looking at people who say you. Know that they have a happy but not that meaningful life or people that have been meaningful but not that happy life so, by kind of forcing, them apart we can start to understand, how, they have these different mindsets, a. Few, of the biggest differences, happiness. Feels good and meaningful does, meaningfulness. Doesn't, always in fact having, this meaningful life is often quite painful, and hard entrepreneurs. Have a very meaningful life, nurses, doctors. Have a very meaningful life but, it's not always a happy one. The second difference is that the, individuals, and the happiness sort of sell say, that they really are self focused, they'll stay, their sole focus they'd like to give themselves gifts, the. Meaningfulness, individuals. Aren't, they're really anchored on others, they're. More likely to to. Sort, of feel joy when others feel joy and are much more other oriented. Happiness. Feels fleeting. So they're much more focused on how they feel right now, meaningfulness. Individuals. Are more focused on a. Lasting. Sense of, happiness where the past and the present in the future are blended. So. There are some studies that have, actually, manipulated, happiness, and meaningfulness in one study researchers. Asked, half the subjects, do one thing today that makes you happy and. The other condition they'll, say do one thing today to, create meaning, and then. They'll have individuals. In both cells, come back to the lab and they'll track them over time higher. Sense of meaning of purpose correlates. With higher levels, of good cholesterol. Healthier. Weight better. Sleep, lower. Levels, of cortisol cortisol, is fine for short run bursts. To get, away from bears but, sustain, levels of cortisol, aren't good lower. Risk of cardiovascular. Disease and a lower risk of cognitive, decay, so. There's a sense, of meaning. And purpose in our lives that's, very intuitive especially. If you're a religious. Person this is not rocket science, or if, you have a family. That you feel, very connected to again this, is very intuitive, findings, but it's interesting how powerful, they, are and it's also interesting that, Gallup. And others show that individuals at work. When. Asked, do you have a sense of meaning or purpose at, work or do you even know, what. The, mission of your work is of, your company 80%, will, say no I don't and of the 20%, who. Say I do when. Asked, do you personally, resonate. With that mission. They. Will say that large majority, seventy-five percent say no.

So. Even. If we have a sense of meaning and purpose in our life. The. The, very significant. Chance that we don't at work is is actually. Quite real and. Employees. Who say they derive meaning at work are three times more likely to stay one, point four times more engaged in one point seven, times report. Higher levels of job satisfaction so. The bottom, line effects. Of having. A sense of meaning a purpose, at work translate. To something quite substantial. So. The question is how do you find purpose something that, is deeply meaningful, to you and I'm gonna give you a sort, of a couple of different tips. And also, things to write down so you have your piece of paper out right everyone's Andy all right this is these are some things that we do that's informed, by our research and then we also do it with. Our students. So some, people, were born with a sense of purpose. Others don't, nor necessarily, even, want to but, the reality, is it's more of a skill than we think so first, consider. Whether you have a moonshot, right now so, the way we'll define moonshot, is is aligned, with the. Way X or Google X defines, it. At. Google, they created moon shots, there. Their. Company called X and their purpose there is to invent and launch moonshot, technologies, that make the world a radically, better, place now whether, there's a good business model for this or not is another. Conversation but it's interesting to learn actually I think from companies, the, way they define it is there is a huge problem they. There's. A radical solution. Like 10 times better than we could ever dream and a, breakthrough technology. Now, a lot of these ideas, translate. To what we know from, an individual. Perspective, what. We could be doing that's much more potentially, ambitious, than we we, potentially are currently pursuing. You. Know sort of classic, works suggest, that if you, are connected, to your passion, so that provides, the fuel your, unique strengths, your highest and best use and then, what the world needs in the world needs so much right now that's. Not too hard. Then. You'll be sort, of in that Venn diagram, intersection. More. Connected, to your purpose, or what, potentially. Could be a moonshot. So, a personal. Story I was. One of these people that I don't. Know if you've ever felt this but like so, first of all I don't really care about marketing, so just, put that out there. It's. Unfortunate, because I'm a marketing professor, but. I. Also, don't really care about helping companies, which. Is also unfortunate, because I'm in the business school, and. So. But I always wanted to be an oncologist I wanted to make a dent in cancer I think all. Of us have been touched by cancer in, one way or another raise, your hands if you directly, or even, indirectly been touched by cancer and, it, feels so, real even.

For Those of us who have been lightly touched but, I was worried about being a doctor I didn't know if would be able to be a good mom and a great partner, and a great, friend, and. And. I saw my parents, be these incredible. Incredible. Parents, and I, really want I aspire to that and so. I went, and became a behavioral, psychologist and, and went into marketing, which, is what my dad was in and I saw that, my skill sets really lined up with what he had and we. Were both very efficient, and highly, quantitative, we were very, driven we didn't need a boss and we loved research. So. What I eventually, made, my way and and be kind of became a marketing professor, and but. Every Sunday, I would, feel kind of empty so, I don't know if you had these Sundays where like you feel like weirdly, depressed, and you're not sure why and I. Would have those empty Sundays, especially. Sunday afternoon, and, you know fast-forward I got hired by UCLA, for, four years still felt empty, came. Back to Stanford on, Sundays, got married, and had children, and. I, felt less empty but I still had this twinge, of emptiness, on Sundays. And I I think, you know and I used to give these big talks for PhD, students and whatnot and saying listen. Let's all face it we're you know we're in marketing, we're trying to teach you. Know privileged. People how to make more money at. Stanford. You know let's not take, ourselves too, seriously we're. Not curing cancer here, and and. It would be kind of helpful, for these PhD students because they want to feel so heavy but. I think that had something to do with my emptiness, on Sundays. Fast. Forward and I think all like a lot of people I talk to have like closeted careers like if I could. Quit now and like do something new I know exactly, what I would do but for whatever reason we went this other path right so. Fast. Forward I went to Berkeley for a couple years and then before coming back to Stanford and I, was teaching a creativity, and innovation, class there and I. Asked my students, you know to share a story of what, how. They change because of the class and one of the students shared with me a story and the story was so impactful and it was about his best friend who had leukemia and a. Process, by which he harnessed social networks and story. In order to get over 20,000. 25,000. People in the bone marrow registry in. Order to try and save the life of his best friend because he needed a match and he. Was South Asian so then, the, odds of survival are incredibly, small because there's very. Few matches, in the in the in the registry, for him and in that process, Robert. My student, found a perfect, match for. Samir. His best friend along with Robert's friends and family and this. Story that, he shared with me the end of my class was so impactful that. I went back that night and talked to my husband Andy and and. I. Said we should write a book about that story, it's incredible, it's about how do you harness social. Technology, and power of, story, to, actually make big change even if you have no money nor resources no anything and he did he quit his job but we wrote a book together what's, called the Dragonfly effect and it, was absolutely.

Meaningful. It was absolutely. A moonshot, for me and for. Andy because what, was interesting about it is not only were we able to write, that book but. We were able to redefine, success for, ourselves and, our family we. You, know instead, of defining. Success by, how much money we. Made and maximizing. Money because this is not a smart financial move let me just tell you. But. We but are a real measure of success was we wanted our kids to be inspired, to do massive, good in the world to, be really, impactful we wanted them to be like Kennedy kids but without the issues, so. We wanted them to you, know really just, rise to that occasion and, that's really hard to inspire when I'm at Stanford all the time and ease that dole be all the time and our kids are at home like they're not seeing us and we're not gonna move to Darfur cuz you know nails. Like I'm not going to be able to do it so. How do we do good and how, do we inspire, them. To do good when we're not really, living, that life in front of them and what, the. Book Dragonfly allowed us to do we spent a year, working, with 12 students here to try and get over a hundred thousand people in the bone marrow registry in order, to. Give. Homage, and, to. Robert and also, Samir and. That was incredibly, gratifying. Kids were very involved so. What. Was powerful, about this is our metric, of success changed. Instead. Of saying we're, maximizing. Profitability. Or we're, maximizing. What we should be doing we think we should be doing instead. We said our metric of success was that our kids would be connected to charities, and doing good and we. Would get more than a hundred thousand people in the bone marrow registry so. Every summer now our kids create, their own little businesses, find their own favorite, charities and then donate that money to those charities instead of swim team or tennis. Team they actually, do that and. That was really exciting, and inspiring for us now. Your meaning or purpose doesn't, have to be something that launches you to the moon it could be something as simple as making a difference. In just one person's life. It's, better to light one small candle, than to curse the, darkness. All. Right so take 30 seconds right now and, based. On that little story just. Write down a, couple. Of glimmers, of moonshots. Or or. Goals. And pour net goals that you might take on in the next five or ten years all, right the second, tool that. We, talk a lot about is thinking. Back about the most defining, stories, of your life as John, mentioned I teach also a class called the power of story and what I find is this simple, exercise, is.

Incredibly. Illuminating for. A sense, of purpose so just. Write those stories, down they will inspire you and provide clarity, around your North Star so. Hemingway, it was once known to have written the first six word story he, wrote baby. Shoes for, sale never, worn and. So. I make my students, write six words stories, like not, quite aspiring, to be quite, tonight. He packs tomorrow, I pine, married. The wrong girl fixed, it. Getting. Old ringtones, pissed me off so, what. I'd like you to do is write down in, 30 seconds or less just. One six, word story, about. Your your, life and. If you are good at this keep writing more stories, I usually, give everyone two minutes I'm only giving you 30 seconds so six. Words or less write down some. Defining stories, of your life so. The second thing I often do, with my students, is after they've written down all of their, two minutes of six-word, stories I'll ask them to go through all of the stories and pick out the through-line or the common themes that keep, bubbling, up in each. Of these stories, and if you look at those through lines or those themes it's really, remarkable how much that eliminates, a key. Part of your purpose or northstar. Alright, next let's talk about the journey. The. Journey concept. Is also unclear, and esoteric, what. Do you actually need to pack for your journey so. The, things to pack we will contend our secret, weapons you. Need a tribe. And. You also need a way to defuse tension, because if you're gonna be playing at the top of your game anchored. On moonshots you need a way to actually. Defuse, tension, because it will be high stakes it will be serious, it will, be. Ambitious. So. How do you cultivate these, things and we will contend, that humor, is the. Answer if you, can balance gravity. With levity. Most. Things that humor is fun and frivolous, in reality, it matters a lot it has an outsized, impact. On our ability to both make progress toward. Our destination and, also to embrace the journey because. It's a multiplier, and. What would mean by that is it serves, at least three functions, if not more humor. Is a secret, weapon here's. A quote by dick Estelle oh and that we liked it was a tweet. In. One of. Our studies are, actually not our studies this was by. Brad bitterly Allison, Brooks and Maury. Schweitzer. What, they did was they studied. The influence of humor on status, in new and existing relationships. And what, they found is when people use humor successfully. Which I know is an art which is why we have an entire class on it, increased. Levels of confidence, and. Person, competence, are. Perceived, by people and, that accrues. Status. Or perceived, status so you try. A joke you land that joke and I attribute you more. Confidence. Confidence and also status. So. Humor. Plays also a fundamental, role in shaping relationships. And it can build your tribe in another. Study, researchers. Told. People to write down five pieces of personal, information in, one, condition, you, guys saw a neutral, film and then wrote down that, personal information in the second condition you, saw, a humorous, film clip and then wrote down that personal. Information and the results, suggested, that in the humor condition, you self disclosed, more to other. Individuals in the experiment, so you are more open. There's. A lot of research to show that oxytocin is released when, people, laugh it. Opens people, up and Trust is able to. Be. Cultivated, moments. Of laughter sparked trust in a quickened self disclosure it solidifies. Your tribes closeness over, time it can significantly, impact. Culture. It. Also diffuses. Tension, in. Another study researchers. Had two conditions, and they. Had a, confederate say my, final offer is blank and then another condition the Confederates said my final offer is blank and I'll throw in my pet frog and these, researchers, measured. Concessions. And how that negotiation. Went and what they found was in the second condition there, was 18%. More concessions, and not. Only that that subjects, reported. Increased, enjoyment of the task and reduced tension. Angela, Merkel wrote humor, is important, in politics, I laugh at least once every day otherwise I cannot do my job I would never allow people to take away my holiday, for me and it's, a really sad state of affairs when, we're quoting. German. Chancellor. Angela Merkel. Like. We. Were, we're, in bad shape people. We gotta like start learning from very unsuspecting. Forces. Now. Humor is a super power but there is this problem, our. Self perceptions. Of funniness plummet. As we, age it, turns out that we have data. From Gallup it's. Corroborated. With experimental, data as well that we have high, perceptions. Of how funny we are when. We're. Kids. And we're. Also doing. A pretty good job when.

We're Like you, know, adolescence. And then, it basically, plummets. At around, 21. 23. Ish. When. We enter the workforce and, you know it might be because we're very important, and efficient. It might, because we landed. It tried Atlanta joke and it bombed it might, be because it's a new context, and we don't know how to read the room, or we don't have status, but for whatever reason our. Self. Perceptions. Of humor, globally. Plummet. This isn't a u.s. problem this is a worldwide. Problem and. Because humor. And laughing, is associated. With health benefits, performance. Benefits, creativity. Benefits, this, is a significant. Problem, so. How do we move the needle on humor first. Know your own funny, so. There's so many different types of humor right and this is I mean. Culturally. Gender. I mean it's it's a humorous, incredibly. Individualistic. So. Really kind of getting back in touch with your sense of humor is important. I am. Voted, the least funny person, in my five person, family, everyone. Is, hilarious. But apparently not me they took a vote and that's the verdict. Now. And. I would agree with them I, didn't vote because. They do secret voting behind, my back but if I did, don't. Worry I'm fine like their we're, all very supportive of each other, but. When. I'm in another, country I'm. Hilarious. I. Crush. I could do live. Stand-up, and. Now. Here. In the United States when, I'm at home there is a lot to do and we don't have any time to be funny we, got to get the show on the road but. When, I travel. And then. I'm, good so, our family keeps, traveling we move a different country like, every year for at least two to four months, and. Even, if I move to New York I'm funny so I'll go to New York we went to Sydney we, just moved to Stockholm, we're looking for our next destination so. And I'm thinking Berlin honestly. I'm gonna learn from Germany, right now so. If anyone has any connections. Just putting, it out there in the world our, family is ready to move and we will move in with you so. Email. Me later if you if you if you have a boat for where we should go next. All. Right so really quickly I'd like you to write down think, about the last time you really loved bonus. Points if you were at work or were the one creating. Humor what. Was happening, just wrote. Right down that last moment and if you have extra. Time and that becomes easy for you ask. Yourself, how might you cultivate more moments like this, next. Find your humor tribe. So. For me what what happens, because humor is such a social emotion.

It's. Very helpful both, at work and in life to have a set, of people who get you're funny or if you bomb they'll, still laugh and they won't judge you for. Me it's my bridge group we, don't play bridge but I always wanted a bridge group and I. Saw my mom had a bridge group and I was insanely, jealous like, all they would do is like drink and whine and laugh and not play cards, so at fast forward like 40, years or whatever and I finally have a bridge group of these ten, women, who are hilarious. And we, all drink wine and not play cards and we. Interesting, about that is I am actually pretty funny with them. They, have not done a vote but I'm sure I'm among the top in. Terms of humor what's also important. Though because remember, the data about, actually. Laughing. Less. When you enter the workforce is have one or two people at work that, is part of your humor tribe so I mentioned to you Naomi, bagged onus, teaches. The humor class with me as well as the rethinking, purpose class this year and, and. She, is hilarious. She. Is like SNL, funny and the. Tweets and the videos, and the pranks, and the stories, that are cultivated, with her are game-changing. And what was so interesting is, in order, to scale that we, need to create a larger, tribe because we can't be funny all the time we got work to do too and even. Though we're teaching a class on humor and so. We put out a. Set. Of applications, to be on our teaching team and we, were flooded, with with, people responding. And always said was we, want to create SNL, meets I do and now. We've got this incredible. 11. Person, teaching, team that was, pulled. From just a huge. Number of applicants, and now, we can really start to scale we move quickly we work all of the time literally, this team works like 24/7. And we're, having so much fun doing it and we're so productive, and the quality of the work is so much higher than before so. I'd like you to write down just, two or three names of. Individuals. Ideally, maybe one from your personal life and potentially. One from work, that. Might be your humor try these are people that you might want to invite in if if you. If you ever wanted to like take. On a humor. Boot camp for example, all, right lastly, realize that humor is a choice it's a filter through. Which we. Could view the world our, stories define us and we get to choose the genre, in one. Study with. Emily garb in scheme we, asked individuals, to list the stories that define their life so far similar, to what you did before and then we asked them to rate whether they were dramas, comedies. Etc, and well, and then we took a whole host of other measures like self-perceptions. On on. Creativity. Performance. Success etc, if, the stories were disproportionately self. Rated as tragedies, you might imagine participants. Also it. Was a correlational, study but it was still. A. Large, effect size they. Reported to be more anxious stress sad disappointed feeling. Lonely, or alone if, they, also reported. Their stories to be disproportionately dramas. Actually, the same effect, happened, but, when they self-reported, their. Their, stories to be comedies, they not only felt happier, and more satisfied but energetic, fulfilled, inspired, and challenged, in life not, only that but, they also said, their life was more meaningful, so. It wasn't just happy, but it was meaningful that upper white hand quadrant of, the of. The categories, I discussed, before. So. What I'd like you to do is just take a second, and look back at the story that you wrote earlier. And, see if it wasn't, already a comedy, could. You actually, rewrite, it as a. Comedy. Alright. So Mel, Brooks once said comedy, abounds if you just look around you, and. If you do you will all have a new, superpower. So. In some no. That happiness is miserable or at least chasing, it is, real. Success, comes down to anchoring, on the right destination and, embracing, the journey you. Need a compass, to navigate the, destination. And you need to know what to pack for the journey. So. Capture, the journey and stories, but also realize. You get to pick the genre. Bill. Murray once, said if you can stay light and stay loose and stay relaxed you can play at the very highest level, as a baseball player or a human, being and this. Was shared when, he actually gave, a speech to a bunch of baseball, players and he, ended this speech with a perfect, bit of Zen stay. At it but stay light don't, be afraid to do what comes naturally, fight, the urge to be serious, don't let it destroy the very thing that makes show. And and, the guy who wrote this was George Saunders and he he, has a picture, of Bill Murray in his office, just.

To Remind himself to stay out at the stay lights so. I encourage you to think about who your humor hero is or what picture you might put on the wall to remind you how to balance the gravity, with the levity you're, only given a little spark of madness you mustn't lose it and the. Question that I think is so interesting is how will you keep the pilot light on. Thank. You. I'm. Gonna do one more thing and so. Alright, so Naomi, and I are thinking like what are we gonna do to, sort of make sure all, of this content, doesn't just stay at, Stanford. But. Actually could be sort. Of unlocked, so to speak and so. What we're putting together right, now this, week our teaching team is gonna. Beta. Test it but what we're putting together is like a one-week, humor, boot camp and it's free and if you want to come where. You guys are a part of the party we'd love you to to. To, participate and, so. What we're trying to do is create a little gift for you so to speak which is a set, of like maybe the most interesting, and fun, humor. Covert, spy, missions. That you could actually take on so. If you want to participate in play with us and I'm. Sort of an online experience, where. We would just kind of email. You and work with you online you are very invited, to come all you have to do is come. To our website humor, serious business and sign up for the boot camp and we'll probably have it going in about a month, and we, encourage you to to find a friend or two to, do this with because what we find is when you do it with your family or, like just one other person at work it has disproportionately, better. Effects. So, please. Join us if you'd like to you take a picture of that and. Here's. A bunch of the books that also were, infused, in this last part of the talk so if you're interested in that dragonfly. Is the least funny book, that, exists. We. Put it with all the funny stuff because, you, know. Framing. And then, also, elements, of style isn't necessarily, funny, but we just love it so everything. Else very useful. And funny all. Right that's it thank you.

2017-11-27 14:15

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